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Do Not Disturb not working on iPhone? Top 4 solutions

do not disturb not working ios 15

Do Not Disturb (DND) is an option almost as old as a smartphone, be it an iPhone or Android. And, over the years, it grew to be invaluable if you want to deal fast with notifications and calls and have some peace. However, changing simple but useful system services doesn’t always work out the best. As there are reports concerning Do Not Disturb not working on iPhone.

Reddit and the Official Support forum are flooded by reports stating that the Do Not Disturb mode is not working on iPhone and that they keep getting notifications and calls like the DND is not enabled at all. Most reports we found are from users running iOS 15 so this is a recent problem. If this is something that bothers you, too, check the instructions we provided below.

Why am I still getting notifications on the Do Not Disturb?

If you are still getting notifications or calls with Do Not Disturb enabled, thoroughly inspect Do Not Disturb settings with a focus on exceptions and repeated calls. If everything is in order but the issue persists, check if some contacts have Emergency Bypass or Reset All Settings and give it another try.

1. Check Do Not Disturb settings

With iOS 15, Apple made some changes to Do Not Disturb and added a few more modes under Focus. It also removed an option to get notifications while your iPhone is unlocked, which was a great optional feature on iOS 14.

So we got 3 different DND modes conveniently named Work, Sleep, and Personal. Some users deem these changes unnecessary but at least you can delete Sleep and Work while Personal has to stay. We think that these scenarios are a nice addition but not really a life-changing feature as Apple advertised them. This also affects the Control Center shortcut that’s not reserved solely for Do Not Disturb anymore, but other focus modes, too.

Still, although slightly different, Do Not Disturb settings are mostly the same as they were on iOS 14. And, there’s still the old set of options you need to check to ensure that calls and notifications don’t come through when they shouldn’t. Here are some settings you need to check if Do Not Disturb mode is not working on your iPhone:

  • Open Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb and select People. Set Allow Notifications From and make sure there are no contacts added.
  • In the same menu, under Allow Calls From, choose Allowed People Only. Of course, you can add people from contacts if you want. Disable Allow Repeated Calls.
  • In Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb, open Apps. Set Allow Notifications From and don’t add any apps. Same as with People, you can whitelist apps so you’ll get notified. Disable Time Sensitive Notifications.

Just as always, Do Not Disturb doesn’t block Alarms on iOS so the alarm will ring with DND enabled every time.

2. Check Emergency contacts

Emergency Bypass is a contact feature that overrides Silent or the Do Not Disturb mode. When contacts with the Emergency Bypass call or message you, your iPhone will ring and there’s nothing you can do about it. Unless, of course, you remove this privilege in settings. The purpose of this feature is pretty self-explanatory as the idea is that calls or texts from these contacts can’t ever be missed (e.g. children). A really well-thought option.

Here’s how to disable Emergency Bypass for Contacts on your iPhone:

  1. Open Phone.
  2. Select Contacts from the bottom tab.
  3. Open the contact.
  4. Tap Edit at the top right corner.
  5. Select Ringtone and disable Emergency Bypass.
  6. Go back and open Text Tone and disable Emergency Bypass there, too.Do Not Disturb not working on iPhone

3. Reset All Settings (add a link to Reset all settings)

In case Do Not Disturb is still not working, you can go for the All Settings reset which, unlike the factory reset, resets only system settings. Sure, you’ll need to tweak settings again but there’s a good chance that this will fix the problem completely. If you’re not sure how to Reset All Settings on your iPhone, check these instructions:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  4. Tap Reset.
  5. Select Reset All Settings.Do Not Disturb not working on iPhone
  6. Confirm when prompted.

4. Try a different Focus Mode

Finally, if Do Not Disturb is still not working on iPhone and the problem isn’t on your side, and you actually get disturbed by calls and notifications, we have two options to suggest.

Either try with alternative Focus modes (you can even create unique Focus modes) or navigate to Settings > Notifications and tweak notifications for each and every app. Setting less important apps to Silent is always a good idea.

Some apps might require extra tweaking time, like Messages. For example, you can try muting only certain conversations and not all of them in Messages in order to not rely on Focus modes. Also, this nuanced approach might be better because enabling Do Not Disturb or any other Focus mode will get you the Notifications Silenced message by default for all conversations in Messages.

In addition, keep your device up to date. This might be a bug of sorts and it hopefully gets fixed in future updates. Check for updates in General > Software Update.

Thank you for reading and we hope that Do Not Disturb starts working again on your iPhone after you followed the above-mentioned steps. If we forgot to mention some solutions, help us and other readers out by listing your solutions in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in July 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.


FAQ

This used to be a thing on iOS 14 but, for some reason, Apple decided to remove it. On iOS 15 it's not important whether your iPhone is locked or unlocked, all notifications are being silented.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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