The Ultimate Guide to quickly Toggle Do Not Disturb on macOS

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"Oh no, why is she texting me right now?", "No, they shouldn't see that yet." - I've asked myself questions like that a few times when I've either had a colleague next to me starring into my screen, during a live stream on YouTube, or when I'm sharing my screen in a call. I'm sure you know this situation, and think to yourself "Crap, I wish I'd turned on Do Not Disturb mode".

Before macOS Big Sur, this was easily done with option key + Click on the Notification Menu icon. With Big Sur, it has become a bit more cumbersome and requires more clicks (Edit: Thanks to Alex Ferreira, it was pointed out to me that it is easy to switch on the DND mode with Big Sur.). For this reason, I looked for an alternative and found it with my good old friend Alfred.

In a few minutes, you have a "Toggle Do Not Disturb" workflow at hand and are always prepared to turn off your notifications!

Setup the DND Workflow

First, you have to install Alfred and buy the Powerpack. I know it's not free, but believe me, when you calculate how much more productive you become per day, it pays off quickly.

Once you have installed Alfred you need to create a new workflow. To do this, open Alfred, click on Workflows, and then on the + symbol at the bottom of the list. For this workflow, we select Blank Workflow.

Create Blank Workflow

In the new pop-up, enter the necessary information - similar to mine in the screenshot.

Enter required information

Then press Create. In the following video, I show you how to finish setting up the workflow in Alfred.

The last thing you have to do is open the Keyboard settings on your Mac and the tab Shortcuts. There you look for the Turn Do Not Disturb On/Off command and enter the same keyboard shortcut that you just selected in Alfred.

Setup Keyboard Shortcut

That's it. 🥳

Use the DND Workflow

Next time you open Alfred, enter the Trigger Keyword - which was in our example tdnd and you should see your Workflow as I do. Select it and DND should be activated or deactivated.

Alfred Workflow in Action

Pro Tip 🔥

In some apps, you can activate the Do Not Disturb mode automatically. Zoom is one of them. Open the settings and activate "Silence system notifications when sharing desktop".

Zoom - Activate DND automatically

This only applies to Zoom and other apps will follow suit. And so I have another pro-tip for you here too. Take a look at muzzle. This free tool automatically activates DND when it detects that you are sharing your screen - in all apps. A lifesaver in many a situation when you forget to use your Alfred workflow.

Questions and Feedback

You got any questions or want to add your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below, please.

Let's connect

Alex Ferreira's photo

You can still quickly toggle DnD in Big Sir by doing option key + Click on the time/date section on the top right corner.

You'll notice the time/date will become a bit transparent when it goes into DnD mode:

DnD Off

Screenshot 2021-02-18 at 16.16.44.png

DnD On

Screenshot 2021-02-18 at 16.16.40.png

You can then verify this by opening the control centre. You'll see the DnD will be active/inactive as you use this shortcut

Stefan Natter's photo

Hi Alex Ferreira,

thanks a lot for making me aware of that. I didn't know that and this helps a lot. But this still requires me to move away from the keyboard and use the mouse so I will most likely keep using the Alfred workflow. Nevertheless: thanks for the tip! Awesome.

Edidiong Asikpo's photo

Wow! The speed. 🔥

I will definitely try this out.

Stefan Natter's photo

Hey Edidiong Asikpo, I'd be happy if you give it a try and let me know if it worked for you. Share any new workflow idea you come up with me anytime.

Danny Steenman's photo

You're making me enthusiastic about getting alfred by showing it's capabilities!

Stefan Natter's photo

Hey Danny Steenman,

I hope I do. It is a fantastic piece of software and I have already lots of workflows installed. You can get a glimpse of my list in one of my articles from last year.