How to Turn off iMessage Notifications on Mac

Does this sound familiar to you? You get a new message on your iPhone, and it’s also singing and appearing on your Mac.

That happened to me. Well, I love using the iMessage app to send and receive text/visual messages with friends without paying a cent to the carrier. But sometimes it’s a bit annoying to see these messages popping up on my Mac after showing on my iPhone.

In this article, I’m going to show you a few simple tricks to turn off iMessage on Mac or stop these messages from showing up on your desktop screen.

Stay away from distractions and be more productive when you work on your Mac.

Note: there are three different ways to get this done. Depending on your personal preferences, you may find one method works better than another. Anyway, I’m sharing all of them, so you decide which one is best for your situation.

Method 1: Disable Apple ID from Being Reached for Messages

Best to Use When: you’re using a shared Mac machine where several Apple ID emails have been added to the Messages app (i.e. iMessage). And you only want to stop one or several.

Step 1: Open the iMessage app on your Mac. The quickest way is by doing a Spotlight search and clicking the Messages icon.

Step 2: On the top left corner, select Messages > Preferences.

Step 3: Click the “Accounts” tab. In the “iMessage” row, locate the Apple ID(s) you want to disable and uncheck them.


Method 2: Sign out of iMessage from Your Mac

Best to Use When: you prefer text communications via your phone, and you don’t want any iMessage texts or visuals to show up on your Mac.

Step 1: Open Preferences in the Messages app (as shown in Method 1). In the same window, just click the “Sign out” button next to your Apple ID.

Step 2: Confirm the operation in the new pop-up asking “Do you want to sign out of iMessage?”. That’s it.

Method 3: Adjust the Messages Alert Style in Notifications

Best to Use When: you are busy working on a project, and don’t want to be interrupted by these messages temporarily. But you’ll use the app on your Mac later.

Step 1: Launch the System Preferences app. Again, the easiest way is by typing it in the Spotlight search bar. If you have added it to Launchpad, just click the icon to open the app.

Step 2: Click Notifications.

Step 3: Scroll down and locate “Messages” on the left sidebar. Select “None” under “Messages alert style” (note: by default, it’s on “Banners”). Done.

Final Words

I have been an Apple fan for quite a while. The company has undoubtedly produced the world’s best computers and phones.

But in recent years, Apple has been pushing integrations between macOS and iOS. I’m not sure whether Apple is doing this to make its products work more seamlessly.

Somehow I dislike some of the new features, one is this iMessage “issue” — it may be helpful for other Mac users, but not to me.

I think it’s more like a distraction. Many Mac users have a similar feeling, and some even noticed that enabling iMessage actually slows down your Mac.

The good thing is disabling iMessage on Mac is an easy task, as I’ve shown you three different ways to get that done. Anyway, that’s all I want to share. Hope you find these tricks useful.

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  • Andreas Rytsel Nielsen

    I did all of the above but, everytime I use my phone the messages icon pop up in my dock and then I have to remove it very anoying. Hope you can help ??

  • Maria Baeza

    As an Apple fan, I was desperately looking for something that would help me turn off iMessage notification on my Mac. Since it was very necessary, I am very thankful to you for such an informative blog. The solutions mentioned in the article have certainly made this happen. Now, i could turn off notifications easily.

  • Glen Nesbitt

    I have done ALL three of these things. None have worked.

  • Leslie Appiah

    Thank you so much. This will be so useful in minimizing distractions as a I work. Nicely done.

  • Andrea

    I’ve done all these steps and I’m signed out, but as a test, I opened Messages, clicked “not now” instead of signing in, then “skip” (for iMessage setup), and immediately all my past messages show up. Under preferences, my account is grayed out and “inactive” but anyone who uses my shared computer can see my messages without ever signing in! Is there any way to hide this when I’m not signed in?? Thanks

  • Ulrich Seydel

    Does not work for me, because I never signed up to imessages, have no account and have done the three steps you suggested. And it the message still pops up merrily. Any ideas?

  • Stephen

    Recently my Mac mini has started to present a pop-up shortly after I power on.
    It is asking me to sign in to my iMessage account.
    I don’t use iMessage.
    I have never activated the iMessage account.
    This is relatively new behavior.
    Why and how to stop it?

  • Chris

    I’m signed out, so I don’t get the iMessages on my MacBook Air, but every time I sign in to my Air it asks me to sign into iMessage. How do I kill this annoying request?

  • Suraj Padmasali

    As per #Method2, If I sign out the Apple ID can my son still get my iMessage?

    • Avatar photo

      No, unless he knows your Apple ID and password.