What is the Share Focus Status on the iPhone?

Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
September 13, 2023
7 minutes to read

The iPhone Focus option is an evolution of the Do Not Disturb mode. This article explains in detail what the Focus status is, what the Shared Focus status is, and how to turn it on and off on your iPhone.

focus status iphone


  1. What is the Focus Status on the iPhone?
  2. What does Share Focus Status mean?
  3. How to use Share Focus Status
  4. How to turn on and turn off Focus on the iPhone
  5. FAQs

Before we start

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What is the Focus status on the iPhone?

The Focus status on the iPhone allows you to silence notifications and calls on your device when you want to focus on work, leisure, driving, etc. With iOS 15, Apple introduced several modes of the Focus option: Do Not Disturb, Sleep, Work, and Personal. Additionally, you can create your own modes and even set them up to automatically schedule at the needed times or depending on your location.

You can configure each Focus mode, allowing or disabling certain notifications. For example, during Sleep or Work mode, you can set your phone to receive calls only from close relatives in your Contacts list.

If you have several Apple devices, the Focus mode will automatically synchronize between them. This means that you don’t need to activate or deactivate the selected Focus mode on each of your devices. Once you enable or disable the desired mode on one of your devices, the same mode is automatically mirrored on all the other devices.

What does Share Focus Status mean?

Turning off notifications without notifying your contacts can lead to misunderstandings. By sharing your status, your contacts will know that you are not ignoring them, but you can’t answer right now.

When you enable the Focus Status on your iPhone or iPad, the system can tell anyone who contacts you that you’re busy. This is what Apple calls Share Focus Status.

Share Focus Status adds a banner at the bottom of your conversations in your Messages app. However, it is up to you whether or not to display the Focus status in the conversation screen.

How to use Share Focus Status

In short, the Share Focus Status option is a polite way to let people know you’re busy. While this mode is turned on, all messages will be silenced. If there is an important message, the contact can choose Notify Anyway, so that the messages will still be delivered to you. This means that people will still be able to contact you in case of an emergency. Also, you can share the Focus Status with certain people from your contacts. Follow our steps below on how you can do this:

How to share Focus status on your iPhone

  • Open Settings on your iPhone.
  • Tap Focus.
  • Select the Focus mode (Sleep, Work, etc.)
  • Tap Focus Status.
  • Click the toggle button to the Share Focus Status option.

Once you enable Share Focus Status, your apps are allowed to display to people who message you that you have notifications silenced.

iPhone screens showing how to turn on Share Focus Status

How to customize who sees your Focus Status in Messages

You may not want everyone to know you’re in the Focus mode. You can solve this by sharing your Focus status to selective contacts in the Messages app. You can do this by:

  1. Going to the Messages app.
  2. Opening the conversation with the contact you want to mute.
  3. Tapping the contact’s photo at the top of the screen.
  4. Turning off Share Focus Status.
iphone screens showing how to turn off share focus status for contacts

How to customize who can send you messages while in Focus Status

  • Open Settings and go to the Focus option.
  • Select the Focus mode.
  • In the Allowed Notifications section, tap People.
  • Tap Plus(+) and select the contacts.
  • Tap Done.

Once complete, you will get calls and notifications from these people even in the Focus mode. iPhone screens showing how to exclude contacts from Focus mode

How to turn Focus on the iPhone on and off

You can disable and enable any of the modes in the Settings. Once you customize these modes however you can quickly switch between them using the Control Center. Follow these steps:

  1. Slide down on your iPhone screen.
  2. Tap the Moon icon for the Focus app.
  3. Select one of the modes and it will be switched on immediately.
iPhone screens showing how to turn on Focus


We hope this article helped you understand what Focus on the iPhone is and how to use it. It’s a helpful feature to stop messages and calls that disturb you, for example, while working or driving. If you still have questions, write them in the discussion section. We will be happy to assist you.


Who can see my Focus status?
Is the iPhone Focus mode the same as Do Not Disturb?
How do I know if my iPhone is already in Focus mode?
Does the Focus mode block calls?
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