Random notifications on computers can impede workflow, but on Windows 11, users can disable them fairly easily. Notifications on PCs and smartphones can help users catch up on the latest happenings at work and among friends. However, they can also be highly annoying, and hamper workflow by popping up at the most ill-opportune moments. Fortunately, users can change notification settings to turn them off on a Windows 11 PC for good.
Released in 2021, Windows 11 is Microsoft‘s latest desktop operating system that is available as a free update over Windows 10. It is largely an iterative update over its predecessor but comes with a refreshed look and a few useful changes under the hood. It also offers a number of new features, including a centered Start Menu, support for Android apps, integrated Microsoft teams, improved gaming with Auto HDR and DirectStorage, better virtual desktop support, and more.
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Windows 11 allows users to either turn off all notifications or disable notifications for individual apps. For the first option, go to Windows Settings by pressing Windows Key + I simultaneously on the keyboard. Now click on ‘System’ and then go to ‘Notifications.’ Here, turn off the Notifications toggle to disable notifications from all apps. Now tap on the downwards arrow next to the toggle and uncheck the remaining notification options, including ‘Show notification on the lock screen,’ ‘Show reminders and incoming VoIP calls on the lock screen,’ and ‘Allow notifications to play sounds.’ Scroll down and uncheck the boxes next to ‘Offer suggestions on how I can set up my device’ and ‘Get tips and suggestions when I use Windows.’ This will ensure a completely distraction-free Windows 11 experience, but users might miss out on important alerts and incoming messages with these settings.
Keep Notifications On For Some Apps In Windows 11
To ensure that no important messages are missed due to a lack of notifications, users can turn off notifications individually for specific apps or whitelist critical apps so that they can keep receiving notifications from those applications. To do that, keep the primary notification toggle on. Now scroll down to ‘Notifications from apps and other senders.’ This is where Windows will list a series of apps and services that can send notifications on that device. By default, a majority of the listed apps will have the notification toggle turned on. Go through the list carefully and and switch off the toggles for non-critical apps that should not be sending any notifications. Some of the apps that benefit from having notifications enabled are VoIP callers like Skype and instant messengers like Signal, as it helps to get immediate notifications for incoming calls and messages.
Users can also use the ‘Focus Assist’ feature to temporarily mute notifications without turning them off entirely. This allows users to cut down on distractions while they’re working, watching movies, or playing video games, while still keeping notifications on at other times. To do that, go to Settings > System as described earlier and then click on the ‘Focus Assist’ card just below ‘Notifications.’ Now click on ‘Customize priority list’ to get started. Users can now specify which notifications they want to an see from which people and from what apps. Do note that by default, Focus Assist is set to ‘Off,’ which means users get notifications from all apps and services. Users can, however, select ‘Priority only’ to only see notifications from the priority list, or ‘Alarms only’ to hide all notifications, except for alarms. Users can also scroll down the list to create their ‘Automatic rules’ that will enable them to hide notifications at specific times of the day or when they’re running an app in full-screen mode on their Windows 11 device.