How to Use Focus Mode on iPhone

iPhone's focus mode allows you to stay away from the distractions and be in focus of what is more important. Here is how to effectively use this feature.

How to Use Focus Mode in iPhone

In an increasingly digital world, staying focused and minimizing distractions can be a challenge. Our smartphones, including the iPhone, are packed with features that can both aid and hinder our concentration.

Apple understands this dilemma and has introduced a valuable tool called “Focus Mode” to help users maintain their productivity and reduce interruptions.

In this article, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of Focus Mode and guide you on how to make the most of this feature on your iPhone.

What is Focus Mode?

What is focus mode

Focus mode is a feature on iPhones and iPads that helps you reduce distractions and stay focused on the task at hand. It lets you choose which people and apps can send you notifications and even create custom Focus modes for different activities.

When you turn on Focus mode, your iPhone will only show notifications from the people and apps that you’ve allowed. You can also choose to hide notifications from the Lock Screen and Notification Center.

This can help you stay focused on your work, studies, or personal time without being interrupted by notifications from other apps.

Focus mode is also integrated with the Lock Screen and Home Screen. You can create custom Lock Screens and Home Screens for different Focus modes. This can help you quickly switch to the apps and widgets that you need for the task at hand.

Here are some examples of how you can use Focus mode

  • Work: Create a Focus mode for work and only allow notifications from work-related apps, such as email, calendar, and messaging apps.
  • Studies: Create a Focus mode for studies and only allow notifications from educational apps and websites.
  • Personal time: Create a Focus mode for personal time and only allow notifications from family and friends.
  • Sleep: Create a Focus mode for sleep and silence all notifications during your sleep hours.

Understanding Focus Mode

Understanding Focus Mode is essential for making the most of this feature on your iPhone. It’s a tool designed to help users filter notifications and minimize interruptions during specific activities or times of the day.

Here’s a more detailed explanation of what Focus Mode is all about

  • Customizable Profiles: Focus Mode allows you to create and customize profiles, or “Focuses,” each tailored to a specific purpose. You can set up Focuses for work, personal time, sleep, or any other activity that requires your undivided attention. For example, you can create a “Work” Focus for your office hours or a “Sleep” Focus to ensure a peaceful night’s rest.
  • Notification Control: The key feature of Focus Mode is its ability to control notifications. Within each Focus, you can specify which people and apps can send you notifications when that particular Focus is active. This means that when you’re in a “Work” Focus, only essential work-related notifications will come through, while others will be silenced.
  • Personalization: You have the freedom to name your Focus and choose an icon that represents its purpose. This makes it easy to identify and activate the right Focus at the right time.
  • Automation: Focus Mode can be automated. You can set specific times or conditions to trigger a particular Focus. For instance, you can automate your “Work” Focus to activate during your regular work hours, ensuring you’re not distracted by irrelevant notifications.
  • Control Center Integration: The Control Center makes it easy to access and switch between Focuses. You can activate a Focus quickly by swiping down from the top right of your iPhone screen.
  • Customization of Home Screen: Besides managing notifications, Focus Mode allows you to customize your home screen based on the active Focus. This means you can have specific apps and widgets appear or disappear on your home screen, depending on the context.
  • Status Sharing: You can choose to share your Focus Mode status with specific contacts. This feature lets them know when you’re currently focused and may not be readily available for casual conversations or activities. It’s a great way to communicate your availability without constantly being interrupted.
  • Silence Mode: Enabling a Focus also engages the “Silence” feature. This means that your device will automatically switch to “Do Not Disturb” mode, muting calls and notifications to ensure you remain undistracted.

Understanding Focus Mode and its features enables you to harness this tool to your advantage, maintaining focus and productivity in various aspects of your life. Whether you’re working, spending time with loved ones, or trying to get a good night’s sleep, Focus Mode empowers you to control your iPhone’s behavior, so it supports your goals and helps you manage distractions effectively.

Setting Up Focus Mode

  1. Go to Settings > Focus.
setting focus mode
  1. Tap a Focus mode to customize it. 
  2. To turn on a Focus mode, tap the Focus mode icon in Control Center. 
  3. When a Focus mode is turned on, you’ll see a Focus mode icon in the status bar. 

Creating a Custom Focus mode

  1. Go to Settings > Focus.
  2. Tap the plus sign (+) in the top right corner.
  3. Enter a name for your Focus mode, choose a color and icon – and Tap Next.
customize focus mode
  1. Choose which people and apps can send you notifications, and then Tap Next.
  2. Customize the options for your Focus mode, and you’ll be good to go.

Some tips for using Focus Mode Effectively

  • Use Focus mode for specific activities.
  • Customize your Focus modes to your needs. 
  • Use Focus filters to minimize distractions further. 
  • Schedule Focus modes to turn on automatically. 
  • Turn on Focus Lock if you need to stay focused without distractions. 

Benefits of Using Focus Mode

  • Improved Productivity: By customizing your Focus settings, you can ensure that only relevant notifications come through during specific activities, allowing you to concentrate better on your work or leisure time.
  • Reduced Distractions: You can significantly cut down on interruptions from less important notifications, making it easier to stay on track and avoid distractions.
  • Enhanced Work-Life Balance: With Focus Mode, you can separate work-related notifications from personal ones, helping you maintain a healthier work-life balance.
  • Customization: Focus Mode is highly customizable, allowing you to adapt it to your specific needs, whether you’re a student, a professional, or someone who wants to enjoy a quiet evening.
  • Increased Awareness: By sharing your Focus status with select contacts, you can let them know when you’re unavailable or need time to focus.

iPhone Focus Mode in use

  • Once you’ve set up a Focus, it will kick in automatically according to your schedule if you’ve chosen that preference.
  • If you didn’t set up automatic activation for Focus Mode, you can turn it on in the Control Center by swiping it down from the top of your iPhone’s screen. It’s quick and easy!
  • Siri support was expected in the iOS 15 beta, but it’s not working just yet.

You’ll find the Focus icon on your lock screen, notifications screen, Control Center, and the Status Bar. If you hold down on the Focus icon on the lock or notifications screen or in the Control Center, you can tap it to switch a Focus on or off, or you can tap the three dots to change the schedule.

More about Focus Mode

You can change your phone’s Do Not Disturb, Do Not Disturb While Driving, or Sleep schedule in the new Focus settings in iOS 15.

There’s also a feature that lets your phone automatically reply to messages when you’re using Focus, but right now, it’s not working in the early beta version.

In the coming weeks, app developers should start using this feature. You can also decide which apps can use this Focus Status feature in the phone settings.


Can I schedule Focus Modes to activate automatically?

Yes, you can set up automation for Focus Modes to activate at specific times. For example, you can schedule a “Work” Focus to activate during your work hours.

Can I share my Focus Mode status with contacts?

Yes, you can choose to share your Focus Mode status with specific contacts. This lets them know when you’re in a particular Focus and may not be available for communication.

How does Focus Mode help with productivity and reducing distractions?

Focus Mode helps improve productivity by allowing you to filter notifications and limit interruptions during specific tasks. By customizing your Focus settings, you can ensure that only important notifications come through, reducing distractions and improving concentration.

Is Focus Mode available on all iPhone models?

Focus Mode is available on iPhone models running iOS 15 and later. If your iPhone is running an earlier version of iOS, you’ll need to update your operating system to access this feature.

Can I use Focus Mode during calls or for specific apps?

Yes, you can customize Focus Mode settings to allow specific apps or contacts to send notifications still, even when a particular Focus is active. This can be useful if you want to prioritize calls or messages from specific individuals.

Can I create a “Do Not Disturb” mode using Focus Mode?

Yes, you can create a custom Focus Mode that functions similarly to “Do Not Disturb.” You can set up a Focus for times when you need complete silence and no notifications.

Can I use Focus Mode to improve my sleep hygiene?

Yes, you can create a “Sleep” Focus Mode to reduce distractions before bedtime. It’s a great way to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep by silencing non-essential notifications.

Is there a limit to the number of Focus Modes I can create?

You can create multiple Focus Modes, but the exact number may depend on your device and iOS version. You can create as many as you need to accommodate different aspects of your life.


Focus Mode is a remarkable addition to the iPhone’s arsenal of tools for enhancing productivity and reducing distractions. Whether you need to stay concentrated during work hours, unwind during your time, or ensure a good night’s sleep, Focus Mode can be your trusted companion.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can set up and customize your Focus Modes to suit your unique lifestyle and improve your overall smartphone experience.

Embrace this feature, and you’ll find that it becomes invaluable in your quest to maintain focus and productivity in an increasingly distracting world.

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Prashant Gour, a dedicated content writer and multitalented artist, finds inspiration in web series, excels in table tennis, and fuses creativity into his work. His passion and diverse talents shape a unique and inspiring journey.