The Messages app on Mac works just like its iPhone and iPad counterpart, allowing you to send iMessages to other Apple devices. If you prefer to separate your messages, you can disable messages on macOS by following these instructions.
These instructions will work for Catalina, but you may find that the steps vary for older versions of macOS. This will only disable iMessages and SMS messages (if you have an iPhone) on your Mac, but you can also disable iMessage on an iPhone or iPad if you want.
Disable notifications for the Messages app on Mac
Before disabling iMessage, you should consider disabling notifications for the Messages app first. This will allow you to continue sending and receiving messages in the Messages app, but you will only be able to see the messages when you open the app.
To do this, open the System Preferences application. You can start this by clicking on the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the menu bar, then pressing the “System Preferences” option.
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In the System Preferences application, click on the “Notifications” option.
In the “Notifications” menu of System Preferences, you will see a list of applications capable of launching notifications in a menu on the left. Scroll through this list and click on the “Messages” option.
You can customize the appearance of your notifications using the options displayed in the “Message alert style” section.
To hide the notification alerts from appearing at the top right, click the “None” alert style option.
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To turn off all notifications in the Messages app, tap the “Allow message notifications” slider. The toggle turns gray when it is disabled.
This will completely disable all notifications from the Messages app, but you will still receive messages in the background and can view them at any time in the Messages app.
Disable the Messages app on Mac
If you prefer to completely disable the Messages app on macOS, it’s a fairly simple process. To get started, open the Messages app by clicking the Messages icon on the Dock.
If you deleted it from the Dock, you can launch Messages from the Launchpad (which you can launch by clicking on the Launchpad icon in the Dock). You can also launch the application in the Applications folder of the Finder application.
You must access the Message Preferences menu to deactivate it. To do this, click Messages> Preferences from the menu bar at the top of your Mac screen.
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In the Messages Preferences menu that appears, click on the “iMessage” tab. To completely deactivate the Messages application, click on the “Logout” button next to your Apple ID under the “Settings” tab.
If you prefer to leave your account connected, uncheck the boxes “Activate this account” and “Activate messages in iCloud”.
Your settings will be applied automatically, so you can close the Message Preferences menu when you’re done. IMessage messages will no longer appear in your Messages app until you log back in or reactivate your account.