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How to turn off iMessage on a Mac

One of the best tools in Apple’s multi-device ecosystem is the ability to send messages. While Microsoft is currently stapling this ability to Windows 10 through Android, Apple’s solution has been around for years, and it shows.

There are two methods of messaging on a Mac: Via an associated iPhone with a valid phone number, or through an associated email address. The former allows users to text anyone with a mobile phone, while the latter locks communication to Apple devices.

But what if texting is too distracting on a Mac? What if you’d rather send texts primarily through an iPhone? This guide shows how to turn off iMessage on a Mac as well as disable notifications if you still need the texting capability.

Turn off notifications

Maybe, just maybe, you don’t want to completely sever ties between your Mac and your iPhone. As handy as texting from a Mac is, perhaps you just need a breather from all the texting notifications so you can focus on the task at hand.

MacOS Notifications Icon
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 1: Click on the System Preferences icon on the Dock.

Step 2: Select Notifications. The icon is a bell with a red dot, as shown above.

MacOS Messages Disable Notifications
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Scroll down, and select Messages listed on the left.

Step 4: On the right, click the Toggle next to Allow Notifications to disable notifications altogether.

If you’d rather customize notifications from Messages rather than disable them altogether, you have several options at your disposal. These include disabling notifications on the lock screen, disabling sounds, and so on.

Remember, to re-enable notifications, repeat the steps provided above and toggle notifications back on.

Turn off Messages

If you simply don’t plan to text from your Mac, turning the service off is extremely easy. Later on, if you want to re-enable this feature, just repeat the following steps.

Mac Messages Select Preferences
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 1: Open Messages.

Step 2: Click Messages listed on the menu bar.

Step 3: Select Preferences on the drop-down menu.

Mac Disable Messages in iCloud
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 4: In the pop-up window, click the iMessage tab.

Step 5: Click the Settings tab if it doesn’t open by default.

Step 6: Uncheck the box next to Enable Messages in iCloud. Alternatively, you can sign out of your Apple account or uncheck the box next to the number associated with your iPhone.

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Kevin Parrish
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then…
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