During a recent dentist visit, the Work Focus on my iPhone turned on automatically. And when I manually switched it off, it turned back on again by itself. I’ve had an iPhone for years, and this was the first time I had seen this, but apparently, some users have had issues with this for a while.
When Apple released iOS 15 back in 2021, they included some major changes to what was previously known as Do Not Disturb. They expanded Do Not Disturb into something called Focus, which includes Do Not Disturb and many other Focus modes, such as Personal, Work, Sleep and Reading.
If one of the Focus modes turns on automatically, you might miss calls and texts. You won’t realize someone is trying to contact you and so it is important to get this problem sorted out. In this article, we’ll tell you how you can stop Do Not Disturb or any of the other Focus modes from turning on automatically.
Why is Do Not Disturb or Focus turning on by itself?
All of the Focus modes include an option for Smart Activation. Smart Activation can turn on a Focus mode based on a variety of factors, including:
- App usage
- And more (Apple’s vague wording)
You can also manually add times, locations or apps that will trigger the Focus mode.
How to stop Do Not Disturb or Focus from turning on by itself
To get to the Focus settings, open the Settings app and tap on Focus.
Here you will see all of the Focus modes you have set up on your iPhone. Some of them are there by default, and you may also have some you have created. If you only have one Focus mode causing you trouble, you can just make changes to that one. If you prefer, you can look at the settings for each or even delete a Focus entirely (you can always add it again later).
To change the Focus so it won’t turn on automatically:
- Tap on the name of the Focus (in Settings > Focus).
- Scroll down to the Set a Schedule section.
- You may see various types of “schedules” listed in this section:
- Add Schedule: If this is the only thing listed, then there is nothing set for this Focus that will automatically turn it on.
- A time range: This Focus will automatically turn on during the scheduled times.
- A location: You may see a location, such as Home or Work, which will trigger the Focus mode.
- An app: The Focus will turn on when the listed app is being used.
- Smart Activation: This Focus may turn on automatically based on time, location, apps being used or other criteria (when Apple describes what will trigger the Smart Activation, it lists “and more”).
- You have two options for the troublesome Focus mode: Remove the “schedules” listed under the Set a Schedule section or delete the Focus. Note that you cannot delete Do Not Disturb.
- Remove Schedules: Tap on a schedule, then tap Delete Schedule.
- Delete the Focus: Scroll down to the bottom of that Focus’s page in Settings, then tap on Delete Focus.