How to turn on Do Not Disturb in macOS Big Sur

Apple shifted from its former shortcut in macOS to the new Control Center.

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The Do Not Disturb area is how you snooze notifications in Big Sur.

Disabling notifications in macOS is a great help during meetings, whether you’re sharing your screen or trying to avoid being distracted. In macOS Mojave and earlier, you could Option-click the notifications icon in the upper-right corner of the screen to temporarily shift into Do Not Disturb mode.

In macOS 11 Big Sur, Apple shifted Do Not Disturb into a more sensible location, while still keeping most settings in the Notification preference pane.

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You can opt for one of several durations or indefinitely (Always On).

To switch on DND mode:

  1. Click the Control Center in the system menu bar.
  2. Click Do Not Disturb.
  3. Pick an interval: For 1 Hour, Until this evening, until tomorrow, or always on.

While DND is enabled, a titled partial moon icon appears in the menu bar, too, giving you a shortcut from which to select a different interval or disable Do Not Disturb.

However, there are two even quicker ways that are not obvious:

  • Option-click the clock/time display. This shifts DND into Always On mode. Why you would click the time…I don’t know. You can Option-click the time to disable the current DND mode.
  • Click the Control Center in the system menu bar, and then click the moon icon in the Do Not Disturb section—there’s no feedback that it’s clickable, but it immediately shifts modes into Always On. Click it again to disable it.
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Click the non-highlighting target (indicated by a red arrow I added for emphasis) and Do Not Disturb engages immediately.

You can also use the scheduling tools previously available in macOS:

  1. Open the Notifications preference pane.
  2. Click the Do Not Disturb item.
  3. Enable any options you want here, including a schedule.

Thanks to Macworld readers Chris and Simon for pointing out additional options!

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