One Feature at a Time: How to Set “Do Not Disturb” in iOS6


Yesterday was the Day. iOS6 was released.

I’m a cautious updater. I go slow. I usually wait for several days before I even think about it. My logic is that if there are any big bugs, I’ll let others suffer the consequences, and I’ll learn from their experiences.

But yesterday’s release looked like it was going smoothly. And I had made some time. So I hooked up my iPad to iTunes and pushed the update button. (you also have the option to update directly from your device via the cloud).

I enabled the update and held my breath. (I have a love/hate relationship with updates. I love the new features, but I hate the stress of worrying that it might not go smoothly. I do know the root of my worry. It’s because of the 80’s and those old blue screens of death. That blue screen was traumatic. Those days may be gone … but, oh, the scars! But I’m getting better. And this is why I love my Apple goodies …. they behave themselves and have always updated properly for me.)

The update to my iPad 3 was smooth and quick. Now it’s time to start looking closely at the update and learning about the new features.

I think I mentioned that I go slow.

NOTE to my dear Blog Readers: I’ll be exploring one feature at a time, and every few days I’ll toss another here on the blog to look at more closely.
Just ONE at a time. Slow and steady. That’s how we “everyday folks” can cope with all this stuff.

My first feature of interest is the new “Do Not Disturb”.

If you have an iPhone or iPad then you are well aware of the all the notification noises. You get dings and beeps and jingles and jangles. You can put your phone on mute, but then calls are muted, too.

Enter “Do Not Disturb”. This is something I REALLY think I’m going to like.

Here is how you enable “Do Not Disturb” in iOS6:

To turn it on, just go to your settings, look for “Do Not Disturb” and move the switch to “on”. That’s all.

By enabling it, there will be no noises. Even that screen light-up won’t happen.

You can tell it is enabled because you will see a little crescent moon up in the status bar.

Here is the thing that makes this special over the “mute” button:

You can tweek the settings so that people in your Favorites list CAN get through. This means that you can set your phone on “do not disturb” at night but if your children or parents try to reach you during the night, their call will get through (as opposed to just having everything silent with mute.)

You also have the option to allow calls from someone who calls twice within three minutes.

You can turn this on manually, but you can also schedule it to come on during your regular sleep (or work) hours.

When you are ready to “be disturbed” again, just look at your phone. All your notifications will be there, you won’t have missed a thing, but they simply will have arrived without all the noisy fanfare.

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15 thoughts on “One Feature at a Time: How to Set “Do Not Disturb” in iOS6

  1. Bethany says:

    How do you set just one person to ring through in the do not disturb mode? I work night shift and only want my husband to be able to reach me in emergencies. I had the auto ring app on my DROID, but when I switched to the iPhone this was the one thing missing. Please help!!

    • It looks to me like you will be able to do this in the “do not disturb” settings. Touch on “do not disturb” in the settings, and you will see a spot you can set to “allow calls from”. I’m guessing if you just make a group of ONE (in your contacts) for your husband …. and then select that, I think you’ll be good to go! 🙂

  2. OMW – I installed this iOS and what a mistake. It does not help that the techies at work only tell me the day after never to install the first release as these are filled with bugs. Mine lost iTunes (got blank white screen) and after a whole day of getting everyone to try and fix it I had to reinstall my iPad from scratch (after connecting to a PC) which means basically they format the drive and you loose everything. Luckily I am back up and running but it wasted a day. The Do not Disturb is cute. They also removed anything google such as the YouTube app that used to be on landing page and updated the Maps tool and a new reminders app. For the rest I havent really noticed other major changes.

    • I am so sorry that you experienced the Nightmare scenario. I have always waited for weeks before updating, myself. I don’t know why I was so motivated to do it on day one. (Probably because of this blog, I felt obligated to give it a go.) Many people are very unhappy about the change in Maps (count me among them!). I’ll be posting about that over the weekend. Glad you are up and running, again. 🙂

  3. I was really looking forward to the Do Not Disturb feature for the iPad while I play games or am writing and don’t want notifications and the like. Unfortunately, that’s now it seems to work on the iPad. I’m not sure exactly what it’s doing, but I’m still getting the banner notifications and such even after I turn it on. I’ve got to call Apple tomorrow about something else, so I plan to ask what the point of this feature is for the iPad and how it works. I know I can just turn off notifications and other features instead, but I was looking forward to just being able to push 1 button and have it be done. Have you used it yet on your iPad and noticed any changes while using it?

    • Yes, I set it up on my iPad to turn on automatically from 10PM to 6AM. I typically have to get up at 5 or 5:30, and the alarm works even tho it is on (which is exactly what I want it to do.) I don’t have my iPhone 5 yet, so I can’t test it on the phone. My iPad gives me little “bings” when new emails come in, and these don’t happen during “do not disturb” hours. Same with other notification noises.( Except for the alarm 🙂 ) I haven’t used it, tho, as you said, WHILE I was working on it. I’ll be interested to know anything you learn from your Apple talk! 🙂

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog. I’ve been enjoying looking at your various posts and definitely need to subscribe. I love my iPad but am pretty sure I’m not getting full use out of it. Of course, if I want to get full use out of anything it needs to be Photoshop! Argh! If I can run complex tax software at work, I can do this too. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

    • Of course you can! I think one of the reasons that I write this blog is to keep myself actively “involved” with all the possibilities. 🙂 Thank you so very much for the visit and for taking the time to comment. Much appreciated! Hope to “see” you around!

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