Using Do Not Disturb to Stop the Interruptions

Nugget # A14

Most phone users who are concerned about the sound of their phone’s ringer during meetings, church services, concerts or movies will press the volume control buttons on the side of their phone and either lower the volume or put the phone on vibrate.  This works great but have your ever missed a call because your phone was on silence and you lost track?

More recently, Do Not Disturb has been added to many Android phones that will allow you to quickly stop the ringer, notifications and sound.  And best of all you can customize it, turn it on or off on a schedule, and even set up exceptions so that calls from your most important contacts will still ring.

It is a powerful way to control the ringer and audio notifications.


Quickly turn interruptions off or back on

Use Quick Settings to turn Do Not Disturb on with two quick steps:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers to access the full Quick Setting panel.
  2. Tap Do Not Disturb to turn it on or off.
  3. Select the Duration of Do Not Disturb.  This is perfect for the 2 hour movie, one hour church service or 3 hours conference.  Tap the + or – to adjust the duration.

You can see the Do Not Disturb indicator in the status bar.




Put Do Not Disturb on a Schedule

  1. Access your phone’s Quick Settings by swiping down from the top of the screen with two fingers.
  2. Do a Long Press on Do Not Disturb  until Do Not Disturb Setting appears.
  3. Under Schedule, select your desired schedule.
  4. Duration – When you turn on Do Not Disturb, do you want it to stay on Until you turn off, or for a set Duration or Ask every time.  Ask every time provides flexibility and ensures that Do Not Disturb does not accidentally stay activated. 
  5. Turn on automatically – Allows you to set up Sleeping time, associate with calendar events or to set up another custom rule.

If you sleep in the same room as your phone, set a Sleeping schedule that allows you to pick days and times when your phone is automatically on Do Not Disturb.



Customize Do Not Disturb

  1. Open your phone’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Sound
  3. Tap Do Not Disturb
  4. Under “Behavior,” choose what to block or allow.
    • Sound & vibration: Block or allow alarms, media, or touch sounds.
    • Notifications: Have no sounds from notifications, or no sounds and no visuals. Or pick custom options.
    • Custom:  Customize what shows while your screen is on (like notification dots), and what happens while your screen is off (like blink light).

With Do Not Disturb your have control over what is suppressed while Do Not Disturb is on.


Set Up Do Not Disturb Exceptions

Have you ever missed an important call because your phone with on silence?

Do you have a person in your like, for example, an aging parent, whose call you would take anytime or anywhere?

One of the best features of Do Not Disturb is that you can set exceptions.  These would be calls or certain notifications that will always ring.  

Set up Exceptions with the following steps in settings:

  1. Open your phone’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Sound
  3. Tap Do Not Disturb
  4. Under “Exceptions,” choose what to allow.
    • Calls:
      • To allow calls, tap Allow calls. Then pick whose calls get through: anyone, contacts only, or starred contacts only.
      • To stop letting through calls, tap None.
      • To let a call through if the same person calls twice in 15 minutes, turn on Allow repeat callers.
    • Messages, events & reminders:
      • To allow messages, tap Allow messages. Then pick whose messages get through: anyone, contacts only, or starred contacts only. 
      • To stop letting through messages, tap None.
      • To allow reminders, turn on Allow reminders.
      • To allow events, turn on Allow events.

A natural exception would be to identify contacts like children or parents whose calls you always want to come through so that you don’t miss any critical or emergency call.



Most people control their ringer and notifications using the volume buttons.  This is classic.

However, Do Not Disturb off a lot of benefits with limited duration, scheduling and exceptions.



Additional Information

The Senior Tech Club recommends the following additional resources for members that wish to pursue additional and/or advanced information on this Android Nugget:

Google Help Center  – Limit Interruptions with Do Not Disturb