Notifications on Mac Big Sur

macOS and Mac Apps

Is there a guide or help documentation on how to interact with the re designed notifications in Mac Big Sur?
VoiceOver focus would get stuck in the notifications and I could not figure out how to close or dismiss them. It would continue to repeat the information. There must be new keyboard commands that I am missing. If anyone has any tips or gestures that might help with interacting with and closing the new notifications, it would be greatly appreciated.



Submitted by Tyler on Saturday, November 14, 2020

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

For me, banner notifications don't change VoiceOver focus. For alert notifications, I found that I can dismiss them from the Actions menu, accessed by pressing VO-Command-Space.


Submitted by Ishkabibble on Saturday, November 14, 2020

Notifications I've received from Twitter and Messages have changed VoiceOver focus and inhibited scrolling. As Tyler said, you can dismiss these types of notifications by pressing VO Command Space and selecting "Dismiss" from the action menu. You can also manipulate the notification in other ways from that menu, or activate it by pressing VO Space as soon as it appears. Hope this helps.

Submitted by Pyro2790 on Sunday, November 15, 2020

Thanks. The keyboard command does work to bring up the menu regarding notifications and dismissing them.

Submitted by EileenšŸ˜· on Sunday, November 15, 2020

I'm getting too old to cope with having to retrain years worth of muscle memory.

But, as Apple are unlikely to return the old ways of accessing and clearing notifications, I guess I have no option other than to try and remember the Actions menu.

I don't personally feel that this is anywhere near to as discoverable for new users though.

Submitted by Eric Davis on Sunday, November 15, 2020

Probably the most annoying part of the changes to notification center in the new version of macOS is a lack of a button to clear all notifications at once. In prior versions of macOS, this did exist. Please, please, bring back my clear button!

Submitted by Matthew Whitaker on Friday, August 27, 2021

Hi. Same here... what's worse is when you get a phone call or FaceTime call and it gets stuck and won't move through the buttons. Then once you find the button you wanna click on it gets stuck again.

Submitted by PaulMartz on Sunday, May 8, 2022

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

You can also press VO+Command+F5 to bring the mouse pointer to the notification with VoiceOver focus. When you do that, a close button magically appears. Navigate to it and select it. It's anyone's guess why they made this control mouse-dependent.