People keep asking why you turn off their notifications even if Focus Mode isn't turned on.

Do your friends and family keep asking you why your notifications are turned off? Unless you actually use a focus mode like Do Not Disturb, this is probably a headache for you.

This is exactly the thing that has happened to me within a few months. I use Sleep Focus mode on my Apple Watch at night and turn it off as soon as I wake up. Otherwise my Apple Watch just shows a big digital clock all day. It's no use.

After a colleague asked me why I was muting his messages during a call, I double-checked that nothing was in focus mode. No Mac, no iPhone, no iPad, no Apple Watch.

The fix was simply turning it off and on again. Well, in this case, turn it on and off again. Several rounds of this on different devices resolved the occasional mute message for another person. No feelings were hurt (they say), but it won't stop happening.

The Real Thing Seen on the Apple Support Forums

Turns out this is what more and more people are seeing. iPhone users are reporting that they are experiencing this issue on various iPhone models with both iOS 15 and iOS 16. Oh, but maybe iOS 17 solves this problem? Nope.

Best comment by Steve Stutz

Liked by 6 people

Thank you, Zach, for your article.

There is a workaround for this problem that worked, at least for me, and hopefully it will work for you and others:

  1. Go to Settings

  2. Scroll down and click Focus.

  3. Scroll down and/or simply click. Focus Status

  4. After this, there will be a toggle you can turn on or off called Share Focus Status. If the switch is on (green) and you have created any focuses, you can decide which focus statuses you do or do not want to share. If you turn off the Share Focus status (gray), no one will see whether you have any focuses on or off. I personally share my focus status for meetings, driving and sleeping, but that's just me.

Hope many of you find this helpful!

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If you see this too, good news: you are not alone. This likely means Apple will try to fix this issue sooner rather than later (though we first wrote about this last fall and there's still no solution).

The bad news is that there's no real workaround at the moment there is no way. Unless you're in focus mode, there's nothing to turn off. Just keep switching between these focus modes.

Yes, and one more thing. This bug doesn't actually turn off notifications when contacts see this message. It just creates awkward situations where people think you're ignoring them. On the other hand, perhaps this is just Siri's guess…

The problem continues in iOS 17.

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