macOS High Sierra

Navigate notifications

Notifications appear in the upper-right corner of the screen. Depending on how options are set in Notifications preferences, you receive notification banners and alerts.

  • Banners are visible on the screen only briefly. When you receive one, VoiceOver says the name of the app (such as Mail) and a brief description (such as your name and the subject line of the email), but the VoiceOver cursor doesn’t move to the notification.

  • Alerts remain on the screen until you take an action. When you receive one, VoiceOver says Notification Alert while the VoiceOver cursor automatically moves to the notification; the cursor remains there until you take an action or navigate elsewhere.

Note: VO represents the VoiceOver modifier.

  • Navigate in a notification: Press VO-Right Arrow or VO-Left Arrow. When you hear the action you want to take (such as Close, Reply, Snooze, or Later), press VO-Space bar to select it.

    You can also open the item, such as an email message, by pressing VO-Shift-Space bar anywhere in the notification.

  • Navigate to a notification alert: If you navigated away from an alert before taking an action, you can return to it by pressing VO-F1-F1 to open the Application Chooser. Next, press VO-Down Arrow until you hear Notification Center, press VO-Space bar to select it, press VO-Down Arrow until you hear the notification you want to read, then press VO-Space bar to select it.

You can view pending notifications in the Notifications view of Notification Center. To open Notification Center, press VO-M-M to jump to menu extras in the menu bar, press VO-Right Arrow until you hear Notification Center, then press VO-Space bar.