Notifications are both a bane and a boon. On the one hand, they can be distracting. But on the other hand, some urgent notifications need your attention right away. While setting a Focus helps you balance the situation, Focus status is the real masterstroke. Besides, you can even share Focus status on iPhone with your contacts.
If you love going into a zone while working or don’t like office alerts messing with your personal time, the Focus feature on Apple devices is the way to go. And while you’re focusing on the task at hand, Focus status can inform others about your unavailability. Now, how exactly does it do that? Move on to the next section.
What Is Share Focus Status on iPhone
As the name implies, the setting shares your Focus status with other people trying to connect with you when your iPhone is in Focus mode. However, there are limited apps as of now that support this feature.
Which Apps Can Share Focus Status
For now, the feature is limited to apps with communication notifications like Messages. And though Apple provides Focus status API, not many developers have adopted it yet. So, more or less, you’re stuck with Apple’s native Messages app, and that too for only iMessage users.
What About Privacy
It’s Apple, what do you expect? When you share the status, others only see that you’ve silenced the notifications and not which Focus is active on your device.
Plus, you don’t have to share it with everyone, you can choose who can view it. So, intimate details remain between you and you’re device.
Now, that’s all sorted, let’s see how to enable Focus status and manage various aspects of the feature.
How to Turn On Share Focus Status on iPhone
Step 1: Go to Settings and select Focus.
Step 2: Next, tap Focus Status.
Step 3: Toggle on Share Focus Status.
Step 4: You’ll also see all the Focus you’ve set up, toggle on or off the switch next to the preferred Focus.
The setting is available for both default and custom Focus created by you. Now, when you enable a selected focus, others see that you’ve silenced notifications (in supported apps).
To turn off Focus status sharing, repeat the above steps and toggle off the setting.
Tip: iOS 16 has brought an interesting addition to Focus, check out all about how to use Focus Filters and make the most of it.
How to Share Focus Status With Everyone or Selected Contact
By default, your Focus status is shared with all iMessage users in your contacts and turned off for unknown chats. As mentioned earlier, you can select who can see your Focus status. Although Apple hasn’t made the step that simple.
If you want to exclude a bunch of people, you’ll have to turn it off for individual contacts. I wish Apple can incorporate a favorite list or something in the next update. But for now, here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Go to Messages and select the contact.
Step 2: Tap the contact at the top for Focus Status settings.
Step 3: Here, toggle on or off Share Focus Status option.
If you can’t see the option, the user is probably not using iMessage.
Tip: If you want your friends or close family to bypass Focus mode, you can turn on Emergency Bypass for those contacts.
Why Can’t I Share My Focus Status With Someone
You’ve turned on the setting but have you allowed messages to access Focus? Though enabled by default, let’s ensure that the Messages app has access to Focus.
Step 1: Go to Settings, scroll down and tap Messages.
Step 2: Under ‘Allow Messaged to Access,’ turn on the toggle next to Focus.
Now, check again; your selected contacts should see your Focus status. If not try restarting the device and it should be back to normal (or else contact Apple Support).
Although if you’re having problems enabling Focus Status, jump to the next section.
How to Fix Focus Status Showing Disabled
Is the Share Focus Status page greyed out? Well, that’s because you can’t enable it without enabling Focus sharing across devices. So go to, Settings → Focus → toggle on Share Across Devices → and then use Share Focus.
We hope this enables sharing Focus Status on your iPhone. If you have more queries, check out our FAQ section.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will I still get notifications in an emergency with share Focus status? When someone sends you a message, they’ll see two additional indicators, Delivered Quietly and Notify Anyway. If the sender taps Notify Anyway, it is presumed that something is urgent and you’ll be notified.
2. Can you see someone’s Focus status if they blocked you? Yes, as long as the Share Focus Status toggle is on, the contact can see your Focus status.
3. Does Focus status sharing work with automatic Focus? Whether you enable it manually or schedule a Focus to auto-enable, it will follow the same rule. It will turn on status sharing if the toggle for it is enabled in the Focus Status section.
Notifications, a Bane, and a Boon
Well, this is how you can manage all the notifications bombarding your devices during work hours or personal time. But do you like Apple’s notifications?
We have met people who either hate it, tolerate it, or are simply nonchalant about it. Which category are you in? Share in the comments section below.