in Tech Related, Tutorials

How to Enable Do Not Disturb on Your iPhone

I’m a nerd who’s also a dad and so I feel it’s my duty to help other parents who may not have the time or inclination to fiddle with the various settings, apps and widgets on their devices.

Which brings me to one of my favourite features added to iOS 6 for the iPhone: Do Not Disturb.

Why Don’t I Want to Be Disturbed?

We’ve got a new baby. Sleep is a precious commodity right now. The last thing I want if I manage to sneak in a 30 minute nap is for someone to text, email, phone, or otherwise do anything to get between me and catching the fast train to sleepsville.

Do Not Disturb simply doesn’t let any notifications, texts, phone calls, Game Center notifications or Twitter replies through. Short of an emergency (we’ll get to that), your phone is dead to you so you can be dead to the world.

Look for

It’s the one that’s got the gears on it.

Setting Up Do Not Disturb in iOS 6 01

Do Not Disturb

There’s a quick On/Off toggle you can do to enable Do Not Disturb right away.

Setting Up Do Not Disturb in iOS 6 02

This effectively shuts the iPhone off to outside noises. One key point is that if you’re using your iPhone (i.e. it’s on and you’re just checking Twitter one more time. Just one more time.) it will still vibrate and make noises as normal. I guess it assumes since you’re using the iPhone you’re ok with being disturbed.

But if you lock your iPhone and set it down/put it in your pocket, you’ll be free from iPhone related disturbances.

Setting Up Do Not Disturb in iOS 6 03

Do Not Disturb is turned on.

Change the Settings for Do Not Disturb

If you’d like to adjust the settings for Do Not Disturb, tap into the Notifications button just below the Do Not Disturb toggle button. Then tap Do Not Disturb:

Setting Up Do Not Disturb in iOS 6 04

You’ll then be presented with a screen like this one:

Setting Up Do Not Disturb in iOS 6 05

If you turn on the Scheduled switch, you can specify when your iPhone should automatically go into Do Not Disturb mode:

Setting Up Do Not Disturb in iOS 6 06

I should probably go to bed earlier.

But What About Emergencies?

I hear you. And so does your iPhone.

Let’s say you’re taking your nap and one of your kids gets a call from the school that they got really muddy and you need to bring some pants – hypothetically speaking of course – Do Not Disturb’s Allow Calls From option is where you want to look.

Setting Up Do Not Disturb in iOS 6 07

In Mail/Contacts in iOS 6 you can set certain people as Favorites. (You don’t have to tell them – don’t worry!) Then if those people are calling you it will allow them to get through the Do Not Disturb zone of sleep protection™.

Similarly you can set up groups of contacts in your Address Book and then check those off as being allowed through. This way you can have your school’s phone number and important family/friends who you do want to allow to get ahold of you even if you’re deep in sleep.

The last feature that you can turn on is Repeated Calls:

Setting Up Do Not Disturb in iOS 6 08

If enabled a second call from someone within a 3 minute time window will be allowed through. Like, for example, if the school really needs you to bring clean pants for your muddy kid.

Gallery of Screenshots


Got any questions about ‘Do Not Disturb’? I’d love to try and help answer them – leave a comment below. Just don’t disturb me while I’m trying to get some sleep!