8 solutions to stop getting calls during Do Not Disturb or Focus mode on iPhone

You shouldn’t receive all phone calls, FaceTime calls, or third-party calls when your iPhone is in Do Not Disturb (DND) or any Focus mode. However, if you’re getting call notifications even in DND, Sleep Focus, or other Focus modes, here are the solutions to fix this.

Stop getting calls in DND or Focus mode on iPhone

About Focus and DND

Up to iOS 14, Do Not Disturb was a separate feature listed in iPhone Settings and Control Center (crescent moon icon). In iOS 15, Apple introduced Focus, and now Do Not Disturb is a part of Focus as one of the Focus modes or profiles.

Besides DND, there are other Focus modes like Driving, Sleep, Personal, Work, etc. You can even create your own Focus mode for all sorts of scenarios like the office, school, etc., and customize it from there.

As the name suggests, Focus mode is built to help you “focus” on something. For example, when Sleep Focus is on, it hides the notifications from the Lock screen and dims the display. Similarly, with Work Focus, you can configure it to stop calls and notifications from most people and apps.

Every Focus mode lets you add people and apps as exceptions. This ensures that even when you’re “focusing” on a thing, these allowed people and apps can send alerts.

You can learn all about Focus in iOS 15 here.

Now, if you enable DND or one of the Focus modes solely to have some quiet time and still get calls when Focus is active, follow along to address this annoyance by changing the concerned settings.

How to stop getting calls during DND or Focus mode

Here are the solutions to silence all incoming calls and notifications during Focus on iPhone and iPad.

1. Remove allowed people from DND or Focus settings

The main reason you’re getting calls during DND or Focus is because you have added some exceptions. These can be important people like your parents, spouse, kids, boss, etc.

Note: Even during DND or Sleep focus, I like to get calls from my immediate family members. Therefore, I have added their contacts to the Allowed People list. You can decide accordingly.

Here’s how to remove people from Focus to stop getting their calls during DND or another active Focus mode:

1) Open iPhone Settings and tap Focus.

2) Tap Do Not Disturb, Sleep, or one of the other Focus modes during which you get the calls.

Access Focus settings on iPhone

3) Under Allowed Notifications, select People.

4) Tap the minus button (-) to remove added people. You can also tap Remove All.

Remove allowed people from Focus mode on iPhone

Make sure you follow the above steps for each Focus mode individually.

2. Disable all calls, including repeated calls during Focus

In addition to having specifically allowed contacts, you can also permit calls from a wider set of people during DND or a Focus mode. For example, you can allow calls from people you have added to Favorites in the Contacts app, or you can allow all contacts to reach you even when a Focus mode is active.

Additionally, you can allow repeated calls which ensures that if the same person calls you for the second time within three minutes, then that call bypasses the DND or Focus restrictions, and you hear that call’s ringtone.

The above settings are in place to ensure important people can reach you anytime or during emergencies. However, if you would like to prevent this, follow along.

Here’s how to stop all calls during Focus, including repeated calls:

1) Open Settings and tap Focus.

2) Select a Focus mode name.

3) Under Allowed Notifications, choose People.

4) Tap Calls From and choose:

  • No One: If you want no calls, except the few people you might have added to the Allowed People list.
  • Favorites: If you want no calls except from people you have added as Favorites in iPhone Contacts.
  • All Contacts: If you want no calls except from people in your iPhone contacts.

5) Next, turn off Allow Repeated Calls. This will ensure that a second call from the same person within three minutes will not break through your Focus mode and disturb you.

Phone Calls settings in iPhone Focus settings

After you tweak the above settings, you should no longer receive calls during DND or the specific Focus mode.

3. Ensure Focus mode is actually enabled

If you’re still getting calls, double-check to make sure Focus is enabled or not.

You can switch on Focus mode manually from:

  • iPhone Settings > Focus > tap a Focus name > enable its toggle from the top.
  • iPhone Control Center > tap Focus > tap a Focus mode to turn it on.
  • Invoke Siri and ask it to “enable [name] Focus.”

Besides that, you can also go to iPhone Settings > Focus > tap a Focus name and tap Add Schedule or Automation under Turn on Automatically.

When a Focus mode is active, you will see its icon on the Lock screen, top left of your iPhone status bar, and the icon will be colored in the Control Center.

How to know when Focus mode is enabled on your iPhone

Check out: How to show an emoji or symbol in your iPhone status bar

4. Remove call apps from Focus

You can add specific contacts to the list of allowed people in Focus. The same goes for apps. If you have added FaceTime or third-party call apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, etc., to the list of allowed apps, they will pierce through DND or any other Focus mode when someone calls you via those apps.

Here’s how to stop FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom, and other calls during DND or Focus mode:

1) Open iPhone Settings and tap Focus.

2) Tap the name of a Focus mode.

3) Under Allowed Notifications, tap Apps.

4) Tap the minus button (-) to remove call apps from here or tap Remove All.

Allowed Apps in Focus settings on iPhone

Once you do this, you will no longer get VoIP calls when your iPhone is in Do Not Disturb, Sleep, Work, or other Focus modes.

Tip: From the main Focus screen, tap Focus Status and enable Share Focus Status. This will tell people in certain apps like iMessage that you have silenced your notifications.

5. Don’t turn off Focus on your other Apple devices

If you go to Focus settings and turn on Share Across Devices, then turning Focus on or off on one of your Apple devices reflects on your other devices too. For example, with Share Across Devices enabled, if I turn off Focus on my Mac, it’s turned off on my iPhone as well.

So, let us say Sleep Focus is active on your iPhone, but for some work, you opened your MacBook and turned off the Focus mode there. The same will affect your iPhone, and Sleep Focus will be turned off on it. After that, if someone calls you, you will get disturbed.

To address this, you can keep the above fact in mind and not turn off Focus on your other devices. Alternatively, you can also turn off Share Across Devices, which will keep Focus mode’s on or off status limited only to that device.

Here’s how to stop Focus mode from being shared across your other Apple devices:

  • iPhone or iPad: Go to Settings > Focus and toggle off Share Across Devices.
  • Mac: Click  > System Preferences > Notifications & Focus > Focus and uncheck Share across devices.
Share across devices in Focus on Mac

6. Restart your iPhone

If you haven’t turned off your iPhone in a long time, do it now, which should fix minor glitches that may be causing issues with Focus modes. After you switch off your iPhone, wait for a minute before switching it back on.

7. Update your iPhone

If you followed the above solutions and still get calls during Focus mode, it may be due to a bug. Go to iPhone Settings > General > Software Update to get the latest version of iOS.

8. Reset all settings

By now, your problem should be solved, and calls shouldn’t disturb you when a Focus mode is active. However, if it still does, go ahead and reset all iPhone settings. This will force all changed settings to go back to the default and fix the problems. After the reset is complete, don’t forget to go to iPhone Settings > Focus and make the desired customizations there.

Reset All Settings iPhone

This is how you can prevent calls during DND or Focus modes. I hope this tutorial was helpful. Just make sure you remember to turn off DND or Focus mode when your work is done. If you don’t, you might miss calls, messages, and app notifications.

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