Stop Do Not Disturb automatically turning on in Windows 11

Some people have found an irritating bug in Windows 11. Do Not Disturb mode turns on automatically and randomly without interaction. Is it a bug, or is Windows set up wrong? Here’s the answer.

When Do Not Disturb mode is enabled in Windows 11, notifications and interruptions from apps and Windows itself are silenced. Unless something is really important and it is essential that you be informed, you will not see any notifications on the screen.

This is great when you want to work or play. You can get more work done when there are fewer interruptions to distract you, and trivial notifications do not get in the way of games. It is a useful feature when it works correctly, but some people have found that it is randomly enabled in Windows 11. What’s more, they do not notice DND is turned on and have missed important events because notifications were suppressed.

If you have been experiencing this problem, you might think that it is a bug in Windows 11, but in fact, it could simply be caused by an incorrect configuration. Here I look at the settings for Do Not Disturb, show how the mode can be automatically triggered, and how to stop it automatically turning on when you do not want it.

Disable Do Not Disturb mode

Open Settings > System > Notifications and there are several settings that need to be configured to stop Do Not Disturb activating automatically. Make sure Notifications at the top is turned on, and turn off the Do not disturb switch just below it.

Do Not Disturb settings in Windows 11
Do Not Disturb in the Windows 11 Settings app

Expand the Turn on do not disturb automatically section and clear all of the checkboxes. You can see here that Do Not Disturb can be automatically enabled at certain times of the day, when duplicating your display, when playing a game, using an app full screen, or after a Windows update.

You may not have realized it, but simply making an app full screen can turn on Do Not Disturb, or when you are having fun playing a game or two. This is the reason why Do Not Disturb appears to automatically activate, even when you have not turned it on yourself. Disable these triggers.

Set priority notifications

Open Settings > System > Notifications > Set priority notifications. Here you can select apps that always show notifications, even when Do Not Disturb is turned on. If it does keep enabling randomly and you are missing important notifications, click the Add apps button and add the app to the list.

Configure priority notifications that bypass Do Not Disturb in Windows 11
Set priority notifications in Windows 11

Also enable the checkboxes next to Show incoming calls, including VoIP, and Show reminders, regardless of the app used. These options make sure you do not miss notifications.

Configure app notifications

Configure app notifications in Windows 11
Configure notifications for apps in Windows 11

Return to Settings > System > Notifications, scroll down a little and there is a list of apps that can display notifications. Click the > button to the right of an app to configure its notifications.

Allow notifications in Do Not Disturb mode

Configure an app to show notifications in Do Not Disturb mode in Windows 11 settings
Allow apps to show notifications in Do Not Disturb mode

Among the options for an all is to allow it to send important notifications when do not disturb is on. This means that even if the mode is randomly or accidentally enabled, you will not miss an important notification from the app.

Enable this option for all apps that you want to see notifications from, like messenger apps, email apps, VoIP apps and so on.

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