Have you ever been woken in the middle of the night by your phone ringing, chirping, buzzing or beeping? Our phones make for handy alarm clocks to wake us in the morning but when we keep them by our beds at night we risk getting calls, texts, notifications and other interruptions of our precious sleep. You could power off your phone but then the alarm wouldn’t work.
Do Not Disturb is a feature on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that’s a smart way to silence your device. By using Do Not Disturb you can keep your phone quiet while easily controlling who can contact you. Do Not Disturb was introduced in iOS 6 and got more features in iOS 7.
What Is Do Not Disturb
Do Not Disturb lets you silence calls, text messages, alerts and notifications. Your phone will stay silent and dark when Do Not Disturb is activated. You won’t have to worry about being notified that your opponent in Words with Friends is nudging you but you still can receive important calls.
With Do Not Disturb you have control over which calls can ring even when the feature is activated:
- You can allow calls to come through from certain people in your Contacts list
- You can allow calls to come through if someone calls you more than once within three minutes.
⇒ Alarms will still work when Do Not Disturb is active.
You can schedule Do Not Disturb to turn on at the same time each day and then turn off later. Set Do Not Disturb to activate each night at bedtime for peaceful sleep and turn on again when you wake up. Your phone will stay silent and dark until morning, but you can still wake to your alarm and get calls from VIP’s and in case of an emergency.
How to Turn On Do Not Disturb
You can turn Do Not Disturb on and off from Settings and Control Panel.
⇒ When Do Not Disturb is active, a quarter moon will appear at the top of your screen.
To turn on Do Not Disturb in Settings, go to:
Settings => Do Not Disturb
You can activate Do Not Disturb by swiping the Manual switch to the right.
For a handy way to turn Do Not Disturb on and off, use Control Center.
Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to reveal Control Center => Tap the Quarter Moon icon.
[note]For more information about Control Center, check out 13 Super Shortcuts for Your iPhone – in Control Center [/note]
How to Set Up Do Not Disturb
You can customize Do Not Disturb to make it work best for you, including scheduling times for it to turn on and off and controlling who can call you when it’s on.
Schedule Do Not Disturb
Set a schedule to silence your phone every day. Slide the Schedule switch to the right, then choose the times to turn Do Not Disturb on and off each day.
Note that there is currently no way to choose unique times for different days of the week.
Filter Who Can Reach You When Do Not Disturb Is On
Do Not Disturb has a big advantage over muting, powering off your phone, or putting it in airplane mode — you can control who can call you and get through when Do Not Disturb is on.
1. You can choose which people in your Contacts list can reach you even when Do Not Disturb is on. In Settings => Do Not Disturb => Allow Calls From
You can choose to allow calls to ring from:
- No One
- Groups of Contacts
2. You can choose whether people who call repeatedly in a short time can get through with Do Not Disturb. Go to Settings => Do Not Disturb => Repeated Calls => On
With this option, someone who calls you twice from the same number within three minutes will ring through, even if Do Not Disturb is on and even if that number is not in your Contact list.
This can be handy in case of emergencies, though not so much if you have a pesky neighbor who really wants to borrow your chain saw NOW.
Always On vs. On When Locked
You can also set whether Do Not Disturb is active constantly or only when you’ve locked your phone.
Go to Settings => Do Not Disturb => Silence
- Only when iPhone is locked
When to Use Do Not Disturb
Do Not Disturb can be very handy when you schedule it to go on each night and off in the morning. You can also use it if you need to focus when you’re working or driving. Use it when you’re going to an important meeting to make sure you’re not interrupted unless the boss calls or your wife goes into labor. Enjoy a more relaxing vacation away from constant contact without worrying about missing very important calls.
Don’t Forget to Turn Do Not Disturb Off
If you forget to turn off Do Not Disturb you may be missing phone calls, text messages, alerts and notifications. One Wonder of Tech reader accidentally had Do Not Disturb turned on for months without realizing it. She wondered why her phone wouldn’t ring and she would only get voice mail messages until she noticed the quarter moon on the top of her screen.
If you have a daily schedule of turning Do Not Disturb on and off, you don’t have to worry about this issue. When you turn on Do Not Disturb manually, it will turn off at the regularly scheduled time to turn off.
⇒ Also see, How to Silence Your Phone for more options to keep your phone quiet.
Ideas to Improve Do Not Disturb
Once you start using Do Not Disturb, you may quickly become a fan of the feature. You may also wish for some improvements in future updates.
I would like to see the ability to schedule different times for different days, especially on weekends. A timer that turns off Do Not Disturb after so many minutes or hours would be helpful.
Integrating Do Not Disturb into your calendar would be useful. Imagine clicking a box when you scheduled an appointment that would turn on Do Not Disturb during that time. Very handy.
It would be great to have Do Not Disturb activated by location. You could set Do Not Disturb to turn on when you get to the office, school, church, gym or other place where you don’t want to be bothered.
Have you ever used Do Not Disturb? Have you ever wished you had a way to block calls and other notifications while allowing important calls through? Have you ever missed an important call when you muted your phone? Let us know in the Comments section below!
If your summer plans include staying inside in the coolness of your home and catching up on favorite flicks, you’ll be excited to learn about a new feature from Apple: iTunes Extras. When you purchase a movie on iTunes that has iTunes Extras enabled, you will get extra content with no extra charge.
From Apple, examples of extra content include:
- ‘Scenes’: highlights the most compelling moments in an iTunes movie
- And unique to iTunes, the content is organized by themes / categories that mirror how a customer may want to relive the film whether it be the show-stopping sing-along musical numbers of Frozen or Walter’s globetrotting fantasy interludes in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
- Deleted and alternate movie clips
- Short films
- Art and still photography galleries offering a stunning HD look into the aesthetic of various films
- IncludingThe Grand Budapest Hotel, the conceptual drawings that inspired Monsters University, sketches from the making of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and the behind-the-scenes energy of the performances bringing The LEGO Movie’s characters to life, among many others.
- Cast, crew, and character information: offers actors’ perspectives on their roles in a film, as well as highlighting their related work available on iTunes.
Movies you purchase on iTunes can be updated by studios automatically to include iTunes Extras.
iTunes Extras is now available on Apple TV, Mac and PC and will be coming to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch in the fall with iOS 8.