If you’ve found that you are constantly getting bombarded with notifications on your phone on a daily basis that are distracting your focus or ruining your productivity then you might want to turn to do not disturb settings.

Most modern smartphones have a special mode called “do not disturb” which is separate from airplane mode but can really help to calm things down.


What is do not disturb mode though? How does it work and what else do you need to know? We’re here to help.

What is do not disturb?

As you might have gathered from its name do not disturb is a special mode that’s used to silence notifications to some degree on your phone.

When turned on your phone will no longer ring, vibrate or ping when a new notification comes in.

On many phones the do not disturb mode may prevent notifications from appearing on your phone’s lock screen but you may still get them in the notification shade.

Do not disturb does not stop your phone from getting notifications but just prevents the device from alerting you constantly in the usually intrusive way.

As such, the do not disturb mode can be used to silence loud notifications without impacting things like the media volume on your device.

Do not disturb is the ideal tool to silence distractions when you need peace if you’re about to go into an important meeting, are having a nap or going to watch a film at the cinema.

What else can you do with do not disturb?

On some phones do not disturb isn’t necessarily just a blanket setting that blocks everything.

You can turn it on to stop interruptions, but there may be some notifications that you still might need to receive. A call from a spouse, sibling or close friend might be important enough to break through those do not disturb settings. And in some cases, you can tweak do not disturb mode to let important notifications through.

Do not disturb settings on Android

Android devices usually have do not disturb settings in the notification shade. So you can quickly and easily turn do not disturb on when you need to.

Slide the notification shade down and you’ll see an option to turn do not disturb on there.

You can access more detailed settings for do not disturb mode in your phone’s settings too. To do this, access your settings, then head to notification and find “Do Not Disturb” in there.

On the recent versions of Android, you can tweak various settings that you can change in regard to do not disturb settings:

  • People – here you can select important contacts who can interrupt do not disturb mode. Select some “starred” contacts who are important so you don’t miss a call from your loved one, boss or close friend
  • Apps – this setting allows you to set certain apps so they can interrupt you. We like to allow Ring to let us know if there’s someone at the front door for example.
  • Alarms – you can also choose to make it so that alarms, calendar events and other important notifications can still disturb you
  • Schedules – this setting allows you to tweak when do not disturb happens by default. This is ideal for when you’re sleeping, your phone is on charge or you’re playing games

Do not disturb settings on iPhone

On Apple iPhones, you’ll find there are various different settings available for do not disturb mode. To access these settings you need to head over Control Center, then you can choose from:

  • Do not disturb
  • Personal focus
  • Sleep focus
  • Work focus

Each of these modes gives you a different do not disturb mode depending on what you’re doing. Sleep focus, for example, blocks notifications but plays nicely with sleep-tracking apps.

Do not disturb driving

Not being distracted by your phone can be a useful safety tool when driving. As well as your standard do not disturb settings you may find there’s also an option to automatically turn on do not disturb when driving.

We’ve written before about how to turn on do not disturb while driving on iOS 11 and onwards. Driving Focus, as this mode is known, will automatically prevent notifications while you’re driving but will still let Siri read incoming messages so you can keep your eyes on the road.

Meanwhile, on Android devices you can make use of “Driving mode” this is a setting that’s usually found under connection preferences under your phone’s settings. When you’re connected via Bluetooth to your car and your phone knows you’re moving it will then automatically turn on do not disturb. Android Auto can help with this too.

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By skumar

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