I have OS X 10.8, and one thing I don't understand about the new Notifications system is that the icon in the menu bar doesn't tell me whether I have any notifications or not. The icon ( ) looks the same to me whether I have notifications or not. Every once in a while I'll click on it, and realize that I have Notifications from weeks earlier.

Am I missing how this is supposed to be used? Is there a way to have this icon change color when there are notifications? Can I simply disable this panel and icon?

  • What and How have you set it up.
    – Ruskes
    Aug 10 '13 at 15:50
  • @Buscar - I'm not sure what you're specifically asking about, but if it's in reference to my Notifications settings, I have several OS X apps with Notifications turned on (e.g. uTorrent has style "Banners" with "Show in Notification Center", "Badge app icon", and "play sound" enabled -- uTorrent's one app that'll show notifications without the menu bar icon not changing) Aug 10 '13 at 16:11
  • hmm, and you have the show alerts and banners switch to ON...and the Badge ON !
    – Ruskes
    Aug 10 '13 at 16:33
  • I guess the problem is that Banners disappear automatically, so that's why they end up in Notification Center. My only issue then is that OS X doesn't change the Notification Icon to show me that I have some notifications that can be cleared. If it really bugs me, I can switch all Apps to use "Alerts", thus they stay on the screen until I delete them, which will help keep the Notification Center clear. Aug 10 '13 at 16:52

The icon does not change color (other than when you temporarily disable Notification Center, but that only lasts until the following day). The other things that happen, such as banners, icon badges, etc are the actual "notification".

To temporarily disable Notification Center (until the following day), Option+click on the Notification Center icon. The icon will turn grey to show it is disabled temporarily. Clicking on it reveals a message that notifications will resume tomorrow. Dragging the Off slider to the right will re-enable it immediately.

Notification Center screenshot showing Alerts and Banners are disabled

To permanently disable Notification Center, follow these steps from OSXDaily:

  1. Launch Terminal.
  2. Enter the following command:

    launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.notificationcenterui.plist
  3. Enter the following command:

    killall NotificationCenter

This disables it for the current user only.

  • How do I disable Notification Center? Aug 10 '13 at 16:50
  • I added steps for that.
    – tubedogg
    Aug 10 '13 at 17:02
  • Thanks. I saw your tip on temporarily disabling in my Inbox, but not on this page. SE may not have updated yet, but if not, please add that tip back in, as I appreciated :) Aug 10 '13 at 17:26
  • Added that too, I had originally intended on just adding a comment on how to disable it but got carried away, then submitted the comment anyway by accident. :p
    – tubedogg
    Aug 10 '13 at 17:32

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