Tagged: Do Not Disturb

Basics: How to Schedule Do Not Disturb Mode on the iPhone

Do Not Disturb mode is a useful feature of the iPhone and iPad that silences calls, ringtones, notifications, and alerts when turned on. You can turn on Do Not Disturb manually, or you can schedule it to turn on and off automatically during a certain period of the day, say, when you are sleeping or trying to go to sleep. For example, mine is set to turn on at 10 PM and turn off at 5:45 AM. Note that your iPhone’s screen also won’t light up from notifications when Do Not Disturb mode is turned on. Here’s how to schedule Do Not Disturb mode.

1. Open Settings:

iOS Settings Icon

2. Tap Notifications:

Tap Notifications in Settings

3. Now tap Do Not Disturb:

Tap Do Not Disturb in Notifications Settings

4. Slide Schedule to On:

Swipe Scheduled to On

5. Tap the time range below to set a range of time:

Tap time range below Schedule tab

6. Set a range of time by first tapping the From field to create a start time, then tap the To field to create an end time:

Tap From and To fields and set time using the slider below

And that’s it, Do Not Disturb mode will turn on/off automatically during this period of time. Now, you can do something else kind of neat. You may still want some important people to be able to ring your phone when Do Not Disturb mode is on. After all, who is going to bail Junior out of jail at 3 AM? Check out our instructions for How to Allow VIP Contacts to Call You When Do Not Disturb Mode is On, and also, How to Create Groups of Contacts.

Apple Officially Says Do Not Disturb Mode Will Be Broken From Jan 1 to Jan 7

Do Not Disturb Mode for iPhone

My iPhone is currently in Do Not Disturb mode, despite the fact that I scheduled it to turn off at 5:45 AM this morning. Why? Because of a bug in Apple’s iOS 6 software that breaks the feature and prevents it from turning on and off. The Mayans were right, the Mayans were right!

Apple has officially acknowledged the bug by releasing this official support document saying the problem will last from January 1 through January 7. Until then, you have to manually turn the mode on and off in the settings. The entire doc reads:

Products Affected:

iPad, iPhone, iPod touch


After January 1st, 2013, Do Not Disturb mode stays on past its scheduled end time.


Do Not Disturb scheduling feature will resume normal functionality after January 7, 2013. Before this date, you should manually turn the Do Not Disturb feature on or off.

To turn off the scheduling feature, tap Settings > Notifications > Do Not Disturb and switch Scheduled to Off.

This document will be updated as more information becomes available.

Do Not Disturb mode is one of my favorite features of iOS 6, as it stops all alerts, notifications, calls, etc, from ringing your iPhone and lighting up the screen during a period of time you set (best used for when you are sleeping or trying to go to sleep). You can still let important people call you during this time however (like family members, girlfriends, etc). Check out our instructions for setting it up.

Tip: How to Allow Some Contacts to Ring the iPhone When Do Not Disturb Mode Is On

Do Not Disturb Mode for iPhone

The new Do Not Disturb mode is an incredibly useful feature for the iPhone that, when turned on, will silence all calls and notifications. With DND turned on, you won’t be suddenly awoken at night by an app’s notification or a phone call. You may, however, still want to let some important phone calls through. Below are instructions for how to allow a special group of VIP contacts to call you even when Do Not Disturb is turned on.

Quick Instructions:

Go to Settings > Notifications > Do Not Disturb. Swipe Scheduled to On > select a time range > tap Allow Calls From > select Favorites or another group of contacts (for how to create groups, click here).

Step-by-Step Instructions:

1. Open Settings:

iOS Settings Icon

2. Ignore Do Not Disturb, and tap Notifications instead:

Tap Notifications in iPhone Settings

3. Now tap Do Not Disturb:

Tap Do Not Disturb in Notifications Settings

4. Set a time for DND to automatically turn on and off:

Set time for Do Not Disturb to automatically turn on and off

5. Tap Allow Calls From and select a group of contacts (see note below if you wish to create a new group of contacts):

Tap Allow Calls From in Notification's Do Not Disturb Settings

Note about creating groups of contacts: Bizarrely enough, other than adding/removing contacts to the Favorites group, you can’t create/edit groups of contacts on the iPhone. However, check out our instructions for alternative methods for creating groups of contacts for use on the iPhone.

And that’s it. Please note that this VIP list of contacts will only work when the scheduled version of Do Not Disturb mode is turned on. When you manually turn on DND (see screenshot in step 2), this VIP list will not function.

Bonus Tip: Alarms from the iPhone’s Clock app (for example, wake me up at 6:00am) will still sound even when Do Not Disturb is turned on, or even when the mute switch is turn on, for that matter.

Tip: How to Create a Group of Contacts As Exceptions for the iPhone’s Do Not Disturb Mode

Do Not Disturb Mode for iPhone

When turned on, the useful new Do Not Disturb mode blocks all calls and notifications from ringing your iPhone, allowing you to sleep or work in peace. But you can also assign a special group of contacts as exceptions while Do Not Disturb is turned on. When anyone in this group of special contacts calls, your iPhone will still ring, even though Do Not Disturb is turned on.

There’s only one problem though: Apple still hasn’t supplied a way to create groups of contacts on the iPhone (it’s a headshaker, I know). The lone exception is the Favorites group, which you can add/remove contacts from. Fortunately, you can use third-party apps and iCloud.com to create, edit, and delete groups. Check out the instructions below for:

  • How to add contacts to the Favorites group.
  • A suggestion for a good free third-party iPhone app for creating groups.
  • How to create groups on iCloud.com.

How to Add Contacts to the Favorites Group:

1. Select a contact in the Contacts or Phone app.

2. Tap the Add to Favorites button:

How to Add to Favorites List on iPhone

And that’s it. To delete contacts from the Favorites list, open the Phone app > tap the Favorites tab > tap Edit > tap the red circle > tap Delete.

A Free App for Creating Groups of Contacts:

Groups app screenshot

Groups (free) is a solid but somewhat barebones free app for creating new groups on contacts on your iPhone. Any group created within the app will show up in the iPhone’s default Contacts and Phone apps. To create a group in the app, tap the All Contacts drop-down list at the top, then tap Add New Group.

How to Create a Group of iPhone Contacts at iCloud.com:

1. Go to iCloud.com and and select the Contacts app:

Click the Contacts app on iCloud.com

2. Click the red groups ribbon at the top:

Create Group of Contacts on iCloud

3. Click the plus sign at the bottom right to create a new group:

Click  the Add Groups button on iCloud

4. Type in a name.

5. Click the red groups ribbon:

Click Red Ribbon for Groups in iCloud

6. Click All Contacts:

Select All Contacts in iCloud

7. Drag a contact from the list on the right to the group name on the left:

Drag Contacts to Group on iCloud

And that’s it. Your new group of contacts should be synced to your iPhone via iCloud almost instantly (depending on your connection).