Here’s how to use Do Not Disturb mode in Android

Do Not Disturb Mode in Android
Simon Hill/Digital Trends

Our smartphones command our attention several times every day. Some people even check their phones in the middle of the night. Why do we allow this endless torrent of incoming notifications, which are often unimportant, or worse, email spam, to interrupt us? If you can’t resist that blinking LED or that buzzing in your pocket, then you need to get to grips with the Do Not Disturb mode in Android.

Don’t let your smartphone addiction win. Set some ground rules with your phone and ensure that it doesn’t bother you in meetings, at the cinema, or when you’re catching forty winks. Let’s look at how to use Android’s Do Not Disturb mode.

Note: You might find some slight differences in the menu options from phone to phone, depending on the manufacturer, but Do Not Disturb mode is baked into stock Android now, so it should be present on every Android handset.

How to use Do Not Disturb Mode in Android

The fastest way to turn on Do Not Disturb mode is to swipe down from the top of your screen to open the notification shade and tap on the Do Not Disturb icon. On most phones running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later, you’ll get a menu with three options:

  • Total silence: Nothing will interrupt you.
  • Alarms only: Any alarms you have set can disturb you.
  • Priority only: Alarms can get through, but you can customize exactly what else should and shouldn’t disturb you.

Underneath that, you will see the option to specify how long Do Not Disturb mode should be active. You can set it to an hour to cover a meeting you’re going into, specify a time when it should turn off, or tell it stay on until you turn it off again yourself.

Setting Priority Notifications in Do Not Disturb

If you want to use the Priority only option, then you must define what a priority notification is.

  • Go to Settings > Sound & notification > Do not disturb and tap Priority only allows. If you have a Samsung Galaxy phone, then it’s Settings > Sounds and vibration > Do not disturb > Allow exceptions > Custom.
  • You can choose Reminders, Events, approved contacts, messages or calls from specific contacts, or repeat callers who call twice within 15 minutes.

Setting Automatic rules in Do Not Disturb

You can have Do Not Disturb mode turn on automatically, based on an event or time, by setting some rules.

  • Go to Settings > Sound & notification > Do not disturb and tap Automatic rules. If you have a Samsung Galaxy phone, then it’s Settings > Sounds and vibration > Do not disturb > Enable as scheduled.
  • Tap on Add rule, and decide whether you want it to be triggered by a specific time, or by an event.
  • Pick a name for the rule and then specify the triggers.
  • For time based rules, you can choose days of the week, and specify start and end times. This means you can set one bedtime rule for during the week and another for the weekend.
  • For event based rules you’ll need to specify a calendar to link up and then you can have Do Not Disturb turn on automatically when you have an event, like a meeting. You can even specify that it only works for meetings you’ve replied Yes to. Note: Unfortunately, event based rules are not offered on Samsung Galaxy phones.