Do Not Disturb While Driving is a valuable feature that came along with iOS 11. However, if you haven’t done much with it, you may find it annoying at times, particularly when it activates when you’re a passenger in a car instead of driving. Alternately it may be turned off. Follow along for how to customize this feature for convenience and safety.

Like the name sounds, Do Not Disturb While Driving keeps you from distractions by preventing notifications on your iPhone when it senses you’re in a car. A pop up screen gives a chance to turn the feature on after first upgrading to iOS 11, but if that’s been a while for you, it might be worth double checking or fine tuning your settings.

How to customize Do Not Disturb While Driving settings on iPhone for convenience and safety

  1. Open Settings and tap on Do Not Disturb
  2. Swipe down if you don’t see DO NOT DISTURB WHILE DRIVING
  3. Tap on Activate
  4. Choose the option that you’d like (keep reading for some recommendations)


Choosing Automatically can be nice as you don’t have to think about turning the feature on or off. However, one downside is that the feature will often turn on when you ride in a vehicle as a passenger and you’ll have to turn it off manually to use your phone normally.

When Connected to Car Bluetooth

This may be the best option, assuming your vehicle has Bluetooth connectivity. With this setting, you get the benefits and safety of the feature turning on automatically, but you don’t have to fuss around with declining the feature when riding as a passenger. This feature will work with most cars, but not all.


You can opt to turn this feature on and off on your own. One way to make this option easier is to add a shortcut to Control Center. Do this by heading to SettingsControl Center → and tapping the Add control to Control Center next to Do Not Disturb While Driving.

Auto-Reply To

Check out this section in the Do Not Disturb settings to customize who you would like automatically send a reply to when the feature is being used. The four options include No One, Recents, Favorites, and All Contacts.


Don’t forget to customize your auto-reply to reflect your own personality. There doesn’t seem to be a character limit either, so if you want to verbose and/or silly with it, that’s an option. 😅

Don’t forget to check out the other customization options you can find in Do Not Disturb settings found above the ones we just took a look at.

Also, keep in mind the following details:

  • Do Not Disturb while driving is not activated automatically when plugged into CarPlay
  • iPhone 5s doesn’t support the feature to activate automatically
  • Fitness Tracking is required to be turned on (SettingsPrivacy → Motion & Fitness → Fitness Tracking)

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:

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About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.