How to use the new Do Not Disturb modes in iOS 12 based on time, location or action

Your iPhone and iPad make it easy to avoid disruptions by taking advantage of iOS 12’s all-new intelligent Do Not Disturb modes that are based on time, location or action.

To reduce distractions, Apple with iOS 12 gave users additional modes for the Do Not Disturb feature. As you know, Do Not Disturb lets you easily silence all calls, alerts and notifications. You can also schedule Do Not Disturb and allow calls from certain people.

ROUNDUP: All the new features in iOS 12 & how to use them

The September 2018 release of the iOS 12 update brought additional Do Not Disturb modes to iPhone and iPad owners which end automatically based on a specified time, location or action.

Here’s how to use them.

How to use iOS 12’s new Do Not Disturb modes

With iOS 12 or newer, you can set Do Not Disturb just for a meeting or while you’re at a location, and it will automatically turn off as soon as your event ends or you leave that place.

1) Open Control Center:

  • iPhone X or iPad: Swipe down from the top-right corner of the display.
  • Other devices: Swipe up from the bottom.

2) Deeply press or long-tap the moon-like Do Not Disturb icon in Control Center.

3) Adjust the new Do Not Disturb modes from the popup menu.

  • For 1 hour: Do Not Disturb ends automatically in an hour.
  • Until this evening/afternoon/morning: This needs no explanation.
  • Until I leave this location: Do Not Disturb ends when you leave a location.
  • Until the end of this event: It ends at the end of a meeting on your calendar.

Here’s the animation showing getting to the new Do Not Disturb modes.

TIP: The Schedule button takes you instantly to Settings → Do Not Disturb.

As we mentioned in our massive iOS 12 roundup, the software update also brings a new critical alert feature. This is a new type of opt-in alert for important information, like reports from a healthcare provider. You’ll receive these critical alerts even during Do Not Disturb.

Because Do Not Disturb is such an essential, frequently-used feature, it’s a permanent fixture of your Control Center that needn’t be enabled manually.

There are actually two ways to turn Do Not Disturb on or off.

Aside from the Control Center toggle, you can also venture into Settings → Do Not Disturb to turn on the feature manually, set a schedule and adjust other settings, including choosing if Do Not Disturb should mute calls and notifications only while iPhone is locked or at all times.

Additional Do Not Disturb modes

You have other Do Not Disturb modes at your disposal.

Do Not Disturb During Bedtime

For instance, iOS 12 brings Do Not Disturb During Bedtime.

Available by toggling on Settings → Do Not Disturb → Bedtime when using a scheduled Do Not Disturb session, this super handy new option in iOS 12 will dim your display and silence overnight notifications until you unlock an iPhone in the morning.

It ensures you won’t wake up to an avalanche of missed alerts that would frustrate you unnecessarily.

TUTORIAL: How to use Do Not Disturb at Bedtime

With Do Not Disturb During Bedtime, this becomes a thing of the past. Note that you can view your hidden notifications on the Lock screen when Bedtime is active at any time, by swiping up on the Lock screen.

Do Not Disturb While Driving

Introduced alongside iOS 12 in September 2017, this tremendously useful Do Not Disturb mode can be managed underneath the section labeled Do Not Disturb While Driving in Settings → Do Not Disturb. There, you can set this mode to kick in automatically, when connected to your vehicle’s Bluetooth or manually from Control Center.

Do Not Disturb While Driving limits alerts and distractions when iOS determines you’re currently driving. Conveniently, incoming calls are allowed in this mode as long as your iPhone is connected to car Bluetooth, CarPlay or another hands-free accessory.

If someone does message you while you’re driving and this mode has been enabled, the Messages app will auto-respond with a message informing the sender that you’re currently driving and will be getting back to them soon.

TUTORIAL: How to use Do Not Disturb While Driving

You can also customize these canned responses in Settings → Do Not Disturb → Auto-Reply. From there, tap the message field and adjust the note to your liking.

To limit these automatic replies, take a trip to Settings → Do Not Disturb → Auto-Reply To, then choose one of the provided options: No One, Recents, Favorites or All Contacts.

Do Not Disturb & alarms

Do Not Disturb honors a sleep schedule created via a Bedtime feature in the Clock app.

The alarm goes off even if you set your iPhone to silent or turn on Do Not Disturb.

Thank you, Do Not Disturb!

iOS 12’s New Do Not Disturb modes can be coupled with the new Screen Time features to cut down on the number of notifications your receive. If you own a car, the Do Not Disturb While Driving mode introduced in iOS 11 has the potential to save many lives.

Subscribe to iDownloadBlog on YouTube

I especially like how Do Not Disturb can be set so that if someone calls me twice within three minutes, the second call isn’t silenced. These settings, available to all iPhone and iPad users, help reduce your notification overload and improve your digital wellbeing.

And that’s all you need to know about Do Not Disturb on your iPhone and iPad.

Need help? Ask iDB!

Do you like this how-to?

If so, do pass it along to your support folks and leave a comment below.

Got stuck? Not sure how to do certain things on your Apple device? Let us know via and a future tutorial might provide a solution.

Submit your own how-to suggestions via