New in iOS 7: Silence incoming calls and notifications while iPhone is unlocked


‘Do Not Disturb’ was one of our favorite iOS 6 features.

But it didn’t meet all our requirements as the incoming calls and notifications were silenced only when the iPhone is locked. In iOS 6, Apple assumed that when we’re using your iPhone, we’re fine to be disturbed by calls and notifications.

That’s not always the case, there are times when we don’t want to be disturbed and want to silence notifications and calls, say while we’re writing an important email or watching a video or maybe even while playing a game.

Thankfully in iOS 7 you can silence incoming calls and notifications while the iPhone is unlocked. You don’t need to use guided access as a workaround.

As you can see in the screenshot below, you can select Always under Silence (Settings app -> Do Not Disturb), if you want to silence incoming calls and notifications while the iPhone is either locked or unlocked.


The default option is Only while iPhone is locked, which as the name suggests only silences incoming calls and notifications while the iPhone is locked like previously.

Apple has also made couple of other minor changes to the Do not disturb feature:

  • The settings for the Do Not Disturb feature can now be accessed directly from the Settings main page just below Control Center and is not hidden under Notifications.
  • The little crescent moon icon has moved from the left hand side of the time field on the Status bar to the left of the battery indicator as you can see in the screenshot below.


Let us know what you think of the improvements to the Do Not Disturb feature in iOS 7.

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Categories: iOS 7

  • nabariba

    This is a good feature!

  • Brennan Babb

    The performance of ios7 Is utter crap, battery life is terrible,crashing, hanging, non responsive in some apps. I hope these will pass in future releases. The battery performance is the most important

    • Eugene

      Yeah, I hope so too, at the moment I reverted back to 6.1.3 on my iPhone 4 until they release beta 2 and/or some developers fix their apps

    • bassel mabsout

      its a beta?

      • Eugene

        honestly it is more like an alpha by Apple’s standards, but it is definitely gonna shine when refined

        • bassel mabsout

          its kinda working fine for me until now , some bugs but i can live with it

    • Hessam

      That’s why people other than Developers and Beta testers were not supposed to install this release.

    • wolverinemarky

      its a beta they will all have bugs in them till the goldmaster is released. it is suppose to be tested by the devs to make sure it works with their app and if it dont they tweak their app so it works and prevents issues like battery life depleting and crashing and other stuff. never try the first beta of a new ios it wont work like u want

    • Necter

      @Brennan, it is not yet ios 7, u r running in fact ios 7 beta 1 steeply meant for devs to work with. If you experience the crashes and so come fall, 2013, then aha, let us know here. For now, don’t be shocked by the performance.

    • Jimmy Fashner

      It’s a beta. And the first version at that. What the hell did you think? Apple has always prided itself in excellent battery life and a solid operating system. Wait until the final version gets released to the public before whining.

      • Joe

        Hey guess what? The final version has been released and the battery life is significantly worse than the previous version.

  • filthyjason

    I’d like to be able to silence just group imessages / texts or even individual conversations. I have to leave my phone on for work but imessage groups of friends around the world and don’t want to be buzzed when someone a few time zones away decides to chime in while I’m sleeping.

  • Rammstein

    Phone went for 80% to dead flat in 7 hours of non use, going back to 6

  • geb

    Well os 7 looks better what what about can we get do not disturb by the day instead of every day same time. MORE Functionality please I had a feature phone that gave me this.

  • Fred

    Would love to set do not disturb on an app basis. If there is a tornado warning, I’m OK with my iphone waking me up!

  • Vlado

    This is absolutely essential option for this feature! I am using OmniFocus on my iPhone and it happens very often that I am working on something important and I don’t want to be disturbed, but also I want to use my iPhone to write down new task, check a “next step” or make a quick note. It was quite frustrating to me that I was not able to set “do not disturb” even if I was using my iPhone.

    So, thumbs up!

  • Judy

    I’m stuck on iOS 7 guided access. Each time I put on my password it says “incorrect password” even though I put in the right one! I tried Find my IPhone app, and the lock codes comes in, put on the right password but it still throws me back to the guided access! I don’t know what to do! Am I the only one with this problem?

  • Ron Jeffries

    I have not been getting calls that I thought I should have. The reason, I think, is that (a) Apple defaulted to only Favorites not being silenced, and (b) they turned on auto-locking. So the phone locked, which I thought was a good idea, and then no calls got through. There was no hint that this was happening …

  • Indigo Blue

    What am I missing here? I don’t want my phone silenced when it’s locked or always.. I want to hear an incoming call when my phone is locked. My phone must be locked since there is company info that is accessible on it.

    So settings for ‘locked’ or ‘always’ don’t work for me. I didn’t have this problem with io6

    • Alan Bloom

      I agree. I’ve been missing calls and texts since iOS 7 essentially coerced us into using the lock code. How to get around this???

      • Martha Hargrave

        If you go to Settings, touch “Do Not Disturb”, and “Allow Calls From”, you can choose “everyone”. Your phone will alert in the locked position. I too, was missing calls!

  • Michael Strunk

    I want to know when I get a text or a notification when my iPhone is locked, how do I get around that?

    • Jill

      I have phoned Apple support about this and got nowhere – just told to erase all content and reboot, which I did – to no avail. On the ‘do not disturb’ page, the Silence option has only two choices: Always or Only when iPhone is locked. I think that is the problem.

  • Jill

    I don’t get text or Facebook or eBay notifications on my lock screen, and phone discussions with my provider and Apple support have done nothing to help. It is very irritating, but I think the problem is with the Do Not Disturb page and the Silence options at the foot of that page – they give only ‘Always’ or ‘Only while iPhone is locked’. I want neither of these, but can’t change them.

    • Gautam

      Sorry, I couldn’t understand the issue. Please can you elaborate.

  • kinchaser

    I suddenly have NO alert tone for texts. A bar appears at the top alerting whom is texting me but no tone. Have checked DND, have ‘allowed calls from everyone’. Anyone got this? I CAN give a hint on the battery life under 7. Must close apps by 1st minimizing by double clicking the home button; then ‘swipe’ to close it. Otherwise they remain open and silently, stealthily suck battery life!

  • Scoty

    I am having issue with my i phone 4s too which it rings only twice and then you can not hear the sound of the ring tone and the incoming call still flashes.This does not happen all the time although i allow calls from everyone. Pls any help will be appreciated.