Tech Tip: A Hangout for Old Desktop Notifications



Q. Several websites and programs send pop-up alerts to my Mac desktop, but the boxes don’t stay on my screen long and I’ve often missed what they said. Is there a way to make desktop notifications stick around?

A. The Mac’s desktop notifications (those little boxes that slide out from the right side of the screen when you get new mail or a website news alert, for example) may linger for only a few seconds on your screen, but you can change how they behave and how long they stick around. You can also see them again if you have them set to appear in the system’s Notifications Center. To open the Notifications Center, click the three-line icon in the top-right corner of the Mac’s main menu bar and then click the Notifications tab to see recent messages from your apps and websites.


Click the Notifications Center icon in the top right corner of the Mac screen (circled, left), or the Action Center icon in the bottom right corner in Windows 10 (circled, right) to see collected desktop alerts.

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If you do not see any alerts listed there, click the System Preferences icon in the Mac’s desktop dock. In the System Preferences box, click the Notifications icon to open the settings.

All your apps and sites that can send alerts are listed on the left side of the Notifications box. Click each entry in the list to make adjustments to the type of onscreen box you see — the floating Banner-style boxes go away on their own, but the Alert style will stay on your screen until you click the close the box.

You can have the messages show in the Notifications Center panel, change the order they appear, turn on sounds for incoming updates and adjust a few other notification behaviors. Close the System Preferences box when you are finished.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system keeps a list of notifications in the Action Center. To change the way alerts behave, go to the Start menu and select the Settings app. Select the System icon and then Notifications & Actions.

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