Focus assist (formerly known as Quiet hours) on Windows 10 allows you to stop notifications from interrupting to stay focus on the task at hand, but it’s been a limited experience. However, starting with Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803), the feature is getting a number of new options making it more useful, including the ability to use it with automatic rules.
Automatic rules let you to set up a schedule or select the activities when you don’t want to be disturbed and Focus assist will be turned on automatically.
How to configure Focus assist automatic rules
If you want to configure Focus assist to turn on automatically during specific times and activities, use the following steps:
Click on System.
Click on Focus assist.
Under “Automatic rules,” turn on the toggle switch for the activity you want to prevent from disturbing you when Focus assist is enabled (you can select one or all activities):
- During these times — Sets schedule when Focus assist should turn on automatically.
- When I’m duplicating my display — Turns on Focus assist automatically when duplicating the screen. For example, when giving a presentation.
- When I’m playing games — Enable Focus assist automatically when playing games in full screen, but it only works with DirectX exclusive games.
Click each rule to adjust its settings.
For example, inside During these hours, you can set the schedule when you want Focus assist to be enabled. Using the drop-down menu, you can select how often you want to use the schedule (for example, daily, weekends, or weekdays), and you select whether to use the schedule when using “Priority only” or “Alarms only” to enable Focus assist.
At the bottom of the page, you’ll even find an option to allow notifications to appear in action center during your Focus assist.
Once you’ve completed the steps, Focus assist will turn on automatically depending on the rules you have configured using the above instructions.
If you don’t see the Focus assist settings, it’s likely because you’re not running Windows 10 version 1803 (April 2018 Update) or later, which is expected to release sometime in 2018. You can use this guide to see the version of Windows you’re currently running.
Update January 29, 2017: This guide has been updated to reflect the name change of Quiet hours to Focus assist starting with Windows 10 version 1803.