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Q: What is Growl and why is it opening pop-ups on my screen?

  • What is Growl and why is it opening pop-ups on my screen?
  • Why is Growl on my system without my knowing about it?


  • Growl notification system for Mac OS X
  • Adium messenger
  • Apple Mac OS X


  • Growl is a notification system and framework for Mac OS X
  • Basic functionality:
    • Notifications are configured from the Growl System Preferences pane
    • Notifications usually appear on your screen as transparent windows, and disappear after a few seconds
    • Growl allows many different applications to pop up consistent user notifications under Mac OS X
    • Growl is both a stand-alone application and a developer framework
    • Third-party applications, for example the Adium messaging client, will sometimes install the Growl framework as part of their normal installation process

Check whether it is installed

  • Check for the Growl icon in your menu bar:
  • Check for the Growl icon in System Preferences:

Configure notifications

The Growl System Preference pane lets you control and configure notifications, including disabling Growl entirely or disabling the automatic update checking Growl does. Example config options are shown in the screenshots below.

Growl at MIT

MIT recommends the Adium instant messaging client for Jabber messaging to members of the MIT community. Adium will, by default, install Growl on your system (after prompting you that it will do so). This is usually how MIT community members end up with Growl installed on their Macs.

Uninstall Growl or get more information

Growl is a third-party application from a reputable developer, but with no direct support at MIT from IS&T or other IT organizations. For detailed information on Growl, including exact steps to uninstall it completely from your system should you choose to do so, please see:

See also


Documentation and information provided by the MIT Community

Last Modified:

May 04, 2016

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