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Focus Filters on iPhone Can Help You Avoid Distractions at Work

Notifications ruin our concentration at work and they create a distraction disaster. Although you can turn off all notifications on your iPhone, you still might want to get work notifications, emails, and messages while working. The focus mode on iPhone helps you set notification rules for apps and only show you necessary notifications whether you are working or are on a vacation.

Let’s see how to minimize distraction at work using Focus Filters on iPhone.

How to Configure Focus Filters for Apps on Your iPhone

Focus mode on iPhone allows you to create different profiles and customize the apps/notifications that are allowed during that mode. For example, you can create separate profiles for work, exercise, relaxation, and more.

If you have not created any Focus profile on your iPhone, you can refer to our complete guide on How to Use Focus Mode on your iPhone.

With iOS 16, Focus mode has been improved and some new enhancements like Focus filters have been added. By using Focus filters, you can set boundaries within the apps like Mail, Messages, and Calendar. For example, you can block messages from specific people during the work mode or you can make your work calendar visible only if you are working. Let’s see how to configure Focus filters.

On your iPhone, tap Settings > Focus. Then, on the next screen select a focus you want to customize. On the next screen, keep scrolling down and tap Add Filter under the section FOCUS FILTERS.

add focus filter for apps iphone

In the new screen, you will see four apps (Calendar, Mail, Messages, and Safari) under App Filters. You will also see a section on System Filters that allow customizing system-wide settings during focus mode.

list of app filters on focus mode iphone

First, let us see how to configure the focus filters for the apps one by one.

Filter Calendar Events and Notifications

In Calendar, you can choose which calendars to show during the focus mode. For example, if you want your work calendar to be shown only while you work, you can do that.

Tap Calendar in the Focus filters screen.

focus filter for calendar iphone

On the new screen, tap Choose. Here, you will see the list of all Calendars on your device. Go ahead and select the ones you need. Then, tap Done on the top right. Next, tap Add in the next screen.

add focus filter for calendar iphone

Now, the focus filter has been created for the Calendar app.

Related: How to Add Recurring Events to iPhone Calendar?

Filter Emails During Work Hours on iPhone

If you are using multiple email accounts, you can select hide mail accounts that are not required while at work. Instead of hiding all email notifications, you can mute personal emails and still get notifications for work emails. Follow the steps to enable email filters on iPhone focus mode;

Tap Add Filter and then tap Mail in the Focus Filters screen.

focus filter for mail iphone

On the new screen, tap Choose. Here, you will see the list of all email accounts on the Mail app. Go ahead and select the ones you need. Then, tap Done on the top right. Next, tap Add on the top right.

add focus filter for mail iphone

Now, only the email accounts you had selected will be available during the Focus mode and all other accounts will be hidden.

Related: Oops! Want to Unsend an Email on iPhone? Here’s How to Recall an Email on Apple Mail

Filter Out Unwanted Messages

You don’t wish to receive notifications for messages from certain people while you are at work? Let’s see how to do that.

Tap Add Filter and then tap Messages in the Focus Filters screen.

focus filter for messages iphone

In the new screen, toggle the field Filter by People List to green or ON. Then, tap Add on the top right.

set focus filter for messages iphone

If you have not created the list of contacts for filtering messages, you can do that by checking out our guide for allowing peoples’ texts on Focus mode.

Open Only Work Tab Group on Safari

Safari can be distracting at work if your previously opened tabs are not closed automatically. With the Safari Tab Groups, you can group tabs into categories. You can set it to open only work-related tab group when you open Safari while working and here is how;

From the Settings > Focus > Focus mode, tap Add Filter and then tap Safari in the Focus Filters screen.

set focus filter for safari iphone

In the new screen, tap Choose and select your work-related tab groups from the list of tab groups displayed on your screen (eg. Mash).

add focus filter for safari iphone

Here, you will see an option “Allow opening external links in your Focus Tab Group“. Toggle this field on to open external links (from WhatsApp or iMessage in the work tab group. O, if you toggle the option off, new links you open will appear in your normal tab group. Finally, tap Add on the top right to set the focus filter for Safari.

Automatically Set iPhone to Dark Mode or Low Power Mode

Apart from the app filters, you can change the system settings while you start to work as well. You will see two additional filters namely Dark Mode and Low Power Mode.

system filters focus mode iphone

You can enable/disable them during the focus mode. For example, if you want your iPhone screen to be dark when you are working, you can turn on dark mode.

How to Delete Focus Filters on iPhone

Are you unhappy with any of the focus filters you had set? At any point in time, you can easily remove the focus filter for any apps on your iPhone. To delete a focus filter;

Tap Settings > Focus on your iPhone and scroll down to the focus filters section. Next, tap on the app for which you need to remove the filter. (Eg. Calendar).

focus filters list of app iphone

Then, on the new screen, tap Delete on the top left.

delete focus filter iphone

In the confirmation menu that pops up, tap Delete Focus Filter.

delete focus filter confirmation iphone

That’s it. The focus filter for the app has been deleted successfully.

Related: How to Get iPhone’s Focus Mode on Android and Enable it Automatically

Set Different Wallpaper and Lock Screen for a Focus Mode on iPhone

iOS 16 allows you to set different lock screens for different focus modes. This will come in handy especially if you have set up multiple focus modes on your iPhone and a customized Lock Screen for every mode will help to quickly identify the current focus mode. Also with the right widgets on the lock screen, you can stay focused.

Long press anywhere on the Lock Screen. Then, tap Focus shown on the bottom of the screen.

lock screen options for focus mode iphone

Now, a pop-up titled Link Focus will be displayed. In that, tap Work from the list of options.

link focus mode with lock screen

That’s it. Now, the Lock Screen has been linked to the Work Focus mode. Whenever the Work mode is turned on, the linked Lock Screen will be shown. Any changes you make to the linked Lock Screen like changing wallpaper will get reflected during the focus mode.

Set a Custom Homescreen for Focus mode

Do you want your Home Screen to show only work-related apps during your focus mode? For example, you can hide apps including Netflix, Prime Video, or other distracting apps from your Home Screen while you are at work. Let’s see how to customize the iPhone home screen for focus modes;

Tap Settings > Focus > Work (or any other focus profile).

In the Work Focus screen, look for the section CUSTOMIZE SCREENS. Under that, you will see two thumbnails. Go ahead and tap Choose displayed below the second thumbnail.

customize screens section focus mode iphone

In the new screen, you will many designs for the Home Screen. Either you can select an existing home page or you can create a new page and customize that. Tap + icon below any design displayed under the “Create a New Page” section.

customize apps for home screen focus mode iphone

Next, you will be redirected to a new screen that shows the preview of your Home Screen during the work focus mode. Tap Edit Apps shown on the bottom.

Then, go ahead and select only the apps you want while you are at work. Once you finish selecting apps, tap Done on the top right.

focus mode home screen iphone

Now, whenever your iPhone is in work Focus mode, you will see only the apps you had selected on your Home Screen. To see other apps, you will need to exit from the focus profile. This customization of the Home Screen is very handy as it prevents you from viewing apps that can create distractions.

Focus Filters on iPhone allows you to minimize any distractions while working by customizing notifications and preferences. It even lets you hide apps, and home screen pages, change wallpaper, and set app notifications to your preferred mode in just one tap.

Disclosure: Mashtips is supported by its audience. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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