How to get the most out of Windows 11 Focus Assist

How to get the most out of Windows 11 Focus Assist

Windows 11 offers Focus Assist, a feature to boost productivity by dismissing unimportant notifications.

Notifications are rarely good for your productivity. Even a single notification, which only appears for a second or two on your screen, can cause you to lose your concentration. Sure, you can easily mute them all, but that’s not always ideal, especially when you need to have certain important notifications.

Focus Assist, called Do Not Disturb in previous Windows versions, is just the thing to get rid of distracting notifications on your Windows 11 computer. Just enable this feature and select which notifications you want to hide and receive. Hidden notifications stay in the notification center, you can see them when you’re done working.

If you want to focus on your computer better, here’s how to set up Focus Assist.

How to Enable Focus Assist on Windows 11

Use the Windows search feature to open the Settings app, go to System, then click Focus Assist. You will then have three options, to enable or disable the option:

  • Disabled : Shows all notifications.
  • Priorities only : hides all notifications except those from apps in your priority list, which you can customize, of course.
  • Alarms only : Hides all notifications except alarms.

Under these three settings, you can check the option “Show a summary of what I missed when focus assist was on” to receive a notification that aggregates all hidden notifications when you exit focus assist.

Create a priority list to show only certain notifications

If you want to use the Priorities level only, you can choose which apps you always want to receive notifications for, even with focus assist enabled. To do this, click on “Customize your priority list”. You will then see the following options:

  • Calls, messages and reminders : Under this option, you can show or hide notifications for incoming calls, text messages and reminders.
  • People : If you want to receive notifications from certain contacts in apps like Mail, Call and Messaging, you can add them here.
  • Apps : you can specify the apps that will be able to bypass the focus assist, so that you receive their notifications.

To remove an app from the list, click on it and click Remove.

Set automatic rules so you no longer have to activate it manually

The concentration assist must be activated manually, but it is possible to automate the thing. Under Automatic Rules, you have the following settings:

  • During these periods : To activate automatically for set periods of time.
  • When I duplicate my screen : to activate automatically when you connect a second monitor.
  • When I play a game : To activate automatically when playing a video game.
  • When I use an app in full screen mode : To activate automatically when you use an app in full screen mode.
  • For the first hour after a Windows update : to activate automatically right after a Windows update.

Rachel Maga
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life's biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.