Silence Your iPhone With Do Not Disturb And iOS 6’s New Phone Features

Silence Your iPhone With Do Not Disturb And iOS 6’s New Phone Features

iOS 6 brings a few handy new features to help you manage your notifications. For anyone who has received a text message in the middle of the night or accidentally received a dumb phone call during a meeting, the new Do Not Disturb feature is a lifesaver. Here’s how to manage it right.

Using Do Not Disturb and Setting Up VIP Lists

Do Not Disturb is the iPhone’s new feature that shuts down all incoming messages for as long as you have it on. It’s a great feature that helps you go offline for short durations of time, but you’ll likely want to set it up so certain people can get through to you.

Set Up Do Not Disturb’s Schedule and On the Fly Settings


The nice thing about Do Not Disturb is that it’s relatively robust. You can turn it on manually by going into Settings and tapping the Do Not Disturb button on the left hand side. That’s it. When you’re done and you want to get contacted again just jump into your Settings and reenable it.

You can also set up Do Not Disturb to operate on a schedule — like when you’re sleeping, or early in the morning. To do this, go to Settings > Notifications > Do Not Disturb. Here you can set up a specific schedule when Do Not Disturb runs, and set up who you allow incoming calls from.

Set Up Your VIP List

Do Not Disturb is great for suppressing incoming calls, but you probably don’t want to block everyone. You can allow incoming calls in one of two ways.

First off is the “Repeated Calls” setting. This means that even if Do Not Disturb is active, if a person calls you twice within three minutes the second call will go through. This is good for any type of emergency situation that might pop up.

The second setting is a VIP list. Tap the “Allow Calls From” button, and you can allow incoming calls from specific groups in your contacts, your favourites, everyone, or no one. favourites seems like the the most logical to set up since you probably already have those people set up on your phone (Phone > favourites).

The New Phone Features


On top of Do Not Disturb, iOS 6 adds a few new features to the regular old phone app. They’re primarily set up to help you remember to call a person back. When you receive (or miss) an incoming call, you get two options.

Decline Incoming Calls and Reply with a Text Message

When you receive an incoming call that you can’t reply back with a call, you can reply with a simple text message.

To do this, swipe up on the phone icon when someone is calling you and tap the “Reply with Message” button. You’ll get a set of quick reply options for your text message, including, “I’ll call you later”, “I’m on my way”, “What’s up?” or your own custom message. Tap the one you want and your reply goes through right away.

Decline Incoming Calls and Set Up a Reminder to Call Back

If you don’t want to deal with the call at all, you can also set up a reminder to call the person back. When the call comes in, swipe up on the phone icon, tap the “Remind Me Later” button. You’ll have a few different choices, including setting up reminders for, “in 1 hour”, “When I leave”, “When I get home” and “When I get to work”. When one of those events happens you’ll get a notification through the Reminders app to call the person back.

The point of Do Not Disturb and the new phone features is to give you the ability to get things done and not worry about interruptions. It’s handy not just for getting through a night of sleep, but also for those days when you really just need to ignore the world around you.


  • so even if you put the do not disturb function, if your drunk friend at 3am decides to call you more than once (which is more than likely) the call will still go through?

        • I have the same issue. I use a 3rd party alarm clock app for two reasons: 1. It’s also my bedside clock (so the screen is unlocked). 2. This other app has many more features than the built-in app.

          “Do Not Disturb” is useless to me because the times that I don’t want to be disturbed are when I’m using my iPhone as an alarm clock or to get some work done. Do Not Disturb should mean just that, without the qualifier that it will only work under certain conditions.

  • What about numbers you don’t know that need to get through? A hospital isn’t going to ring twice in succession to say your partner is there. I want the ability to only block specific people. Also, I have everyone at work with the company name listed in their contact details, can I choose to allow only them to call me?

    • well obviously no feature ever is going to counteract that now is it? How is a phone supposed to differentiate the intent of calls from random numbers, sirir answers and asks what it’s regarding???

      What a silly illogical thing to comment. Perhaps add all the main hospital indials, or just dont enable the DND setting.

    • Android has had that for years, now if the iphone could be set to silence sms & email notifications during a phonecall it could almost be called a smart phone. My company gave me an iphone to upgrade from an old nokia, but with all the limitations and stupidity of the iphone I will be handing it back, using the nokia for calls and my galaxy for the real work.

  • You’re kidding me right ? These are new features ? Hahahahahahahaha
    The first three were available on the old Nokia 6310i back in 2002.

    As usual, in Apple’s world, ‘innovation’ is pronounced ‘rip off’

  • I have tried this and set allow calls from no one, from contacts, from favorites. But nothing worked. All calls are coming through to me. Not sure if it is working. Updated to ios6 5 hours but i must say i didnt like this. May be me. I was in love with ios5. Even the appstore icon shows there is one update. But when i open the app and goto update sections it shows nothing.

  • A combo switch made for dummies who can’t seem to work the silent switch or turn their phones to airplane mode if they are such light sleepers and don’t want to switch their phone off or put it on a shelf away from their persons. Genius.

    • Silent doesnt stop the vibration or screen lighting up, sometimes i forget to silence the phone before going to bed and i can get lots of notifications, this is perfect for that, and i don’t want to turn the phone off or airplane mode on because urgent calls cant get through.

      • I’ve been doing it this way for ages…
        Settings -> Sounds -> Vibrate on Ring : ON
        Settings -> Sounds -> Vibrate on Silent : OFF

        Switch Silent switch on and turn phone upside down and you have silence, no vibration and no visible light ( unless you are an extremely light sensitive sleeper)

        To go to vibrate only mode, switch the sound on (silent switch off) and turn the volume down.

        It’s fairly easy this way to select between Sound, Vibrate only and Silence without vibe

  • This is exactly what I needed for when I live stream from iPhone – turns off all notifications while still leaving 3G turned on (as opposed to flight mode). Text messages/Facebook notifications etc stopped the streaming before and were a huge pain to turn them all off. Love it!

  • Still not able to do what my old android app did……set up a silence for a specific time period such as 90 minutes then return to normal. Great for meetings…no need to have to remember to uin-silence.

  • I don’t want to sound stupid but is there a way, with or without dnd that you don’t get interrupted whilst playing music? I had it on silent and I kept getting calls. I then had to wait for it to stop before the music would restart.

  • If I turn on do not disturb do I receive texts from the people in my favourites list aswel ? Or will I receive them but in silent so I won’t be able to hear them ?

  • I’m using iphone 5…I can receive phone calls and icloud is enabled and the location service is also on but I can’t see it on the map and the spot is gray…how do I resolve it?? someone, please help me with this issue. Thanks.

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