How to Use Do Not Disturb in iOS 7

Do Not Disturb in iOS 7 is a perfect way to silence calls, texts, notifications and alerts from every app and contact without using airplane mode or blocking a specific person.

Apple debuted Do Not Disturb in an earlier version of iOS, but added a new feature in iOS 7 and the Do Not Disturb feature in iOS 7 remains one of the most useful additions Apple made in the recent past.

iOS 7 also lets you block calls, texts and FaceTime messages, but this is a global option that is more suited for sleeping without interruptions, enjoying a movie or time with friends without annoying alerts. Unlike airplane mode, you can still use the iPhone to surf the web and check in on apps you want to see updates for, but while the phone is locked you won’t get alerts.

Here’s how to use Do Not Disturb in iOS 7, including the new silence option which is one step towards a better Do Not Disturb experience. We’ll walk through turning Do Not Disturb On, setting up favorites that can call without an issue, scheduling Do Not Disturb and other tips for using it better.

Apple is working on an iOS 7.1 update which should not change the way this works. If iOS 7.1 adds new features to Do Not Disturb we will update this guide.

How to Use Do Not Disturb in iOS 7

To use Do Not Disturb in iOS 7 users need to tap on the iPhone Settings app, normally found on the main home screen of the iPhone or iPad.

On this screen the Do Not Disturb option is halfway down the screen with a small moon logo to the left. Tap on it to open Do Not Disturb settings.

Choose Do Not Disturb in Settings to get started.
Choose Do Not Disturb in Settings to get started.

The first decision to make is whether to Manually turn on Do Not Disturb or to use a Schedule. Manually turning on Do Not Disturb is handy for meetings and gatherings that don’t happen every day, just make sure you remember to turn it off when you need to get alerts again. Scheduling Do Not Disturb in iOS 7 is a good way to avoid sounds, lights and vibrations waking you up during the night.

Turn on Do Not Disturb Manually or Schedule it for specific times.
Turn on Do Not Disturb Manually or Schedule it for specific times.

Tap on Scheduled to set a start and stop time. There is no way to set a different Do Not Disturb schedule for weekdays and weekends, so if you set Do Not Disturb to start too early you may miss calls when you are out late on a weekend. Just be sure to turn the schedule off or add to your favorites.

With these steps done the basics of Do Not Disturb in iOS 7 are complete, but there are other settings to change.

Choose which contacts can get through Do Not Disturb in iOS 7.
Choose which contacts can get through Do Not Disturb in iOS 7.

By default Do Not Disturb allows calls from Favorites to come through without making a second call. You will also get emergency calls from anyone as long as they make a second call with in three minutes. This will save you from a midnight wake up due to a butt-dial, but let kids, friends and family get through in case of an emergency. Just make sure the Repeated Calls toggle is set to on.

Add a contact to Favorites to allow them to get through Do Not Disturb mode.
Add a contact to Favorites to allow them to get through Do Not Disturb mode.

To add someone to Favorites open the Contacts app, tap on the contact, scroll to the bottom and tap, Add to Favorites. Users can also allow calls from groups of contacts. By choosing a personal email set of contacts to get through and not a work email, family can call, but clients and coworkers won’t get through on the first call.

New in iOS 7 is the ability to  pick when sounds should play.
New in iOS 7 is the ability to pick when sounds should play.

The last option to change is the Silence mode. If you want to get audible alerts when the iPhone or iPad is unlocked you can do so by choosing Only while iPhone is locked. If you don’t want audible alerts choose Always. With either mode you still see notifications when the screen is unlocked, but there won’t be any noise associated with the notification.

No matter what options you select, there are some actions that will still make noise while Do Not Disturb is turned on. Some are good, while others are annoying.

Alarms will still sound when Do Not Disturb is on, so you won’t need to worry about sleeping through an alarm when Do Not Disturb is on.

The Siri noise will still play out loud and clear, which means if you accidentally hold the home button while using the iPhone on Do Not Disturb mode in bed next to someone you may wake them up.

The charging noise or vibration will also still sound when Do Not Disturb is On. If you have the phone switched to silent on the side, you will hear a vibration, if it is not on silent the charging noise will sound.

How to Quickly Turn on Do Not Disturb

Apple no longer lets users turn on Do Not Disturb on the iPhone or iPad from the main settings screen, but with Control Center it is incredibly easy to toggle Do Not Disturb on or off in iOS 7.

On any screen swipe up from the bottom of the phone to access Control Center. Tap on the moon logo to turn it on or off. A white moon means it is on, along with a moon icon in the status bar, and a dark moon means it is off.

Turn on Do Not Disturb in iOS 7 quickly with Control Center.
Turn on Do Not Disturb in iOS 7 quickly with Control Center.

The image above shows the options in Control Center in iOS 7, where you will find other features and shortcuts.

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