How to hide all incoming calls and notifications while you’re using your iPhone

If you want to stop absolutely all notifications and vibrations while you’re actively using your iPhone or iPad, you can set Do Not Disturb (DND) to do just that. But there are a few things to consider. Let’s tell you everything about it and show you how to get zero calls and app notifications when you’re using your iPhone or not using it.

Notifications While in Do Not Disturb on iPhone

Stop notifications for calls, messages, and apps while using your iPhone

In older versions of iOS, you could go to Settings > Do Not Disturb, and under the Silence section, select Always. This ensured no call or app notifications even when your iPhone is unlocked and you’re using it.

Hide notifications on iPhone and iPad

With newer versions of iOS, like iOS 15 and iOS 16, Do Not Disturb is now a part of the broader Focus feature. Plus, the option to always silence calls and notifications or only when iPhone is locked is also gone.

In iOS 16, Do Not Disturb silences calls and app notifications and doesn’t show any banner irrespective of whether the iPhone is locked or unlocked. You will receive no notification banner, sound, or vibration while using your iPhone or not using it. You will, of course, still receive messages and phone calls, but you will not be notified they are coming in any way.

This is the ideal setting if you want to focus on something on your iPhone or iPad and make sure you aren’t being distracted by any notification.

To enable Do Not Disturb on iOS 15 and iOS 16, open the Control Center and tap the crescent moon icon. It will turn purple, signifying DND is on.

Enable DND on iPhone from the Control Center

The incoming notifications you missed while your iPhone was in Do Not Disturb will stack under the While in Do Not Disturb section of the Notification Center. You can access the Notification Center by swiping up on the Lock Screen or swiping down from the top of the screen when your iPhone is unlocked.

However, there are some important things that need your attention.

Additional settings to consider

To get absolutely no calls on your iPhone:

  • Go to Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb.
  • Tap People.
  • Select Allow Calls From and choose Allowed People Only. But don’t tap the blue Add People button above to allow anyone. As a result, you will not receive calls from anyone when DND is active. The exceptions to this are people whom you have given the Emergency Bypass privilege.
Allow Calls From Allowed People Only on iPhone during Do Not Disturb

If you don’t want to be so restrictive and you want to make sure you’re still receiving calls from certain people, you can set Allow Calls From to either Favorites (as I do) or Contacts Only. You may also choose Allowed People Only and tap Add People to allow only those selected contacts. With any of these settings selected, you won’t receive notifications for calls from anybody but the group of people you are allowing to go through.

If you want to be notified of an emergency phone call, you may also turn on Allow Repeated Calls. With this option enabled, a second call from the same person within three minutes will not be silenced. While not a sure way to get emergency phone calls through, if it’s enough of an emergency for someone to try repeatedly to call you, that call will go through.

To get absolutely no app notifications, go to Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb and tap Apps. Here, don’t add any app to the exception list, and also turn off Time Sensitive Notifications.

Turn off all app notifications during DND on iPhone

Just like calls, if you don’t want to be so restrictive with app notifications, you can add certain apps to the allow list and get their notifications even when DND is active.

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