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How to Configure Do Not Disturb Settings on Android

By default, Android’s Do Not Disturb (DND) feature does exactly what you expect from a so-called feature – no matter what app, call, email, or text message tries to find you, the operating system (OS) waits for you turn off Do Not Disturb mode before displaying and / or playing and / or vibrating a notification.

But what if you’re expecting an important call, or perhaps waiting for a critical payment notification from PayPal? Or how about a welcome message from the person you want to talk to, no matter what you do?

The good news is that the OS provides – through a subset of DND – extensive control over what data is from which application, down to who actually gets through the veil of DND and when. But before we look at and change the behavior of the Do Not Disturb feature, let’s start by making sure that the notification feature itself is optimally configured.

Unsubscribe from apps

Almost every application has something that it wants to notify you about, and some even over the top. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to tell you right away when the policy changes in my online banking application or every time an update is available for every application on my phone. To be honest, in my opinion, only a few of my applications can say something critical.

I suggest the following procedure not for every app you have installed, but primarily for those for which you receive unwanted notifications and want to stop them.

Note: For this and other procedures in this article, the procedures and location names may differ slightly depending on the Android version and your phone manufacturer.

DnD Control with Priority Mode

Basically, Do Not Disturb mode disables Android’s notification system until you tweak settings to punch the Do Not Disturb barricade.

It is important to note that not all phones and OS versions use the same terminology. For example, on my Galaxy we will work with exceptions that are not used. Thus, part of the first procedure is to activate Do Not Disturb mode as follows:

Clicking Turn On Now, of course, puts the device in Do Not Disturb mode. You can customize the settings using Allow exceptions.

Schedule DnD Mode

Like almost any event, Android allows you to configure Do Not Disturb to start and stop at a specific time on every day of the week. Clicking Enable on Schedule (or its equivalent) will display a screen similar to the event scheduling screen in the calendar app, as shown here:

From here, after enabling the schedule, you can set which days you want DND mode to start, as well as the start and end times. It may be different on some Android devices, but on my Galaxy Note 9 I cannot set different activation periods for certain days; this is a universal scenario. However, I can turn off Do Not Disturb whenever I want using the Turn On Now / Turn Off Now toggle mentioned earlier.

Set DnD Exceptions

It is very convenient to be able to say to your phone: “Don’t bother me from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am” and then disappear for the night. But there are so many possible important events to which we simultaneously turn our backs.

All the more comforting not to say to your phone: “Don’t bother me from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am if Jackie doesn’t call”? How about “Stick to all calls, text messages and emails except calls from my daughter’s maternity ward at the hospital.”

You get the idea. Do Not Disturb is much more effective when you don’t have to worry about what you might miss. Depending on your phone, you set up exclusion rules in the Do Not Disturb subsection, which is available through Notifications in Settings, as shown below.

  1. Go to Settings on your phone (either drag down from the top of any screen and tap the Settings (gear) icon) or tap Settings (also the gear icon) in the app drawer.
  2. Select Apps & Notifications, or if you are using a Samsung or other device, separate Apps and Notifications in separate subsections, select Notifications.
  3. In the Notifications panel Click “Do Not Disturb.” Depending on your phone, what you see here may be slightly different, but the options include Allow exceptions or something similar. Click it.

Note the different types of events, such as calls, text messages, event and task alerts, and reminders, for which you can create exceptions. Again, each phone type and OS version handles this slightly differently, but not so much that you have trouble following the instructions.

For calls and messages, you have several options. You can, for example, allow all calls; Allow calls only from people who are in your Contacts app, or only from people who are marked as favorites (or “tagged”) in the Contacts app. The text message options are the same.

If it’s not obvious, you can restrict receiving messages and calls only from certain people by specifying them as favorites in the Contacts app.

Another way to make Do Not Disturb a little more efficient and less unforgiving is with Retry Calls. Usually, in an emergency, most people try to call you more than once.

In this case, when the second call comes from the same number within 15 minutes after the first call, with the “Repeat calls” function enabled, the “Do not disturb” mode will allow the call to go through. Of course, this is not entirely reliable, but a good option.

There is a lot to do

Do Not Disturb is more reliable on some devices than others, and for the most part, I’ve only covered the basics here. You can, for example, change the types of notifications (such as sound, icon icon, vibration, etc.) that are used in certain scenarios.

Let’s say, for example, to tell Android not to turn on the screen when sending a notification, or to stop pop-up notifications when you’re already doing something on your phone.

In any case, you may have several other ways to tell Android when and how to disturb you; what we’ve covered here should get you started.

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