How to Turn On iPhone Focus Mode (2022)

Avoid annoying distractions while you're working, sleeping, driving, and more with iOS 15 Focus modes.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Tired of constantly being distracted by notifications while you're trying to work, or worse, being woken up by them? Well, iOS 15 has the feature for you: Focus modes allow you to customize which notifications you'd like to receive, from whom, and when. Let's learn how to use Focus on iPhone.

Related: How to Use Focus Mode in iOS 15

Why You'll Love This Tip

  • Turn off distracting notifications while you're trying to focus on something else.
  • Choose different, customizable Focus filters for when you're working, sleeping, driving, and more.

How to Enable Focus on iPhone

What is Focus on iPhone? It's basically a way to set a selective Do Not Disturb that filters out certain notifications, depending on which interruptions you're okay with at the time. Unlike the old Do Not Disturb mode, you can customize Focus mode settings on iPhone to let notifications from certain people and apps through. Focus is an iOS 15 feature, so if you have an earlier software version, you will need to update to iOS 15 before using this tip. If you'd like to learn about the newest iPhone features, including those coming out in iOS 16, check out our Tip of the Day newsletter.

Here's how to set Focus mode on iPhone:

  1. Swipe down from the top-right corner of your iPhone to open the Control Center. (If you have a first-generation iPhone SE or an iPhone 8 or earlier, you will swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open Control Center.)

    Swipe down from the top-right corner of your iPhone to open the Control Center.
  2. In the left column near the center tap the Focus control button. It will be displaying whatever Focus mode you most recently had on you have already set up Focus.

    In the left column near the center tap the Focus control button. It will be displaying whatever Focus mode you are in if you have already set up Focus.
  3. From here, you can select Do Not Disturb, Work, Personal, or Sleep.

    From here, you can select Do Not Disturb, Work, Personal, or Sleep.
  4. Additionally, you can add and create custom Focus modes by tapping New Focus.

    Additionally you can add and create custom focus modes by tapping + New Focus.
  5. Tap anywhere on the background to exit.

    Tap anywhere on the background to exit.

And that's it! Your selected Focus mode filter is now enabled, and you'll only receive notifications that are specifically allowed as part of that Focus setting. If you have any trouble with Focus mode, check out our Focus mode troubleshooting tips.

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Author Details

Elisabeth Garry's picture

Author Details

Elisabeth Garry

Elisabeth Garry is an Associate Editor for iPhone Life. Formerly of Gartner and Software Advice, she has four years’ experience writing about technology for everyday users. As a former college writing instructor, she is passionate about effective, accessible communication, which is perhaps why she loves helping people make the best use of the strongest communication tools they have available: their iPhones. She has a degree in Russian Literature and Language from Reed College.

When she’s not writing for iPhone Life, she’s probably either reading (19th-century Russian literature or fantasy novels), writing fiction, or spending time with her adorable dog, Moosh.