Microsoft started rolling out Windows 10 version 1803 aka “April 2018 Update” to the public this week and it contains some interesting new features. One of which is called Focus Assist. This isn’t a new feature exactly, as it was previously referred to “Quiet Hours” which was available starting with Windows 8.1. However, with this update, the experience has been enhanced and it includes some new abilities.
Focus Assist works similar to Priority Mode on Android. It allows you to work on your projects without being distracted by notifications, reminders, and alarms. You can choose the hours of the day when you want no notifications at all, or to just allow the most important ones through. For example, you might want zero notifications while you’re working on important work documents and not be distracted by a new photo someone put up on Instagram. On the other hand, you might want to be alerted when an important email arrives. And it’s not just for being productive and getting work done. You can use Focus Assist to limit notifications while you’re watching a movie or playing a game and not be distracted.
Using Focus Assist in Windows 10
To find get started, head to Settings > System > Focus Assist. There, in the top section, you can choose the notifications you want to get. You can turn it off and get all notifications, set it to priority only, or just get system alarms.
If you choose the “Priority only” option, you can then go in and customize the calls, texts, Cortana reminders, apps, and contacts that you want to come through.
You can also set up automatic rules to choose times you don’t want to be disturbed – when you’re giving a presentation or playing a game, for example. When you set up specific rules you can then customize the rule more by choosing specific times that you don’t want interruptions.
It’s also worth noting that it also offers some quick options to control Focus Assist from Action Center. Just right-click the Action Center icon to get the menu of options.
Notifications are useful in certain situations, but they can also be annoying and distracting at times. The new Focus Assist feature gives you much more control over them compared to “Quiet Hours” in previous versions of Windows.
Do you like the new options for controlling notifications and alerts on your Windows 10 system? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. Or, for more discussions and troubleshooting help, hop in our Windows 10 Forums.