How to Turn off Driving Mode on iPhone

Although Do Not Disturb while driving is safer, it's sometimes annoying

iPhone on center console of car while driving

Kohei Hara / Getty Images

Distracted driving can cause serious and sometimes fatal accidents, making it more important than ever to stay focused and keep your eyes on the road instead of answering a non-urgent call or reading a text message. The iPhone's Do Not Disturb While Driving feature helps you do just that, silencing low priority notifications that you can view or respond to once you're parked. 

Although this driving mode offers obvious safety benefits, you may want to disable it and make your own decisions as far as when or when not to look at your iPhone. Follow the instructions below to turn off driving mode. 

This feature is only available on iPhones running iOS 11 or above. If you are running an older version of the operating system, we recommend updating.

What Is Do Not Disturb While Driving Mode?

As mentioned above, the iPhone's driving mode is intended to minimize distractions at a time when even the slightest interruption could prove costly. By default, the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature disables some functionality while still allowing certain notifications and calls to go through. 

The functionality described below assumes that you have not made any modifications to these individual settings. If you have, your driving mode experience may differ.

  • Alarms, timers, and emergency alerts will still function as usual even though driving mode is active.
  • When a text message is received, your iPhone screen will not light up and your device will not make a sound. An automatic reply is sent to the recipient to inform them that you're driving at the moment. At that point, they can choose to type 'urgent', which will bypass driving mode and force both an audible and visible notification. 
  • If your iPhone is connected to your automobile's Bluetooth, all incoming phone calls will be permitted. If it's not, however, driving mode will utilize your standard Do Not Disturb settings. This means that you can choose to allow calls from those contacts designated as Favorites, or from anyone who makes back-to-back calls. These preferences are configurable by taking the following path: Settings -> Do Not Disturb

Since Do Not Disturb While Driving mode can sense when you're in motion, it will occasionally be activated on passenger iPhones as well. If you're the passenger, simply tap the I'm Not Driving button if this occurs.

How to Turn off Driving Mode

Do Not Disturb While Driving will activate automatically when your iPhone senses that you're driving, or it can be turned on (or off) manually via the iOS Control Center. To do the latter, you'll first need to add this option to Control Center by taking the following path: Settings -> Control Center -> Customize Controls -> Do Not Disturb While Driving

iPhone X or Later

To toggle driving mode off and on in Control Center, swipe down from the upper right-hand corner of your iPhone screen and tap the car icon. 

iPhone 8 or Older

To toggle driving mode off and on in the Control Center, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap the car icon.