How to allow an app notification to override Do Not Disturb in Android Nougat

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Image: Jack Wallen

When the Do Not Disturb feature came out for Android, it was greeted with a mixed bag of acceptance. Some disliked the idea that the simple act of silencing a phone had become a bit more complicated, while others (like myself) lauded the developers for finally creating a flexible system that allowed users to take full control over how their devices would alert the user (or not) to incoming calls, messages, and notifications.

Do Not Disturb (DND) was the replacement for the much-aligned Interruptions feature in Android Lollipop and did an outstanding job of putting control in the user’s hands. You could now set your device on DND so that the interruptions would fall into an abyss of silence. Going to an important meeting? DND. Going to a movie? DND.

But we wanted more.

Fortunately, the developers gave us more. With Android Nougat comes a handy feature that allows you to configure applications to override the Do Not Disturb setting, such that it will crawl from that abyss of silence to alert you. This could be crucial, especially if, say, you’re awaiting a game-changing email from a client.

How do you give an app the power to bypass DND? It’s actually quite simple. Let me walk you through the process.

Getting to the notification settings

There are two ways to get to this particular setting. The first method is to wait until you see a notification from the app you want to allow past DND. Once you see a notification appear from that app, long press it and then, when the notification expands (Figure A), tap MORE SETTINGS.

Figure A

Figure A

Getting to the setting from within a notification.

The second method is to pull down your notification shade until you see the Settings gear icon. Tap that to open Settings and then go to Notifications. Within this window, locate and tap the app you want to give override privilege. In the new window (Figure B), tap Override Do Not Disturb and that app will no longer be silenced by the DND system.

Figure B

Figure B

Allowing GMail out of the abyss.

A simple caveat

When you use the DND system, you can still control the volume of your device. If you have the volume all the way down, overriding DND will serve no purpose. To that end, make sure you have your volume set at a reasonable level, otherwise you’ll never hear that crucial notification.

Notifications your way

It’s hard to argue against how the Android notification system has evolved from a single-purpose feature to an incredibly flexible tool that allows you to be notified in the precise manner in which you want. You now have the ability to dictate exactly what you are notified of and how the notification alerts you.

That’s having it your way, wouldn’t you say?

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