Windows offers a Focus Assist feature to help you concentrate while you work. If you need to buckle down and finish some work, you can enable Focus Assist or Focus to disable all distractions and notifications. However, some reports have shown that the Focus Assist feature doesn’t always turn off when it’s supposed to. If this happens to you, don’t worry – we’ll guide you on how to fix Focus Assist not turning off in Windows.
What Is Focus Assist?
Focus Assist is a Windows 11/10 feature that helps you stay focused while working. It creates a temporary quiet zone where notifications are muted and interruptions are minimized. For example, if you’re working on a presentation and don’t want to be disturbed, you can enable Focus Assist to ensure your focus is uninterrupted. When Focus Assist is turned on, you’ll see an indicator in the taskbar or system tray.
Focus assist in Windows 11 is known as Focus. During that duration, the PC is in do not disturb mode. It is unavailable on the action center, and you must manually run it from settings with a timer.
Before we proceed with our how to disable focus assist guide, let’s know about some known issues with Focus or Focus Assist.
What Are The Known Issues With Windows Focus Assist?
Windows Focus assist is a great feature, but not without issues. One of the most common problems is that focus assist can be too aggressive, suddenly turning itself on. Here is the list we found when Focus assist not working as expected:
- Interfere with screen recording or streaming.
- Suppresses all messages even when it is turned on.
- Randomly Turns on for specific apps.
- Focus Assist quick action icon in the Action Center will not work even when I try to click on it.
- Trying to open the Focus Assist settings will force close Settings altogether.
- Auto-reverting back to Alarms Only
Fix: Focus Assist Not Turning Off in Windows
Follow these suggestions to make sure Focus Assist turns off in Windows.
- Windows Settings
- Action Center
- Group Policy
Some of these suggestions will need admin permission.
1] Windows Settings
In Windows 11/10, Focus Assist temporarily disables or mutes all notifications and sounds except those you explicitly allow. It can be helpful when trying to concentrate on a task, but sometimes you want to disable it.
- Open Settings using Win + I
- Go to System > Focus Assist or Focus
- In Windows 10: You can choose one of three modes: Off, Priority Only, or Alarms Only.
- In Windows 11: You can set Session duration, the timer on the clock, badges on taskbar apps, hide flashing on taskbar apps, and turn on Do not disturb.
- If Focus assist won’t turn off, toggle it off or click the Stop Focus session button.
2] Action Center
In Windows 10, If you want to disable Focus Assist from the Action Center, follow the steps:
- Open up the Action Center by pressing Windows+A on your keyboard.
- If it’s blue, click the icon until it turns grey.
- As you click, it will switch between Priority and Alarm.
It will ensure if the Focus assist keeps turning on, it is disabled.
In Windows 11 Focus mode can be quickly stopped by going to Settings > Focus and then clicking the Stop Focus session button. Also, if you were wondering if Focus assist alarms only works, then yes, it works. Since the DND mode is turned on, you can see Priority notifications from apps and Alarms.
3] Group Policy
There is a workaround if you’re having trouble disabling Focus Assist using the Group Policy Editor. If you are using the Windows Home version, you can manually install Group Policy Editor. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open the Run dialog box Press the Windows key + R
- You should type gpedit.msc in the dialogue box.
- In the Group Policy Editor, go to
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar > Notifications > Turn off Quiet Hours
- You should double-click on the policy button and Turn off Windows Focus Assist
- Select the Disabled option and click OK.
Note: There is no way to remove Focus assist from taskbar or system tray. You can turn it off and only work with DND mode.
The Focus Assist function in Windows 11/10 can help you become more proficient by muting messages and sounds while working. However, there may be times when you need to disable focus assist Windows 11 or Focus Mode on Windows 11.
This article shows how to turn off Focus Assist in Windows 11/10. If you still have questions about Focus assist not turning off in Windows, you can tell us by commenting on the comment box. We will try to solve your problem further.
How to Setup Focus Assist Correctly in Windows 10?
First, open the Settings app and go to System > Focus Assist. Next, you should turn it on automatically when you work—done that, set it off during such times in the settings. Unless you manually switch on focus assist, this will ensure that it is always turned off. Lastly, you can build a custom rule by clicking the Add button if you want Focus Assist to switch on automatically at a specific time.
Which Mode Is Better, DND or Focus Mode?
Do not disturb mode is a great way to keep your focus while working or studying. This mode can be helpful when trying to concentrate in a quiet setting. However, focus mode may be better for you if you’re trying to focus while working in a noisy environment. It allows limited notifications, so you can still handle essential calls or messages. Focus mode is more helpful in comparison to DND mode.