Skip to Content
woman on phone at work
© Fizkes |
Smartphones & gadgets

How to get ahold of someone whose iPhone is on Do Not Disturb

Have you tried your iPhone’s Sleep Mode? It was introduced with iOS 14 and can help you get better rest. Tap or click here for more information on the benefits of Sleep Mode and how to set it up.

Do Not Disturb mode has been standard on smartphones for a long time, and it’s excellent for keeping distractions at bay. It’s a great feature, but people avoid using it for fear of missing important calls and messages from certain people. Not to worry!

Here’s how to get around that so you can use Do Not Disturb without worry.

First, a refresher

Do Not Disturb mode does just that — it silences calls, alerts and notifications while your phone is locked (check out the Notification Center to see what you missed). You can set it up during work or when you need a break.

But what if someone you care about is trying to get through? That’s what exceptions are for. We’ll show you how to set up Do Not Disturb precisely how you want it.

Let these people through

Here’s how to make let select people’s messages come through when using Do Not Disturb mode:

  • Go to Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb.
  • Tap People and make sure Allow Notifications From is checked.
  • Tap Add People and choose from your list of contacts.
  • Tap Done when you’re finished.

What about phone calls? There’s a separate setting for that:

  • Go to Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb.
  • Tap People, then tap the option next to Allow Calls From (the default is Contact Only)
  • Choose Allowed People Only to let the people you added in the steps above ring your phone.

RELATED: Customize your iPhone’s Control Center with these hidden options

Bypassing Do Not Disturb with the Find My app

The Find My app lets you find your lost device by giving you directions to it and playing a sound. This vital tool bypasses Do Not Disturb as well.

Family Sharing lets you share your location with family members and help them find their devices if lost. But even if your phone isn’t lost, the people you share your location with can ping your phone when it’s in Do Not Disturb mode to get your attention.

Here’s how to set up Family Sharing:

  • Go to Settings > [your name] > Family Sharing, then scroll down and tap Location Sharing.
  • Tap the name of a family member you want to share your location with. You can repeat this step for each family member you want to share your location with. Each family member receives a message that you’re sharing your location and can choose to share their location with you.
  • You can stop sharing your location with any family member at any time.

After you share your location with members of your Family Sharing group, they can see your device in their Find My app and send an alert to your phone if needed.

Bypass all Focus modes

Apple’s Focus modes — Do Not Disturb, Personal, Sleep and Work — can all be customized similarly to make exceptions for contacts.

But there’s a setting that will bypass all your Focus modes and let select people’s calls or messages come through. It’s called Emergency Bypass, and here’s how to set it up:

  • Open Contacts and select a contact, then tap Edit.
  • Tap Ringtone and turn on Emergency Bypass to let calls come through all Focus modes.
  • Tap Done.
  • Back on the main edit page for that contact, tap Text Tone and turn on Emergency Bypass to let text messages come through all Focus modes.
  • Tap Done.

You may also like: How to silence spam calls without downloading any apps

Refer friends, earn rewards

Share your source of digital lifestyle news, tips and advice with friends and family, and you'll be on your way to earning awesome rewards!

Get started