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    Why do I get calls when Do Not Disturb is on

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    Aina Martin
    @ainamartin

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    Nobody likes to be interrupted by calls or texts while attending a meeting, watching a movie, attending an event, or while sleeping. People mainly use the “Do Not Disturb” feature on their phone to avoid such unpleasant surprises. But as users have requested custom Do Not Disturb (DND) mode, companies like Google and Apple have added more ways to customize Do Not Disturb settings on the device.


    This means that you can allow certain callers to override DND settings and make an exception on occasion where a caller can contact you. The problem with this option is that if exceptions have been set, when you enable “Do Not Disturb” mode, the system remembers those settings and continues to use them every time you activate DND mode on your device.



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    For example, if you have customized the DND settings on your device to allow your family members to bypass the DND to call or text in an emergency, the system will use the same settings until you make changes to the Do Not Disturb menu.

    Due to these exceptions, you may receive calls when Do Not Disturb is enabled on your device. In this post we will guide you on how to disable these settings on iPhone and Android and how to customize DND to your preferences every time you use the service on your phone.


    Per iPhone

    Always enable silence from settings

    The default Do Not Disturb settings on the iPhone may be the reason you get calls despite having DND enabled. By default, iOS mutes incoming calls and messages only when the iPhone is locked. This means that if you are actively using the iPhone with DND enabled, you will receive calls and messages from the users.



    Thankfully, Apple offers you to change those settings from the DND menu. Open the Settings app on the iPhone and go to the Do Not Disturb menu. From the Silence menu, select Always.

    After that, the iPhone will block callers even when you use the device.


    Do not allow calls from anyone

    Apple allows you to select certain contacts as favorites for easy access from the Phone app. You can also access these contacts by long-tapping the Phone app icon. These favorite contacts are automatically excluded from Do Not Disturb. It means anyone from your favorite contact list can call or text you when Do Not Disturb is on.

    You need to change the DND settings from the iPhone Settings menu. Open the Settings app on the iPhone and go to the Do Not Disturb menu. Scroll down to the Phone menu and select None from the Allow Calls From option. Now, no one, including your favorite contacts, can call you when DND is activated.

    Disable repeat calls

    When you enable Do Not Disturb mode on your iPhone, it will silence all contacts that call you. But, if the same person tries to call you three minutes later, the call will bypass DND mode on the device and your iPhone will ring.


    To avoid this, you need to disable the repeat call settings. Open the Do Not Disturb menu from the iPhone settings and scroll down to the Redial Calls menu and disable the option.


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    For Android

    On Android, each manufacturer applies their own skin on Stock Android, which also changes the Do Not Disturb menu. As for this post, we'll stick with Google's version of Do Not Disturb on Stock Android and Pixel devices running the latest version of the Android OS.


    Disable exceptions from the Do Not Disturb menu

    Let's first understand the default exceptions of the Do Not Disturb feature on Android. Google allows special contacts and repeat callers (within 15 minutes) to bypass the Do Not Disturb settings on Android. You can change the exceptions from the Do Not Disturb menu.


    There are two ways to access the Do Not Disturb menu on Android. You can pull down the notification bar and long press the Do Not Disturb icon to access the menu or open the Settings app on your device and navigate to Sound> Do Not Disturb.

    From the Do Not Disturb menu, go to Calls and here you will see the exception settings. Google special contacts are similar to iOS favorites. By default, special contacts can call you even when DND is on.

    Tap the Allow Calls menu and select the “Don't allow calls” option. I like the way Google allows you to add / remove special contacts from the DND menu itself. Go to the Special Contacts menu and you can remove existing ones or add new ones.

    You should also turn off the “Allow repeat calls” option to disable the same callers to rule the DND feature on your Android phone. End!


    If not used correctly, Do Not Disturb mode can leave you embarrassed in certain situations. And, of course, you don't want that. Use the settings mentioned above and make the necessary changes to the Do Not Disturb menu on iPhone or Android.

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