iPhone Focus Mode: What It Is and How to Use It

Use Focus modes to limit distractions and filter notifications

iOS 15 introduces a new way to minimize distractions in your life with a twist on the conventional do not disturb iPhone method of use. Focus allows you to set notification, call, and message filters so you can narrow your alerts down to exactly what you need at that current time. It also offers the ability to auto-reply to messages when you're not available and a lot more too. Here's a look at everything you need to know about iPhone Focus Mode. 

A teenage boy sitting on a sofa looking at his smartphone intently

MoMo Productions / Getty Images

Is There a Focus Mode on iPhone?

Providing you have iOS 15 installed on your iPhone, then yes, you have the Focus Mode feature. However, iOS 15 supports the iPhone 6s and newer, so if you have an older iPhone, you can't update to iOS 15.

Currently, iOS 15 is only available in developer beta form, so not all users can download it. However, a free public beta will be available in July, with the official release date set for Fall 2021. 

How Do I Put My iPhone on Focus Mode?

Once you've installed iOS 15, it's simple to activate Focus Mode. Here's where to look and how to set it up.

  1. On your iPhone, tap Settings.

  2. Tap Focus.

    You may need to scroll down to find the option.

  3. Tap the plus symbol to set up how you wish to focus.

    Steps required to add a Focus Mode preset on iOS15
  4. Tap a preset. A selection of presets including Driving, Gaming, Fitness, and Reading are included for different scenarios.

  5. Tap Next.

  6. Tap Add Contact to add a contact who you'll still receive notifications from or choose Allow None to not accept any.

  7. Tap Add App or Allow None to allow notifications from apps.

    Steps required to allow notifications from people or apps using Focus Mode on iOS 15
  8. Tap Allow Time Sensitive to allow time-sensitive notifications such as order delivery messages to still be received.

  9. Tap Turn on automatically to have Focus Mode switch on when your iPhone detects you're driving, gaming or exercising, depending on what you choose.

What Can I Do With Focus Mode?

Using a preset is the quickest way to set up Focus Mode on your iPhone, but there's a lot more you can do with the Do Not Disturb twist. Here's a look at the key tweaks you can make. 

  • Advanced Do Not Disturb. Tap Do Not Disturb within the Focus menu, and you can set Do Not Disturb to allow certain contacts and app notifications to get through, as well as opt to dim the lock screen or even hide notifications entirely.
  • Set timers. If you want a certain time of day to be silent of iPhone notifications, you can set all the Focus presets and Do Not Disturb to only activate at a certain time. This is ideal if you need some downtime in the evenings or at night.
  • Home screen customization. It's possible to tweak how the home screen looks when Focus Mode is activated so you can only see what's most important to you at this time.
  • Automation. All presets can be set, so they automatically switch on when a relevant activity occurs. For instance, use the Driving preset, and your iPhone will detect when you're driving and automatically switch it on.
  • Device sharing. If you use multiple devices running iOS 15, you can set up Focus Mode to be shared across all devices, saving you the need to set it up individually.
  • Auto-reply. Receive a message while Focus Mode is active? It's possible to use the Auto-Reply toggle to ensure the person messaging receives an automatic message to say you're busy and have notifications silenced.
FAQ
  • How do adjust you focus on the iPhone camera?

    To change the camera focus to a specific area, tap the area on the screen that you want to adjust. Long-press the screen until you see AE/AF Lock, so the elements won't change when you move the camera.


  • What is follow focus on iPhone?

    Follow Focus tracks your selections, the text insertion point, and the text you type. To enable it, go to Settings > Accessibility > Zoom, turn on Zoom, and select Follow Focus.

  • Why won't my iPhone camera focus?

    If your iPhone camera is not focusing properly, try troubleshooting the issue. Take off the case, clean the lens, and set the focus point. If it still isn't focusing, turn off AE/AF Lock, update iOS, and restart the phone.

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