Notifications have become a modern peril. You can’t settle down for five minutes’ work without being alerted to incoming messages, breaking news or meaningless alerts. If you want fewer interruptions to your work day, we’re going to show you how to turn off notifications in Windows 10 – both temporarily and permanently.
Temporarily turn off notifications in Windows 10
For many people, temporary respite from notifications whilst they focus on an important piece of work is all they need. Windows 10 has built-in tools that allow you to do this.
To give yourself a temporary break from the pop-up alerts, click on the speech bubble to the right of the clock at the bottom right of the Windows desktop to open the Action Centre.
Now look for the button that says Focus Assist. With Focus Assist you have two choices: you can limit alerts to Priority Only or Alarms Only.
What constitutes a Priority notification? You determine that, and we’ll show you how to change a notification’s priority level in the section below.
When you’ve finished with your piece of critical work, you need to remember to turn notifications back on. A little moon symbol will appear over the notifications bubble next to the clock to remind you that Focus Assist is on.
Permanently turn off notifications in Windows 10
What if you’ve decided you can live without notifications permanently, or at least without notifications from certain apps? Now, you need to dive into the Windows notifications settings.
Type “notifications” in the search bar next to the Windows button. It should offer you the chance to open “Notifications & actions settings”.
If you want rid of all notifications, scroll down below the quick action settings and switch off all five of the buttons shown below.
If you only want to kill notifications from certain apps then scroll down further still. You’ll see a list of all the apps that have permission to broadcast notifications on your PC. You can switch these on and off, one by one.
If you click on one of those notification senders you’ll find further options, such as the priority given to notifications from that sender, which we mentioned above. If you’re using Focus Assist and want to be sure that notifications from a particular app (email or Slack, for example) get through, then change that sender’s priority level to High Priority.
Once you’ve fiddled with all these settings, you should hopefully have a much more peaceful existence!
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