Focus Not Working on iOS 15? 10 Ways to Fix the Issue

iOS 15 was just released to the public and it has been quite the buzz in the media. Mainly, the new update from Apple to iOS comes with tons of new features and improvements that will help improve your workflow and efficiency. A prominent feature in iOS 15 that has everyone excited is the new Focus mode. Many users have decided to opt for the developer beta so that they can get a closer look at Focus mode. But as this is a developer beta, there are bound to be some bugs and issues. Here is all you can do to fix Focus mode if it doesn’t seem to be working for you. 

What is Focus mode?

Focus mode is the new revamped DND mode in iOS 15 that allows you to create a customized routine with a different DND schedule to match your workflow. These routines help you block and let through a customized list of apps and people using which you can better concentrate on your ongoing work. Focus mode differs from DND by allowing you to let through certain apps and people depending on your current needs and requirements. 

10 Ways to fix Focus not working issue

iOS 15 is still in the developer beta phase. Many newly announced features, are still missing from this preview and more importantly it comes with certain bugs and issues that still need to be ironed out. As such, you can face some issues when using the Focus mode on the iOS 15 developer preview. In such cases, you can try one of the fixes below to try and fix your issues with the Focus mode. 

#1: Make sure you have not whitelisted the app

If an app can bypass your focus mode then you should go ahead and check if the app hasn’t been whitelisted by you by mistake. In case the app is whitelisted, it won’t be affected by your current Focus mode. Use the guide below to check for whitelisted apps. 

Open the Settings app on your device and tap on ‘Focus’.

Now tap on the concerned focus mode that the app can bypass on your device. 

Tap on ‘Apps’ at the top.

Now check to see if the current app is available in your Focus mode whitelist. If it is, tap on the ‘minus (-)’ to remove it from the whitelist. 

Once the app has been removed from your whitelist, it won’t be able to bypass your Focus mode anymore.

#2: Make sure you have not whitelisted someone

Another thing to check would be your contact’s whitelist. If you have someone who can get through to you be it calls or messages by bypassing your current Focus mode, then it is likely that the contact has been whitelisted. Use the guide below to remove the contact from your whitelist. 

Open the ‘Settings’ app on your device and tap on ‘Focus’. 

Now tap on the concerned focus mode that your contact can bypass.

Tap on ‘People’ at the top.

You will now get a list of all the whitelisted contacts in the current Focus mode. Find the concerned contact in this list and tap on the ‘minus(-)’ icon above the contact. 

And that’s it! The concerned contact will now be removed from the whitelist and they will no longer be able to bypass your focus mode. 

#3: Make sure that another focus mode is not turned on

This might be a rare case scenario but in case an app or contact can bypass your Focus mode, then it would be a good idea to ensure that the correct focus mode is turned on. Simply activate the control center and tap on the ‘Focus’ module to view all your Focus modes. If a different focus mode is activated then simply tap on the desired one to activate it from the list instead. 

#4: Make sure your focus sync is disabled

If you own multiple Apple devices then this is likely the cause of your issue. Apple has always held its ecosystem in divinity, be it restricting devices to the ecosystem or introducing new features that help form the ecosystem in the first place. As you might expect, Focus modes are also tied into the Apple ecosystem out of the box. This is achieved by syncing your current Focus mode across all your Apple devices associated with your Apple ID. This helps avoid distractions no matter how many devices you own with a simple tap. However, if you find that focus mode is not working as intended or a different one is always enabled on your device, then chances are that it is syncing to your other devices associated with your Apple ID. This can especially be the case if the other device is being used by someone else. You can disable cloud sync for Focus modes easily, by using the guide below.

Open the Settings app on your device and tap on ‘Focus’. 

Now turn off the toggle for ‘Share Across Devices’. 

And that’s it! Your current device’s focus mode will no longer be synced across all your Apple devices. 

#5: Turn off ‘Repeated calls’ to avoid multiple calls from getting through

If you have an issue with calls getting through your focus mode then it might be due to repeated calls being enabled by default in every focus mode. When this setting is turned on, a contact is let through if they try to get in touch with you multiple times regardless of the fact if they are whitelisted or not. This setting helps you get in touch with your loved ones in case of emergencies when you have Focus mode turned on. However, if you have contacts that seem to misuse this feature then you can turn it off using the guide below. 

Open the ‘Settings’ app and tap on ‘Focus’.

Now tap on ‘Phone calls’ at the bottom of your screen. 

Tap and turn off the toggle for ‘Allow Repeated Calls’ at the top of your screen. 

And that’s it! Repeated calls will now be disabled and they will no longer be let through to you in any Focus modes. 

#6: Turn off time-sensitive notifications to avoid urgent notifications during a Focus mode

Apple uses Siri and machine learning to determine time-sensitive notifications and let them through regardless of your Focus mode. These notifications can be OTPs, account statements, amber alerts, important messages from emergency services, and more. This also includes reminders, pick-up notifications, and other alerts from important apps. If however, these notifications seem to annoy you and you are trying to avoid them through your Focus mode then you can turn them off in your settings using the guide below. 

Open the Settings app on your device and tap on ‘Focus’.

Now tap on the desired Focus mode where you wish to turn off this setting. 

Turn off the toggle for ‘Time-Sensitive Notifications’ at the top.

And that’s it! The time-sensitive notifications will no longer be able to bypass your Focus mode.

#7: Make sure Focus schedule time is correct

Are you using scheduled focus modes? Then chances are that there are some discrepancies in your schedule that might be causing the Focus mode to be activated or deactivated at the wrong time. Verify your schedule for the focus mode to ensure that it is not getting turned off or on at the wrong time using the guide below.

Open the Settings app on your device and tap on ‘Focus’. 

Now tap on the concerned Focus mode.

Scroll to the bottom and tap on the currently set schedule. 

Now verify the following to ensure that the Focus mode is not activated or deactivated at the wrong time. 

  • Ensure that the toggle at the top is enabled. 
  • Ensure that the correct time period has been set. Double check-am and pm for ‘From’ and ‘To’ times. 
  • Ensure that the ‘Repeat’ is set to the correct days of the week. 

In case everything has been set correctly on your device then you can try one of the fixes below to fix the Focus mode on your device. 

#8: Ensure that the silent switch is not enabled

This is a long-standing iPhone issue. Have you tried everything but something is still keeping your phone silent? Well, iPhones have faced this issue for a long while but it is no longstanding bug or hardware issue. Have you checked the silent switch? In many cases, the silent switch is the cause of silence issues on an iPhone. Simply check the silent switch by toggling it and you should get a notification at the top sharing the current status of your iOS device. However, if your device wasn’t silenced by the silent switch then you can move to the last few fixes below. 

#9: Ensure that ‘Delayed delivery’ is turned on

Delayed delivery uses Apple’s machine learning to determine and identify nonessential notifications. Once identified these notifications are then delayed and delivered directly to your notification center. You will receive badges for them but won’t get any banner notifications that will interrupt your workflow. If despite Focus mode, you are receiving unnecessary notifications then chances are that ‘Delayed Delivery’ is disabled on your device. Use the guide below to check and turn it on if needed. 

Open the Settings app and tap on ‘Focus’.

Now tap and select the desired Focus mode. 

Scroll to the bottom and tap on ‘Options’.

Now ensure that the toggle for ‘Delayed Delivery’ is turned on. If not, tap on it to turn it on.

And that’s it! Once delayed delivery has been enabled, you will no longer receive unnecessary notifications on your device. 

#10: Last Resort: Reset or Re-install

Well if the Focus mode doesn’t seem to work as intended, then the last thing you can do is try to reinstall the developer beta on your device. To do this, you will need to remove and reinstall the developer profile on your device. A clean install of the OS on your device should help solve any background conflicts that might be stopping the Focus mode from working as intended. 

We hope you were able to easily fix your Focus mode issues using one of the fixes above. If you still face issues, feel free to drop us a message in the comments section below. 

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Mudit

Spectroscopic collection of human cells trying to pave a path via words.

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