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How to Turn Off iMessage on iMac: 4 Best Ways

Simple steps and alternatives to disable iMessage on iMac.

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Last updated: December 12, 2023

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To turn off iMessage on iMac, follow one of these methods:

  1. Open Messages, select Settings from the Messages in the menu bar and uncheck the Notify me about messages from unknown contacts and Notify me when my name is mentioned options in the General tab.
  2. Open Messages, right-click a conversation and select Hide Alerts to mute specific conversations.
  3. Go to System Settings > Notifications > Messages and toggle off the Allow notifications switch to disable Messages notifications temporarily.
  4. Log out of Messages by opening the Messages app, going to Settings, and signing out of your Apple ID under the iMessage tab.

As someone who juggles work and personal life on an iMac, I’ve experienced firsthand how constant iMessage notifications can disrupt focus. It’s not just about silencing a ping here and there, it’s about creating a space where you can concentrate without interruptions. That’s why I’ve put together this guide, outlining the most effective ways to turn off iMessage on iMac. Let’s get started.

Before We Begin

Dealing with distractions like messages and pop-ups on your Mac can hinder productivity. Download MacKeeper to use its StopAd feature to block distracting websites, ensuring an uninterrupted work or study environment.

How to Turn Off iMessage on iMac

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If you’re tired of iMessage notifications constantly popping up on your MacBook, there’s more than one way to turn off iMessage on iMac. Let’s dive into the different methods below.

1. Customize Notifications in Message Settings

Customizing your notification settings in Messages is a great way to reduce distractions without completely disconnecting. This method allows you to tailor which notifications you receive, so you’re only alerted for the important stuff.

Follow these simple steps to customize your Messages notifications:

  1. Open the Messages app on your Mac, click Messages in the menu bar, and select Settings.
click messages and select settings
  1. Choose the General tab in Settings.
  2. Here, you can uncheck options such as Notify me about messages from unknown contacts and Notify me when my name is mentioned.
click general and uncheck notify me options
  1. You can also disable Auto-play message effects and Play sound effects in Messages.
disable auto play message effects and play sound effects

2. Mute Individual Conversations

Muting individual conversations in iMessage is a targeted approach to managing your notifications. This option is perfect when you don’t want to disable all alerts but need to silence specific, overly active chats.

I often use this method as it lets me mute a particular conversation without unsyncing or logging out of my account.

Here’s how to mute notifications for a specific conversation in iMessage:

  1. Open the Messages app on your Mac, right-click the conversation you want to mute, and select Hide Alerts to stop getting notifications.
right click a message and select hide alerts
  1. Alternatively, click Show Details in the menu.
right click a message and select show details
  1. Then, check the Hide Alerts option in the left sidebar to disable alerts from the selected contact.
check hide alerts option

You will no longer receive notifications for this conversation until you uncheck Hide Alerts.

3. Temporarily Block Notifications With Notification Center

For a quick break from iMessage notifications without changing all your settings, the Notification Center on your iMac is a handy tool. It lets you pause notifications for a while or in certain situations.

Although iMessages will continue to synchronize, your Mac will hide notifications until you choose to view them again. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen and select System Settings.
click the apple icon and select system settings
  1. Click Notifications in the left sidebar, scroll down in the right pane, and select Messages.
click notifications and select messages
  1. Toggle off the Allow notifications switch on the top to disable notifications temporarily.
toggle off the allow notifications switch

This will stop the Messages app from sending notifications until you enable it again.

4. Turn Off iMessage by Logging Out of Messages

Sometimes, when I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed and really need to focus (deadlines, you know!), I log out of my iMessage. Doing so prevents iMessage notifications from popping up on my screen and I can focus on the task at hand without interruptions.

Remember, once you’ve signed out, your iMac will no longer send or receive iMessages.

Follow these steps to log out of Messages:

  1. Open the Messages app on your Mac. Click Messages in the menu bar at the top of the screen and select Settings.
click messages and select settings
  1. Go to the iMessage tab and click the Sign Out button in front of your Apple ID.
click the imessage tab at the top and tap sign out
  1. Click Sign Out on the pop-up again to confirm your decision.
click sign out on the pop up to sign out of imessage

This will sign you out of your iMessage account, and you will no longer send or receive iMessages.

If you don’t want to sign out of your account, you can follow these steps instead:

  1. Click Messages in the menu bar and select Settings.

click messages and select settings

  1. Select the iMessage tab.
  2. Uncheck the Enable Messages in iCloud option.
uncheck enable messages in icloud
  1. Click Disable This Device on the pop-up.
click disable this device on the pop up

When you click Disable This Device, all the data will be downloaded to your Mac, and you’ll no longer receive any iMessages on your Mac.

How to Disable iMessage on Your iPhone or iPad

Disabling iMessage on your iPhone or iPad is a straightforward process. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone/iPad.
  2. Scroll down and find the Messages option in the settings menu.
  3. In the Messages settings, find the iMessage option.
  4. Toggle the switch next to iMessage to the off position. It should change from green to grey, indicating that iMessage is turned off.

Remember, turning off iMessage will only affect the way you send and receive messages on this specific device. If you have other Apple devices (like a MacBook or an iPad), iMessage will still be active on those devices unless you repeat these steps on each device.

How to Turn Off iMessage Alerts on Your Apple Watch

Turning off iMessage alerts on your Apple Watch can help minimize distractions. To do this, you’ll need to adjust the notification settings on your Apple Watch directly or through the Watch app on your paired iPhone. Here’s how to do it in both ways:

On Your Apple Watch

  1. Press the Digital Crown to go to the Home screen and tap the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select Notifications.
  3. Scroll through the list of apps until you find Messages.
  4. Here, you can choose your preferred notification style for Messages. Select None to turn off all alerts for iMessages.

On Your Paired iPhone

  1. On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app.
  2. Tap the My Watch tab at the bottom and select Notifications.
  3. Find and tap Messages in the list of apps.
  4. You can now adjust the notification settings for Messages on your Apple Watch. To turn off alerts, choose Custom and disable the alerts as desired.

Remember, these changes will only affect notifications for iMessages on your Apple Watch. Your iPhone and other Apple devices will continue to receive iMessage alerts unless you change their settings individually.

Why Turn Off iMessage on iMac?

I completely understand why someone might want to turn off iMessage on their iMac. I do it often, and there are some valid reasons to do so. Here are some reasons why you may want to turn off iMessage on iMac:

  1. 🚀 Productivity: Turning off iMessage can help you avoid distractions and focus on work to achieve maximum productivity. Constant notifications from iMessage can interrupt your workflow, causing you to lose focus and decrease productivity.
  2. 🕵️ Privacy: If you share your iMac with others, turning off iMessage can help protect your privacy. With iMessage turned off, others won’t be able to access your conversations and personal information, ensuring your privacy is maintained.
  3. 🤐 Distractions: Turning off iMessage can also help you avoid distractions from unnecessary conversations or group chats that may not be relevant to your work.
  4. 🔒 Security Concerns: Leaving iMessage on can expose your conversations to potential hackers or cybercriminals. iMessage has been known to have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers, leaving your personal information and conversations at risk.

Avoid Other Unwanted Distractions on Your Mac With MacKeeper

I know all too well how tough it can be to stay focused while working on your Mac. Just when I’m about to get into the flow of things, I get hit with unwanted messages, ads, pop-ups, and trackers. That’s why I use MacKeeper’s StopAd feature. It lets me specify which websites to block during work to minimize distractions.

Here’s how to use the StopAd feature to keep distractions away and maximize your productivity:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
  2. Open MacKeeper and click StopAd in the Privacy section.
click stopad in the left sidebar
  1. Click Open.
click open in stopad
  1. You’ll see that StopAd is disabled for your browsers. If you have installed the extension for your browser, click the Enable button next to your browser’s name.
click enable to turn on stopad feature
  1. A new window will open. Click Open Safari Preferences.
click open safari preferences
  1. Check the little boxes next to MacKeeper StopAd permissions.
check the little boxes next to mackeeper stopad permissions
  1. If you don’t have the extension, click the Install button.
click install to install an extension

Now whenever you are working on your Mac, you won’t be distracted by annoying ads.

What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

Besides blocking ads on your Mac, MacKeeper can delete junk files on your Mac, remove duplicate filesrun a virus scan, and uninstall unused apps on Mac. Check out my detailed MacKeeper review to learn more about its features.

Minimize Distractions by Turning Off iMessage on iMac

Turning off iMessage on iMac can help protect your security, privacy, and productivity. Now that you know how to do it, you may want to know other ways to increase productivity. Here are some tips:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What happens to my conversations if I turn off iMessage on iMac?

    Nothing will happen to your conversations if you turn off iMessage on iMac. Your conversations will not be deleted and will still be accessible on other Apple devices where iMessage is enabled. However, you must be careful while tweaking the app to avoid accidentally deleting the conversations.

  2. Will turning off iMessage on iMac affect my settings on other Apple devices?

    No, turning off iMessage on iMac will not affect your settings on other Apple devices. It only disables the settings on that particular device. If you want to disable iMessage on all your Apple devices, you have to follow the same instructions on each device.

  3. Can I turn off iMessage on my iMac but keep it on my iPhone?

    Yes, you can turn off iMessage on your iMac and keep it on your iPhone. Turning off iMessage on one device does not affect its ability to receive messages via other devices associated with your Apple ID as long as they are signed into the same account as your Mac.

  4. Can I still send regular text messages after disabling iMessage on my iMac?

    Yes, you can still send regular text messages from your iPhone or other devices even if you turn off iMessage on your iMac. Disabling iMessage on your iMac doesn’t affect your ability to send standard text messages.

Hashir Ibrahim


I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.



Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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