How to Use Focus Mode on Android to Bring Distracting Apps Under Control

Focus mode is a feature that comes with the Digital Wellbeing app on Android 9 and up. It’s built to block distracting apps and notifications. Rather than temporarily changing system-wide settings to stay focused, it pauses specific apps that you might find distracting.

Focus mode offers great utility for people that struggle to stay on task. Let’s take a look at exactly what it does and how you use it.

What Is Focus Mode?

The Digital Wellbeing app on Android is all about managing and tracking notifications, time spent using apps, and app permissions to avoid distractions and interruptions. It offers Dashboard, Bedtime mode, and Focus mode as ways to disconnect during certain parts of the day.

With Digital Wellbeing, you can also manage app-specific notification sounds, configure Do Not Disturb, set up parental controls, and activate Heads Up, a feature that helps break the habit of walking and using your phone simultaneously.

Focus mode differs from Dashboard, where you can set time limits on specific apps, and Bedtime mode, where you can toggle or schedule your phone to silence notifications and set the display to black and white.

Instead, Focus mode pauses your most distracting apps, along with all their notifications.

You can’t access the apps—which you choose yourself—while they’re paused, and a message will pop up when you tap one. The message lets you know that it’s unavailable but does offer a 5-minute break if you need to check for any possibly urgent messages or notifications.

Before setting up Focus mode, check the statistics from the Dashboard to see which apps are distracting you the most.

Focus mode is the most versatile option for people that don’t need system-wide changes to stay on task. You can use it alongside Android apps that boost productivity, which can provide incredible results.

So, you can use your phone as usual with Focus mode, just without any distractions from specific apps that might prevent you from, well, staying focused!

How to Use Focus Mode

Head to Settings > Digital Wellbeing > Focus mode, or access it through quick shortcuts by swiping down twice on the notification bar. Once open, you’ll see a list of the apps you use most often. To see all the apps on your phone, swipe to the bottom of the list and tap Show all apps.

Now select the apps you’d like to pause while Focus mode is enabled. To enable focus mode, toggle it on by tapping Turn on now or Set a schedule.

Turn On Focus Mode Manually

Toggling Focus mode is straightforward. After selecting the apps you’d like to pause, simply hit Turn on now. Focus mode will stay active until you toggle it off.

You can tap Turn off now, or you can tap Take a break to temporarily disable Focus mode. However, breaks are limited to three options:

  • 5 minutes
  • 10 minutes
  • 30 minutes

Set a Schedule in Focus Mode

To set a schedule for Focus mode, open the Digital Wellbeing app, tap Focus mode, and tap Set a schedule. Here, you can change its start and end times, along with which days of the week you want it to activate automatically.

Once you’ve set your preferred schedule, tap on Set > Turn on now. Focus mode will activate and deactivate automatically based on your settings. It’ll show a notification in both cases a few minutes before it turns on or off.

Focus Mode: Great for Staying on Task

Focus mode is one of the excellent options from the list of features in the Digital Wellbeing app that helps you stay on task and minimize distractions caused by mobile devices. One reason why it’s so great is that it doesn’t affect your whole system, just the apps that you find most distracting. This makes it the least intrusive option for removing mobile device interruptions.

And there are many more features in Digital Wellbeing on Android that are worth exploring.

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