How to use Focus assist (soon to be called “Focus”) in Windows 10 or Windows 11

Shaant Minhas

Updated on:

windows laptop

Who likes to get bombarded with a constant barrage of notifications while the deadlines loom tight over their head? I don’t. Unless you’re someone who thrives under constant interruptions, I guess you don’t either.

Thankfully, with a handy Windows feature called Focus assist—soon to be renamed to simply “Focus” with the next major update to Windows—you can save yourself from the constant pop-ups of your PC’s notifications. So, let’s jump right in and learn all about it.

What is Focus assist in Windows?

Focus assist, also called quiet hours in earlier versions of Windows 10, is a feature in Windows that disables all the distracting notification while you do your work mindfully.

Introduced back in a Windows 10 update in 2018, it’s now also a part of Windows 11 and has been a nifty asset for the work-from-home crowd, especially since the last couple of years.

How to enable Focus assist in Windows?

Like most features in Windows, you can enable the Focus assist from Windows settings. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the Start menu search bar, type in ‘settings,’ and select the Best match. Alternatively, press the Windows key + I.
  2. From the System tab, click on Focus assist.


focus assist settingsAs you’ll see, the Focus assist will be set to Off by default. This means that it’s blocking all the notifications from the variegated apps and contacts in your PC.

If set the options to Priority only, you can manage the notifications that you’ll get alarmed for. This includes apps, calls, and even alarms. Choose what you want to be reminded about.

system settings

Then there’s also the Alarms only option. This lets you disable all notifications, except your Alarm settings.

If you check the ‘Show a summary of what I missed when focus assist was on’ radio box, then you’ll get a complete summary of all the notifications that were silenced, while you were busy with serious work.

You can also schedule a specific time at which Focus assist get enabled. Toggle on the slider for During these times, and then click on the tab to set up the Start and Stop timings.

focus assist time settings

The option for Repeat and Focus level lets you manipulate the frequency and depth of settings.

You can also toggle on (or off) the Focus assist for a host of other settings, such as:

  1. When you’re duplicating the display
  2. When you’re playing a game
  3. While using a full screen

Moreover, you can confirm whether the app has been successfully or not pretty easily as well. If you notice, you’ll see a crescent icon would’ve appeared in the bottom-right corner of your system tray.

Now that you’ve setup everything, you can also launch the Focus assist through this simple shortcut. Simply click on the action centre below. As soon you do that, you’ll see several options to pick from. Among those will be Focus assist.

focus assist settings

Click on Focus assist icon once to enable it. As soon you do that, it’ll be set to ‘Priority only’. Click on it again, and it’ll be huge to alarm only. Moreover, if you right-click on the icon, you can go to the Settings from here itself.

Cutting off distractions with Focus assist

That’s about it, folks. So now you know how to silence all the urgent notifications in your Windows, while you get down to do some real work.