How to Use Do Not Disturb on Your iPhone

There was Apple’s “Do Not Disturb” function first introduced in 2012 and it is a common feature. Gone are the days where you would be automatically woken up by the annoying smile from a call or text, or really any kind of noisy notification.

However, not everyone finds this feature beneficial, such as people who are on call for work or need to be reached during late hours. People who use DND mode may assume that other people use it too, and that their texts outside of normal hours won’t affect their texts — but of course, that’s not always the case. And when a person is not using DND, their sleep can be disrupted if they are bombarded with all kinds of notifications. Who wants that?

I use Don Not Disturb every night when I go to bed. All my iPhone notifications (calls, texts, apps, emails, etc.) are silent and hidden until I manually turn DND off in the morning, and this setting doesn’t affect any alarms I set.

But according to long-standing rules it is still right to send any notices related to the work before 9 pm; experts generally consider anything sent after that to be rude unless you are a close friend or relative. And even when you do is close friend or family member, some people feel that the message should be very important if they are probably already asleep.

“As a general rule, you shouldn’t text someone after 9 pm It may be seen as an invasion of privacy, or they may feel that you are introducing an urgency that doesn’t need to be there, ” Scott Steinberg, author of “Netiquette Essentials: New Rules for Teaching Your Ways in a Digital World,tell Southern Living. “As for the morning, if school hasn’t started and you don’t expect the person to work, it’s better to wait. Or, if you send the message, expect not to get an immediate response.”

However, 20-somethings especially tend to stay up quite lateaccording to one study of smartwatch users, who may not mind hearing from their friends after 9 pm Everyone seems to live by different rules.

“People want to relax, watch their favorite Netflix show and sleep! A late night email or text needs a good reason.”

– Diane Gottsman, Texas School of Protocol

“I’ll turn on ‘DND’ if I don’t want to be bothered, but usually it’s something specific, like a movie or dinner,” Sam Humphries, a 40-something iPhone user, said of his texting habits. “It depends what the relationship is, but if we have experience, 24/7. Sisters, I would text anytime. My mom, probably between 8 am and 8 pm her time.”

An etiquette expert recommends setting boundaries that the other person considers.

“Late night texts and emails are only for emergencies. A business email should be sent during the day, or at least let the person know that their response is not required until the next business day,” said Diane Gottsman, who runs The Protocol School of Texas. “Put it in the subject line, ‘Attention Friday,’ so they know the Thursday afternoon text is planned for the next day. Better yet, wait for that email, because [such a text] it puts pressure on the person you’re communicating with.”

Sometimes, messages may be going to someone in a different time zone, so that’s something to be aware of.

“Also, you can schedule an email for the next day for delayed delivery,” Gottsman added. “You can compose your email while you’re thinking about it, but send it the next day. Consider other time zones, both in the US and in other countries.”

So, is it always rude to text late at night, even with Do Not Disturb?

It really depends, but – sort of. The answers vary from person to person, but chances are if the person you’re texting is asleep, and unless it’s a dire emergency, it’s best to save that message for the morning.

“Texting a friend late at night, if you need a shoulder to cry on, is rarely acceptable, but don’t make it a habit. People want to relax, watch their favorite Netflix show and go to sleep!” Gottsman said. “A late night email or text needs a good reason.”

You don’t know whether Do Not Disturb is on. It’s not worth the risk.

If people text you at all hours, here’s how to enable Do Not Disturb on your iPhone.

iPhone “Focus” menu, control center with “Focus” button, and “Do Not Disturb” functions to quickly select.

Do Not Disturb can be used in two different ways:

  • By turning it on manually whenever you want to limit communication;
  • By setting an automatic schedule to turn on at a set time of day, for example your usual bedtime.

From the control center of your iPhone, select the “Focus” button. You can also enter your phone settings and select “Focus”.

Apple offers a few separate focus settings for Do Not Disturb for users with iOS 15 and up. (If you don’t see these options listed automatically, go to “Settings,” then “Focus,” and then hit the plus sign in the upper-right corner to choose from a menu of options.)

  • Standard Do Not Enter: When selected from the Control Center, you can quickly select duration options such as “for an hour,” “until this evening” or “until I leave this site.”
  • Driving: You can choose whether it connects automatically or manually to your car’s Bluetooth. It lets you send a customizable reply message to selected contacts to let them know you’re driving.
  • Sleep mode: This allows you to schedule specific times when you do not want your sleep to be disturbed.
  • Personal: This can be used for whatever data you need and offers “Smart Activation,” which can turn this mode on automatically based on schedule, location and/or app usage. Mac Rumors gives this example: “If… if you usually study with the Books app, in the library, right after lunch on a weekday, Smart Activators can learn your routine and the Focus mode did activate you intelligently without doing anything. “
  • Work: Like the other methods, you can select specific people and apps that you still want to receive notifications from, such as your boss or other important contacts.

In the “Contacts” section of “Settings,” there’s also a permission called “Emergency Bypass” that lets you choose to receive rings and vibrations from certain people and any Do Not Disturb enabled.

When DND is running, you will see a crescent moon symbol on your lock screen. Other iPhone users will be able to tell that your Do Not Disturb is on when they open Messages to text you.

Finally, the Focus page includes a toggle setting so you can share your specific Focus and Do Not Disturb settings across your other connected Apple devices. For example, if you turn your phone to DND with this capability, your laptop will match.

You can also enable Do Not Disturb on Android products.

Android products also have a Do Not Disturb option.

To turn it on, open the Settings app, then scroll down and click “Sound & Vibration.” Tap “Do Not Disturb” and click “Turn on Now.”

With scroll down in the Do Not Disturb setting, you can choose different modes by tapping “Schedules”. These can be arranged according to a specific schedule.

  • Sleep: Mute notifications while you sleep.
  • An event: Mute notifications during scheduled events.
  • Gambling: Mute notifications while playing phone games.
  • Driving: Mute notifications when your phone detects that you are driving.

Android users can also turn on Do Not Disturb by swiping down from the top of their screen and pressing the button.

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