Thanks to smartphones, everyone you know can reach you instantly with a simple text or phone call. You also get notifications every time someone mentions you on social media or there’s an update on an item that you ordered online. Basically, when something happens, your phone will let you know about it.
On the one hand, while it’s nice to stay on top of everything, having to look at your phone every few seconds can be exhausting, not to mention disruptive when you’re working or resting. Most phones have a silent mode where you can mute alerts and calls. However, you would still see your phone light up, tempting you to pick it up.
The good thing is that Apple has a clever solution for this: the “Do Not Disturb” iPhone feature. Once enabled, your iPhone will still be able to receive notifications, but it won’t make a sound or light up, making it a helpful function for those wanting to sleep, get some work done, or take a break from the online world.
This guide will teach you how to use “Do Not Disturb” on iPhones.
How To Enable the Do Not Disturb iPhone Feature Manually
The “Do Not Disturb,” or DND iPhone feature, was first introduced in 2012 on iOS 6. Over the years, Apple has added new functionalities, giving users two ways to turn on the DND feature: manually or with a set schedule. Here’s how you do it manually with an iOS 15 or higher iPhone.
Using iOS 15 and Above
This method allows you to access the “Do Not Disturb” settings at a moment’s notice and turn the feature on or off on demand. It comes in handy when you go to the movies, or your work schedule is inconsistent.
Here’s how to enable “Do Not Disturb” from the iPhone Control Center by swiping down from the top right corner of your iPhone screen:
1. Tap the moon icon to enable “Do Not Disturb.” You should see this on the left, above the flashlight and timer buttons.
2. Upon tapping the moon icon, it will become highlighted, indicating that “Do Not Disturb” is turned on.
You can disable “Do Not Disturb” by repeating the steps, turning off the switch, or tapping the moon icon again.
Another way to do it is by tapping the word “Focus” instead of the moon icon itself. Here’s how to do it:
1. Tap “Focus.”
2. From there, the screen will display four different options for you to choose from. One is “Do Not Disturb,” which is at the top.
3. Tap on the “Do Not Disturb” button to enable it.
4. If you go back to the lock screen, you will see the “Do Not Disturb” notification at the bottom of the screen.
Using iOS 14.8 and Older
If you prefer using iOS 14.8 and did not bother with an update, it is still possible to enable the “Do Not Disturb” iPhone feature. Here’s how to enable it:
1. Launch “Settings” from your home screen by tapping its icon.
2. Scroll down to the “Do Not Disturb” option and tap on it. You will see a button to its right that turns the feature on and off.
3. If the button’s color is gray, DND is inactive. Tap on it to enable the feature. Once it is enabled, the button should turn green.
How To Set the Schedule for the Do Not Disturb Feature
If you want to use the “Do Not Disturb” feature every night when going to bed or during office hours, manually enabling it can be inconvenient. Additionally, you might forget to enable it one time and end up having your sleep or work disrupted.
That’s why Apple has also created an automatic scheduling function, giving you peace of mind. Simply follow these steps to enable the automatic scheduling function.
Using iOS 15 and Above
If your iPhone has iOS 15 or higher, here’s what you need to do:
1. To get started, swipe down from the upper right corner to launch the Control Center from any screen.
2. Next, tap on the “Focus” option. Remember to tap on the word, not the circular symbol to its left.
3. To the right of the “Do Not Disturb” button are three dots, which give you access to the “Do Not Disturb” settings.
4. After tapping on the three dots, you will be asked to choose one of the two options:
- Enable DND for 1 hour
- Use DND until tomorrow morning
5. If you don’t like either of the two options, you can customize your settings.
6. Tap on “Settings,” then scroll down and tap on the “Set a Schedule” section.
7. Toggle the switch on.
8. Enter the times you want to enable “Do Not Disturb” by editing the “From” and “To” times below the “Schedule” option.
9. Below are the initials for the days of the week. Tap on the days you want to disable the “Do Not Disturb” feature.
11. Now that you have customized your “Do Not Disturb” schedule, press “Back” at the upper left corner to see your updated set schedule.
Using iOS 14.8 and Older
If you’re using an older operating system on your iPhone, follow these steps to set the schedule for DND.
1. Launch your iPhone’s Settings.
2. Tap on “Do Not Disturb.”
3. Scroll down to “Scheduled” and turn the toggle on.
4. Set the start and end times for when you want “Do Not Disturb” to turn on and off automatically.
5. After that, your iPhone’s DND will be active every day during this time.
How To Customize the Do Not Disturb Feature
Aside from enabling and disabling or setting the schedule, you can also tweak your iPhone’s DND setting by adding more customization.
Here’s how to customize your “Do Not Disturb” feature from the Control Center:
1. Swipe down from the top right corner of your screen and tap on “Focus.”
3. Tap the three dots icon on the right of the “Do Not Disturb” option.
4. Tap “Settings.”
3. If you want to customize your DND feature to control who can contact you, you can personalize your notifications by tapping on the “People” section.
4. Click the “Add” button to add people from your contact list who you do not want to receive notifications.
Note that the default setting in this section is “Allow Notifications From.”
5. The “Allow Calls From” option is at the bottom of the notifications. Tap on the option to choose who you want to receive messages from—everybody, your favorites, contacts, or allowed people.
6. Tap on “Back” at the upper right corner of the screen.
7. Here, you can also set your preferences for your apps by tapping on “Apps” on the right side of the “People” option. You will see the default setting of “Allow Notifications From.”
8. Tap on “Add Apps” to add the apps you want to include in your exception list.
9. Go back to the “Do Not Disturb” setting. Then, scroll down to the “Customize Screens” section to select one of the two available options.
10. Go back to the DND setting page and scroll down to the “Focus Filters” section at the bottom of the screen.
11. Press “Add Filter” to customize the apps while the DND feature is active.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Not Disturb vs. Focus: What’s the Difference?
You might notice that the “Focus” feature is only available on iOS 15 and above software versions. It is not available on iOS 14.8, which only has the “Do Not Disturb” option.
What’s the difference between the two?
In the older version, the DND feature does the same thing: mute the notifications and prevent the screen from lighting up. However, iOS 15 expanded on this function by coming up with “Focus.”
Here, you have an updated version of the “Do Not Disturb” option, plus three other “Focus” settings: Personal, Work, and Sleep. In other words, “Focus” subsumes the old “Do Not Disturb” feature.
If you want a healthy balance between rest, work, and screen time, you need to learn how to use the “Do Not Disturb” iPhone feature, allowing you to decide which messages, calls, or apps can get through your wall of silence.
Hopefully, the steps outlined above will help you tweak the DND settings according to your unique needs or preferences. If you want to learn more about other iPhone features, these helpful iPhone courses will guide you through using Whatsapp, improving your photography skills, and more!
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Emma Collins is a tech writer for Productivity Spot. She's been writing tech tutorials & how-to guides on Windows, Android, iOS, Social Media, Data Recovery, Cybersecurity, Gaming, and more as a tech writer for over 6 years. You can find her work on many established tech websites, including Hackr.io, MakeUseOf, Help Desk Geek, Online Tech Tips, Switching To Mac, HandyRecovery, Cleverfiles, and more.