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What Is Focus Status in iOS 15 and How to Use It

by Mehvish
Focus Status iOS 15 meaning

Notifications on iPhone have been updated in iOS 15 with new features such as notification summary and Focus modes. You may have noticed the Focus status option within Focus modes. What does Focus status on iOS 15 mean and how to turn it off or on? Find the answer in this post.

What Is Focus Status on iPhone

Want to inform your contacts that your iPhone’s notifications have been turned off? Say hello to the Focus status feature.

Let’s start with the basics first. Focus modes, for the uninitiated, are a different set of notification profiles that allow you to silence notifications, alerts, and calls on your iPhone and iPad. Do not disturb, Work, Fitness, Sleep, Meditation, are some pre-made Focus modes. Each profile can be tailored to your specific requirements by allowing specific people or apps to send notifications. Focus modes can be found under Settings > Focus.

focus mode setting on ios 15

Focus modes also allow you to customize the properties of the home screen and lock screen. You can, for example, display custom home screens, disable notification badges, dim the lock screen, and display silenced notifications on the lock screen.

Focus status is a newly introduced feature whose job is to inform others that you won’t be notified about new notifications because one of the Focus modes is active on your iPhone.

sharing focus mode status with others on ios 15

How Does Focus Status Work

Focus status is enabled by default in all existing Focus modes as well as any new ones you create. When you activate a Focus mode with Focus status enabled, your contacts will see a banner that says ‘has notifications silenced’ in supported chat apps like iMessage.

Focus Status iOS 15 Notification Silenced

This is useful when someone close to you attempts to message you. They will be informed that notifications are silenced on your end, so you may take longer to respond. However, if someone needs to contact you right away, they can use the Notify anyway option.

Few important things to know about Focus status:

  • Currently, Focus status banner appears in iMessage only. In the future, other apps might be able to use this feature as well.
  • Turning off a Focus mode will disable Focus status feature for that mode too. But turning off Focus status will not turn off Focus mode.
  • Others will not know which Focus mode is active on your phone as the name of the Focus isn’t shown.

How to Enable or Disable Focus Status

You can turn Focus Status on or off for everyone or for individual contacts.

For Everyone

To enable or disable Focus status for everyone, follow these steps:

1. Open Settings on your iPhone.

2. Tap on Focus and open the Focus mode where you want to enable or disable Focus status.

iOS  15 DND mode under Focus

3. Tap on Focus status. Turn on the toggle next to Share Focus status to enable it or turn it off to disable it.

enable sharing focus status in ios 15

For Contacts

1. Launch the Messages app and open the chat thread with the contact where you want to turn off Focus status.

2. Tap on the contact name at the top. Turn off the toggle next to Share Focus status.

enable/disable focus status sharing for individual contacts

Similarly, repeat the steps for other contacts.

How to Fix Focus Status Disabled

If Focus status shows disabled, appears greyed out, or you are unable to activate it, you need to make sure ‘Share across devices’ is turned on.

turning focus status share across devices

For that, go to Settings > Focus. Turn on the toggle for Share across devices.

In case you are unable to turn it on, make sure an iCloud account is added to your device. Share across devices needs iCloud account for proper functioning.

If iCloud is added and you are still unable to activate Share across devices, try enabling Two-factor authentication for the iCloud account. For that, go to Settings > [Your name] > Password & security > Two-factor authentication. Follow the on-screen instructions.

enable 2FA for icloud iCloud account on ios 15

How to Fix Focus Status Not Working

Many times, despite having Focus status enabled, it doesn’t appear to other users. If you are facing the same problem, try the solutions listed below.

1. Restart Phone

‘Have you tried turning it off and on?’ Well, start by restarting your iPhone.

2. Check Software Version

As previously stated, Focus status is only available on iOS 15+ devices. As a result, if your iPhone is running iOS 14 or earlier, you will be unable to use this feature. The same logic applies to others, i.e., they must be on iOS 15 or later to see your Focus status.

3. Check Supported Apps

You can enable or disable Focus modes separately for each app, which in turn will affect the Focus status in that app. For instance, if Focus mode is disabled for the Messages app, others won’t see your Focus status. Go to iPhone Settings > iMessage. Turn on the toggle next to Focus mode.

enable/disable focus status on app level

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Change the ‘Notifications Silenced’ Message

As of now, you cannot customize the Notifications silenced banner for Focus status to something else. Everyone will see the same message and irrespective of the Focus mode active.

What Is Meant by Notify Anyway

Along with the ‘notifications silenced’ banner, others will also see the Notify anyway button. As expected, this feature allows others to force your iPhone to send a message notification even if Focus mode is active. At the moment, you cannot disable this feature.

Will Turning off Focus Status in One Focus Mode Turn it off for All Modes

No. You will need to enable or disable Focus status in each Focus mode separately.

Focus on Right Things

I hope you have completely understood what’s meant by Focus status on iPhone. Know more about how to use Focus modes on iPhone. Also, check out important privacy settings for iOS 15.

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