Working with Do Not Disturb in OS X Mavericks

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Though Notification Center’s Do Not Disturb feature first made an appearance in Mountain Lion, it wasn’t until Mavericks that the feature really got its due. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of it.


This is senior editor Dan Moren. You’re probably familiar with Notification Center, the OS X feature that collects alerts and messages from a variety of apps and even Internet services. But Mavericks upgraded the capabilities of one feature: Do Not Disturb. Here are a couple of quick tips about getting the most out of it.

There are a few ways to enable Do Not Disturb. One of the quickest—and my favorite—is to hold down the Option key on your keyboard and click the Notification Center icon in the top right corner of your menu bar. This automatically activates Do Not Disturb until the following day, just in case you’re just feeling a bit harried and don’t want to be bothered. You can accomplish the same thing by activating Notification Center, scrolling down, and then clicking the Do Not Disturb slider.

If you prefer your schedule be a bit more regular, you can schedule Do Not Disturb times in the Notifications pane of System Preferences. If you want Notification Center to go quiet at the same time every day you can select the relevant checkbox and choose what time it should turn itself off and then back on. (You can also use this trick to effectively silence Notification Center permanently, by setting the times from, say, 3 a.m. to 2:59 a.m.)

If you do a lot of presentations, you may also want to select the checkbox that turns on Do Not Disturb automatically when you’ve connected your Mac to a TV or projector, just to ensure that your iMessages don’t pop up while you’re giving that important talk.

However, just in case there’s an emergency that you want to break through the radio silence, Do Not Disturb also offers two settings: one that lets FaceTime calls through (either from your Favorites or from anybody) and one that lets someone through if they call repeatedly within three minutes.

Finally, a favorite extra Notification Center tip. If you enable the Share buttons option in the Notifications pane, you’ll be able to compose iMessages without opening the Messages app, and—if you’ve linked to those social services—you can post to Twitter and/or Facebook as well.

I’m Dan Moren, thanks for watching.

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