How to Fix Focus Mode Not Working on iOS 16

If you experience Focus Mode Not Working correctly on iOS 16, or you don’t even see the option in the first place, this is the guide for you.

Apple has released the latest version of the operating system, iOS 16. This version enhances iPhone with brand-new personalization features, enhanced intelligence, and streamlined communication and sharing capabilities.

You’ll also be able to edit your messages sent from your iPhone within 15 minutes, and you can also finally add widgets to your Lock Screen. 

Additionally, with the improved feature Focus Mode, Apple provides unique and valuable ways to keep you focused on what matters most at any given moment.

What is Focus Mode on iOS 16?

Focus is a feature that helps you focus on a task by reducing the number of things that can distract you. This feature can temporarily turn off all iPhone notifications when you need to focus or step away.

Focus Mode

Setting up a Focus is now easier than it used to be, and each Focus you make will have its new way of being set up.

Apple used to throw you right into a confusing list of options, like letting people and apps send you notifications. The Focus features function as a more straightforward way to choose your options.

Apple also shows you how to choose whom to call you. Also, you can customize screens, set Focus schedules, and add filters to block Mail inboxes, Safari Tab Groups, and more.

Fix Focus Mode Not Working Issue on iOS 16

Focus mode is meant to help you get things done without being interrupted by random phone calls and notifications.

But since Apple releases new software every year, the most recent versions could have bugs and other problems. When you put new software on your iPhone, errors, and difficulties often happen.

Some users could experience Focus Mode Not Working on their iPhones. The leading causes of these error range from software glitches to wrong settings configuration.

 If you are experiencing a similar scenario, there is no need to worry since there are simple solutions to the problem. Below are quick guides for resolving the issue.

Check Allowed Apps to Fix Focus Mode Not Working

Sometimes you’ll accidentally or be unaware of apps that are safelisted. Allowed Apps could bypass your Focus Mode. It means notifications will pop up even if you’re currently on Focus Mode. Try to remove these apps from the whitelist to fix the problem.

To do so,

First, go to the Settings app and tap on “Focus”.

tap on focus mode

Next, select the focus mode in which you’re having issues.

select category to fix Focus Mode Not Working

Under the Allowed Notification, select “Apps”.

On the next page, select the specific App that bypasses the Focus Mode and disable it by clicking the “-” icon after you click the “Apps button”.

App list

After removing the app from the list, it should fix the Focus Mode Not Working issue.

Moreover, you can do it as well on people when they could send you a message or a call. To do so,

Go back to the Allowed Notifications section, tap on “People”, and do the same process above to disable receiving notifications from them.

People category

Disable Focus Sync

Another cause of the problem is if you have more than one Apple device.  As you might expect, focus modes are also built into the Apple ecosystem. This process is done by syncing your current Focus mode across all your Apple devices linked to your Apple ID. 

However, suppose the focus mode isn’t working right, or a different one is always on your device. In that case, it’s likely syncing with your other Apple devices, especially if someone else is using one. Follow the steps below to turn off cloud sync for Focus modes quickly.

Here’s how to disable it:

First, open the Settings app and tap on “Focus”.


Now, tap the Toggle button beside “Share Across Devices” to disable the sync.

disable sync

Enable Messages App

On iOS 16, Apple’s Messages app doesn’t share Focus by default.

As a result, you won’t see the Share Focus Status toggle in Messages contact info. You must manually enable iOS’ privacy settings to share your Focus Status through Messages. 

To do so,

First, open the Settings app and tap “Privacy and Security”.

Now, go to “Focus”.

Under the “Shared With section”, tap the Toggle button beside the “Messages” to enable the Share Focus Status feature. 


You’ll see the “Share Focus Status option” when you access someone’s contact info in Messages. Turn it on to share your Focus Status with this person.

Related: How to Block Spam Messages on iPhone

Focus Mode on iOS 16 is a fantastic feature for those who are easily distracted while working or studying. Hopefully, you could quickly resolve the Focus Mode Not Working issue by following one of the abovementioned solutions.

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