How to Disable Game Center on Your iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Apple’s Game Center is included on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It’s a social gaming service for games on Apple’s platforms. With Game Center, you might see friend invites, game invites, and other notifications — but you can disable all that and never see a Game Center notification again.

You can sign out of Game Center, although some games may require it. Either way, it’s possible to disable game invites, friend requests, and notifications — all the ways Game Center can pester you.

iPhone and iPad

The Game Center app is part of the iOS operating system, and — like all Apple’s included apps — can’t be removed. Of course, you can hide it in a folder so you’ll never have to see it.

To actually modify Game Center settings, open the main Settings app. Scroll down and tap “Game Center” under iTunes U. To sign out of Game Center entirely, tap the “Apple ID:” field at the top of the screen and tap “Sign Out.”

You might want to stay logged into Game Center, however — some games you might want to play require it. But you might not want to see game invites, friend requests, and other notifications.

To disable invites, uncheck “Allow Invites” and “Nearby Players” on the Game Center settings screen. To disable friend recommendations using your contacts, disable the “Contacts” and “Facebook” options.

To disable all Game Center notifications, open the Settings app and tap “Notifications” near the top. Scroll down to the “Game Center” app in this list, tap it, and disable the “Allow Notifications” slider.

Mac OS X

On a Mac, the Game Center app is included with Mac OS X. As of OS X 10.11 El Capitan, this app is protected with System Integrity Protection and can’t normally be deleted.

To launch it, click the “Launchpad” icon on your dock and click “Game Center,” or press Command+Space to open Spotlight search, type “Game Center,” and press Enter.

To sign out of Game Center, just click the Account menu and select “Sign Out.” Game Center won’t be signed in with your Apple ID anymore, so you won’t see notifications, invites, friend requests, and other Game Center things.

You could also customize what Game Center can do. From within the Game Center app, click the “Account” menu and select “Settings.” From here, you can disable game invites — uncheck “Allow Invites” and “Nearby Players.” You can also uncheck “Contacts” and “Facebook” to prevent Game Center from recommending other accounts you should be friends with based on your contacts.

You can also prevent the Game Center app from showing you notifications entirely. Click the Apple menu, select “System Preferences,” and click “notifications to access notification settings — or click the gear icon at the bottom-right corner of the Notification Center pane. Click “Game Center” in the list, select “None” for the type of notification you want to see, and disable all the options here so you won’t see any notifications.


You might want to leave Game Center enabled while hiding your activity from your contacts and preventing the from inviting you. To do this, you could sign out of Game Center — on iOS, Mac, or both — and sign in with a new Apple ID.

You could create a new Apple ID just for Game Center, as you can be logged into Game Center with an Apple ID separate from the one you use for other Apple apps on your device. That’s your choice.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.