A group video call.

If you’re sharing your screen during a video conference, it’s important to make sure no notifications appear. This can prevent the accidental leaking of confidential information to others—or just save you from a world of embarrassment in your next Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype video call.

Try Video Conferencing Tool’s Built-in Option

Depending on which video conferencing tool you’re using, you may be able to enable a setting that blocks certain notifications. Zoom, for example, lets you block system notifications while you’re sharing your screen. You’ll find this option at Settings > Share Screen > Silence system notifications when sharing desktop.

The problem is that it doesn’t always block all notifications—Slack DMs and Skype messages being among those notifications that still get shown while sharing your screen in Zoom.

While it may be inconvenient, the most effective way to ensure no embarrassing or confidential messages are shared during virtual meetings is to mute notifications directly in each app you use.

Mute Your Chat App Notifications

There’s arguably nothing worse than when you receive a private message from a coworker or friend and that message is shared with everyone in the video conference. One of the first things you should do to prevent this from happening is to uninstall any and all chat apps used for personal reasons from your work computer.

For applications used for work (such as Slack or Skype,) you’ll need to go straight into the app itself and silence notifications.

In Slack, for example, just click your profile icon in the top-right corner of the screen and hover your cursor over Pause Notifications. Then click the length of time you’d like to pause notifications in the Do Not Disturb group.

Do not disturb time increments in Slack

In Skype, the process is similar. Click the status icon (green, yellow, or red dot) and then click “Do Not Disturb” from the menu. You’ll see a message telling you that you won’t receive notifications about incoming messages. Click “OK.”

Do not disturb option in Skype

In most popular chat apps for work, the option to pause notifications is easily accessible by clicking your profile image. If it’s not, you may need to visit the app’s settings. You can also perform a quick web search for “Pause notifications” followed by the name of your app. This will likely give you the instructions you need.

Disable System Notifications

We mentioned that your video conferencing software may be able to mute system notifications. But, “some” isn’t the same as “all.” If you receive an email or if it’s time to update your computer, your system may notify you depending on the permissions you’ve given it. If the video conferencing software you’re using doesn’t give you an option to mute system notifications while sharing your screen, then you’ll want to do it manually.

Disable Windows 10 System Notifications

To quickly silence all system notifications in Windows 10, click the Notifications icon to the right of the Windows toolbar.

At the top of the notification pane that appears, click “Manage Notifications.”

Manage notifications button in notifications menu

You’ll now be in the Notifications & Actions pane in the Settings app. Under the “Get notifications from apps and other senders” setting in the Notifications group, toggle the slider to the left. This turns off all notifications.

Slider in the Notifications group for disabling notifications

You can also use Focus Assist to add specific apps to a priority list and prevent certain notifications from appearing at certain times.

RELATED: How to Use Focus Assist (Do Not Disturb Mode) on Windows 10

Disable Mac System Notifications

To turn off system notifications on your Mac, click the Apple icon on the menu bar at the top-right corner of your screen and select “System Preferences.”

In the System Preferences window, click “Notifications.”

Notifications option

You’ll now be in the Do Not Disturb tab of the Notifications window. Under “Turn on Do Not Disturb,” check the box next to the “From <time> To <time>” option by clicking it. You can adjust the times in each box by clicking the up or down arrow.

Do not disturb option in Apple's system notifications menu

Enabling this option will prevent system notifications from appearing. Set the time for when your meeting takes place.

RELATED: How to Turn Off Annoying Mac Notifications

Having to mute notifications before sharing your screen in a meeting can be annoying, but it’s worth preventing any distracting and potentially embarrassing notifications from being shown to everyone in the meeting.

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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