How to schedule Do Not Disturb on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

This tutorial shows you how to schedule Do Not Disturb on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Once you’re familiar with these steps, automating the activation of Do Not Disturb (DND) at the scheduled time can eliminate the need for manual input.
Do Not Disturb on iPhone and Mac

About Do Not Disturb on Apple devices

If you have developed a healthy habit of going to bed and getting up at regular times, ensuring that notifications and calls don’t buzz at the most inopportune time is key to a good night’s sleep. Since iOS 6, iPhone and iPad have included a Do Not Disturb mode. The Mac has since OS X Mountain Lion.

When DND is enabled, it silences all incoming calls and alerts. But did you know that Do Not Disturb can be scheduled? I set my devices to auto-enter Do Not Disturb to prevent alerts from ringing, vibrating, or lighting up the screen while I’m asleep.

In this post, we’re going to teach you how to schedule Do Not Disturb mode on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Mac to turn on and off at the same times every day, choose who to allow calls from, and permit which apps to send notifications. Setting a schedule for Do Not Disturb ensures you won’t be disturbed during specific timeframes.

Note: even though you don’t see or hear notifications arrive in Do Not Disturb mode, your device collects them in the Notification Center, where they can be viewed later.

Schedule Do Not Disturb on iPhone and iPad

1) Go to the Settings app and tap Focus.

2) Tap Do Not Disturb.

3) Tap Add Schedule.

Note: You can choose Smart Activation, which will automatically start DND after your iPhone has learned your habits based on location, app usage, etc. But I prefer manual scheduling and have explained those steps below.

Do Not Disturb in iPhone Focus settings

4) From here, you can choose Time, Location, or App when you want DND to start. For example, you can schedule automatic DND at 11 PM, or when you reach your office, or when you open the Books app to do some reading. I am going with Time.

5) Set the From and To time values. Make sure to correctly enter AM and PM. Uncheck the days when you don’t want this DND automation.

6) Finally, tap Done to schedule Do Not Disturb mode on your iPhone.

Do Not Disturb scheduled on iPhone

Add exceptions to iPhone DND

Even during DND, if you have people (like your parents or kids) or apps (like your bank app) from whom you want to receive calls and notifications, you can add them as exceptions.

To do this, tap the People or Apps boxes > Add People or Add App and select from the list.

Allow some people and app notifications during Do Not Disturb on iPhone

Additionally, you can also Allow Calls From favorites contacts, all contacts, allowed people only, everybody, or a contact group/list.

After enabling Allow Repeated Calls, the second phone call from the same person within three minutes will bypass DND, and you will hear the ring. It’s useful if someone wants to reach you for some emergency.

Similarly, you can enable Time Sensitive notifications even from apps not added as exceptions to the DND list. These are important notifications from apps like Reminders, Calendars, or ones you allow under Settings app > Notifications > app name > Time Sensitive Notifications.

Finally, you have three more options in DND to customize screens (Home Screen and Lock Screen) and enable Focus Filters.


To manually turn Do Not Disturb on and off, flip the Schedule switch to the OFF position and set Manual to the ON/OFF position to enable/disable the feature.

Or, open Control Center and then tap the crescent moon icon. You can also tap and hold to select a time. Manually entering and exiting Do Not Disturb mode won’t change your set scheduling times and options.

iPhone Do Not Disturb in Control Center

Schedule Do Not Disturb on Mac

Focus (and DND – as DND is one of the Focus options) sync to your Apple devices if you have enabled the toggle for Share Across Devices. That means the Do Not Disturb time you set on your iPhone will sync to your Mac. As a result, your Mac will also enter DND at the same time.

But if you want to set different DND times on your computer and iPhone or you only have a Mac and not other Apple devices, here’s how to schedule DND.

On macOS Ventura and later

1) Click the Apple icon  and choose System Settings.

2) Select Focus > Do Not Disturb.

3) Click Add Schedule.

Add Schedule for Do Not Disturb on Mac

4) Pick Time, Location, or App. We’re going with Time.

5) Set the From and To times, pick the days you want to repeat this schedule, and click Done.

Schedule DND on Mac

You have successfully scheduled DND on your Mac! You can further customize allowed people and allowed app exceptions. The steps are similar to iPhone explained above.

Please note that you can schedule more than one Do Not Disturb automation. Simply choose Add Schedule and repeat the above steps.

Do Not Disturb scheduled on Mac

On older versions of macOS

1) Click the Apple icon  from the top left and choose System Preferences.

2) Click Notifications & Focus.

Notifications and focus in Mac System Preferences

3) Go to the Focus tab.

4) Choose Do Not Disturb from the left sidebar if not already.

5) Click the plus icon under Turn On Automatically.

6) Choose time-based, location-based, or app-based automation.

Add DND automation on Mac

7) Set the time, location, or app and click Add to schedule DND on your Mac.

Set Do Not Disturb time and day on Mac

On this screen, you can click Options to allow calls from favorites, contacts, or everyone. You can also choose to receive repeated calls and time-sensitive notifications.

Do Not Disturb options Mac

On macOS Big Sur and earlier

1) Open System Preferences on your Mac.

2) Click Notifications.

How to schedule Do Not Disturb Mac screenshot 003

3) Select Do Not Disturb on the left, then choose a schedule on the right.

How to schedule Do Not Disturb Mac screenshot 004

4) Optionally, set to receive call alerts even when Do Not Disturb is on:

  • Allow calls from everyone: All calls on this Mac are enabled and won’t be silenced.
  • Allow repeated calls: A second call from the same person within three minutes will go through and will not be silenced.

That’s it. From now on, Do Not Disturb will pause all notifications at your custom times each and every day. As a nice bonus, notifications on your Mac stop when the display is in sleep or when you’re projecting the screen.

To manually enable Do Not Disturb mode, click the Do Not Disturb icon in the Control Center. You can also click the arrow next to Do Not Disturb to select a time.

Do Not Disturb Mac Control Center

If the date and time you click to access the Notification Center in your Mac’s menu bar are dimmed, you are in Do Not Disturb mode, as depicted by the screenshot below.

Mac Menu Bar Date Time for Notification Center Dimmed

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