Change How Notification Center Alerts You in OS X

Mountain Lion introduced the OS X Notification Center to the world. It’s a single notification area that keeps you updated on calendar events, email, and status updates on various applications you might be running on OS X. This largely replaced Growl notifications for a number of apps, and more of them are being made to work with Notification Center as users begin adopting the latest version of OS X.

One of the ways Notification Center alerts you to updates is by putting up a notification in the upper-right area of your screen. This notification is often just up for a few seconds, though sometimes it can dwell on your desktop until you dismiss it manually. You can change when and how this notification happens, and even have specific applications never notify you of an update if you prefer.

Change How Notification Center Alerts You in OS X

Here’s how:

  • Open System Preferences through your Dock or by searching for it by hitting command+space.
  • Select Personal, then Notifications in the menu.
  • Choose the application you wish to modify the settings for from the list on the left.
  • Choose your desired settings and close the window.

Change How Notification Center Alerts You in OS X

From this window, you can configure application-specific options such as making notifications appear until you dismiss them, temporarily, or not at all. You can also choose whether or not you’d like the application updates to appear in the notification list on the right side of the screen. You can additionally add or remove sounds that chime in during an alert.

You can also have the notifications list sort by either a manual importance level or by the time the notifications came in.

Not all applications are presently compatible with Notification Center. You may still have some apps that throw up Growl-style notifications whenever and however they want. It’s up to the application developers to make their apps work with this system, and some of them are just a bit slow to adapt.

I’ve found the Notification Center to be an essential part of my user experience since upgrading to Mountain Lion. It keeps my schedule in order for me and gets out of the way when I need it to. How do you use Notification Center? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • http://twitter.com/Phryyyk Jake Cumberpatch

    I turned off Notification Centre (deal with it) altogether as it really added nothing to existing applications. Not only that, but on an iMac without a Trackpad, there is no default gesture to launch the right hand pane (I had a keyboard shortcut of option+space) and so it becomes cumbersome to actually look at the things. Dock badges and generic alerts serve me much better, for now. I hope it can be improved upon, but until then I am giving it a miss.