Focus FI

How To Set Up and Master Focus Mode on Your iPhone and iPad

Apple has had Do Not Disturb for quite some time! This function can be activated to mute incoming notifications to avoid being bothered. However, in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Apple is taking it to a whole new level: Focus Mode

You can create modes, such as working, reading, exercise, sleep, and personal. So, it’s basically Do Not Disturb on steroids. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know.

Where Do I Find Focus Mode

To Access:

  • Open Settings
  • Scroll to Focus

Setup Focus Mode

Apple has populated Personal and Work; you just have to set them up. Hit the + sign to have access to even more modes or create your own. Turn on the Share Across Devices toggle switch to have access to your Modes on every device.

You can also activate, manage and create new focuses through the Control Center. 

Focus Mode in Control Center

Creating and Editing Focuses

With any Focus mode, you can select who can contact you and which apps can send you notifications. Focus Mode lets you personalize the people and apps able to contact you based on what you’re doing. You can tailor any mode to better suit your needs. 

Editing Focus Mode

Then you can select which apps are allowed to send you notifications, and whether or not you want to receive Time-Sensitive notifications.

Time Sensitive notifications are a new notification class in iOS 15. A notification marked Time-Sensitive can bypass Focus mode. Those notifications are essential.

Focus Setup Suggestions

When creating a Focus, your device will use on-device intelligence and data gathered about your past activity to suggest apps and people you might want to allow notifications.

Activating a Focus

The simplest way to activate a Focus is by turning it on in the Control Center. You can also disable and swap between Focus modes.

When a Focus is active, the Control Center will display the name and icon you’ve chosen for that Mode. This way, you know at a glance that a Focus is turned on. In addition, focus Modes display on the Lock Screen of your device.

Cross-Device Compatibility in Focus Mode

When you activate a Focus Mode on one device, by default, it’s activated across all of your devices signed in to iCloud with your Apple ID. So, even if you switch from your iPhone to iPad or even your Mac, you won’t be disrupted.

Letting People Know You’re in Focus Mode

You can opt to toggle on the Focus Status option to let an app like Messages tell people that you have notifications silenced.

When someone attempts to send you a message, they’ll see a message at the bottom of the app that says [Person] has notifications silenced. People can choose to send the message anyway regardless of the Focus Status if there’s something important they need to share.


You can activate and Auto-Reply for some Focus modes like Driving. In addition, you can customize the message. The previous Do Not Disturb While Driving Feature has been folded into Focus.

Lock and Home Screen

With any Focus mode enabled, you can choose to show only select app pages and hide all notification badges from the Home Screen. This allows for a specific screen of apps to a given Focus mode, blocking out distractions, like tweets or Facebook and leaving you only what’s relevant.

Focus Mode on Lock and Home Screen

You can also choose to Dim Lock Screen and decide whether to show silenced notification on the Lock Screen.

Smart Activation

If you toggle on Smart Activation, your device will automatically use your location and app usage to decide when to turn on a Focus throughout the day. For example, with this feature turned on, your device might activate Work Focus when you leave your house heading to the office and turn it off when you arrive back home.

Focus Automation

You can set the Focus mode to activate at a particular time, location, or when a specific app is opened using Automations.

Deleting a Focus Mode

  • Open Settings
  • Scroll to Focus
  • Select the Focus Mode to delete
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap Delete Focus

Deleting Focus Mode


As you can see, Focus Mode is an advanced Do Not Disturb, which lets you do so much more, and when set up correctly, you’ll be able to Focus on the things that matter to you. 

If you have any questions, drop them in the comments section. Also, let me know how you’ll be using Focus Mode.

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