Can I filter notifications by combining person and app?

As a retired person, my daily schedule differs from those of my working daughters. For ordinary communication, we use a messaging app. We generally only make a call for something urgent. Is it possible for me to bypass Do Not Disturb with the condition: App is Phone AND Person is Jill or Jane? It’s not apparent to me if I can do this. I’m on iOS 17.4.

On your iPhone, in its Phone app, select Favorites (the star-shaped button at the bottom of my screen), and at the top rights of the “Favorites” pane click on the “+” button to add Jill and Jane from your Contacts.

Then go into Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb to verify that below “People” under “Allow Notifications” it allows the contacts in “Favorites”.

In other words, the Do Not Disturb focus is supposed to allow notifications from people you’ve specified as Favorites in the Phone app (all others will be silenced). I know this worked in iOS 17.4 at least (and that it continues to work in 17.5).

In addition to Bob’s reply, another method is that you can edit their contact record, tap ringtone, and turn on emergency bypass. This will make the phone always ring when that person calls. (But be careful when you’re in a place where you don’t want the phone to ring, such as at a funeral service, because it will ring then, too.)

FWIW, when I’m in a place where I don’t want any calls to arrive (like in a movie theater), I set my phone to Airplane mode as well as do-not-disturb. If my phone can’t make a cellular connection (and I don’t generally use public wi-fi), then nothing will be able to get through enough to make it ring.

Or I just turn it off in these situations.

Re: “… when I’m in a place where I don’t want any calls to arrive (like in a movie theater), I set my phone to Airplane mode as well as do-not-disturb.”

Last year, I found myself needing to do that rather often. So I created a Shortcut to do that, putting it on my Home page to do it in one click.

Since I invariably wanted to lock the iPhone right after I set DND & Airplane Mode, I added that. Also found that turning DND on in a shortcut also turned on Lower Power Mode – which stayed on after I turned DND off … so I added that to the shortcut as well. Final version:


Thanks. I already have a number of people marked as Favorites, so that wouldn’t work for this. However, I noted that another option under “Allow Calls From” is “Allowed People Only.” Unfortunately, there’s no indication of how to Allow People, but happily @ddmiller told me in the next message.

Thanks. That’s very helpful, and I will use that for my family members. Why bury “Emergency Bypass” in Ringtone? I would never have looked for it there, since it has nothing to do with selecting a ringtone. It should be on the main Edit screen. And thanks to @Shamino David for the reminder to properly adjust my phone when it needs to be quiet. I try to remember to do that, but sometimes I don’t think of it.


If I understand correctly, when DND is on, you want your daughters to break through only when calling — not when texting.

To do this, you should not list their names in the Allow Notifications From, as this will allow texts from them to sound the alert.

Instead, you can create a new Contacts group, or list, and add them to it. First, open the Contacts app and tap the Lists button on the upper left. Then you can tap the Add List button to create a new list (with whatever name you give it). Then add each of your daughters to the list.

Then go to Settings – Focus and choose Do Not Disturb. Within there, go to the Apps screen, tap Allow Notifications From, and make sure no apps are listed.

Then go back and into the People screen. In there, tap Allow Notifications From and make sure no one is listed in the following box. Finally, under the Phone Calls heading, tap Allow Calls From and select the list name that you put your daughters in.

So here’s what it should look like (though my screenshot uses the Sleep focus rather than Do Not Disturb, and my list is named Family):

This is the only way to do what you want (without using the Emergency Bypass feature mentioned earlier in this thread).
I know because I spent quite a bit of time with trial and error this week. :pensive:

Also, this method is better than using Emergency Bypass because it allows you more granular control over which focus modes a person can break through. So for me, I use Sleep mode to block all notifications except for calls from family. Whereas I use DND mode as my nuclear option, blocking any and all notifications from anyone and everyone (possibly excepting alerts like super high-priority weather alerts and emergency government alerts).

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It’s the people listed above that in the “add people” line, with the very top set to “allow notifications from” rather than “silence notifications from”. I’ve actually stopped using emergency bypass and use that instead since focus changed this in (I think) iOS 16. My wife and my kids are the only people listed for me (I used to have my sister and brother as they were my mom’s primary caregivers until she died.)

Thanks @MyBlueSky Scott for the comprehensive instructions, and thanks again @ddmiller Doug. I will go through this some more.