How to set up and use Notification Center's Do Not Disturb mode

How to use Do Not Disturb for Notification Center on iPhone and iPad

While Notification Center is a great tool for receiving alerts on your iPhone and iPad, some times notification turns into interruption. That's where the new iOS 6 Do Not Disturb feature comes in. It allows your iPhone or iPad to continue to collect notifications without beeping, buzzing, or lighting up the lock screen. Whether you're in a meeting or want a peaceful night's sleep, Do Not Disturb can give you it.

How to enable Do Not Disturb

You can quickly enable Do Not Disturb at any time to mute notifications and alerts until you're ready to let them start beeping and buzzing again.

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. settings_do_not_disturb
  3. Find the Do Not Disturb toggle and turn it to On.
  4. settings_do_not_disturb_on

How to customize Do Not Disturb settings

By default, the Do Not Disturb feature will still allow calls from Favorites or from anyone who calls twice in rapid succession. However, you can easily customize this to something that better suits your situation.

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. settings_do_not_disturb
  3. Tap Notifications.
  4. Tap Do Not Disturb.
  5. nc_general_settings
  6. Under Allow Calls From you can choose to allow calls from only Favorites, no one, or all calls. Choose the option you'd like and then go back to the previous screen by tapping Do Not Disturb in the upper left hand corner.
  7. do_not_disturb_calls
  8. The Repeated Calls option allows you to turn on or off repeated calls. This means that if the same person calls back within three minutes of the original call, the call will go through without being silenced the second time. If you want this feature turned off, tap the slider to Off.
  9. do_not_disturb_settings

How to schedule Do Not Disturb

If you have regular times each day that you don't want to be bothered with notifications, you can enable Do Not Disturb to automatically turn on every day at the same time. This is a nice feature to use at night so Messages, Facebook, phone calls, Twitter, and other notifications don't disturb you while you're trying to sleep.

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. settings_do_not_disturb
  3. Tap Notifications.
  4. Tap Do Not Disturb.
  5. nc_general_settings
  6. Tick the slider to On under the Scheduled option.
  7. do_not_disturb_settings
  8. Tap on the From/To section and choose the times you'd like Do Not Disturb to be regularly activated for every day.
  9. Do not disturb schedule

That's it. Do Not Disturb will activate on its own every day at the times specified.

How to quickly tell if Do Not Disturb is active

If you're worried that you might accidentally turn on Do Not Disturb mode, or that you might forget it's been automatically scheduled, and you'll miss an important alert, iOS 6 makes it easy to tell at a glance whether Do Not Disturb is active or not.

Simply look at the status bar at the top of your iPhone and if you see a little crescent moon icon, Do Not Disturb is on. If you don't, Do Not Disturb is off.

How to get more help with Notification Center

If you need more help setting up, using, or trouble-shooting Notification Center on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Mac, head on over to our iOS forum and ask away!

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 24 comments. Add yours.

Ltapilot says:

This was the one feature I missed when I left blackberry's and moved to the iPhone.
Now in iOS 6 I have it back! The office is closed and I am going to bed. :-)

jasondeno says:

It'd be great if Do Not Disturb could integrate more tightly with the Calendar. I'd like to be able to have Do Not Disturb turn itself on automatically for appointments in my calendar where my availability was set to Busy.

FrankRow says:

Good point and feature request. I would like that as well.

ottomatic says:

Very surprised this was not thought of by apple, its a no brainer

dougsorensen says:

The app AutoSilent will do this. I find it a lot more useful that Do Not Disturb.

kch50428 says:

If you use your phone on the nightstand with an app that functions as an alarm clock, Do Not Disturb does not function. It only works when the phone is locked and the screen is dark. That's not a bug, it's a feature. :)

bluedevil21 says:

they should make it where it works with an alarm clock app though.. it's a feature that should be able to be switched on and off as well.

emjayess says:

Really glad to have this feature! For those of us who have gone landline-less, it's a little peace of mind at night due to fact we can program family and friends to be able to ring our phones in emergencies while anyone else is blocked. ZZZZZzzzzzzzzz.......

Vincentg#IM says:

I really wish we were able to set the specific days that we wanted this feature to be used - Monday- Friday. (like we do for the alarm clock settings).

Don Camorra says:

This is a great feature indeed, but what is the benefit to use it instead of just turning the ringer-switch to mute, except for some calls will get through?

trmoney24 says:

switching the silent switch on will still allow vibrations for notifications, and the screen will still turn on when it is locked (if you have that lock option set for notifcations). so if you are sleeping or in a meeting, you will still get distracted by notifications. the purpose of silent vs DND are quite different.

Don Camorra says:

Ahh okay, good points there :)

GorilonTejano says:

This is a great feature, I agree with jasondeno adding the do not disturb feature to appointments in the calendar would be amazing!! I can technically use the do not disturb to block any telemarketers and only allow calls from my contacts maybe adding a two tier do not disturb feature and now no unwanted calls. My only complaint or it may be my own ignorance how do I stop my iphone from alerting me in an audible way that i have a txt message or an email while on a phone call this is very irritating and somewhat embarrassing while on a conference call. Couldn't it just vibrate while i'm on a call?

trmoney24 says:

I think your best option is to turn your phone on silent so the sounds do not ring. but your phone will vibrate with notifications. i wish there was an option to disable notifications while on a call.

Loke2112 says:

Notification going off in my ear while on a call has to be the most annoying thing about my phone. Long over due needed feature.

dloveprod says:

I have to remember to turn it back off afterwards.

oturn says:

This feature would have actually been useful if the option to allow MESSAGES from favorites, as well as calls, had been included. Seriously, who calls anymore?

If DND is enabled, NO SMS/iMessage's will alert, no matter how favorite someone is, or how many times they send them in a panic. Not acceptable.

cc3d says:

how do you get to settings?

jake501 says:

How do you create groups?

B1000 says:

Thank you for all the how too's

augustlilly12 says:

I love this feature..but it would also be nice if you could customize it to allow your VIP contact texts to come through when you want them. :)