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How to Use Do Not Disturb in iOS 6

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iOS 6 delivers a new feature to the iPhone and iPad that offers users more control over notifications.

The Do Not Disturb setting allows users to block all incoming notifications to stop calls, texts and other intrusions from interrupting during a schedule or when users turn Do Not Disturb on.

After using Do Not Disturb for the past few months it is one of my favorite features, and it’s certainly prevented a few late night wake ups from noisy and bright notifications.

Because I work with people in different time zones my iPhone and my iPad light up at all hours of the night, but with Do Not Disturb I’m no longer jarred by Facebook notifications and incoming messages.

Read: iOS 6 Tips and Tricks

The setting is also handy when going to a movie or for ignoring the iPhone while on a date. Bottom line, Do Not Disturb is a great feature in iOS 6.

Read: Do Not Disturb for iPhone: How to Win Friends & Be Productive

How to Use Do Not Disturb

The Do Not Disturb feature in iOS 6 is quickly available as a toggle on the main screen of the iPhone Settings app, but users need to dive deeper to configure Do Not Disturb mode.

How to Use Do Not Disturb on iOS 6 - 1

Do Not Disturb controls notifications.

When Do Not Disturb is on, there is a small moon icon in the status bar, near the clock. When users see this, the phone will not light up, make noise or vibrate while on the lock screen. The iPhone or iPad will continue to receive notifications, it just won’t notify users.

To control the Do Not Disturb mode, tap on Notifications and then on Do Not Disturb.

How to Use Do Not Disturb on iOS 6 - 2

Control Do Not Disturb in iOS 6.

On this screen users can control the Do Not Disturb schedule, turning the mode on and off at specific times. The app does not offer granular control over weekend schedules, day-by-day settings or calendar integration.

How to Use Do Not Disturb on iOS 6 - 3

Set a schedule for Do Not Disturb.

iOS 6 lets users allow calls from specific groups. This allows users to get calls from a whitelisted group of callers. I normally set this to favorites which includes my close family and one or two others.

How to Use Do Not Disturb on iOS 6 - 4

Allow some users to disturb in Do Not Disturb.

Another option is Repeated Calls. This allows users to let callers through if they call twice in three minutes. This is a nice catch all to let anyone reach you in an emergency.

What’s Missing in Do Not Disturb

Apple could take iOS 6′s Do Not Disturb mode further with a few improvements.

Finer control of scheduling would be a welcome improvement. I want to keep different weekend and weekday hours as well as integrate my calendar with the service.

 

If Apple offers better support for scheduling iCloud syncing of the schedule would be nice. It’s easy enough to set up the same schedule on my iPad, but I’d love to see manual Do Not Disturb mode sync across devices.

Apple should also add in better support for iMessages and texts. It would be great to allow a small group of contacts to send text messages that break the Do Not Disturb mode. Or even a safe word that breaks through Do Not Disturb.

Read: How to Use Passbook in iOS 6

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

95 Comments

  1. [email protected]

    09/20/2012 at 9:34 am

    HI Josh,
    Thank you for the information. Question. If I setup to block all incoming phone calls, and I’m playing music from say Pandora, and an incoming call occurs, will the phone still interrupt the music as it does today?
    All the best,
    Ed

  2. Aleksandra

    09/20/2012 at 11:44 am

    It is cool that Josh is using do not disturb feature on iPhone FOR A FEW MONTHS regardless of that iOS6 with this feature came out only yesterday

    • Jean Garcia

      09/20/2012 at 8:17 pm

      iOS 6 has been out as a beta/SDK for developers FOR A FEW MONTHS

    • JD

      09/21/2012 at 3:42 pm

      Hey genius, developers could download, install and use iOS6 FOR MONTHS. In other words, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, keep quiet.

      • Mike

        10/16/2012 at 10:04 pm

        Well said!

    • Zak

      10/05/2012 at 2:53 am

      Hi hi hi

    • nope

      10/20/2012 at 9:13 pm

      lmao girl you are so embarrassing

    • Lyndsey

      10/28/2012 at 3:36 pm

      Developers get the software way before everybody else that’s how he got it before everybody else :)

  3. santhosh iyer n

    09/20/2012 at 11:55 am

    How to Use Do Not Disturb in iOS 6?
    thanks i got answer for which i was looking for. truly a good work

  4. Margaret w

    09/20/2012 at 12:03 pm

    Brilliant app love it

  5. Amy M.

    09/20/2012 at 2:45 pm

    I just updated and put this feature to use, and for some reason it’s not working on my phone. I came here, did as it said and it still doesn’t work….

    • Natalie

      09/20/2012 at 4:58 pm

      Even if I put my on schedule it still does not allow calls to come thru at all. I set mine at 3pm for 10pm-10am and realized to wasn’t getting calls or texts at like 6pm!!!!

      • mike

        09/21/2012 at 10:52 pm

        Make sure that do not disturb is only turned on in the scheduled setting, not the one where the moon icon appears.

      • jer

        10/03/2012 at 12:41 am

        is the switch on the side of your iphone on or off? I wonder if it needs to be on…

  6. Tammy

    09/20/2012 at 5:25 pm

    I have mine set to no one and no repeat calls and calls still come through. What am I doing wrong?

    • Clay

      09/20/2012 at 8:32 pm

      Phone has to be in lock mode

    • Hally

      09/21/2012 at 6:09 pm

      The phone has to be locked

  7. billy the Fish

    09/20/2012 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks for the advice – switched it on tonight!

  8. Stephanie

    09/20/2012 at 10:52 pm

    Will the alarm still go off if do not disturb Is on?

    • Apex Computing

      09/21/2012 at 12:23 pm

      No… I learnt that the hard way :(

    • BenD26

      09/22/2012 at 8:55 am

      My alarm goes on on DND

  9. Carol

    09/21/2012 at 12:50 am

    I thought I had turned mine on. It was in lock mode because I had gone to bed for the night. I received a text and my phone still went off. I did not put it on schedule mode. I had just turned it on under Settings. I had to change the Sounds for my text tones to None. ???? I was under the impression that I didn’t have to do that. Thanks for your help.

  10. lalaruza

    09/21/2012 at 9:16 am

    where does the phone pull the “favorites” from??

    • mike

      09/21/2012 at 10:55 pm

      main sccreen, touch phone to go to dial pad and other phone options, you’ll see favorites icon there on the bottom left!

  11. TiNa (@YuNgNSoFlY_)

    09/21/2012 at 12:16 pm

    I’m having the same problem.

  12. Augusto

    09/21/2012 at 4:14 pm

    It should with Siri. It’d be great if you could just say “do not disturb” instead of having to open the settings.

  13. 晃一 森

    09/21/2012 at 6:55 pm

    I was expecting too much to iOS6. I need to exempt quake alert from Do Not disturb. Map in Japan, I hope US map is good, is from 20th century. That’s after Jobs for us.

  14. Tea

    09/21/2012 at 10:50 pm

    Unfortunately, DND also turns off your alarm clock. I was hoping this would solve the problem that iPhone, unlike the Blackberry, if turned off (which is what I was doing at night for a while to avoid being awakened by the alerts, etc.), does not turn itself back on to sound your alarm in the morning. So I’ll keep doing what I do now, which is to put it face down on a soft surface to muffle the vibrations and turn off the text alert and all non-essential notifications.

  15. Mary

    09/22/2012 at 4:15 am

    If you want the alarm to work, I’ve just always put my phone on Airplane Mode at night. Alarm still goes off, and I switch it back in the am. Sounds like DND would be really cool, but only if the alarm worked and you could set a more granular schedule.

    • Julie

      10/03/2012 at 12:27 am

      Maybe have your scheduled do not disturb end two minutes before your scheduled alarm goes off in the morning.

      • Georgia

        02/02/2013 at 1:25 am

        I did that this morning! Still no alarm went off!

  16. Shalisa

    09/22/2012 at 10:56 am

    Can iPhone 4 with ios6 use Siri or??

    • N Webb

      09/28/2012 at 6:31 pm

      No. Unfortunately, the iPhone 4 will not have Siri after this update. Neither will the iPad 1 and 2, or any of the iPod touch devices that came out before this October.

  17. Micky Mouse

    09/22/2012 at 5:58 pm

    Set DND to turn off a few minutes before your alarm is due to go off, that way you will get the alarm

    • Kay

      10/11/2012 at 1:10 am

      You are a genius. Thanks for this!

  18. Nayda

    09/23/2012 at 12:22 pm

    will I still be able to see what calls, texts, etc that I missed if I turn the do not disturb thing back off?

  19. Nayda

    09/23/2012 at 12:24 pm

    Will all the messages, calls, etc… Pop up once I turn off my do not disturb?

  20. Kathy Kim

    09/23/2012 at 1:19 pm

    This is certainly a great feature and would work great for me since I live far away from home and sometimes I found a bunch of messages waking me up in the middle of night. But I just did a little self experiment myself but found out the alarm didn’t go off under this mode, I mean what is the whole point of this if my phone can’t wake me up in the morning anyway? and I read some comments above, either we are still confused or some of the functions don’t work in the way they were supposed to.

    • James

      09/26/2012 at 11:41 am

      My alarm still goes off even when I have DND enabled. You must be doing something wrong. Mine just woke me up a couple hours ago.

  21. Leanne

    09/23/2012 at 1:19 pm

    I turned on my do not disturb function but it doesn’t do anything, it doesn’t move on to the other screen where you can select times. Anyone figure that one?
    Thanks Leanne

  22. Leanne

    09/23/2012 at 1:24 pm

    All sorted they’ve hid the screen under notifications

  23. Joe

    09/23/2012 at 8:14 pm

    In order to set the timers, u need to go into settings>notifications>do not disturb.

  24. Leonora Swift

    09/24/2012 at 1:58 am

    Why can’t they turn of emails & messages

  25. Eddy

    09/24/2012 at 8:02 am

    To those who still can’t figure out just use airplane mode.

  26. Jenna

    09/24/2012 at 1:33 pm

    This would have been great for me if the phone didn’t have to be locked for it to work–I would have turned it on during my daily 4-mile walk. That way, I could have listened to SIriusXM without incoming calls interrupting the music. No reason in the world I can see to make the phone being locked a requirement. Oh well, Apple can be obtuse sometimes…

  27. Kaylea

    09/24/2012 at 2:26 pm

    When I put my phone on not disturb over the weekend it still vibrated so I some how turnt it off vibrate now my phone is not on do not disturb and still not vibrating when I get a phone call and don’t no how 2 turn it back on. When I go into settings then phone it says vibrate is on what have I done and how do I put it back on?

  28. MJ

    09/25/2012 at 2:02 pm

    What’s the difference in DND & just turning off the phone??

    • dot davies

      09/27/2012 at 12:28 pm

      That’s what I was wondering

  29. ljwitch

    09/26/2012 at 5:09 am

    They really only sort of half arsed this feature. They didn’t put any real thought into it. There should be an option to allow all texts while in DND, or just allow texting from the favorites as well. The alarm clock should be able to be enabled while in DND mode. You should have the options to enable notifications from certain apps. too. Apps for emergencies (natural, etc.) and such.

    Such a great idea, but it’s so limited they could have just not done it at all and we could stick with airplane mode.

    • Josh Smith

      09/27/2012 at 12:42 pm

      The alarm clock will work in DND.

      • DFREE

        09/27/2012 at 3:04 pm

        why not just flick the silent button on the side, alarm still works and no sounds or vibrating quicker than accessing the phones settings to switch DND on???? seams to me they have just tried to re-invent the wheel but gone a long way around to get a worse result.

  30. Haak

    09/28/2012 at 2:47 am

    Well, I sure have the “Do Not Be Boring” on for Josh Smith.

  31. Robert

    09/28/2012 at 10:35 am

    Wow… I was really excited about this feature as I wanted to not be disturbed at night by calls or notifications from anyone other than close family, certain friends, and my alarm company. So I figured I’d first set up a contact group for my “exceptions” list and select it in settings, schedule the hours for DND to be active and turn it ON.

    Well the problem I encountered seems to me likely to plague many users.

    I set the lock feature on my phone to lock after 2 minutes of inactivity for security reasons.

    The result?… calls & notifications from folks NOT included in my exceptions group (but received outside my schedule for DND to be active) were NOT alerting me if received more than 2 minutes after leaving my phone alone.

    So IF the phone must be in locked mode for DND to do it’s thing, it appears the feature is ignoring the hours I scheduled for it to be active and is active any time my phone is in locked mode.

    Any thoughts on what the deal is?

  32. Annie Zhang

    09/28/2012 at 12:46 pm

    Why do I still get notifications + sounds for texts while do not disturb is on?

  33. AS

    09/29/2012 at 1:49 am

    Another alternative to be able to use the alarm and not be disturbed is to put the phone in airplane mode. The alarm will go off and all calls and texts are off until you disable airplane mode.

  34. james desrosiers

    09/30/2012 at 7:16 pm

    Wish I could do the same with New Mail and New Text Message notifications!!

  35. Mathew

    09/30/2012 at 7:43 pm

    How About (god forbid) actually turing the phone OFF!!!!

    • Richard

      10/05/2012 at 11:58 am

      Good call !! – one sensible person at last.

    • John

      10/08/2012 at 3:20 pm

      That’s fine if you don’t want to use the alarm clock.

  36. GigiB

    09/30/2012 at 10:16 pm

    I think only one other person suggested silencing the phone and turning off vibrate. And then place the phone face down if light from screen actually bothers you. Piece of cake! And alarm works perfectly. I see no point to the DND feature.

    • Rakel

      10/21/2012 at 7:20 am

      I do this, but constantly forget to switch my phone off silent everyday so I miss calls all the time. So I like the schedule aspect to it so I can keep my phone off silent on a daily basis. It’s still a convenient switch if you’re in a meeting or whatever though.

  37. Erik

    10/01/2012 at 6:09 pm

    It would be nice if users could set the physical button on the side of the phone to put the phone into DND rather than just silent. I also agree with the article that different schedules for each day would be nice.

  38. Rich

    10/01/2012 at 7:00 pm

    This seems like a dumb feature if the alarm wont go off in DND. Then again, it IS “Do Not Disturb”. I think I’ll just continue to manually switch the ringer to off and set my phone upside down for those late night txts/calls so when the screen pops on, it wont disturb me. LoL. As more and more new features come available of these smart phones, seems to make us more and more lazy. Do not disturb = turn off ringer. I dunno. Guess I’m just a simple kind-a guy. LoL

  39. Lani

    10/03/2012 at 5:09 am

    I just tried & my alarm went off and I had the radio on too… Just had to be locked first

  40. Kristy

    10/05/2012 at 9:21 am

    I think Apple could have come up with something a bit more exciting or something that you already can do without a load of hassle very disappointing, either turn your phone off or put it on silent face down, please think of something more exciting that we actually could use

  41. Sezar

    10/07/2012 at 1:34 am

    It would be better if there was option for setting dnd for some specific numbers or groups, but there’s not any choice for user about that, either you set DND for whole no.s or transfer all contacts to favorite, its not that worthy…

  42. john

    10/08/2012 at 12:20 pm

    When I work during the day, I do not want any outside disturbance oter than music. I was excited about DND and scheduled for no calls between 10a-7p, and lo and behold I’m still getting calls. This fearure goes down as a fail…

  43. Michael

    10/09/2012 at 2:08 am

    For all of you who say “just put your phone in airplane mode instead”, you are missing the point. Some of us want to be able to still get some phone calls (or text messages) from certain people during the night. Say it’s a saturday and you don’t want to get all those late night worthless sms from your drunk friends BUT you do want to enable say your girlfriend to be able to reach you in case she is in trouble for example. That’s why the DND is needed. However, if DND only controls phone calls and if you can’t whitelist text messages from certain people and lastly, if the alarm clock doesn’t work during DND then Apple still needs to fix this, otherwise it looses its purpose! We all want to sleep sound during the night but most of us also need to get up at a specific time in the morning. So please update this app, Apple. It’s a good idea and Android market has a ton of these but the DND could be so much better with more options!

    • kess42

      10/10/2012 at 3:15 pm

      very valid! DND is a useful feature to be selectively reachable. And the built in alarm clock does ring, even with your favourite song now. But not the alarm of a third party app that I have been using with configurable snooze and such, so this would be a useful enhancement…

  44. Li

    10/10/2012 at 5:17 am

    My phone is lock n I set up the time from 10pm-8am do not disturb mode, but how come someone calling at 11pm and my phone is ringing ?

  45. Liz

    10/10/2012 at 8:59 pm

    When I have the do not disturb on, all my favorites goes straight to voicemail. How do I stop my favorites from going to voice mail?

  46. deuce

    10/12/2012 at 8:19 pm

    Sounds like a bunch of crybaby morons that can’t figure it out .
    maybe you should use a land line and an alarm clock if you are too stupid to follow instructions!

  47. Nikki Rose Ty (@nikkirosety)

    10/14/2012 at 5:10 am

    Awesome post! Thanks.

  48. Jon Wright

    10/14/2012 at 5:45 am

    Too bad the Do Not Disturb feature still allows my phone to vibrate. That disturbs!! I can accomplish the same with the little silent switch on the side, and leaving the phone face down. Or am I missing something…

  49. Kassidy

    10/14/2012 at 7:00 am

    I was just wondering…… Is there any way possible to see any missed notifications, missed calls, or text messages that you did not receive when the “Do Not Disturb”
    Is on?
    Like will it show up in your mail or what?
    Thanks

  50. jjclearingcoaching

    10/15/2012 at 9:28 am

    This information really helped – thanks so much!

  51. Wren

    10/19/2012 at 9:38 am

    Sounds really different from airplane mode?

    It’s nice you can add group exceptions and tweak it, but it’s not all that novel.

    What would’ve been great is an auto-feature, like the mode kicks between 12am-6am.

    • Wren

      10/19/2012 at 9:41 am

      Oh wait, if you read the actual article they did include a scheduled system!

      (Not sure what the other commentors who keep condescendingly pointing out Airplane Mode are so proud about).

  52. Court

    10/22/2012 at 9:04 am

    I fall asleep to my Hulu or White Noise app and don’t want calls while I’m trying to fall asleep. Is there any way to not recieve alerts without having the screen locked?

  53. Ailidh

    10/26/2012 at 2:52 am

    I’m prepared to love this feature – I’ve previously used my iPhone for leisure and a very basic mobile for work, I’m on 24/7 call. Thanks to DND, I’ve decided to combine the two, meaning that when I’m on holiday I can allow calls and texts from my friends/favourites/whitelist but exclude the work calls ~ so “just turn it off” isn’t an option for me!
    However, although it lets friends’ calls through, it doesn’t seem to allow their texts. Have I misunderstood? Is there a way of making sure texts get through???
    Ta.

  54. lindz

    10/26/2012 at 5:51 pm

    Didn’t have flight mode on ios5? Alarm still goes off then

    • Jenna

      10/26/2012 at 7:59 pm

      Airplane mode (obviously) blocks ALL calls, the purpose of DND was to allow calls from certain numbers to come through, such as from an elderly relative, etc.

  55. Lee

    11/01/2012 at 9:34 am

    If I dial an iPhone that is on DND or Airplane Mode will I hear the ringing and will my call be answered by that phone’s voicemail service?

  56. Airplane Mode

    11/14/2012 at 9:17 am

    So what’s the difference between Do Not Disturb and Airplane Mode? Nothing. It’s a timer for Airplane Mode. It’s for douches like you who need an app for everything. The way you can screen calls from certain people is cool though.

    • Not the same

      04/25/2013 at 9:32 pm

      There is a major difference between the two, dnd will allow calls from certain people or(if the option is chosen) repetitive calls, airplane mode turns off all communications and effectively makes the phone unreachable at all. With dnd you can get a call from say, your mother, who is in need of help, or girl/boyfriend, who needs to reach you. With dnd they can be whitelisted, or told to call twice after certain times, with airplane mode nobody can reach you at all.

  57. Zamion Crystal Loveland

    11/22/2012 at 9:22 am

    Thank you! I somehow forgot how to turn off the scheduled DND without setting it manually every day. Of course I felt really silly after reading this, but it fixed the problem!

  58. trista

    11/23/2012 at 5:32 pm

    With my DND enabled I still receive texts. Is that supposed to happen?

  59. Amy

    12/11/2012 at 9:53 am

    I’d like to be able to use this feature bc I also use my phone as an alarm clock & currently just turn the phone upside down & switch the button on the side of the phone to silent at night. However I still get woken up at night by vibrating calls, text, notifications, etc. After downloading IOS6, & seeing the DND feature I was excited. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. My phone is locked, DND is turned on, my alarm actually still goes off, but I still get the vibrating from calls, texts, notifications. :( I don’t want to buy an alarm clock & turn my phone off bc it’s the only phone I have & I’m afraid I won’t be able to be reached for an emergency. Like when my grandmother unexpectedly passed away @ 4 in the morning earlier this year. :(

  60. Gecko

    12/27/2012 at 5:59 am

    7QZWr :)

  61. Fahim

    01/08/2013 at 9:43 am

    Thanks from giving information about (do not disturb)

  62. Miran Doolin from Glasgow, Serbia

    02/08/2013 at 10:38 pm

    I think this is shit. Because when you use DND the caller hear a busy signal. So he will try again soon. It must be no nswer option instead of busy signal or possibility to choose between action when DND is active. Bad app.

  63. Kumar Gadhavi

    03/12/2013 at 11:09 pm

    heey..
    DND isn’t working in my iphone.!!
    i did it turn on though it enables all the call sound and all

  64. Cris Crisler

    03/29/2013 at 6:21 pm

    I have to use my white noise app to sleep and it goes silent (which wakes me up) when I get calls even though the DND app is enabled. This is so frustrating. I’m going thru chemo and some days I sleep until noon or later. Does anyone know of a solution or do I need to buy a white noise machine and just turn the damn phone off?

  65. Johnswan

    04/15/2013 at 7:51 am

    I have no dramas with dnd wats the problem .. Think sum peeps need go do a cert1 in tech

  66. jaime

    04/19/2013 at 9:18 am

    I’ve had this app for months and I am just now using it. if people text me do they know that i’m not available? and when I turn it off will the messages I did not receive come up?

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