OS X 10.8: Turning off Notification Center (Permanently)

| TMO Quick Tip

The Notification Center in Mountain Lion can be a life saver or, for some, it can be an annoyance. For those who need to, this TMO Quick Tip explains how to kill it for good.

Previously, Melissa Holt explained how to disable the Notification Center temporarily, in several different ways. She also noted that if you connect a projector to your Mac, notifications are automatically disabled. But not killed for good.

The N.C. icon is circled in red.

Turn OFF Notification Center Permanently

Here's the best way to permanently kill the Notification Center. Open the terminal and type:

launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.notificationcenterui.plist

The Notification Center icon will disappear from the Menu bar at the top. There will be a visible gap, but the system will close it up the next time you click the mouse. Notification Center has been terminated.

Turn ON Notification Center

If you ever need to turn it back on, enter this command in the terminal.

launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.notificationcenterui.plist

Then, navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices in the Finder and double-click on the "Notification Center.app" to start it running.

Navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices. Double-click the highlighted app.

The Menu bar icon, in my testing, didn't go back to the far right, but that may be due to the nature of the calendar/time app I have running there. "MenuCalendarClock."

Finally, Apple has a document on Notification Center Basics if you want to learn more.

Popular TMO Stories



Works a treat. Thank you, I hate intrusions, and that’s what NC is on my Mac. iPhone, iPad, sure, but not on my Mac.


I recently uninstalled an app on my Mac Pro called CSR Racing but it continues to create notifications every night inviting me to play. I checked in notifications under system preferences but there is no sign of this application and even disabling notifications for the games centre hasn’t stopped it. Any idea how to stop that? I find most notifications useful but not this one….


This method doesn’t work anymore since updating to 10.8.3
infact there now seems to be no way to turn it off
even -
“defaults write /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.notificationcenterui KeepAlive -bool false”
doesnt work… the darn thing just fires up again.


Worst comes to worse you can just rename /System/Library/CoreServices/Notifcation Center.app to something else like Notifcation Center-disabled.app and then it won’t launch.


There is now an utility dedicated to this, and that does work quite well at least on my OSX 10.8.3 : NCbackgrounder , http://sourceforge.net/projects/ncbackgrounder/

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account