What Does Do Not Disturb Do?

When you need to focus, Do Not Disturb is a helpful friend

Do Not Disturb is a mode on smartphones and tablets that silences most, if not all, incoming notifications. This can include phone calls, text messages, and app notifications. The action that would generate a notification still occurs, but the notification will be silenced and won't activate the device's display.

This feature also exists on desktop operating systems. Check out using Do Not Disturb on a Mac or Focus Assist on Windows.

What Is Do Not Disturb Mode, and Why Does It Exist?

Do Not Disturb is used to silence notifications, but does so without changing a device's volume. Only notifications are silenced. In most cases, notifications also won't appear on the device's lock screen or activate the display.

Devices with a Do Not Disturb mode have a toggle found in a notification or shortcuts panel. Most also support scheduling, which turns the mode on or off at specific times (such as when you're asleep).

While Do Not Disturb stops notifications, it doesn't block them. The event that would generate a notification still occurs and will still be present for later viewing in a notifications panel or the app containing the notification. If you receive a text while Do Not Disturb is on, for example, the text will still be visible when you open the messaging app.

Do Not Disturb exists to reduce distractions and stop notifications when they're unwanted. You might use it to silence a phone while sleeping, at work, or watching a movie in a theater.

What Does Do Not Disturb Do on iPhone?

iOS you'll find Do Not Disturb under the Focus section of Control Center. You'll also find it in the Settings menu.

Focus has four different modes.

  • Do Not Disturb: The most basic mode, this disables notifications for a short period of time. It can also be set to turn off when you leave your current location or when a calendar event is over.
  • Personal Focus: This mode allows notifications from designated "important people and apps." It also will let contacts know you're in Focus mode if they try to reach you.
  • Sleep Focus: This has the features of Personal Focus and throws in some health-centric extras. It can help the accuracy of sleep tracking. Our article on iPhone's Sleep Mode has more information.
  • Work Focus: Similar to Personal Focus, but designed to use on a schedule or when specific apps are open.

Focus can be shared across your iOS and Mac devices. When this feature is on, your Focus settings will apply to all devices tied to your Apple account.

Our article about using Do Not Disturb on an iPhone or Apple Watch offers an in-depth tour of the feature's settings and options.

What Does Do Not Disturb Do in Android?

On Android devices, the Do Not Disturb mode is typically found in the Notification Drawer. It can also be found in Settings > Notifications.

Do Not Disturb will disable most notifications, though it will allow those from active alarms or apps you are actively using. By default, it will also allow notifications from starred contacts and repeat callers. This can be turned off in Android's settings menu.

Android's Do Not Disturb doesn't offer different varying modes but does support customization. Do Not Disturb can be used on a schedule, allows whitelisting of specific contacts and apps, and provides options for how notifications appear. It's possible to prevent notification sounds while allowing notifications to appear on the display.

Our article about Do Not Disturb on Android provides instructions for customizing the feature.

  • How is Do Not Disturb mode different from Airplane mode?

    Airplane mode temporarily disables your phone's connection, so you can't send or receive messages, calls, emails, and so on. Do Not Disturb keeps all lines of communication open, but quiets the notifications you'd normally receive when getting a call, text, email, or other message.

  • What does Do Not Disturb mode in Discord do?

    Turning on do not disturb mode in Discord will prevent you from receiving alerts and notifications across both the desktop and mobile apps. It applies to both general notifications and chat mentions.

  • What is Do Not Disturb While Driving mode?

    Do Not Disturb While Driving (or Driving Focus on iPhone) will automatically silence or otherwise limit notifications while you're driving to help you keep your attention on the road. On an iPhone, it can also allow Siri to read text messages out to you so that you won't have to look at the screen.

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