iOS 16’s Focus Mode allows you to silence notifications from select (or even all) apps or contacts, and eliminate potential distractions while you’re working, studying, sleeping, etc. But it’s a two-way street. You can pause the notifications, but so can a person you’re trying to reach. Because of that, people are often greeted with the “____ has notifications silenced” message.
This often brings confusion, as people may think someone’s ignoring them, even though they haven’t even seen the message. So, before the situation escalates, I recommend you take a look at this article to understand the whole Focus Mode thing.
Table of contents:
- What does “Notifications Silenced” means?
- Check your Focus settings
- Check all your devices
- Share your Focus status
Why does the “Notification Silenced” message appear
There are a couple of reasons why the “Notification Silenced” message may appear. Here are the most common ones:
- You have the Focus Mode on.
- You have the Focus Mode on, but you don’t realize it’s enabled.
- You share Focus Mode
- Due to a system bug.
Whatever the reason, we’re going to explore these scenarios in this article. Also, as I mentioned above, this can go both ways. So, if you’re experiencing this problem, you can apply the solutions listed below, but you can also show it to a person you’re trying to reach, so they can resolve the issue themselves.
If you’re experiencing problems with “Notifications Silenced”, or any other types of notifications, it’s recommended to tackle this issue, because there’s no way to see dismissed notifications on iPhone, and you could miss some important alerts. For more details about handling notifications, check out our article about silencing and unmuting notifications in iOS.
What does “Notifications Silenced” mean?
Notifications Silenced means that the person you are texting enabled one of the Focus Modes or Do Not Disturb and that they won’t be notified until they disable a Focus Mode or Do Not Disturb. Once one of the Focus Modes is enabled, contacts will see that the person they want to text had their Notifications Silenced as soon as they enter the conversation.
If you like, you can disable the Notifications Silenced prompt in Settings > Privacy & Security > Focus. If you toggle off Messages, your recipients won’t get the Notification Silenced message if you enable a Focus Mode or Do Not Disturb (DND).
Check your Focus settings
We’re going to start with the obvious. First off, check if the Focus Mode is enabled. Depending on select settings, the Focus Mode will block notifications from some apps, or even altogether.
Just swipe down for the Control Center, and make sure the Focus Mode (half-moon icon) is disabled. With the Focus Mode off, head over to Messages to check if you’re able to receive notifications again. If you’re not, you’ll have to put in some extra work in order to make it work again.
Check all your devices
This is probably the main reason you’re dealing with this problem in the first place. Most of the forum posts about this issue mention that users have the Focus Mode OFF, but they’re still unable to receive notifications. That’s probably caused by a feature inside Focus Mode that’s both very useful and confusing. That feature allows you to sync your Focus Mode settings across all your iOS devices. So, if for example, you set up Focus Mode on your iPhone, it will automatically turn on on your iPad, even if it’s not set up.
If you want to avoid this, here’s how to disable the option that syncs the Focus Mode across all your devices:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Head over to Focus.
- Toggle the Share Across Devices option OFF.
Now your Focus settings will only apply locally to a device you’ve set it with.
Share your Focus status
When the “Share your Focus status” option is enabled, apps will notify people that your Focus Mode is on and that you’re unable to receive messages. However, there are some reports on the forums that say this option can actually cause some sort of interference that will prevent you from receiving notifications, even when the Focus Mode is off.
If this is indeed the case, you can only turn off this option and wait for Apple to release an update that will eventually fix the problem. Here’s how to do that:
- Go to Settings.
- Head over to Focus, and tap the Focus Mode you usually use (for example, Do Not Disturb).
- Tap Focus Status.
- Toggle the Focus Status option off.
That’s about it, I hope this article helped you resolve the problem and understand what the “Notifications silenced” message means. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments below.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in January 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.
Focus Mode is a set of tools that allows you to silence notifications from select (or even all) apps or contacts. There are a few default modes, like Driving, Sleep, and Do No Disturb, each suitable for a specific purpose. You can also create your own custom settings.
If you encounter the "Notifications Silenced" message, it doesn't mean that the person you're trying to reach has blocked you. It means that they have paused text message notifications and likely won't see your message right away.
You can mute notifications for a specific person. Go to Messages, and open the contact you want to mute. Then, tap the contact's icon in the top right corner and toggle on the Hide Alerts option.