9 Best Ways to Fix Notifications Not Showing on Mac

Receiving real-time notifications on your Mac is an important part of your workflow. You may miss important messages, emails, and calls when Mac notifications fail to pop up. You can always open the app or rely on notification badges to check the alerts, but it’s not ideal and can sometimes be time-consuming. Instead, use the tricks below, and fix Mac notifications not showing issues in no time.

Several factors can affect your Mac’s notification system. macOS notifications not working can be due to denied permission, active DND mode, outdated apps, and more. Let’s cover some basics first and check advanced tricks to enable notifications on Mac.

1. Enable Notification Permission for Installed Apps

Whenever you open an app for the first time on Mac, it asks for notification permission (if required). If you have denied notification permission during startup, you must enable permission from the System Preferences menu.

Step 1: Click the little Apple icon in the upper left corner.

Step 2: Open the System Preferences menu.

Open system preferences menu

Step 3: Go to the Notifications & Focus menu.

Open notificaitons and focus

Step 4: Select an app that’s giving you trouble with notifications. Enable Allow Notifications toggle and close the menu.

Allow notifications for mac

You are all set to receive notifications from the app. From the same menu, you can customize the notification experience as well. Select Alerts and ensure the latest messages appear in the Notification Center.

Following the macOS Ventura (macOS 13) update, Apple has completely revamped the settings menu on Mac. If your Mac runs macOS Ventura or a higher version, use the steps below to enable notifications.

Step 1: Click the Apple icon and open System Settings.

Step 2: Select Notifications from the sidebar. Open an app from which you are not receiving alerts.

Step 3: Enable the ‘Allow notifications’ toggle and make necessary changes.

2. Disable Focus Mode on Mac

Since the macOS Monterey update, Apple has integrated the Do Not Disturb mode inside Focus on the Mac. If you have enabled a Focus mode on your Mac, it disables all notifications and calls on the device.

You need to open the Control Center and disable Focus mode. Alternatively, you can add apps as exceptions in a Focus profile and continue to receive notifications from them even when Focus is enabled.

Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Open the System Preferences menu.

Step 2: Go to Notifications & Focus.

Open notificaitons and focus

Step 3: Select the Focus profile that you use frequently on Mac.

Step 4: Select Apps and click on the + icon.

Add apps as exception

Step 5: Select an app from which you want to receive notifications during Focus mode and close the menu.

Now you are all set to receive notifications from your favorite apps.

Here are the steps for macOS Ventura or a higher version.

Step 1: Go to System Settings and select Focus.

Step 2: Open a Focus mode and select Allowed Apps.

Step 3: Click +, search for apps and add them to the list.

If you face notification issues with work apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams on Mac, add these apps as exceptions and receive instant alerts.

3. Check Mac Volume and Sound Output

By default, your Mac notifications are set to appear as banners in the top-right corner. Meaning they show up for some time and go away automatically. If your Mac is on mute, you may miss several notifications.

Step 1: Open the Control Center from the top-right corner. Use the slider to adjust the volume.

Step 2: Click the streaming icon to ensure your MacBook or external speakers are set as sound output.

4. Keep Apps Open in the Background

Unlike iPhone, you need to keep the apps open in the background to receive instant push notifications on Mac.

You must open apps like Slack, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Microsoft Teams to get the latest updates. It works slightly differently on the desktop than on the mobile. If you quit such apps, you can’t receive notifications from them.

5. Open Apps During the Startup

If you don’t want to open several work apps manually, you can launch them at startup too. That way, you are ready to get the latest updates right from the start. Here’s how you can open your favorite apps during startup on Mac.

Step 1: Go to the System Preferences menu.

Step 2: Select Users & Groups.

Open users and groups

Step 3: Click on Login Items.

Step 4: Select the + icon at the bottom and add apps from the Applications menu.

Open apps on startup

Mac users with macOS Ventura or a higher version can check the steps below.

Step 1: Launch System Settings and scroll to General. Select Login Items.

Step 2: Click + to open the Applications menu in Finder.

Step 3: Select the app and hit Open.

Don’t go overboard with this practice. You might feel lag if you enable 4-5 apps to open at startup.

6. Disable Share Across Devices

This applies to users living in the Apple ecosystem. When you enable Focus on iPhone, the system automatically enables the same for your iPad or Mac using the same account.

Enabling Focus on iPhone may trigger the same function on the Mac. You need to disable your iPhone’s ‘Share Across Devices’ toggle, and iOS won’t share Focus status with other devices.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone and go to the Focus menu.

Step 2: Disable Share Across Devices.

7. Check App Settings

This trick applies to IM (Instant Messaging) apps and work services like Slack and Teams. You won’t receive a notification if you have muted a specific conversation in WhatsApp or Telegram.

Similarly, there is an option to mute notifications for a specific time in Teams and Slack. Unmute channels, groups, and personal chats and you are all set to receive notifications. Let’s take WhatsApp as an example here.

Step 1: Launch WhatsApp on Mac. Select a conversation and click the contact name at the top.

Step 2: Disable the ‘Mute notifications’ toggle.

8. Update Mac Apps

Unlike an iPhone, there is no way to update apps on the Mac automatically. You need to open the App Store and install the new updates.

Not many are fond of this routine and continue using outdated Mac apps. That can result in notifications not working on Mac. Open Mac App Store and update problematic apps to the newest version.

Update apps on mac

9. Update macOS

Mac notifications not working can be due to outdated system software. Apple regularly releases new software versions to add new features and fix bugs. Here’s how you can update macOS to the latest version.

Step 1: Open System Settings on Mac.

Step 2: Go to General > Software Update and install the latest macOS update on your Mac.

Mac Notifications Not Showing: FAQs

Why am I not getting Messages notifications on Mac?

Messages notifications not working on Mac can break the communication. Read our dedicated guide to fix the problem.

How to fix the Mac notification sound not working?

Notification sound not working is another growing problem among the Mac community. You can check our separate post to tackle it.

Find Notifications on Mac

Things can get confusing when notifications stop working on Mac. Before you reinstall apps and start from scratch, use the above methods to fix the issue and receive notifications on Mac. Which trick worked for you? Share your findings in the comments below.

Last updated on 22 June, 2023

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