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How to use Do Not Disturb mode on Android

You can keep pesky messages and notifications on your phone from bothering you.
July 15, 2021

We live in a world where we don’t go anywhere without our cellphones. And we are constantly bombarded by notifications of texts, emails, social media accounts, and so much more. Did you know that there is a setting on your phone you can turn on that limits or completely silences those pesky interruptions? It’s called Do Not Disturb mode, and here’s how to use it on your Android device.

What is Do Not Disturb mode?

Do Not Disturb mode is essentially a “silent” mode for your phone, but you can easily customize what “silent” means to you. In other words, you can choose which notifications are allowed through while muting everything else.

Do Not Disturb mode is great for those times when you don’t want to continuously be distracted by notifications on your phone. For example, you can use Do Not Disturb mode while you’re sleeping so you are not woken up by unnecessary notifications. Or it’s also useful if you’re going into an important meeting, taking an exam, or trying to focus on a big assignment for school or work.

Also read: 5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week – Android Apps Weekly

How to use Do Not Disturb mode on Android

Do Not Disturb mode will look slightly different on older versions of Android prior to 9.0 Pie. Devices running Android 6.0 and later will have a Do Not Disturb mode available; it may just look slightly different or have different features compared to this current version. For reference, my phone (used in these example pictures) is currently running Android 10.

The easiest way to turn on Do Not Disturb is to simply swipe down on your phone screen to see the quick-access control center. If you don’t see it in the first six options, swipe down again to expand the menu. If you still don’t see it, it might be on your second page of menu options, like mine was. The Do Not Disturb button will look like a circle with a horizontal line in the center.

android do not disturb mode 1
Sarah Chaney / Android Authority

You can also access Do Not Disturb mode directly from your Android phone’s settings as well. From your Settings menu, tap on Notifications, then Do Not Disturb.

If you haven’t configured your settings for Do Not Disturb mode, you may want to do that first before turning it on. Let’s check out all of the different ways you can customize Do Not Disturb mode.

Check out: 10 best password manager apps for Android

What all can you do with Do Not Disturb mode?

There are tons of neat ways you can incorporate Do Not Disturb mode into your everyday life. With all the functions listed below, you can customize exactly how you want Do Not Disturb mode to work for your Android device.

The easiest way to access the settings for Do Not Disturb mode is to tap and hold the Do Not Disturb icon in your quick-access control center (pictured above).

Schedule Do Not Disturb to automatically turn on and off

You can make specific schedules for Do Not Disturb mode. As you can see in the picture below, there is a Sleeping Schedule already programmed into Do Not Disturb mode. This is one of the most popular uses for the schedule function in Do Not Disturb mode. But it’s definitely not the only way you can use schedules.

See also: 10 best offline apps for Android for when your Internet crashes

You could make a custom schedule to turn Do Not Disturb mode on for two hours after each school day so you can do your homework uninterrupted. Or, you could have it turn on for an hour each workday if you don’t want any notifications to come through while you’re on your lunch break at work.

There are so many different ways you could use the automatic scheduling for Do Not Disturb mode work to your advantage. When you don’t have to think about turning it off and on, you’re way more likely to take advantage of the feature on your phone.

android do not disturb mode 2
Sarah Chaney / Android Authority

Set a specific duration for Do Not Disturb mode

While schedules do prove themselves useful in Do Not Disturb mode, so does duration. If you’re going into a one-time meeting, you’re probably not going to make a schedule for it. Or, if you’re going into a movie theater and you don’t want your phone to light up with notifications, you probably won’t have a schedule set for this one event. For times like these, it’s helpful to utilize the Duration function within the Do Not Disturb settings.

You can set Do Not Disturb mode to stay on until you turn it off, for a specified amount of time, or make your phone ask you every time for the duration every time you enable Do Not Disturb.

android do not disturb mode 3
Sarah Chaney / Android Authority

Choose which notifications you want to hide or show

Here, you can choose which notifications, if any, you want to see while your phone is in this mode. Of course, you won’t be able to mute critical notifications regarding your phone’s system. But there are still a lot of ways to customize how notifications show up while you’re in Do Not Disturb mode.

You can view all the specifics below, but the one I think is worth mentioning is “No LED indicator.” This LED indicator is what shows up blue when you get texts, yellow when you get snaps on Snapchat, etc. It’s cool that Do Not Disturb mode can specifically turn this off as well. Then, you’re even less likely to get distracted because you don’t see any lights alerting you of activity.

android do not disturb mode 4
Sarah Chaney / Android Authority

Allow certain exceptions to the rules of Do Not Disturb mode

This is the coolest feature of Do Not Disturb mode. You can make custom exceptions to the rules you set in Do Not Disturb. If there’s someone that you never want to miss calls or texts from, you can allow calls from them on this screen. When you tap on “Calls from,” it gives you the option to allow calls from everyone, only your contacts, or only your favorite contacts. When you tap on “Messages from,” it gives you the same options. So you’ll never miss a call from anyone important, like your child, spouse, or parent.

Or, you can also allow repeat callers. A repeat caller is someone who calls from the same phone number more than once within 15 minutes. So if it’s an emergency and someone really needs to get in contact with you, they’ll be able to do so.

Plus, if you have certain calendar events, reminders, or alarms that you don’t want to be turned off when you use Do Not Disturb mode, you can make those exceptions here as well.

android do not disturb mode 5
Sarah Chaney / Android Authority