Even though smartphones and apps have completely changed our lives, they can sometimes be the devil. Focusing on the task at hand becomes completely impossible because there’s always a distraction. And ninety-nine percent of the time, the distraction comes in the form of a notification tone from our phone.

It’s best to silence these buggers from time to time. There are plenty of options available on the iPhone to silence notifications, giving you a degree of control. You could decide to mute the notifications completely, or on an app-by-app basis. With the new focus modes, you can even mute notifications on a contextual basis. Let’s explore all the options.

Use the Ring/ Silent Switch

The Ring/ Silent switch on iPhone is one of the most convenient switches ever on a phone. This piece of hardware is present on the right side of the phone, just above the volume buttons. After a while, you can use it to put your iPhone on silent without even having to look at it; it becomes an instinct. In the silent mode, alerts from apps and ringtones are silenced but your phone can still play sounds with music or videos.

To put your iPhone in silent mode, move the switch to the back of the phone so the orange color is showing.

To put it back in the ring mode, move it towards the front so the orange part is not showing.

The silent switch is awfully convenient when you quickly want to silence your phone so it won’t disturb others, such as when at the doctor’s or in class, or the office. But if you have vibration on, then your iPhone will still vibrate when there’s a call or notification. This prevents the ring from disturbing others, while you still get notified.

You can even turn off vibrations in silent mode if you want. Open the Settings app and go to ‘Sounds & Haptics’.

Then, turn off the toggle for ‘Vibrate on Silent’.

Turn Down the Volume to Silent Notifications

Another quick way to silent notifications is by turning down your ringer volume. Go to the Settings app and tap the option for ‘Sounds & Haptics’.

To turn down the volume, drag the slider to the left to turn down the volume.

If you want to change the ringer volume through buttons, enable the toggle for ‘Change with buttons’.

You can then change the ringer volume with volume buttons. And the media volume can be changed from the Control Center.

Mute Notifications for Certain Apps

When certain apps are bombarding you with unnecessary notifications, you don’t have to bear with them. There are plenty of options to manage notifications for apps on iPhone. You can manage them from the Notification Center or the Settings app.

When your iPhone is unlocked, either swipe up on the lock screen or swipe down from the upper edge of the home screen to bring up Notification Center.

Then, go to the app notification that’s been bothering you. Swipe left on the notification.

Certain options would appear on the right of the notification. Tap ‘Options’.

You can either tap ‘Mute for 1 Hour’ or ‘Mute for Today’ to temporarily silence the notifications for that app. These options are only available from the Control Center.

You can also turn them off completely. Tap ‘Turn Off’ from the menu.

Even if you don’t have a notification from an app in the notification center, you can turn off notifications from the Settings app as well. Open the Settings app and tap the option for ‘Notifications’.

All apps on your phone will be listed. Find the app in the list and tap it to view more options.

To turn off notifications from the app completely, disable the toggle for ‘Allow Notifications’.

To still get the notifications on your screen without the sound, let the previous toggle remain on. Then, turn off the toggle for ‘Sounds’.

Use DND or another Focus mode

Before iOS 15, we all used and loved DND to completely silence our phones. DND got an overhaul in iOS 15 in the form of Focus modes. DND is still there, but for times when DND is too drastic, you can use a Focus mode. What’s the difference?

Previously, DND used to stop notifications from all apps completely. You could allow calls to get through from Favorites or after some people had tried to call you repeatedly in 3 minutes, but that was about the extent of it.

With Focus, you can let notifications from certain apps pass through. You can even have different Focus modes for work, home, sleep, driving, gym, and the good old DND is still around and tweakable.

You can still use DND without having to set it up. Swipe down from the upper-left corner of the screen to open Control Center.

Then, tap the ‘DND’ icon (moon symbol) on the left of ‘Focus’ in the Control Center. If you don’t configure it additionally, DND will silence notifications from all apps by default.

To configure a new Focus mode or make changes to the DND mode, open the Settings app and go to ‘Focus’.

Tap ‘Do Not Disturb’ to change the rules for it.

Then, to add any apps or people you want to allow notification for, tap the ‘People’ or ‘Apps’ option.

Tap ‘Add’ on the next screen.

Then, add the people or apps and tap ‘Done’. You’ll see the apps and people you’ve allowed in the list.

You can also schedule DND to automatically turn on. Tap the schedule under ‘Turn on Automatically’ to enable it.

Adding a new Focus mode is also similar. Tap the Focus you want to set up and decide the people and apps you want to allow notifications for. Then, enable the Focus mode from Control Center when you want to silence your notifications.

Check out our detailed guide on using Focus modes in iOS 15 for more information.

Disable Notifications for a Chat

You can also mute notifications for messages received from certain people. Whether it’s a group that’s a little too active or a person who’s always texting you at the wrong time, it’s easy to silence them.

Open the Messages app and open the conversation you want to silence the notifications for. Tap the contact/ group name at the top of the conversation.

Turn on the toggle for ‘Hide Alerts’.

New messages from these chats are delivered not just quietly but without any notification at all. You’ll only find that you have a new message from them when you open the Messages app.

Silence Message Notifications for Certain Contacts

If you still want to be notified when a certain contact messages you but in silence, then hiding alerts is not the correct choice in this instance. You can instead silence the text tone for them.

Open the Phone app and go to the ‘Contacts’ tab.

Tap the contact you want to silent message notifications for. Tap ‘Edit’ in the upper-right corner.

Then, scroll down and tap the option for ‘Text Tone’.

Tap ‘None’ to silent message notifications. Now, notifications from this contact will still appear on the lock screen but there won’t be an alert.

Silent Message Notifications Completely

You can also completely silent message notifications without trading off the notification banner on the screen. Open the Settings app and tap the option for ‘Sounds & Haptics’.

Then tap the option for ‘Text Tone’.

Select ‘None’ from the Alert Tones.

Silencing notifications can go a long way when you’re trying to get something important done. With so many options at your disposal, you can go about it as it suits you the best.