Not getting a notification on your Mac? 7 fixes to try

Real-time notifications are essential to improve the efficiency of your workflow when working on Mac. If you don’t receive notifications on your Mac, you might miss important emails, reminders, meeting invitations, and even phone calls. You have to check the notification center every minute to make sure nothing is passing by, which is a great inconvenience for you and delays the reaction time.

Instead of bothering to open an app to check notifications or keep checking the notification center, you can find out why you are not getting notifications on your Mac by troubleshooting.

1. Check the volume and sound output of your Mac

The first thing you should do is check your volume level. Make sure that your Mac is not muted and the volume is not at a low level. You can check by using the volume buttons on your keyboard, and if you’re using a MacBook with Touch Bar, tap the volume slider icon to see the volume level.

You can also check your volume level from the Control Center. Tap the Control Center icon on the right side of the macOS menu bar (represented by two switches) and use the slider to adjust the volume.

Also, your Mac may have an external sound device connected, so you have to check the output of the sound. You can check from the Control Center and System Settings.

In the Control Center, you can check the sound tile that shows all connected sound devices, and then you can select Mac speakers.

To change the sound output in the system settings:

1. Click the Apple menu and select System Settings from the drop-down menu to launch it.

2. Select Sound in the left pane.

3. In the “Sound Effects” section, set “Play sound effects by settings” to Mac speakers.


2. Disable Focus Mode

Focus mode is great if you need to minimize distractions while working on your Mac. Focus on Mac temporarily dismisses all notifications, including messages and calls. However, this could be what’s causing your notification drought. You can turn off Focus or exclude significant apps to ensure you get their notifications.

A crescent moon icon appears on the menu bar when you turn on Focus. To turn off Focus, go to Control Center in the menu bar and select Focus. Click Do Not Disturb to toggle on or off.


To exclude some significant apps:

1.  Open System Settings on your Mac.

2.  Select Focus on the left pane and click Do Not Disturb.

3.  Click on Allowed Apps on the right. In the pop-up menu, set the Notifications setting to Allow Some Apps.

4.  Click Add and select the relevant apps from the available list.


If you have more than one Apple device, remember that turning on Focus on your iPhone or iPad automatically turns on the feature on your Mac as well. So, to avoid this, go to the settings on any connected device, select Focus, and turn off cross-device sharing.

3. Check the notification settings

When you open an app on your Mac for the first time, you’ll receive a notification in the Notification Center updating your preference for receiving notifications from that app. If you previously turned off notifications for the app, you’ll need to turn it on in system settings.

1. Open System Settings on your Mac, select Notifications in the left pane.

2. Now, scroll down, find the app you wish to receive notifications for, and tap on it.

3. Turn on “Allow Notifications” and you can start receiving notifications from that app on your Mac.

4. Choose between None, Banner, and Alerts how you want to receive notifications.

5. Check the other notification options to make sure they are enabled, including the sound that plays the notification.


4. Check App Settings

You can also disable notifications directly from within an app. If you’ve done it before, you won’t receive notifications from the app even if you turn on your Mac’s notification feature.

For example, we’ll show you how to enable notifications for messaging apps like Telegram. However, the steps may vary from application to application.

1. Open the Telegram app on your Mac.

2. Click the gear icon at the bottom of the left pane to open Settings.

3. Select Notifications and Sounds.

4. On the right, switch to “Notifications”.

5. Select the notification tone in the same menu and pick a tone to make sure you get the notification tone.


5. Use the Notification Center

Your Mac’s Notification Center makes it easy to view notifications from any desktop on your Mac. Notification Center displays notifications in the upper-right corner of the screen.

If you don’t receive a notification in Notification Center, check the notifications in your system settings:

1. Select System Settings on your Mac.

2. Click “Notifications” on the left to view the settings on the right.

3. Set Show preview to Always.


6. Keep the app open in the background

Apps on Mac apps work differently than iOS apps. If some apps are open and running in the background, you may only receive notifications from them.

You can fix this problem by opening important apps such as productivity apps when you start up your Mac. This way, your app will run in the background and you will get updates when they arrive.

7. Check for updates and restart your Mac

The last troubleshooting scenario you can explore is to check for updates to your systems and applications. If your Mac has a pending software update, you may notice some minor but noticeable issues like not getting notified.

Also, if an application needs to be updated, you may not receive notifications for that application. To update an app, open the App Store and enter its name in the search box on the left. If there is an update, there will be a prompt in front of the app.

As a last resort, restart your Mac. Sometimes, a simple restart can fix minor issues on your Mac.

Stay productive with notifications

Using your Mac without receiving a notification will greatly reduce your efficiency and cause your work to be delayed.

With a stable network connection and any of these fixes, you will be able to keep your work and other activities updated on your Mac.