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Tech Tip: Scheduling Your Smartphone for a Little Peace and Quiet

Q. I signed up for alerts from a bunch of news sites on my iPhone to keep up with the headlines, but now they’re waking me up at night with their sounds and turning on the phone screen. Is there a way to mute them before bed? I don’t want to turn off the phone because I use it as an alarm clock.

A. The iPhone’s iOS software includes a feature called Do Not Disturb, which you can use to disable app notifications, phone calls and other alerts whenever you prefer not to be interrupted. You can enable and disable the Do Not Disturb setting manually for whenever you want a period of silence, or you can schedule regular hours for Do Not Disturb to kick in automatically — like overnight when you are trying to sleep.

To set up Do Not Disturb, tap open the Settings icon on the iPhone’s home screen. Scroll down to Do Not Disturb, and select it. On the next screen, you can choose to allow calls from people on your iPhone’s Favorites list of contacts to get through even if Do Not Disturb is on. You can also allow repeated calls within three minutes from the same person, in case someone is trying to reach you in an emergency. Additionally, the settings screen provides the option to silence incoming calls and alerts whether the phone’s screen is locked or unlocked.


In the Do Not Disturb area of the iOS settings, you can choose when you would like to temporarily silence alerts and notifications. Credit The New York Times

At the top of the settings screen, tap the Manual button to the On position to enable Do Not Disturb. You can also flip on the feature from the iOS Control Center: Swipe up from the bottom of the phone’s screen, and tap the crescent-moon icon in the top row of controls. The same moon icon appears at the top of the iPhone screen when Do Not Disturb is on.

If you prefer to have Do Not Disturb come on automatically, go to its settings screen and tap the On button next to Scheduled. In the From and To fields, fill in the hours you would like to have peace and quiet from phone alerts.

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