How to Set Up and Use Focus Modes on an iPad

Focus modes in iPadOS allow you to filter your notifications, contacts, and available apps based on whatever you’re trying to focus on right now.

If you use your iPad for work or just want to get the most out of your tablet, there’s a lot you can do to improve productivity and segment different areas of your life. In particular, Focus modes can help you separate work and play while also allowing you to control the apps you use and the notifications you see.

What Is Focus on the iPad?

Focus is a feature in iPadOS that allows you to minimize distractions by customizing what you see and what you don’t. You can also use Focus modes on your iPhone or other Apple devices.

While in a particular Focus, you may choose not to see notifications at all, or just notifications from certain apps, or even just notifications from certain people. On your iPad, you can choose from a list of provided Focus options or create your own from scratch. While Focus may not be the best beginner iPad trick to learn, it’s a handy one to know about

How to Set Up a Focus on Your iPad

Setting up Focus modes on your iPad is a fairly straightforward process. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open the Settings app and select Focus in the left-hand menu to view pre-made Focus modes.
  2. To create a custom Focus, tap the plus (+) icon in the top right of your screen and then select Custom from the provided Focus options.
  3. Name your Focus and assign it a color and icon.
  4. Next, choose the people you want to receive notifications from when using your Focus mode by selecting individuals from your contacts. You can also select Allow None if you don’t want to receive any notifications from anyone.
  5. Now it’s time to choose the apps you want to see notifications from. Allowed apps will show notifications when your Focus mode is on. You can also choose to toggle on or off Time Sensitive notifications from other apps that are not in your allowed list.
  6. Once complete, your Focus mode will be ready to use and will appear in your Focus list within your Settings menu.
  7. If you want to customize your Focus further, you can add a schedule. This will turn your Focus on and off automatically at a certain time of day or on certain days of the week.

How to Switch Between Focus Modes on an iPad

The easiest way to turn off or switch between Focus modes on your iPad is to use the Control Center. To access the Control Center on your iPad, swipe down from the top right-hand corner of your screen. Here, you’ll see your active Focus mode and can change it by tapping it and then selecting the mode you want to switch to.

You can also switch between or disable Focus modes by going to Settings > Focus. Then uses the toggles to turn particular modes on or off. If you want to delete a Focus mode, select Delete Focus.

How to Share Focus’ Across Apple Devices

If you’re invested in the Apple ecosystem and also have an iPhone, Mac, or MacBook, then you can share your Focus modes across your devices. If you’re trying to improve your creative flow with your iPad, get in the zone, or find some do-not-disturb time, toggle on the Share Across Devices option. Once turned on, your active Focus modes and their settings will be applied across all of your devices.

Getting More From Your iPad

If you thought your iPad was just a glorified video player, then think again. The closer you look, the more neat features you’ll find to customize your iPad experience. Focus modes are great for those who use their iPad for work and for play. They’re also handy if you want to block or mute notifications during certain activities. What will you use your Focus modes for?

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