Tech Supportal logo

Home Tech Problems Solved! Household Technology Support. Any Issue | Any Problem | Anytime

The Smart Home Starter team picks the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Why Is My iPhone Ringing On Do Not Disturb Mode? Explained

Last Updated Dec 12, 2022
Several generations of iPhones

Sometimes you might not want people calling you on your iPhone: at nighttime, driving, or even at work. So, why can your iPhone still ring on Do Not Disturb mode?

Your iPhone ringing on Do Not Disturb can happen for several reasons. The main being having enabled emergency callers, your phone is unlocked, or you’ve allowed repeat callers. 

Further down, we are going to look at how to set up Do Not Disturb and why it might still be ringing.

Setting Up “Do Not Disturb” Mode

Before we get into why your iPhone is ringing on “Do Not Disturb,” let’s look at how it gets set up in the first place.

To set up this protected silence mode, you can simply just click on Do Not Disturb, and it starts it for you.

Some customizations optimize your Focus mode. To turn on or set up those customizations, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings (the silver gear)
  2. Scroll down to find “Focus.” That looks like a crescent moon
  3. Find the “Do Not Disturb” option
  4. Set up your Do Not Disturb according to your needs
Screenshot of the Do Not Disturb settings on an iPhone

This takes us into two reasons why your iPhone might ring while this setting is enabled. 

These settings can be shared across all Apple devices, like your iPad and Apple Watch. It’s also handy to do this when charging your iPhone.

Allowing Notifications for “Do Not Disturb” Mode

When customizing this mode, you have the option to choose permissions for both “People” and “Apps.” 

Read the selections carefully. In either category, you will see the options for “Silence” and “Allow.”

Silence Notifications FromAllow Notifications From
Allows you to choose people or applications you do not wish to hear from while silenced.Allows you to choose apps or people you want to hear from. 
Allows you to choose whether you want phone calls to go through for Silenced PeopleAllows you to choose how you want to screen phone calls.
Allows you to choose whether people not on the preapproved list can get through by calling more than once. 

This can, obviously, get pretty tricky. It used to be that you just toggle on the Do Not Disturb, and that was it. Just like when you are at a hotel, and you put a sign on the door. 

Emergency Callers

This is the first way your iPhone can ring during Do Not Disturb mode. When you set up your Focus mode, you might have set it up that you wanted your “Favorites” to have access.

Part of doing that is you gain access to your Favorites to call or text you anytime. This can be particularly useful if you have friends, family, or work that need to get a hold of you. 

Still, if even that is too much, then you don’t have to set up Emergency Contacts or Favorites. 

People get through when they call Multiple Times

Another time where you can have callers during ‘Do Not Disturb” mode is when the same person calls multiple times. This is another feature that can be turned on or off.

On the iPhone, it is called “Repeat Caller.” This can be used for someone who may not necessarily be on your Favorites, but they might still need to get a hold of you. 

This could be annoying, especially if its from a spam caller.

How to Stop People from Calling on Do Not Disturb

While you may not be able to stop others from calling you, you can block them from disturbing you at night or during odd hours.

When it comes to Repeat Callers and Emergency Callers, this is an easy fix. Go through your settings for this focus mode and disable the setting “Allow Notifications From.” 

Disabling this part of your “Do Not Disturb” mode means ensuring nothing is checked off on your People or Apps options. Make sure the Repeat Callers is also toggled off. 

Again, If you are having issues with your “Favorites” is allowed, you might want to take them off your emergency contact list. 

You might also want to check to ensure you don’t have your Do Not Disturb tied to a location. Another issue is texts not coming in from Android users on iPhones.

Some people set it up so that it is on Do Not Disturb while you are at a certain location or time frame. This is great for meetings of any kind, but it can throw you in a loop when it turns off. 

Calls Coming Through when iPhone is Unlocked

When you are on your iPhone, you will still receive phone calls and text messages. This is because Do Not Disturb only silences and mutes phone calls and text messages.

Since that is the case, when your phone is unlocked, you will still see notifications on your screen. They just won’t make any noise. 

Receiving Calls While on Do Not Disturb

While you can still customize your Do Not Disturb further, the more you add to it, the more complicated it can become.

Setting up location, time, and even allowances can make it so that you risk your phone ringing at an inopportune time. 

If it still doesn’t work, make an appointment at the Genius Bar.

Do Not Disturb can be a really helpful way to focus. Remember to take time with family and friends and even time to focus on work. Focus is just a click away.