App notifications can prove distracting while you’re busy working or playing games. If you’re on Windows 11, use Focus Assist to hide them temporarily.
Distractions are everywhere—they’re the enemy of productivity. If you’re working, being overwhelmed by app notifications on Windows 11 can be troublesome.
The same applies if you’re having fun and playing games. Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to hide your notifications from view, even if it is only temporarily. A good way to do this on Windows 11 is to use Focus Assist. This feature will block all notifications while you’re busy until you’re ready to see them again.
If you want to use Focus Assist on Windows 11, here’s what you’ll need to do.
How to Enable Focus Assist on Windows 11
Enabling the Focus Assist feature disables notifications so you get things done.
To enable or disable Focus Assist on Windows 11:
- Open the Start menu and press Settings.
- Click System on the left and select the Focus assist option on the right.
- Expand the Focus assist section and enable one of the modes. Select between Off, Priority, and Alarm only.
- Off: Focus assist feature is disabled, and you’ll get all notifications from apps.
- Priority only: Only allows notifications that you have configured will be displayed.
- Alarm only: Hides all app notifications when Focus assist is running; it will display alarms only.
- Optionally, you can check the Show a summary of what I missed when focus assist was on option to see app notifications you missed when you disable Focus Assist mode.
- Exit Settings—Focus assist is now active.
How to Configure Focus Assist on Windows 11
If you enabled Focus Assist with Priority only mode, you’ll be able to choose which apps can alert you and which ones can’t. This will allow you to hide apps that aren’t important while still receiving notifications for apps that are.
To configure Focus Assist this way, use the following steps:
- Open Start and select Settings.
- In Settings, press System > Focus assist and select Priority only.
- Click the Customize priority list option underneath.
- Under the Priority list, select the calls, text, and reminders you want to see while you’re working or gaming.
- Under the People section, select any contacts you want to see notifications from.
- If you want to add an app, click the Add an app button and select the app you wish to receive notifications from when Focus Assist is enabled.
How to Manage Focus Assist Automatic Rules
Rather than enable Focus Mode manually, you can set up automatic rules to do it for you. This will switch the mode on at certain times of the day or while you’re performing certain tasks, such as playing games.
To change your Focus Assist automatic rules:
- Open Start > Settings.
- In Settings, press System > Focus assist and scroll down to the Automatic rules section.
- Turn on the rules you want when using the Focus assist feature by pressing the slider next to the option.
- Turn on the During these times option.
- Click it one more time, and you can set the start and end times for Focus assist. Optionally, you can turn on Show a notification in action center when focus assist is turned on automatically.
- Next, turn other Focus Assist features on or off. For example, you can get alarms only when duplicating your display, only priority messages while playing a game, or priority messages for the first hour after a feature update—restarting your system to finish an install.
Customizing Windows 11 Features
Enabling Focus Assist on Windows 11 is a great way to hide the notifications spam you might receive, reducing distractions while you’re busy on other tasks. Whether it’s working on a big project, playing a game, or watching a movie, Focus Assist makes the experience more enjoyable. If you’re not on Windows 11 yet, don’t worry—you also use Focus Assist on Windows 10.