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

Kevin Rose
Mar 2, 2018 · 2 min read

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:

Image for post
Image for post
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”

Image for post
Image for post

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

Image for post
Image for post
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.

Image for post
Image for post

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

Image for post
Image for post

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,


Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store