Explained: Will My Alarm go Off in Do Not Disturb

This is probably the most famous question among the people who use Do Not Disturb mode on their devices. 

In this article, I will answer this question and give solutions to make sure that you hear your alarm when it sounds even when your Do Not Disturb mode is enabled. 

So, ‘Will my alarm wake me up if Do Not Disturb is on?’

The simple answer is, it will depend on your device’s operating system and your Do Not Disturb mode settings.

Why use Do Not Disturb mode?

Everyone has their reasons why they may use the Do Not Disturb mode on their devices, but most people use this feature for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. For undisturbed sleep: To be able to sleep in peace, without the interruptions of incoming calls or messages. In the Do Not Disturb mode, all notifications, calls, and alerts are silenced.
  2. To help in concentration: Maybe during presentations, important meetings, at work trying to beat deadlines, or even trying to study for an exam. Silencing notifications and only prioritizing important calls can be very convenient.

    The Do Not Disturb feature can also help in maintaining a professional presence while in meetings by keeping all notifications quiet.
  3. For safe driving: We can all agree that phones can be a great source of distraction while driving which in turn can lead to accidents.

    So to be responsible drivers with safe driving habits and to minimise the temptations of using the phone while on the road, the Do Not Disturb mode can come in handy.
  4. To have some personal time and relaxation: For those who like to just take off time and enjoy their surroundings, engage in activities like reading, meditation, hiking, or have a great time with their loved ones without the never-ending sound of notifications and calls, the Do Not Disturb mode can be very helpful.
  5. Scheduled time-outs: Supposing you are the kind of person who wants to have an hour off every day to maybe pray, prepare for meetings, to hang out with family, then Do Not Disturb mode can be scheduled to activate automatically and allow you that hour of no interruptions from calls, or messages, or any type of alerts.
  6. Ability to prioritize important calls and alerts: While Do Not Disturb mode can work as Silent mode; there is a provision to allow important alarms or calls from important/emergency contacts. 

    The Do Not Disturb mode enables you to customize when and what notifications and alarms to receive according to your requirements and preferences.

Will my alarm go off in Do Not Disturb mode?

Whether your alarm sounds or not when using Do Not Disturb mode will usually depend on your device’s operating system, and its settings when the Do Not Disturb mode is turned on.

We shall approach this question from the perspective of the phone’s operating system: 

  1. When using the Android operating system
  2. When using iOS 

1. When using iOS

By default alarms on iPhones are set to go off regardless of what mode the phone is in, even during the Do Not Disturb mode. 

As long as you have set your alarm for the right day, date, and time, you should be able to hear it when it goes off.

However, to allow your event reminder alarms and avoid any chance of your alarm not sounding during the Do Not Disturb mode, you can customize this in the settings.

There are two ways to get to the Do Not Disturb settings:

Swipe down on your screen from the top to get the Quick Settings menu, long press on Focus then select Do Not Disturb

Tap on the three dots beside Do Not Disturb and select Settings at the bottom of the drop-down menu that appears. This will take you to the Do Not Disturb settings.

Focus icon
Do Not Disturb
Select Do Not Disturb Settings
Do Not Disturb Settings

Alternatively, you can also go to Settings from your device’s home screen. 

Tap on Focus then tap on Do Not Disturb; it should take you to the Do Not Disturb settings.

In phone settings select Focus option
Go to Do Not Disturb settings
Do Not Disturb settings

In Do Not Disturb settings, there is a provision called Allow Notifications for People and Apps

Tap on the Apps option, under Apps tap on Add, and then select the Alarms app from the list of apps and tap Done

Alarms will now appear under apps that can interrupt Do Not Disturb.

Select Apps to allow notifications
Add apps to allow access in Do Not Disturb
Add the alarm app
Alarms will now appear under apps that can interrupt Do Not Disturb

This will ensure that you will be able to hear all your alarms; bedtime, reminders from calendar events, or otherwise.

Also read: Why Computer Makes Buzzing Noise When Scrolling

2. When using the Android operating system

Android users have more options and control over their preferences when using the Do Not Disturb mode. However, it is important to note that the names and variability of these settings will depend on the brand and model of your Android device.

Unlike iOS, alarms in Android will not sound automatically, and depending on your settings you may either miss or sleep right through them.

To customize, go to your Do Not Disturb settings on Android or iOS; 

Using the Quick Settings menu; by dragging your finger downward from the top of your screen, and then long press on Do Not Disturb. 

Note:

Just tapping on Do Not Disturb, only turns on the mode but does not take you to the settings.

add do not disturb to your Quick Settings menu
Turn on DND

On the other hand, go to the phone Settings and select Sound and Vibration

Pro Tip:

Depending on the brand and model of your device, this setting may be named differently for example; Sound

Under Sound and Vibration there is a section for Do Not Disturb, tap on this to get to the Do Not Disturb settings.

Select Sound & Vibration from the phone settings
Turn on DND settings
DND

Under Do Not Disturb settings, you have two options.

  • Adding the Clock app as ‘What can interrupt Do Not Disturb’. 

Remember that this setting may have a different name like Exceptions or Select Priorities, depending on your phone brand and model.
Tap on Apps → Add Apps, and then select Clock from the list of applications.

Add alarm app
add app of choice
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After adding the Clock app, you have a choice to further modify the notifications. 

Tap on the Clock app and then choose what alarms or notifications you want to interrupt the Do Not Disturb mode.

Clock
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  • Adjusting Alarms and other interruptions. This is the easier option, but it does not give you a range over which alarms can interrupt Do Not Disturb. 

Select Alarms and other interruptions, and tap on Alarms. 

This will allow you to hear all your alarms while using Do Not Disturb; you can also tap Reminders and Calendar Events.

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Please note:

That if you allow the Clock app but do not allow alarms under ‘Alarms and other notifications’, your alarm will go off but it will be silent, and unless you are looking at your phone when it goes off, you will miss it. 

It will therefore be indicated as a missed alarm. 

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I recommend that you activate both these options to avoid the risk of missing any alarms while your Do Not Disturb is enabled on Android.

Do Not Disturb and Alarm FAQs

How do I silence my iPhone but keep the alarm on?

Putting your iPhone in silence will not prevent your alarm from staying on and going off when it is supposed to, as long as you set it properly. 

To set your alarm properly, go to the Clock app;
To set a new alarm, choose the plus sign (+) found in the top-right corner of the app, or tap Edit at the top-left corner to adjust an existing alarm.

Select the time you want your alarm to sound, right down to the exact hour, minute, and time of the day (AM or PM) when you want your alarm to go off. 

Your iPhone’s alarm is set to go off once by default but you can choose to repeat the alarm daily, weekly, or on specific days. 

Tap Save to set your alarm and it will go off even in Silent mode.

How do I make sure my alarm goes off Android?

First and foremost, ensure that your alarm is set properly; for the right day (in case of scheduled alarms), date, and time (AM or PM if using a 12-hour clock).

Then, irrespective of your device’s ring volume, confirm that your alarm volume is loud enough. 
Press the volume adjustment buttons (up or down), and tap on the three dots (…) at the bottom of the slider that appears. 

Quick settings for sound and vibration will appear with four specific sliders for media, call, ring and notification, and alarm volumes. 

Slide the alarm volume to the desired level.

Check your Do Not Disturb mode settings and allow alarms or reminders to interrupt the total silence setting of this mode. 

Will my alarm go off if my phone is on silent and Do Not Disturb mode?

While using an iPhone; your alarm will go off irrespective of what mode your phone is set in; whether it is Silent, Do Not Disturb, or even Aeroplane mode. 

Just make sure that your alarm is set properly, the alarm volume is loud enough, and that you have disconnected your AirPods or headphones.

For Android devices; whether your phone is in silent or flight mode, or that your earphones are connected does not matter, your alarm will still go off as long as it is set well and with an optimal volume. 

However, you will need to change your alarm settings to make sure that not only does your alarm go off, but that you will hear it when it does in case your phone is in Do Not Disturb mode.

What happens when someone calls you while your phone is in Do Not Disturb?

Whether you are using an iOS or Android device, you will continue to receive phone calls even when Do Not Disturb mode is enabled. 

The difference is your phone will not ring or vibrate and you will not get any notification popups until you open your Phone app, or your Do Not Disturb mode is disabled or depending on the settings on your device. 

You can customize these settings as follows; 
For Android devices; 
Go to Settings → Sound and Vibration → Do Not Disturb → What can interrupt Do Not Disturb → People. 

Note that these settings may have different tags depending on your device’s brand and model. 
Here you can then decide whose calls and messages can interrupt the Do Not Disturb mode as well as modify what happens with repeat callers.

For iOS devices, if the number calls more than twice within three minutes, then Do Not Disturb mode is set to allow the call through by default. 

However, you can alter this by going to Settings → Focus → Do Not Disturb → Allow Notifications → People. 
Add who you want to receive notifications and calls from while in Do Not Disturb mode and choose what happens with repeated calls.

Conclusion

It is important to note that your alarms’ behavior will differ depending on the device you are using, the Clock app settings, and the Do Not Disturb mode settings of your device. 

I advise you to check and try out the different alarm and Do Not Disturb settings on your device as well as consult your device’s user manuals. 

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Esther
Esther
Esther is an enthusiastic writer at GoTechUG, she creates practical content that helps people navigate the complex online environment. She is passionate about travelling, meeting with friends, and watching movies in her spare time.

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