How can I receive calls and message from important contacts, even with Do Not Disturb mode on?

If you have ever missed an important call from a specific person because you forgot that your iPhone or iPad was in Do Not Disturb mode, you're not alone. iOS 10 has a new feature that can help, but no one seems to be talking about it. It's called Emergency Bypass and it was the people over at iAccessibility that first brought it to light for us.

Note: You have to turn on Emergency Bypass for phone calls and text messages separately.

What does Emergency Bypass do?

Emergency Bypass lets you pick which notifications (calls or texts) get through to you from a specific contact while Do Not Disturb mode is active, and it will also bypass silent mode. I'll give you an example.

Let's say you're about to head into a meeting at work and you want to turn your iPhone to Do Not Disturb mode, but you are waiting on an important call from your Mom. If you set your Mom to an Emergency Bypass contact, her phone call or text message can still come through loud and proud.

This is different than the "Always Allow Calls From" setting for Do Not Disturb. Always Allow only lets you choose contact groups. You'd have to set up a group first, even if you only want one person to be able to bypass Do Not Disturb. Emergency Bypass lets you select a single contact instead. You can also choose multiple contacts without having to put them into a group first.

How to turn on Emergency Bypass for phone calls on iPhone and iPad

You have to enable Emergency Bypass for each contact individually.

  1. Launch Contacts from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the contact you want on Emergency Bypass.
  3. Tap Edit.
  4. Tap Ringtone

  5. Tap the Emergency Bypass switch. The switch should be green when it's enabled.
  6. Tap Done
  7. Tap Done again.

You can follow these same steps to turn off Emergency Bypass for any contact whenever you want.

How to turn on Emergency Bypass for texts on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch Contacts from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the contact you want on Emergency Bypass.
  3. Tap Edit.
  4. Tap Text Tone

  5. Tap the Emergency Bypass switch. The switch should be green when it's enabled.
  6. Tap Done
  7. Tap Done again.