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People keep asking why you’re silencing their notifications, even when a Focus mode isn’t on

Do your friends and family keep asking you why your notifications are silenced? If you’re not actually using a Focus mode like Do Not Disturb, this is probably a head-scratcher for you.

This exact thing has happened to me for months. I use the 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. That’s no good.

After a colleague asked me why I was muting their messages during a conversation, I double checked that nothing was in a Focus mode. Not the Mac, not the iPhone, not the iPad, not the Apple Watch.

The fix was the typical turn it off and turn it back on. Well, in this case, turn it on and turn it back off. A few rounds of that on different devices resolved the random silenced notifications message for the other person. No feelings were hurt (they say), but it won’t stop happening.

An actual thing seen on Apple’s support forums

It turns out this is a thing more people are seeing. iPhone users report experiencing this issue on various models of iPhones with both iOS 15 and iOS 16. If you’re seeing this too, the good news is you’re not alone. That probably means Apple will work to resolve it sooner than later (although we first wrote about this last fall and there’s still no fix).

The bad news is there’s no real workaround for now. If you’re not in a Focus mode, there’s nothing to turn off. Just keep toggling those Focus modes.

Oh, and one more thing. This bug doesn’t actually silence notifications when contacts are seeing that message. It’s just creating awkward situations where people think you’re ignoring them. On the other hand, maybe this is just Siri making assumptions…

Not using Focus modes yet? Learn how to do more with Focus modes in iOS 16.

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