TTJ Tech Tip: All About Do Not Disturb

You can use Do Not Disturb when you’re sleeping, at church, at work, in class, during family dinner, at a business meeting, or just trying to record the next viral YouTube video, so you won’t be interrupted during those critical moments. Do Not Disturb is an extremely robust feature, so we’ll attempt to explain it in this article.

Simple Toggle:

You can quickly turn Do Not Disturb on or off, by opening Control Center. First, swipe one finger down from the top right corner of your device (Voiceover users should place one finger at the top edge of the display, then swipe down to the second blip sound). Now, tap the moon icon (double-tap for VO users – Voiceover says Do Not Disturb), to turn it on indefinitely. Tap it again to turn Do Not Disturb off.

Note that by default, Do Not Disturb only applies when the device is locked. To change this, see the below section on Do Not Disturb Settings.

Contextual Options:

Want more control over Do Not Disturb than just a simple toggle? Instead of tapping on the icon in Control Center, perform a long press (tap and hold, or double-tap and hold with VO), and select the option you want from the context menu that appears. You can usually choose to turn on Do Not Disturb for an hour, or until a later part of the day, such as evening. You can also turn it on until you leave your current location – great for when you’re trying to catch that movie. If you have an event on your calendar when you long press the Do Not Disturb icon, you will also see the option to turn it on until the end of the current event.

Note that by default, Do Not Disturb only applies when the device is locked. To change this, see the below section on Do Not Disturb Settings.

Do Not Disturb During Bed Time:

You can set up Bedtime Mode in the Clock app, so you’ll receive a reminder when it is time to go to bed, and an alarm when it is time to wake up. You can choose many Bedtime options, including to which days of the week the Bedtime applies. As part of these Bedtime options, you can turn on the toggle for, Do Not Disturb During Bedtime. Now, whenever your specified bed time occurs, this setting will automatically be turned on. During Bedtime Mode, calls and notifications will be silenced, and your device’s Lock Screen will be dimmed, only showing the time and the moon icon. Notifications will not appear on the Lock Screen during this scheduled quiet time. If you need to see notifications during quiet hours, open Notification Center. Otherwise, when your alarm goes off in the morning and you turn off the alarm, you will be greeted with a, Good Morning, screen, which displays the current outside temperature and weather conditions for the day. Once you dismiss this screen, you will be able to see any notifications you may have missed while you were asleep. Note that you can also choose to turn on Down Time during these quiet hours. For more information, visit ScreenTime Settings.

Do Not Disturb On a Schedule:

In addition to the scheduled Bedtime Mode, it is possible to have a second quiet period scheduled. Note that this scheduled quiet time can be used with or without the Lock Screen dimmed, but you cannot choose on which days of the week this scheduled quiet time occurs. It will occur automatically, every day at the specified time. To add a schedule for Do Not Disturb, open Settings>Do Not Disturb>Scheduled, and turn the toggle to On, then tap on the button to choose the schedule. If Do Not Disturb turns on when you do not want it, simply turn it off in Control Center, after it has turned on.

Do Not Disturb Settings:

In addition to the above schedule options, you can control other aspects of Do Not Disturb. Open Settings>Do Not Disturb to customize the following options:

  • Toggle Do Not Disturb on or off, just like in Control Center
  • Set a schedule for Do Not Disturb (in addition to the Bedtime schedule available in the Clock app)
  • Choose whether to dim the Lock Screen during a scheduled Do Not Disturb
  • Choose whether Do Not Disturb applies only when the device is locked or at all times (see below)
  • Specify exceptions to Do Not Disturb, such as groups of Contacts and repeated calls (see below)
  • Select Drive Mode options (iPhone only)
  • The “Silence” options are perhaps some of the most critical options to configure. By default, silence is set to “When Locked”. This means that even if Do Not Disturb is turned on, notifications, including phone calls, text messages, and more, will continue to interrupt you while you are using your device. The notifications will only be silenced when your device is asleep and locked. You can change this setting to “Always”. When Silence is set to Always, all notifications will be silenced, no matter what you are doing, while Do Not Disturb is turned on. If you expect to silence notifications during video or audio recordings, Zoom calls, and other important events where you might still be using your device, change the Silence setting to Always.
  • Do Not Disturb Exceptions:

    From Settings>Do Not Disturb, you can specify groups of Contacts that will not be affected by Do Not Disturb. For example, you can choose Favorites. Now, when someone from your iPhone favorites calls you, their calls will get through, even if Do Not Disturb is turned on. Note that this applies only to phone calls – not Text Messages.

    You can also turn on the Repeated Calls option. When this is on, anyone who calls you more than once within a three minute time period will get through to you, even if Do Not Disturb is turned on.

    Emergency Bypass:

    Emergency Bypass is a contact-specific setting that will always pass a call or text message through to you, no matter what. This is useful for close family members, such as children or other loved ones, as well as for security system monitoring companies for example. The Emergency Bypass setting, as stated, is specific to each contact. Once again, you must turn this setting on for each individual contact for whom you desire to make use of the feature. To do so, open the Contacts app, or the Phone app (iPhone). If using the Phone app, tap on the Contacts tab at the bottom of the screen. Locate the contact you wish to modify and tap on it to display the contact card. Tap edit. Now, scroll down until you locate, “Ring Tone”, and, “Text Tone”. Tap on Ring Tone or Text Tone. You will now be able to choose a custom sound and vibration pattern, or stick with the defaults. On this screen is the Emergency Bypass setting. Toggle it on. You can do this for either phone calls (Ring Tone) or text messages (Text Tone), or you can turn it on for both. When you are finished, go back to the main Edit screen and tap Done to save your changes.

    Important: Emergency Bypass is an aggressive override option that should only be used for critically important contacts. Contacts for whom Emergency Bypass is turned on will cause your phone to ring, regardless whether you are in Bedtime mode or any other form of Do Not Disturb. Also, even if you have muted all sounds, even if the Side Switch is set to Silent (iPhone), tones will sound for the said contacts. The only way to avoid hearing sounds for calls or texts from someone with Emergency Bypass, is to turn your phone completely off or place it in Airplane Mode.

    Do Not Disturb For Individual Apps:

    It is possible to have notifications for individual apps delivered quietly. This can be useful if you wish to see notifications for a specific app after they occur, but you don’t want to be bothered by them when they are happening. To use this option, when a notification appears for a specific app, long press on the notification (iPhone) or swipe left on it (iPads and iPhone SE). Voiceover users, on iPad and iPhone SE, swipe up or down on the notification until you hear “More” or “View”, then double-tap. Now, choose the “Manage” option, then choose “Deliver Quietly”. When you turn on “Deliver Quietly” for a particular app, you will no longer hear notifications for that app, and its banners will not appear either. The only way to see these notifications is from Notification Center.

    Do Not Disturb App Exceptions:

    Just as you may wish for some app notifications to remain quiet even when Do Not Disturb is off, there may be some apps for which you would like to receive notifications, even if DND is turned on. App developers can request a special token for their app, if the app is determined to serve a critical function, such as severe weather alerts, alarm triggered warnings, and so on. Not all apps support this feature. If you think a particular app may have an exception feature, open Settings>Notifications, then tap on the app in question. If the feature is supported, it will be available as a toggle. If you do not see such a toggle, contact the app developer to request this feature.

    Driving Mode Options:

    If you have an iPhone, you can turn on Do Not Disturb While Driving, or you can have it turn on automatically for you. From Settings>Do Not Disturb, you can specify whether the feature is turned on whenever vehicle movement is detected, when you connect to CarPlay/Bluetooth car systems, or whether the feature must be invoked manually. When this Do Not Disturb While Driving feature is turned on, notifications will be silenced and available in Notification Center for later review. Favorite contacts who text you will receive an auto-generated text message from you, indicating that you are currently driving and will get back to them as soon as it is safe to do so. You can also specify whether repeat calls can get through. Additionally, people who receive the aforementioned auto-generated text message can reply “Urgent”, so their messages will get through to you.

    You can add a manual toggle for Drive Mode to Control Center. To do so, open Settings>Control Center>Customize Controls, then choose “Do Not Disturb While Driving”.

    Stay tuned to our blog for more fascinating tech tips.

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