How to Use Do Not Disturb on Android

Snooze those notifications and take a break

Do Not Disturb is an Android feature that enables users to pause all or most notifications during a specified period. Introduced with the Marshmallow OS update, it’s a boon for anyone who needs a break from their screen whether they’re digging into a work project, watching a concert, taking care of children, or otherwise need time away from persistent notifications. Since its introduction, Do Not Disturb has been refined in every Android version update.

The feature is easy to turn on and off, and it has an array of settings you can adjust to your liking. Here’s how to use Do Not Disturb on Android.

These instructions apply to smartphones running stock Android 9.0 Pie, 8.0 Oreo, and 7.0 Nougat.

Samsung phones have a do not disturb mode that works a bit differently from stock Android.

How to Turn On Do Not Disturb

You can turn Do Not Disturb on using Quick Settings or by going to the Settings app, where you can also adjust your preferences.

  1. Pull down twice from the top of your phone’s screen to access Quick Settings. (Pulling down once shows your notifications.)

  2. Tap Do Not Disturb. The icon then shows what time Do Not Disturb mode will turn off. When DND is on, you can also see when it will turn off at the bottom of your screen.

  3. Long press Do Not Disturb to get to its settings. 

    Android's Do Not Disturb button and settings.
  4. Alternatively, go to Settings.

  5. Tap Sound > Do Not Disturb.

  6. Tap Turn on now. Tap it again to turn it off; the button will say Turn off now.

    Android Do Not Disturb settings.
  7. In Quick Settings, tap the Do Not Disturb icon to switch it off.

How to Adjust Do Not Disturb Settings

There is a variety of Do Not Disturb settings that you can adjust, including when it goes on automatically, exceptions (contacts who can override DND), and notification options settings.

Go to Settings > Sound > Do Not Disturb.

Android Settings for Sound and Do Not Disturb.

Do Not Disturb settings include Behavior, Exceptions, and Schedule. Within those categories are Sound & vibration; Notifications; Calls; Messages, events & reminders; Duration; and Automatic rules.

  • In Sound & vibration, you can choose which sounds won’t be muted even when DND is on including Alarms, Media, and Touch sounds.
  • For Notifications, you can specify how they behave when DND is on. You can set it for No sound from notifications, No visuals or sound from notifications, or Custom.
  • Under Calls, you can set up exceptions for contacts to allow calls from them even when DND is on. Options include letting all calls come through or only those from your contacts or starred contacts. You can also allow or block repeat callers, which is anyone who calls at least twice within 15 minutes.
Android settings.
  • Likewise, under Messages, events & reminders, you can set up exceptions for incoming messages. You can also prevent reminders and events from being muted.
  • Duration shows how long DND mode stays on, for which there are three options: until you turn it off, ask every time, or a set amount of time, from 15 minutes to 12 hours.
  • You can set up Automatic rules to turn DND on based on an event or time of day. 
Android settings.

Here's how to manage custom settings for Do Not Disturb mode.

  1. Go to Settings > Sound > Do Not Disturb or pull down twice from the top of your screen to get to Quick Settings and long press Do Not Disturb.

  2. On the Do Not Disturb settings page, tap Notifications. Tap the gear icon next to Custom to set your restrictions.

    Android settings.
  3. First, you can choose what happens when the screen is off, and a notification comes in.

    • Don’t turn on screen
    • Don’t blink light
    • Don’t wake for notifications
  4. Second, you can specify what happens when the screen is already on when the notification arrives.

    • Hide notification dots
    • Hide status bar icons
    • Don’t pop notifications on screen
    • Hide from notification list

How to Manage Schedule and Duration Settings

Android's Do Not Disturb has a variety of options to manage its schedule and duration. The mode also supports custom rules based on an event or time of day. Here's how to adjust Duration and Automatic Rules.

  1. In DND settings, tap Turn on automatically (under Schedule).

  2. Tap Sleeping to set it to go on during the hours you usually sleep and customize it by the days of the week. Optionally, you can have your built-in alarm override the end time.

  3. Tap Event to set up rules based on a connected calendar (or calendars). 

  4. Tap During events for to see available calendars. 

    Android custom rules settings for do not disturb.
  5. Then you can set Do Not Disturb to go on automatically based on your response to an event invitation:

    • Yes, Maybe, or Not replied
    • Yes or Maybe
    • Yes
  6. You can also add custom rules based on calendar events. Tap Add rule > Event. Give the rule a name.

  7. Choose a calendar and the response type from the above options.

    Android automatic rules settings for do not disturb.
  8. Alternatively, you can add custom rules based on day and time. Tap Add rule > Time. Give the rule a name.

  9. Choose the days of the week you want the rule in effect, and the start and end time. Here you can also have your built-in alarm override Do Not Disturb.

  10. This feature lets you treat each day of the week differently or set up temporary rules if you’re on a different schedule, such as when traveling. 

  11. To delete a rule, tap the trash icon beside it.

How to Use Do Not Disturb On Android Oreo and Nougat

Do Not Disturb works differently on Android 8.0 Oreo and 7.0 Nougat. Like in Android 9.0 Pie, though, you can access it via Settings or Quick Settings.

  1. From Settings, tap Sound > Do Not Disturb.

  2. There are three main options:

    • Total silence
    • Alarms only
    • Priority only (Includes alarms as well as custom exceptions)
  3. After you choose one of the above options, you can specify how long Do Not Disturb mode will be active. You can either set a timer, specify a time, or keep it on until you turn it off again.

  4. Tap More Settings to customize DND.

  5. Here you can customize priority notifications and set up times when Do Not Disturb mode goes on automatically. There’s also an option to let repeat callers through if they call twice within 15 minutes.

  6. To turn off Do Not Disturb mode press the up or down volume button and tap Turn Off Now on the screen that pops up. You can also disable it via Quick Settings or by going to Settings > Sound > Do Not Disturb.

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