I’m experiencing a number of issues with the Mountain Lion Notification Center and Dock. Just wanted to check whether anyone else is having similar problems.

  1. On my 2011 iMac, the Dock doesn’t show up immediately with the rest of the desktop UI on startup. Also, the icons sometimes “fall” from where they normally sit on the dock and appear jumping out from the bottom edge of the screen.

  2. A more serious issue: on a 2009 iMac, the Notification Center sometimes stops working completely and freezes other parts of the OS UI when called. The Dock becomes irresponsive, Mission Control cannot be called, spaces do not switch, Cmd+Tab doesn’t work. Basically, I can only interact with the windows on the current space and the menubar. To “unfreeze” everything else, I have to “Force Quit” the Dock process in the Activity Monitor (killall Dock doesn’t seem to work). Though still after that, any attempt to call the Notification Center will result in another “freeze”.

Has anyone experienced anything similar? If yes, did you manage to find any solution and/or the cause of these problems?

  • 1
    I suggest checking the state of your system. Disk Utility > check disk, (probably ok), but then repair permissions until clear.
    – ICL1901
    Aug 2, 2012 at 4:30
  • Reparing Permissions seems to fix the problem for me :) Thank David.
    – Ngoc Pham
    Apr 4, 2013 at 14:17

2 Answers 2


I'm having the same issue as Arnold. The problem might even be slighty worse for me; opun freezing, I can only use keyboard input; mouse clicks aren't registered anymore. I use QuickSilver to launch a terminal and running "killall -9 Dock" two times kills the dock and releases the mouse. After a couple of minutes the dock is relaunched. Also sending the HUP or INT to Dock will kill it. Sending the TERM signal doesn't though.

I found that the problem can be circumvented by rebooting the system and after reboot ensuring that the first thing you do is to open the notification center. I think that by sleeping your mac without having the notification center open before that is what makes it crash.

Sadly, I didn't find any way to check what's keeping the Dock process busy. It doesn't seem to be the notification centre itself that's crashing (it keeps responding to mouse clicks while nothing else does) but the Dock. So far the only thing I came up with is that this is a problem with launchd, but that doesn't help a lot because killing launchd will kill every application you have running.

  • Are you having this issue even after updating the system to 10.8.2? For me, the problem seems to have been resolved after the update.
    – Arnold
    Oct 6, 2012 at 4:06

I don't have an answer, but I am having the same exact symptoms as part 2. Also a 2009 iMac. I just noticed it a couple of days ago - everything was fine. Now when I click the notification center icon, everything freezes like you describe.

Waiting about a minute or two resets everything and I'm back in business.

I see there's a system update 10.8.1 - will try that install and see if it fixes.

  • After updating to 10.8.1, I don't seem to have this problem any more... it has only been an hour, but so far so good. Aug 27, 2012 at 3:12

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