How do I allow certain calls when my phone is silenced?

Do Not Disturb is an Android feature that allows you to silence notifications, calls, messages, and other alerts on your phone when you don’t want to be disturbed. When Do Not Disturb is enabled, your phone will not ring, vibrate, or show banner notifications as they come in. This allows you to focus without constant interruptions from your phone.

Do Not Disturb gives you control over which notifications come through and which get blocked when it’s enabled. You can customize it to allow certain calls or messages to come through from favorite contacts or repeated callers. This allows you to maintain some connectivity while minimizing disturbances. Overall, Do Not Disturb lets you silence your phone on demand so you can better focus, sleep, work or spend time without constant disruptions.

Allowing Calls When Silenced

When your iPhone is set to silent or Do Not Disturb mode, you can still allow calls from certain people to ring through. There are a few ways to do this on an iPhone.

Allow Calls from Favorites

You can set your iPhone to always allow calls from your Favorites list even when silenced. To do this:

  • Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb
  • Tap Allow Calls From
  • Select Favorites

Now any calls from people you have added to your Favorites in the Phone app will ring through when your phone is silenced (according to Apple Stack Exchange).

Allow Calls from Recents

You can also allow calls from recent contacts to get through in silent mode. To enable this:

  • Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb
  • Tap Allow Calls From
  • Select Recents

This will allow any calls from people you’ve recently called or received calls from to ring even when your phone is set to silent (according to Hongkiat).

Allow Calls from Contacts

To let all calls from your contacts in your address book ring through, you can:

  • Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb
  • Tap Allow Calls From
  • Select All Contacts

This will override the silenced setting for any calls from people in your Contacts list (according to Apple Support).

Allow Calls from Favorites

You can allow calls from your Favorite contacts even when Do Not Disturb is enabled on your iPhone. To do this:

  1. Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb.
  2. Tap Allow Calls From.
  3. Select Favorites.

This will allow any contact you have added to your Favorites list in the Phone app to still ring through when Do Not Disturb is on. You can add or remove contacts to your Favorites at any time to control who can reach you this way. This is useful if you want to make sure calls from your close friends and family are not silenced.


Allow Calls from Recents

One way to allow calls through when your phone is silenced is to enable the repeated calls setting in Do Not Disturb. This setting allows a call to ring through if the same phone number calls again within 3 minutes, even if Do Not Disturb is enabled.

To enable this on an iPhone running iOS 15 or later:

  1. Go to Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb.
  2. Turn on Repeated Calls under the “Allow Calls From” section.

Now if someone calls you twice within 3 minutes, their call will override Do Not Disturb and your phone will ring. This can be useful for allowing calls from recent or important contacts through even when you have silenced notifications.


Allow Calls from Contacts

You can allow calls from specific contacts even when Do Not Disturb is enabled on your iPhone. This allows calls from your family, close friends, or important contacts to still reach you.

To add contacts as exceptions in Do Not Disturb settings on iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap “Do Not Disturb”.
  2. Make sure “Do Not Disturb” is toggled on.
  3. Scroll down and tap “Allow Calls From”.
  4. Tap “All Contacts” to allow calls from everyone in your contacts. Or tap “Favorites” to only allow calls from your Favorites contacts.
  5. You can also tap “Contacts” and select individual contacts you want to allow calls from.
  6. Once you select contacts, their calls will still come through even when Do Not Disturb is enabled.

This allows you to silence notifications and calls from everyone except your chosen contacts. It’s useful for only allowing the most important people to reach you when you have Do Not Disturb on.


Allow Calls with Emergency Bypass

The iPhone’s Emergency Bypass setting allows certain contacts to bypass Do Not Disturb or when your phone is silenced. This enables calls from those contacts to ring your phone with a sound and vibration even when notifications are muted.

To enable Emergency Bypass for a contact:

  1. Open the Contacts app and select the contact you want to allow to bypass Do Not Disturb.
  2. Tap Edit in the upper right corner.
  3. Under Ringtone, toggle on the “Emergency Bypass” switch.

Once enabled, that contact’s calls will be able to bypass Do Not Disturb and muted settings. You can disable Emergency Bypass anytime by toggling the switch off.

Emergency Bypass overrides both Do Not Disturb and when your iPhone is manually silenced. However, it does not override the Lock switch being turned on. With the Lock switch engaged, no calls will sound.[1]


Scheduling Do Not Disturb

The iPhone allows you to schedule Do Not Disturb during certain times so that you won’t be disturbed by calls or notifications. To set up a schedule for Do Not Disturb on your iPhone:

1. Open the Settings app and tap “Focus”.

2. Tap “Do Not Disturb”.

3. Tap “Scheduled”.

4. Tap the “+” icon to create a new scheduled time.

5. Set the start and end time when you want Do Not Disturb enabled.

6. Tap “Done” when finished.

Do Not Disturb will now automatically turn on and off during the scheduled times. You can create multiple scheduled blocks if desired. This allows you to have Do Not Disturb enabled only during certain hours like at night when you are sleeping (as cited from

Automating Do Not Disturb

One of the most convenient ways to automatically enable Do Not Disturb on your iPhone is by using Focus modes. Focus modes allow you to create custom profiles that automatically enable when certain conditions are met, such as time of day, location, or app usage. You can set up a Focus mode to turn on Do Not Disturb when you need to avoid interruptions.

To automate Do Not Disturb using Focus modes, go to Settings > Focus and tap the Plus icon to create a new Focus. Give the Focus a name like “DND” and customize the options. Make sure to toggle on “Do Not Disturb” under Allow Notifications. You can then set this Focus to turn on automatically at set times, when arriving at certain locations, during events in your calendar, or when you open certain apps.

For example, you may want your DND Focus to turn on automatically at night when you go to sleep. Simply set a schedule for the times you go to bed and wake up. The DND Focus will then enable Do Not Disturb mode during those hours so you aren’t woken up by calls or notifications. You can also set the Focus to turn off when your sleep schedule ends so Do Not Disturb is disabled in the morning.

The Focus modes give you lots of options for customizing and automating Do Not Disturb to fit your schedule and needs. With just a bit of setup, you can have your iPhone automatically go into DND at appropriate times without manually toggling it on and off. This allows you to avoid disruptions when you need to focus or sleep.

Customizing Notifications

You can customize notification settings for individual apps on your phone. This allows you to control which apps can send notifications when your phone is silenced or set to Do Not Disturb. Here’s how to adjust notification settings for apps on an iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings > Notifications.
  2. Scroll down and tap the app you want to customize notifications for.
  3. Toggle Allow Notifications on or off to enable or disable notifications for that app.
  4. Under Notification Style, choose an alert style like Banners or Alerts.
  5. Tap Sounds to customize the notification sounds for that app.
  6. Use the options under Notification Grouping and Show In History to control how notifications appear.
  7. Toggle Show Previews, Badge App Icon, and Show on Lock Screen on or off.

Following these steps for each app allows you to selectively enable or mute notifications on a per-app basis. This way, you can still receive notifications from selected apps even when your phone is set to silent or Do Not Disturb.


In summary, there are a few different ways to allow certain calls to come through even when your phone is set to silent or Do Not Disturb mode on both iPhone and Android devices.

The easiest options are to create an Allow Exceptions list and add favorite contacts, recent callers, or specific contact groups to that list. This will override your silenced settings and allow calls from those people to make a sound and vibrate your phone.

You can also set up emergency bypass so starred contacts or repeated calls within a certain timeframe will still notify you. And all phones have emergency government alert notifications that will sound alarms regardless of your volume/silence settings.

For even more customization, look into the automatic scheduling and calendar integration features for Do Not Disturb on your iPhone or Android. This allows you to automatically silence distracting calls and notifications during set time periods, while allowing VIP exceptions.

The key is understanding the different settings unique to your model of phone and OS version. Play around with the Do Not Disturb settings to find the right balance for your needs and preferences.

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