How To Use the Do Not Disturb iPhone Feature


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.

iPhone control center, highlighting the "Do Not Disturb" icon

2. Upon tapping the moon icon, it will become highlighted, indicating that “Do Not Disturb” is turned on.

iPhone control center, indicating the "Do Not Disturb" feature 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.

iPhone "Focus" settings, displaying the "Do Not Disturb" feature is turned on.

4. If you go back to the lock screen, you will see the “Do Not Disturb” notification at the bottom of the screen.

The locked screen on an iPhone, displaying the "Do Not Disturb" feature is turned on.

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.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb" Focus button.

3. To the right of the “Do Not Disturb” button are three dots, which give you access to the “Do Not Disturb” settings.

iPhone "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
iPhone "Do Not Disturb" options

5. If you don’t like either of the two options, you can customize your settings.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb" feature to customize settings

6. Tap on “Settings,” then scroll down and tap on the “Set a Schedule” section.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb"—customize a setting.

7. Toggle the switch on.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb"—Set a Schedule toggle is turned on.

8. Enter the times you want to enable “Do Not Disturb” by editing the “From” and “To” times below the “Schedule” option.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb"—Schedule a Time with customized time settings

9. Below are the initials for the days of the week. Tap on the days you want to disable the “Do Not Disturb” feature.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb"—days of the week with the enabled customized schedule.

11. Now that you have customized your “Do Not Disturb” schedule, press “Back” at the upper left corner to see your updated set schedule.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb"—Customized Set a Schedule turned on.

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.”

iPhone "Do Not Disturb" Focus button.

3. Tap the three dots icon on the right of the “Do Not Disturb” option.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb" settings

4. Tap “Settings.”

iPhone "Do Not Disturb" feature to customize 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.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb" People notification

4. Click the “Add” button to add people from your contact list who you do not want to receive notifications.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb"—"Add" button for customized notification settings.

Note that the default setting in this section is “Allow Notifications From.”

iPhone "Do Not Disturb" notification settings

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.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb" notification options

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.”

iPhone "Do Not Disturb" apps notification options

8. Tap on “Add Apps” to add the apps you want to include in your exception list.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb" apps notification options.

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.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb" customize screen settings

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.

iPhone "Do Not Disturb" Focus Filters to customize app notifications.

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.

Wrapping Up

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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