How to let calls from certain people through Do Not Disturb

By , Aug 16, 2016

Do Not Disturb Status Bar Icon Large

Do Not Disturb is a very useful feature that lets you keep yourself from being notified when you want some time of peace and quiet.

Of course, there other times when you want peace and quiet from all apps and notifications, but don’t mind getting notifications about calls from a select few people.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to exclude contacts from the Do Not Disturb feature in iOS.

When to exclude certain people

If you’re always getting bugged about work from co-workers, or apps keep notifying you off the hook, but it’s supposed to be a romantic weekend or an enjoyable vacation setting, then Do Not Disturb is an invaluable tool. The only problem is, Do Not Disturb does not discriminate, and that means it blocks everyone and everything.

This means that even when you’re on a vacation with someone, you’re not going to get their notifications either.

For example, if you’re at a hotel with your significant other, and they have to run out to get something from the store, you won’t get any notifications from them when Do Not Disturb is turned on and you’ll miss everything they’re trying to say all because you’re trying to keep the other noise out of your life.

Those incoming phone calls you can expect to get about, “Which food item should I get,” and “Did you remember our reservation?” will go unanswered, and soon, you’ll be facing a really upset significant other…

There are, of course, many other situations, so you’ll just have to use your imagination for this stuff.

There is a bit of a trick to excluding certain people since Apple made it so you can enable Do Not Disturb on a per-person basis via the Messages app. Although this feature is useful, it’s not really good enough because even if you enable Do Not Disturb for all of your Messages conversations, other apps will still keep notifying you about stuff.

So how can you make it so you can turn on Do Not Disturb and only get call notifications that you care about? We’ll show you…

How to exclude certain people from Do Not Disturb

There are two ways to exclude people from Do Not Disturb: 1) with a custom contact group that you created, and 2) with the Favorites group that’s already a part of iOS. We’ll talk about how to use either of the two methods in this piece.

1) Choose whether you’ll be creating a new contacts group to allow through Do Not Disturb or if you’ll be allowing your Favorite contacts through.

If you will be making a new contacts group, follow this tutorial on making a new contacts group on (tutorials also available for iPhone and Mac) and then move to the next step.

If you’ll be using the Favorites group, you will need to go into the Phone app’s Favorites tab and start adding contacts to your Favorites group to move on to the next step.

2) Once you’ve chosen what you’ll use from the options above, launch the Settings app and open the Do Not Disturb preferences pane.

Do Not Disturb iOS allow calls from

3) Once you’re in the Do No Disturb preferences pane, tap on the Allow Calls From cell.

4) From the list of things to allow calls from, choose the contact group you made earlier on iCloud, or pick the Favorites option to allow only your favorited contacts through.

Note: In our example, we chose a custom contacts group we created from step 1.

Now, whenever you have Do Not Disturb enabled, all notifications are still going to be silenced; except, of course, incoming calls from people that are in the group you just made or your favorites (depending on which you chose).

Wrapping up

Because Do Not Disturb is such a great feature, we believe in being able to use it for your convenience. But for those certain situations where you want to let certain people through, we hope you found this tutorial valuable.

Who would you let get in touch with you while your Do Not Disturb settings were enabled? Share in the comments!

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  • Gerald Qato

    Something called assistant_service keeps crashing and i cant find a cause. Can anybody help?!

  • Ds

    Repeat calls and Favorites list are the only people who can get ahold of me when my phone is on DND.

    • Casey H.

      In ios10 you are able to turn on “emergency bypass” to enable texts and calls from individuals even if DND is on. It’s about time!

  • Casey H.

    You should mention the emergency bypass feature that will be available in iOS 10. Its finally a way to allow text messages through do not disturb.

    • When it comes, we’ll certainly look into it! Most of the public doesn’t have iOS 10 yet. Be prepared for a number of new tutorials after iOS 10 drops :).

      • Casey H.

        Yeah for sure, I just thought you could give them something to look forward to lol. Thanks for the great work!