iOS 11: How to Set Up and Customize Do Not Disturb While Driving

2 minute read
| How-To

iOS 11 adds Do Not Disturb support for driving so you won’t get distracted while you’re cruising around town. You don’t have to use it, but if you do, it’s easy to set up and customize. Read on to learn how.

Do Not Disturb While Driving Automatic Setup

Once iOS 11 is installed on your iPhone there’s a good chance you’ll get a dialog asking if you want to turn on DND when you’re driving. The dialog will pop up after you take off in your car.

iOS 11 Do Not Disturb While Driving iPhone screen

iOS 11’s new Do Not Disturb While Driving auto-setup screen

Just tap Turn On While Driving and you’re set. Your iPhone will automatically go into DND mode when you’re in a moving car and mute all incoming calls. You also won’t see other alerts and notifications when your car is in motion.

Do Not Disturb While Driving Changing Settings

Let’s say you chose Not Now on the DND While Driving auto-setup screen, or you want to change the settings later on. Here’s what to do:

iOS 11 Do Not Disturb While Driving settings

iOS 11’s Do Not Disturb settings include a While Driving option

  • Launch Settings on your iPhone
  • Tap Do Not Disturb
  • Choose Do Not Disturb While Driving

Now you can set when Do Not Disturb While Driving activates. The default is automatically, which uses the motion sensors in your iPhone to decide when to enable the feature. You can also choose When Connected to Car Bluetooth or Manually.

iOS 11 Do Not Disturb While Driving activation settings

DND While Driving can activate automatically, when connected to your car’s Bluetooth, or manually

If you choose Manually, use the Do Not Disturb button in Control Center to activate the feature.

iOS 11 Control Center Do Not Disturb button

Control Center lets you turn Do Not Disturb on or off whenever you want

Do Not Disturb While Driving Auto Reply

DND While Driving can auto-reply to text messages if you like. Since it’s your business who gets those messages you can change the settings and make your own custom reply, too.

Here’s how to set who gets an automatic reply to iMessage and SMS text messages:

  • Launch Settings on your iPhone
  • Tap Do Not Disturb
  • Choose Auto-Reply To
  • Select No One, Recents, Favorites, or All Contacts
iOS 11 Do Not Disturb While Driving automated text reply settings

You can set who gets an automated reply to text messages in DND While Driving mode

I set my auto-reply to Favorites since those are the people I’m in contact most. If you don’t want anyone to know when you’re in the car choose No One. After all, it’s your business who knows what you’re up to.

Bonus tip: If you need to get a message through to someone who has DND While Driving active, follow up your first message with a second that only says “urgent.”

Customizing the Do Not Disturb While Driving Auto-reply

You can customize the text reply DND While Driving sends out to iMessage and SMS texts. Here’s the default:

I’m driving with Do Not Disturb While Driving turned on. I’ll see your message when I get where I’m going.

To change the message, do this:

  • Launch Settings on your iPhone
  • Tap Do Not Disturb
  • Choose Auto-Reply
  • Enter your custom reply message
iOS 11 Do Not Disturb While Driving custom text message reply

You can customize the DND While Driving auto-reply for incoming text messages

I considered changing my auto-reply message to “I’m in the car. I’ll get back to you when I f#@!% please.” Since my mom texts me regularly I decided against that.

2 Comments Add a comment

  1. Lee Dronick

    Now you can set when Do Not Disturb While Driving activates. The default is automatically, which uses the motion sensors in your iPhone to decide when to enable the feature. You can also choose When Connected to Car Bluetooth or Manually.

    Do ya ever get the feeling that there is a worldwide conspiracy to disrupt you at the most inopportune of times? I could be vegging and no problem, but get my hands into kneading dough, washing dishes or something and the texts starting coming in. So this Do Not Distrub set manually is a sanity saver.

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