Disconnect and take a break from your iPhone by using this little-known feature.

Kevin Rose
2 min readMar 2, 2018


Having device fatigue? Need a break from the screen?

Right now, hidden in your settings, your iPhone has a feature that locks down your phone, making it unusable, while you get a much needed break. When enabled, this setting also automatically replies to your texts, letting your friends know that you’re offline.

Here is the automatic response your friends will receive:

My response sent to friends while the mode is active

For some of you this will look familiar, as it’s a modification of the “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode.

For this tutorial I will show you how to modify this feature to work even when you’re not driving with your own custom message.

Step 1:
Visit “Settings → Do Not Disturb” then choose “Activate → Manually”

Step 2:
Set your custom away message and who you’d like it sent to.

Customize this away message any way you see fit

Step 3:
Now you need a way to activate the manual mode so that the mode can be turned on whenever you like.

To do this visit “Settings → Control Center → Customize Controls” and add the “Do Not Disturb While Driving” to your control center.

Step 4:
Now access your Control Center and select the “Do Not Disturb While Driving” icon to turn on the feature.

That’s it! Now you’re in text free bliss and can no longer access your apps until you turn the feature off. This is perfect for a phone break, but still gives your friends the ability to contact you if something urgent comes up (replying to the message with “urgent” allows it to through).

Need more tips on how to disconnect? Sign up for my once-a-month newsletter here and check out my meditation app, Oak.

Be well,




Kevin Rose

Builder. Meditator. Husband of @summertomato, father to Zelda & Toaster.