What Are Time Sensitive Notifications in iOS? [2023]

What Are Time Sensitive Notifications in iOS

We feel bombarded by notifications every day, making it hard to stay focused and on top of what matters most.

But with Apple’s time sensitive notifications introduced since iOS 15, you can prioritize tasks and stay organized without feeling overwhelmed.

Unlock the power of organization – join us as we dive into this innovative tool!

Our client Belinda rang up over the weekend saying that she can’t focus on her work due to multiple notifications popping up on her screen – this is exactly what we recommended!


Time Sensitive notifications are a great feature that Apple has brought to iOS to help you avoid distractions and stay on top of important notifications on your iPhone and iPad.

Through this feature, important notifications won’t be missed even if the user has disabled most alerts through Focus mode.

It allows for an uninterrupted experience while still being aware of vital updates.

These can be enabled for individual apps in the Settings menu. 

Enabling them will ensure that those specific notifications will appear at the top of your lock screen and notification center, regardless of any DND settings you might have set up.

This helps to prioritize certain alerts over others so that key messages won’t get lost among all the noise from other apps or services.

These types of notifications also come with their unique sound so you know when something is particularly important without having to look at your phone every time it buzzes or rings.

They can be configured for both global events such as system updates and local ones such as calendar reminders; making sure nothing slips between the cracks no matter how many different tasks need managing throughout a given day.

In sum, Time Sensitive notifications are an incredibly useful tool built into iOS to make sure important information doesn’t go unnoticed in our busy lives.

With this feature enabled, users don’t have to worry about missing out on anything critical – allowing them to focus on what matters most without sacrificing their productivity or well-being in the process.

What Are Time Sensitive Notifications in iOS? 

They’re a special kind of alert that’ll break through Focus mode and Notification Summary settings.

iOS has four levels of notification interruption: passive, active, time sensitive, and critical.

Passive notifications don’t need immediate attention and are delivered silently without triggering sounds or vibrations.

Active notifications are regular alerts that will produce sounds, and vibrations, and light up the screen.

Time Sensitive notifications have an even higher priority than active ones as they can bypass your Focus mode settings – giving you the chance to act on them quickly if needed.

Finally, Critical notifications are the highest priority type with permission from Apple; they come with severe weather alerts and local safety warnings that can override the silent switch.

Apple’s Focus Feature – What Is It?


Apple’s Focus feature enables users to customize notifications based on their activities or the time of day.

It allows users to adjust notifications for particular apps and people, depending on where they are in their day. This feature is designed to help keep users in the moment and free from distractions. It also helps them disconnect from devices when needed, as well as stay connected with important people and news updates.

Focus can be set up quickly by simply accessing settings within iOS 14 or later.

Users have full control over which apps and contacts they receive alerts from, giving them the freedom to decide who gets a notification right away or who will be saved for later. To make things even easier, users can also set up personalized profiles that will automatically adjust settings according to what they’re doing — allowing them to stay focused without any manual adjustments necessary.

The Focus feature makes it easy for users to stay productive and engaged while still maintaining a healthy relationship with their devices— all thanks to Apple’s intuitive features.

Users can take back control of how often they get distracted throughout the day — allowing them to focus more on what matters most.

How Do I Setup Apple Focus?

To get started with Apple Focus, simply open your settings and select the Focus option.

From there, you can begin to customize your experience to suit your needs.

  1. Choose one of the default Focus groups or create a new one.
  2. Customize when and how long notifications appear onscreen.
  3. Manually control which apps are allowed to send notifications through the app.

This allows for maximum efficiency while still being able to take control of incoming messages and other notifications.

With these features, you can set yourself up for success by only allowing important messages through at specific times or intervals throughout the day.

Additionally, you can adjust or turn off notifications completely if needed — perfect for those times when you need a break from the constant flow of information!

With Apple Focus, you have all the tools necessary to stay focused on what’s most important without getting overwhelmed by unnecessary notifications.

How Do I Create a New Focus Group?


You can create a new Focus Group on your device by following a few simple steps.

Tap the Settings app, select Focus, and choose the + sign at the top right.

From there, pick one of the options to customize – Custom, Gaming, Mindfulness, or Reading – and enter a name for your group.

Choose a color and icon to represent it, tap Next, then adjust any other relevant settings for that particular group.

Finally, you can enable time-sensitive notifications for individual apps within this Focus Group so that reminders pop up when you’re most likely to need them.

This will help keep you on track and organized throughout your day-to-day life!

How to Enable Time Sensitive Notifications for Individual Apps?


time_sensitive_apps Just follow the below:

  1. Launch the Settings app and tap Notifications.
  2. Scroll down to select an app from which you’d like to receive Time Sensitive notifications.
  3. Enable Allow Notifications if needed.
  4. Toggle on Time Sensitive Notifications.

If the toggle isn’t available, the app likely doesn’t support this feature.

With these simple steps complete, your phone will now provide notifications for that specific app whenever necessary.

Now that we’ve set up individual apps, let’s look into enabling this feature in Focus modes.

How Do I Enable Time Sensitive Notifications in Focus Mode?




Let’s discuss how to apply this setting in Focus modes.

To do this, launch the Settings app, tap on Focus, and select a mode of your choice.

Then go to Apps under Allow Notifications and toggle on Time Sensitive Notifications. This will allow apps with enabled notifications to bypass different Focus modes.

If you don’t want certain apps to send notifications while a Focus mode is active, just tap Silence Notifications From instead of Allow Notifications From.

Emergency Bypass Contacts for Time Sensitive Notifications – How To Setup?

Setting up emergency bypass contacts for notifications is a useful feature that allows specific contacts to reach you in an emergency, even without a Focus Group assigned.

To set this up, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Contacts app on your device.
  2. Select the contact you want to set as an emergency bypass contact.
  3. Choose the Edit option.
  4. Toggle on the Emergency Bypass option under Ringtone or Text Tone.
  5. Tap Done to save the changes.

This feature can be particularly helpful when you need to ensure that someone important can reach you at any time.

It’s important to note that you can disable this feature whenever you want, so it’s worth exploring if it meets your needs.

With iOS/iPadOS 15, Apple has introduced new features and tools that prioritize user privacy and security while keeping them connected.

How to Disable Time Sensitive Notifications?

You can easily disable them from individual apps and Focus modes.

In the Settings app, you simply need to go to Notifications and tap the app you wish to stop receiving notifications from. There you’ll find an option for Always Deliver Immediately which allows you to toggle off Time Sensitive Notifications.

Similarly, when in a certain Focus mode, you can go into its Apps section and toggle off Time Sensitive Notifications there too.

By following these steps, users can decide what notifications they want or don’t want without ever having to worry about being inundated with irrelevant alerts.

That way, their device remains free of distraction while still keeping them informed of important information that requires immediate attention.

Time Sensitive Notifications – How To Better Use Them?

The best way to make the most of time-sensitive notifications is by being selective and only allowing those that require immediate attention or action.

This means granting this privilege only to apps whose alerts are necessary to know now, as opposed to later. Doing so prevents unwanted distractions and allows us to maintain a sense of peace during our daily activities.

We can also customize them according to the type of interruption we want or don’t want at any given moment.

For instance, if we’re in a meeting or busy with something else, we can set our notifications on silent mode so as not to be bothered by them while still being able to keep up with important updates.

How To Be On Top Of All Updates With Time Sensitive Notifications?

By taking advantage of time-sensitive notifications, you can stay on top of important updates without missing a beat.

With iOS, you have the option to customize how notifications are delivered and when they appear. This means that only the most critical alerts will reach your device while unwanted noise is blocked out.

These notifications allow you to choose what type of messages will be received and where they are sent.

You can also specify how long a notification should remain active before fading away. This gives you an unparalleled level of control over your communications, letting you keep abreast of what’s happening without having to constantly monitor your phone or tablet.

By leveraging them in iOS, you can make sure that nothing slips through the cracks and easily keep track of all the essential information coming your way. And with this newfound freedom, there’s no need to worry about being overwhelmed by too many notifications again!

What If an App Doesn’t Support Time Sensitive Notifications?

If an app doesn’t support time-sensitive notifications, don’t despair – there’s still a way to stay on top of its updates.

You can add it to the Allowed Apps list in Settings, so you’ll be able to receive them even when Do Not Disturb or Focus mode is active.

To do this, open the Settings app and select the Do Not Disturb or Focus profile you want to add the app for. Then tap Allowed Apps and add it to your list. If you have multiple Focus profiles, make sure to repeat this procedure for all of them.

Disable Time Sensitive Notifications for Do Not Disturb or Focus Mode

To disable time-sensitive notifications for Do Not Disturb or Focus mode, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap on Focus.
  2. Adjust Do Not Disturb settings:
    • Select Apps and turn off the switch next to Time Sensitive.
  3. Customize a Focus profile:
    • Tap the profile you want.
    • Select Apps and turn off the switch next to Time Sensitive.

By following these steps, you can control which apps are allowed to send notifications while in Do Not Disturb or a particular Focus mode.

Set Up and Use Time Sensitive Notifications on Mac

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Apple menu and navigate to System Preferences > Notifications & Focus.
  2. Select an app and make sure that the box next to ‘Allow time sensitive alerts’ is checked.

Switch to the Focus tab:

  1. Select either a Do Not Disturb or a Focus profile.
  2. Click on the Options button.
  3. Check the box that says ‘Allow time sensitive notifications’ and click OK.

If an app doesn’t support Time Sensitive notifications:

  1. Add it to the exclusions list under Allow Notifications From in Apps.
  2. Hit the Plus icon.
  3. Add your desired app!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Time Sensitive Notifications Work on All iOS Devices?

Yes, time-sensitive notifications work on all iOS devices with iOS 15. 

Can I Disable These Notifications for Certain Contacts?

Yes, you can disable them for certain contacts.

We can control the type of notification we receive from each contact by accessing our phone’s settings menu.

From there, we can set different notification preferences for individual contacts or groups of contacts.

Is There a Way to Customize the Type of Notifications I Receive?

Yes, you can customize the type of notifications you receive on iOS.

To do this, go to Settings > Notifications and select the app for which you want to change the notification settings.

Here, you can choose whether or not to receive a sound or vibration when a notification is received. You can also determine if it will appear on your Lock Screen, Notification Center, or both.

Additionally, you can enable/disable “Banners” which are alerts that appear at the top of your screen and then disappear after a few seconds.

Also See: How to Fix Pictures Not Downloading in iMessage on iOS 16


From Apple’s Focus feature to setting up and using time sensitive notifications on your Mac, we’ve explored the ins and outs of this useful tool.

We can now confidently say that it’s been a total game-changer for us – with its help, we’ve managed to stay ahead of important updates like never before!

It’s truly revolutionized our productivity and made life so much easier.

So don’t wait – get going and make the most out of this amazing feature today!

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...