How do I silence Mac notifications when Do Not Disturb doesn’t work?

silence Mac notifications
For crying out loud: knock out Mac notification sounds

Call me a cranky old traditionalist, but when I switch on a feature called Do Not Disturb, the bottom line for me is that I’m not disturbed. Yet, when I activate the Do Not Disturb feature in macOS, the operating system continues to disturb me with notification pings and blangs – as listeners to recent episodes of the PC Pro Podcast will doubtless be aware (I’m very sorry).

This isn’t the way it’s meant to be. Do Not Disturb is meant to silence all those notification sounds, but it doesn’t seem to do the trick on my system.

So, how do you silence those irritating notification pings?

How to silence Mac notifications

If Do Not Disturb isn’t working for you either, then you can take control of notification sounds manually.

Click on the little speaker icon in the Menu bar at the top of the screen and select Sound Preferences at the bottom of the dropdown menu.

Now you’ll be presented with a window that includes a volume slider for Alerts. Drag that all the way down to the bottom to silence those nuisance email alerts etc.

macOS sound settings

You’ll have to manually restore the volume after you’ve recorded your podcast – or whichever activity you didn’t want to be disturbed during – but that’s preferable to apologising for Mac blangs every six seconds or throwing something through the Mac’s screen in frustration.

NOW READ THIS: Where are screenshots saved on a Mac?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at


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  • THANK YOU! This has been driving me and my viewers bonkers! Trying to record workshop and, despite having ALL my gadgets and Mac Book turned to don not disturb, the pings were constant because a mate was sending me Whatsapps! What is the point of having a Do Not Disturb setting if it doesn’t work?