Notifications help to post the latest information and keep you updated while you are using the computer. It could be about an app update or a news alert that you are subscribed. In our earlier article, we have explained how to disable notifications in Windows. However, there is a useful option called Focus Assist in Windows which will help to filter the notifications you see. Here we will explain how to use Focus Assist feature in Windows to reduce the distractions from notifications.
Notifications in Windows PC
When a new notification arrives, Windows will show it on the lower right corner of the screen.
In addition, Windows has a notification center to show alerts from all the apps in one single place. Click on the date and time showing on system tray of taskbar. This will open calendar and the notification center on top.
Focus Assist in Windows
It will be annoying to receive hundreds of notifications when you are doing something important. On other hand, you may be waiting for some important email or a message. Focus Assist feature helps to prioritize the notifications and show the important ones immediately while collect all others alerts in the notification center. You can view the collected notifications any time later when you are free. In this way, you can work distraction free while getting important notifications.
Access Focus Assist Settings in Windows 11
When you view the notification center, click on “Focus assist settings” link showing just below the “Notifications” heading. This will take you to the settings page where you can customize Focus Assist options. Alternatively, right-click on the Start menu and select “Settings” from the list. This will take you Windows Settings app and navigate to “System > Focus Assist” section.
Setup Focus Assist in Windows 11
There are three options you can see in the settings page:
- Off – disable Focus Assis which means you will all notifications as and when they arrive.
- Priority only – allow only important notifications to show and all other alerts will be collected in notification center. You can choose the priority apps list to receive notifications from.
- Alarms only – only allow alarms and hide all notifications.
Besides that, you can get a summary of notifications by enabling “Show a summary of what I missed when focus assist was on” option. You can use this combined with priority/alarms only options. When the Focus Assist is enabled, you will see an icon showing in the system tray of taskbar.
Select Priority List
Enable “Priority only” option and click on “Customize priority list” link.
- Calls, texts, and reminders – enable or disable incoming calls and reminders from all the apps.
- People – add people from the contacts to allow notifications. You can also allow notifications from the pinned contacts on the taskbar.
- Apps – add apps from which you want to allow instant notifications. Windows by default will add some apps like Clocks, Snipping Tool, etc. If you want to delete them from the list, click on the app and select “Remove” button.
You will get instant notifications from all the items you have selected in the priority list. Windows will collect all other notifications and show in the notification center.
Schedule Focus Assist
The best part is that you can setup automatic schedule for Focus Assist to further customize when the notifications should be shown. Turn on “During these times” switch under “Automatic rules” section. After turning on, click on the title to customize the time.
On the next screen, you can select followings for scheduling Focus Assist:
- Set the start/end time
- Choose you want to repeat the schedule for daily, weekends or weekdays.
- Select the focus level as priority only or alarms only.
- Check the box for showing notifications in action center when focus assist is enabled.
Other Automatic Rules
Besides scheduling Focus Assist during the set time, there are also additional options available to automate. You can choose each item under “Automatic rules” section to enable Focus Assist, set focus level (priority or alarms only) and allow notifications in notification center when Focus Assist is enabled.
- When duplicating the display
- While playing a games
- When using apps in full screen mode
In addition, you can enable Focus Assist to show only priority notifications for the first hour after Windows feature update.