iOS 15 Do Not Disturb Messages Issue Explained: How to fix


iPhone users from around the world are now getting their hands on the newest iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system – iOS 15. Having been in testing for a significant part of this summer, iOS 15 brings a ton of improvements to the way you use your iPhone but like with everything, change is not for everyone.

Several owners of the iPhone have been left angered after they found out that they are no longer able to see any notifications of messages or calls on their phones when they’re on Do Not Disturb mode

What is the issue with messages and notifications on iOS 15?

After updating their devices to iOS 15, users realized that they’re unable to receive notifications for calls, texts, and apps on their iPhones. This problem appears to circle around iOS’ new Focus feature, which itself is what Apple has modified the Do Not Disturb (DND) option into. 

Until iOS 14, users were able to use DND and still see notifications when their iPhones were unlocked (if they had selected this setting enabled). This way, users would not see the notifications they get when their iPhone screen was off but could see them as soon as they unlocked their device. These notifications could be anything from alerts about a call to that of an SMS or regular app-related updates. 

For people who often or at all times kept their iPhone on DND, the latest iOS update has proved to be a disaster because they can only see alerts from apps and people when their iPhone is not kept on DND or any other Focus routine. 

Related: Will iOS 15 Scan Photos? [Explained]

What change in iOS 15 caused this issue?

With the release of iOS 15, Apple hasn’t completely replaced the Do Not Disturb mode but it adds this mode as one of the options inside Focus. So why are people facing this issue, you ask? The problem is not that DND mode does not work on iOS 15 but it’s that it no longer offers the same options as the DND mode on iOS 14. More specifically, what people are frustrated about is the removal of the ‘While iPhone is Locked’ option under ‘Silence’ inside their DND settings.

This option is in fact what allowed users to see all the alerts on their iPhone when they unlocked it and silenced each and every one of them when the device is locked and kept away. Instead, users get granular control over which people and apps to get notified from within various routines they set up or create on Focus. 

The recent reports about not getting notifications are from those users who had used the DND mode on their iPhones at all times. This meant that all notifications that users received including calls, messages, and other app alerts were silenced regardless of whether your iPhone was locked or unlocked.

What Apple shouldn’t have done?

The issue that iPhone owners have been facing since updating to iOS 15 is that the Do Not Disturb mode doesn’t work as it did on previous versions of iOS. That’s because Apple has entirely removed the ‘Silence iPhone only when it’s locked’ option that was previously available on iOS 14 from within the Do Not Disturb screen. 

Since this feature is no longer present on the DND mode inside iOS 15, users are not being able to see notifications about calls, texts, or apps even if they’re actively using the phone in front of them. That’s because when Focus is turned on, it disables notifications from everyone and every app by default. This means you may not be able to see incoming calls or messages on your iPhone screen even when the screen remains on. 

Although the new Focus feature allows you to customize which apps and people you may want to receive notifications from when Focus is active, the rest of your notifications are silenced at all times, regardless of whether or not your iPhone screen is on. 

Has Apple acknowledged the issue?

Apple is yet to acknowledge the Do Not Disturb Messages issue on iOS 15. Although users have reported the unavailability of the ‘Silence iPhone only when it’s locked’ option on iOS 15, we’re yet to hear any official word from Apple on the matter. Judging by the outpouring of complaints from users on Reddit and Twitter, we may soon hear what Apple has to say in this regard. 

Will Apple fix it and when?

Since we’re yet to get an official response from Apple on reasons why the ‘Silence iPhone only when it’s locked’ option was removed, we cannot say for certain that Apple will fix the Do Not Disturb Messages issue on iOS 15. With the introduction of Focus, iOS has now diluted the Do Not Disturb on iPhones and brought in more controls. These controls let you tweak Do not Disturb and all other Focus routines with different settings like whitelisting contacts and apps you may want to get alerts from, even when Focus is active. 

Even though you can create as many routines as you can inside Focus, we can understand users’ concerns over the new Do Not Disturb mode inside iOS 15. Since the feature has existed inside iOS for several years now, the recent changes to it are affecting users’ routines and the way they go about with their day. 

If this backlash continues to pile up, Apple may have no other option but to address this issue and work on a fix. For now, the only sensible way to approach this seems to be the re-introduction of the ‘Silence iPhone only when it’s locked’ option exclusively for the Do Not Disturb mode. This shouldn’t affect the new Focus feature as you can create multiple routines to get different kinds of alerts based on the time of the day or other conditions. 

How to fix Do Not Disturb Messages Silenced issue

Since Apple is yet to roll out a fix for the Do Not Disturb issue, there are only two ways to work around this problem. You can either turn off Focus or DND mode on your iPhone or assign apps and people to ‘whitelist’ so that you always get notifications from the selected items even when DND inside Focus is active. We’ve prepared an article at the link below to help you resolve the Messages Silenced issue on iOS 15. 

How to Fix iOS 15 Notifications Silenced issue

For more help, check out our coverage on:

What else are users not liking about iOS 15?

Besides this Do Not Disturb Messages issue, users are also complaining about the absence of SharePlay on the official stable release of iOS 15, a feature that Apple boasted about offering since its initial announcement. The company has since then delayed the release of SharePlay, saying it may arrive in a major update in the coming months. Could we expect it to arrive in time for the release of iOS 15.1? Maybe. We can only hope they do. 

That’s all you need to know about the Do Not Disturb Messages issue on iOS 15.


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  1. OMG – thank you for explaining this. I’m tired of missing all my calls after upgrading to iOS 15 and feeling like my iPhone has been taken hostage. I finally realized I could delete all the other Focus, Sleep and Driving modes and be back to my familiar DND on a schedule and otherwise, receive everything I want (while keeping the ringer turned off).

    1. The text messages were still going through to your phone though right? Just not the notifications correct?

  2. I’m having the opposite problems. I have my contacts set so that certain people are allow to text me or call me when my phone is in “DND” mode. Unfortunately, that is no longer working, apparently, as I’m getting texts from people NOT given the “permission” to have emergency contact with me when my phone is in “DND” mode. Why did they ruin a good thing? I HATE FOCUS!!! I haven’t experienced ONE good thing with it. Apple needs to go back to what we had.

  3. Did they also remove auto-reply? I’ve been searching for it for an hour.

  4. Can the DnD be overridden by a caller calling the number twice within 3 minutes like it was before? So someone can get a call thru despite DnD being on?

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