Notifications has many of my favorite Apps in it, however, Time Machine is conspicuously absent.

I read here that it should be showing:

System notifications System alerts with updates about your battery, Time Machine backups, and ejected disks appear as notifications, so you can easily spot them with the rest of your notifications.

How do I add Time Machine to the list?

  • Do you mean that Time Machine doesn't show up in the list of apps under System Preferences > Notifications, or that no notifications from Time Machine ever appear? (In my experience, Time Machine only notifies me when a backup hasn't happened for many days...)
    – Dan J
    Mar 20, 2014 at 22:08
  • Correct, it does not show up in the list of apps under System Preferences > Notifications. I have seen notifications on another computer, running Mavericks, that pops up a notice when a backup is successfully completed.
    – forrest
    Mar 20, 2014 at 22:30

2 Answers 2


You don't need to add Time Machine to the list. Along with all other OS X system notifications, they are shown in Notification Center without any user intervention required to activate them. Conversely, you can't disable them either. This is the same with battery notifications, disk ejection notifications, etc.

If you want to disable Time Machine notifications, set the flags value for _SYSTEM_CENTER_:com.apple.TMHelperAgent in the app_info table in ~/Library/Application Support/NotificationCenter/<udid>.db to 12609 or 13639.

If you want to customise it further, change one of the other entries for Notification Center, then read the flags value for that app and save it as the flags value for TMHelperAgent.

  • Hi GR, please see my note above. Is there any way to modify what notices you get for Time Machine?
    – forrest
    Mar 20, 2014 at 22:31
  • @fmz Not really, but see my edit
    – grg
    Mar 20, 2014 at 22:35
  • I see 535 value for flags in Yosemite. What value should I set?
    – AlKozin
    Oct 30, 2014 at 7:29
  • @AlKozin Set the value depending on what type of notifications you want. I haven't tried this on Yosemite but the procedure should be the same—set the notification settings for any other app, then copy the flags value for that app to Time Machine.
    – grg
    Oct 30, 2014 at 7:54
  • @grgarside Thanks! Don't think about solution from that angle.
    – AlKozin
    Oct 30, 2014 at 8:26

To disable Time Machine notifications on Yosemite, first find the Notification Center database by running:

cd `getconf DARWIN_USER_DIR`/com.apple.notificationcenter/db

You'll end up in a directory containing a SQLite database called db. In this database's app_info table, set the flags value for _SYSTEM_CENTER_:com.apple.TMHelperAgent to 12609.

  • could you be kind and explain a bit of how your "search" for Notification Center DB works? this may be usable on later OS's too (it found something on 10.14.7) Nov 15, 2020 at 21:47
  • the db found by your method on 10.14.7 has no app_info table, and none of the tables there has a field named "flags" Also - all the app "Keys" in all other tables are integers - none looks like SYSTEM_CENTER:com.apple. or any other string. Nov 15, 2020 at 22:09

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