Got “Notifications Silenced” in Messages? Here’s what to do

Apple introduced the enhanced Focus mode with iOS 15. This mode allows you to silence notifications from select (or even all) apps or contacts, and eliminate potential distractions while you’re working, studying, sleeping, etc. There’s definitely something liberating in knowing you’re unreachable for at least a couple of hours. You can stay focused on what you’re doing at the moment, or simply have some me time away from the constant flow of information you’re being bombarded with every single minute.

But it’s a two-way street. You can pause the notifications, but so can a person you’re trying to reach. Because of that, people are often greeted with the “____ has notifications silenced” message. This often brings confusion, as people may think someone’s ignoring them, even though in reality, they haven’t even seen the message. So, before the situation escalates, I recommend you take a look at this article to understand the whole Focus mode thing.

Table of contents:

  1. Check your Focus settings
  2. Check all your devices
  3. Share your Focus status

Why does the “Notification Silenced” message appear

There are a couple of reasons why the “Notification Silenced” message may appear. Here are the most common ones:

  • You have the Focus mode on.
  • You have the Focus mode on, but you don’t realize it’s enabled.
  • Due to a system bug.

Whatever the reason, we’re going to explore these scenarios in this article. Also, as I mentioned above, this can go both ways. So, if you’re experiencing this problem, you can apply the solutions listed below, but you can also show it to a person you’re trying to reach, so they can resolve the issue themselves.

Check your Focus settings

We’re going to start with the obvious. First off, check if the Focus mode is enabled. Depending on select settings, the Focus mode will block notifications from some apps, or even altogether.

Just go to the Control Center, and make sure the Focus mode (half-moon icon) is disabled. With the Focus mode off, head over to Messages to check if you’re able to receive notifications again. If you’re not, you’ll have to put in some extra work in order to make it work again.

Check all your devices

This is probably the main reason you’re dealing with this problem in the first place. Most of the forum posts about this issue mention that users have the Focus mode OFF, but they’re still unable to receive notifications. That’s probably caused by a feature inside Focus mode that’s both very useful, but can also be confusing. That feature allows you to sync your Focus mode settings across all your iOS devices. So, if for example, you set up Focus mode on your iPhone, it will automatically turn on on your iPad, even though it’s not set up.

If you want to avoid this, here’s how to disable the option that syncs the Focus mode across all your devices:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Focus.
  3. Toggle the Share Across Devices option OFF.

Now your Focus settings will only apply locally to a device you’ve set it with.

Share your Focus status

When the “Share your Focus status” option is enabled, apps will notify people that your Focus mode is on and that you’re unable to receive messages. However, there are some reports on the forums that say this option can actually cause some sort of interference that will prevent you from receiving notifications, even when the Focus mode is off.

If this is indeed the case, you can only turn off this option and wait for Apple to release an update that will eventually fix the problem. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Focus, and tap the Focus mode you usually use (for example, Do Not Disturb).
  3. Tap Focus Status.
  4. Toggle the Focus Status option off.

That’s about it, I hope this article helped you resolve the problem and understand the whole Focus mode thing better. In case you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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Janelle Flacks
Janelle Flacks
March 26, 2022 4:17 pm

Dang it! Guess I have the bug. Tried all these suggestions…and all my daughters, but can’t get it out of do not disturb mode. 😕

Makenzi Macri
Makenzi Macri
April 18, 2022 6:43 am
Reply to  Janelle Flacks

Same for me. Even talked to senior apple support and nothing. It’s so annoying!!! Does anyone know if I upgrade to a new phone if this issue will carry over to it?

Jennifer Wood
Jennifer Wood
May 4, 2022 12:38 pm
Reply to  Janelle Flacks

Same. Do we just wait for the next update on to fix the bug? Or doe we know of another fox?

Jennifer Wood
Jennifer Wood
May 4, 2022 12:40 pm
Reply to  Janelle Flacks

Or do we know of another fix? Stupid phone.

Diane
Diane
May 12, 2022 3:32 am
Reply to  Janelle Flacks

Me also

Eileen
Eileen
May 14, 2022 11:42 pm
Reply to  Janelle Flacks

Same thing here! I guess I have the bug also. I have tried all the above suggestions…my daughter, And son-in-law… But all my recipients still get the message that I have my “notifications silenced”

David C. Pardi
David C. Pardi
April 22, 2022 1:42 am

Total BS on Apple’s part. I’ve turned off Focus/Share Across Devices on all my devices (iPhone, iPad & MacBook). Garbage “update”!

Eileen
Eileen
May 14, 2022 11:43 pm
Reply to  David C. Pardi

What update??