What is Airship and why is it in Mac Notification Center?

Do you have an app you don’t remember installing on your Apple Mac showing notifications you do not want? Here’s how and why you might have Airship on your Mac and how to get rid of it.

Are you getting too many notifications on your Apple Mac? Are you getting strange ones that you do not remember enabling? Do you want to silence unwanted notifications? Here is how to do it.

One day I went to System Settings on my Apple Mac and selected Notifications in the sidebar. I wanted to check the settings. There in the Application Notifications list was an item called Airship.

Airship in Apple Mac notifications in the macOS Settings app.
Check notifications in macOS for items like Airship

The strange thing was that I could not remember installing an app called Airship and I could not find any app with that name in the Applications folder. Where had it come from? Had some rogue app installed it secretly on my Mac?

Airship in Apple Mac notifications in the macOS Settings app.
Airship can show a variety of notifications on the Mac

This is a situation you may come across on your Mac and fortunately, dealing with it is straightforward and it will only take a minute to sort out.

Mac notifications from websites

When you visit websites in a browser on any computer, you often see a popup window at the top of the browser window that asks if you would like to see notifications from the site.

The website can push notifications to you any time your web browser is open, even if you are not visiting the website. You could be browsing somewhere else on the web and a desktop notification can appear from a website you agreed to accept notifications from.

There are many services that enable websites to send notifications and Airship is one of them. Websites can sign up and use the service to send push notifications to people.

I always say no to these popup requests to send me push notifications and I don’t remember recently saying yes to any. Maybe I accidentally clicked Yes instead of No on one. Airship has a long list of big companies that use its services and it could have been any of them.

Check your own notifications and see if there are names you do not recognise in the list. Airship is just one and there are others. Anything you do not recognise could be web push notifications.

Stop web notifications

How do you get rid of Airship or a similar Mac notifications app if you do not want it?

Open Safari browser on the Mac and click Safari > Settings > Websites. Select Notifications in the list on the left and on the right is Airship or any notification provider that you agreed to.

Configure Safari notifications on the Apple Mac.
View and configure notifications in Safari settings

It does not say which website is using it and there could be more than one. You may be able to tell the source of the notification when it is displayed on the screen. If no information about a notification is shown, select Always for Show Previews in Settings > Notifications.

There are three things you can do here:

  1. Click the Allow button on the right of Airship or other web push notifications service and select Deny in the menu that appears.
  2. Select Airship or other notifications service and click the Remove button at the bottom.
  3. Clear the checkbox, Allow websites to ask for permission to send notifications. This prevents sites from pestering you with popup windows asking if you want notifications.

Airship is just one provider of browser notifications and there are others. They can be seen in Safari > Settings > Notifications and disabled if you don’t want them. It is worth checking for them occasionally as you may have accidentally added them.

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