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How to use Do Not Disturb mode on your phone

How to use Do Not Disturb mode on your phone
© Dilyana Nikolova | Dreamstime

Sleep is precious. So is a little peace and quiet once in a while. It’s hard to enjoy those moments if your phone is sounding off with text messages, calendar notifications, and other alerts. Your phone doesn’t have to be the boss of you.

You can claim some alone time from your technology without having to turn it off entirely. It’s time to learn the ins and outs of setting up quiet hours so you can sleep through the night or just simply have dinner time with your family with no attention-seeking interruptions.

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Click here for instructions for your iPhone

Click here for instructions for your Android

For iOS:

Apple’s Do Not Disturb feature for iOS is customizable. You know it’s on when you see a little crescent-moon symbol at the top of your screen.

To turn this on manually on a case-by-case basis, head over to your Settings and select “Do Not Disturb.” A switch at the top lets you turn it off and on, which can be handy if you’re heading into a movie theater. You can also swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access your Control Center and touch the moon-shaped icon. Do Not Disturb mutes calls and notifications only while your phone or tablet is locked, unless you change the Silence setting to “Always.”

Next, let’s venture into the Do Not Disturb scheduling option. Turn this on and then choose your quiet hours. For example, you might want quiet hours from 11:00 PM until 7:00 AM so you can get a good night’s rest.

You can still choose to allow calls from certain people, like family members or your boss, if you choose. Select the “Allow Calls From” setting and choose which contacts you would like to exempt from Do Not Disturb. There is also a toggle switch for “Repeated Calls” that will notify you if someone tries to call twice within three minutes.

Apple’s iOS Do Not Disturb feature is plenty useful, but it could learn a few scheduling tricks from Android’s version. Read on for how to handle your quiet hours on an Android device.

For Android:

There are many different versions of the Android operating system out there and not every phone is allowed to have the latest system update. Some have a “Do Not Disturb” feature while some use a feature called “Interruptions.” The end result is pretty much the same. You can access these in Settings under the Sound and Notifications section. Some phones conveniently include Do Not Disturb access through your Quick Settings menu that appears when you swipe down twice from the top of the screen. If you don’t see it there, then head directly to your Settings.

Here are instructions for the latest system, Android 7 Nougat. Once you’ve arrived at your Do Not Disturb settings, it’s time to tweak them to fit your schedule. Android offers many more built-in options than iOS when it comes to setting quiet hours at certain times or during events that are on your Google Calendar. Set these by choosing “Automatic rules.” From here, you can add rules based on times or events.

An easy way to get started is with Android’s default rules. These let you quickly set quiet times for weekends or weeknights. For custom rules, select “Add rule” and choose “Time rule.” From here, you can name the rule, edit the days of the week, the start and end times, and choose between “Alarms only,” “Priority only,” or “Total silence.” Just make sure to check that the on/off toggle switch is set to “on.”

You can allow specific apps to break through the Do-Not-Disturb barrier. Go to the “Notifications” setting, find the app you want to allow and toggle the “override do not disturb” switch. This will allow alerts from those apps to come through when you have it set to “Priority only.”

If your phone doesn’t seem to match up with these settings, then you may not be running the latest Android system. Don’t be afraid to poke around in the settings to find the right spot to set up your quiet hours.

The right controls for your kids

Now that you've taken back control of your own mobile devices, it's time to take control of your kids' gadgets. If you're tired of them staring at their screens all the time, you're going to love our sponsor, OurPact.

OurPact lets you block text messages, specific apps and websites on your kids' devices. Plus, you can set specific screen time allowances so they'll never be distracted from homework, sleep or family get-togethers. For just $4.99 per month, you can have peace of mind, knowing your kids are safe when they go online. Click here to get more information about OurPact and sign up today!

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