Thanks to the Internet and today’s communication tools, it is very easy to get in touch with someone … maybe even too easy. With Focus on macOS Monterey, you can configure a tool so that you are not interrupted by message, call, or alert notifications, allowing you to focus on what you’re doing on your Mac.

Focus is basically an extension of the options that were originally available in the ‘Do not disturb’ feature that is already in macOS. To adapt Focus to your situation, you can adjust your preferences, which we will go over in this article.

You may also want to read: How to prepare your Mac before upgrading to macOS Monterey.

How to activate the Focus manually

In the menu bar, click on the ‘Control Center’ icon. It’s a pair of black and white switches.

You can click on the Focus icon and that will activate the mode until you deactivate it. For more options, click the Focus tag or the arrow.
The window will change to the Focus window.
If you don’t have a profile set up, you can select an option under the ‘Do not disturb’ heading. If you have profiles, you can select one of them.

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To disable Focus, go to the Control Center menu bar and click on the ‘Do not disturb’ icon.

If you want to configure Focus to activate automatically, or you want to define the conditions for a Focus session when you activate it manually, you need to configure Focus profiles. Keep reading to know more.

Set up a Focus profile

The default configuration has three options. If you simply select Do not disturb, it stays on until you manually disable it. Or you can choose to activate it for an hour, or until the night.

In addition to the default settings, Focus allows you to configure profiles for different situations. For example, you can have a profile that you use for your lunch break or for your training, basically any period of time that you want to be uninterrupted.

Focus settings are found in the Notifications and Focus system preferences. (You can also select Focus Preferences when you click the ‘Do Not Disturb / Focus’ button in the Control Center). Here’s how to set up a profile.

  1. In the Notifications and Focus system preferences, click the Focus tab.
  2. In the left column are your profiles. To create a new profile, click the + button at the bottom of the column. A pop-up window will appear with six options: Custom, Games, Mindfulness, Personal, Reading, and Work. These profiles (except the custom one) have only a name, a color and an icon assigned to them. So if you want to create, for example, a game profile to start with, you can select Game. Or select Custom and you can customize it however you want. Select a profile.
  3. If you select Custom, you can choose a color and icon to help you quickly identify your profile. You also have to fill in a name in the field located below the icon at the top. Click Add when you’re done.
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Now that you have created a profile, we explain how to adjust its settings.

Adjust notification settings for a Focus profile

  1. In the Notifications and Focus system preferences, click the Focus tab.
  2. Select the profile in the left column that you want to modify.
  3. In the ‘Notifications allowed from’ box, you can set which contacts and apps can notify you while using this particular Focus profile.

You can allow specific contacts to notify you while the Focus profile is activated. Click on ‘People’ and then on the ‘+’ button at the bottom of the box. A directory of your contacts will appear, and you can select people by highlighting the contact you can click the ‘Add’ button.

You can allow certain applications to notify you. Click Applications and then the + button at the bottom of the box. A list of your apps will appear and you can highlight the one you want and click ‘Add’ to allow their notifications.

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Original article published in English on our sister website Macworld USA.

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