Mountain Lion: Getting Rid of Shared Calendar Notifications

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If you’re using shared calendars under Mountain Lion, you may have noticed a few differences from previous versions of Mac OS X. First of all, whenever your buddy changes events on that shared calendar, you’ll see a numbered red badge appear on the Calendar Dock icon. 

Depending on your settings, you may also get a Notification Center pop-up, and you’ll definitely see a new Calendar toolbar icon appear listing all the changes that have been made. I don’t know about you, but I think there’s being informed, and then there’s being harassed. So this article is about ways you can eliminate those different notifications (or at least make them easier to deal with).

The first, most helpful thing to know is that you can dismiss all of those notifications at once from their special button on Calendar’s toolbar. This button looks like an arrow pointed down, and if you never used iCal invites in any earlier versions of Mac OS X, you may not be familiar with it.

Once you click that button, you’ll see everything you’ve been notified about that you’ve not dismissed yet. 

You can, of course, go through and accept each one individually, but it’s much easier to hold down the Option key, which’ll switch the buttons to OK All instead.

Click any one of those, and you’re done with all of them. Dismissing things here will make the badge on the Calendar app in your Dock disappear, and it’ll take those events out of Notification Center, too! Whew.

If you’d prefer that the shared calendar changes not get sent to Notification Center at all, there’s also a setting to turn that off completely, in Calendar > Preferences > Alerts.

That’ll mean that you’ll never see anything like this again:

Geez, get off my back, Mountain Lion.


Finally, if you want to manage how event notifications look and act (no matter what calendar they’re from), check out System Preferences > Notifications and click on Calendar from the left-hand list. Once you do so, you’ll be able to choose whether to play sounds, how many notifications to show at once, and even whether Calendar’s Dock icon gets a badge at all.

Take that, red icon badge! We’ll see you in hell…or wherever sometimes-annoying program features go.

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Lee Dronick

Thanks Melissa, I am going to send my wife a link to this page. Two days ago this issue popped up on her MacBook Pro.


Many Thanks!

Melissa Holt

Thanks for the comments, fellas! I’m happy to have helped. smile

Suhaka Andrea

It’s depressing how many PC & Windows type ads are in this piece. You’re a Mac column!!


This is very helpful info but does *not* solve the problem of receiving “Invitations” whenever someone who shares a calendar makes a change. 

While eliminating notifications is useful, I still have to click-and-dismiss all of the “invitations” (I put that in quotes because these aren’t invitations at all - they’re notifications of someone else having had made changes).  There should be an option to eliminate receiving these useless and annoying notifications within Calendar, too. 

Just my 2 cents.  That aside, I do appreciate the very detailed and useful article you’ve published here.  Thanks for that.

Melissa Holt

You’re welcome, Scott!

For what it’s worth, there’s an option under Calendar > Preferences > Alerts that’s labeled “Turn off invitation messages in Notification Center” (see screenshot #5 above). I don’t have a way to test this, but I’m sure you’ll still have to dismiss the alerts from within the program itself. At least, though, you can use the “OK All” tip mentioned above to make it easy. smile

Thanks for reading! I hope that helps.


Thanks - I’ve already done that and it still doesn’t eliminate the alerts within Calendar.  This seems like a seriously poor UI - when you share a calendar with someone you should at least have the option of seeing notifications of all the changes they make.  Getting one of these silly alerts that needs to be dismissed is a nuisance.

Nice job on the article - especially helpful screenshots, too.

Melissa Holt

Thanks, Scott. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help!

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