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What Are Time Sensitive Notifications in iOS?

by | Nov 16, 2023

If you’re an iPhone user, you might be curious about Time Sensitive notifications in iOS and how to use them. Well, you’re in the right place!

Time Sensitive notifications are special alerts on iPhones that can override silent settings and make sure you get them right away. These notifications are considered important and need your immediate attention, even if you have other notifications turned off. In this article “What Are Time Sensitive Notifications in iOS?”, we’ll explain the concept of time-sensitive notifications and show you how to set them up on your iPhone.

What Are Time Sensitive Notifications in iOS?

Time Sensitive Notifications in iOS are special alerts that prioritize timely and important information from apps on your iPhone. These notifications are designed to bypass muted settings and ensure that you receive them promptly. They are considered high-priority notifications that require immediate attention from users. 

Time Sensitive Notifications can break through when other notifications are turned off, making sure you don’t miss critical updates. They are particularly useful for delivering real-time updates, such as sports scores, ride-sharing notifications, breaking news, and weather alerts. By default, Time Sensitive Notifications override features like Do Not Disturb and Focus modes, ensuring that you receive important information even if your phone is set to silent.

Time Sensitive Notifications in iOS

Users have the ability to personalize which apps can send urgent notifications on their iPhone or iPad using the Settings app. They can also decide which apps can override the Focus mode and Notification Summary settings.

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Here are some examples of Time Sensitive Notifications in iOS:

Sports Updates: Let’s say you’re following a live basketball game using a sports app. Time Sensitive Notifications can deliver immediate alerts whenever a team scores or when there are significant game updates.

Ride-Sharing Notifications: When you book a ride through a ride-sharing app like Uber or Lyft, Time Sensitive Notifications can notify you when your driver has arrived, ensuring you don’t miss your ride.

Breaking News Alerts: News apps can use Time Sensitive Notifications to deliver urgent news updates as they happen, allowing you to stay informed about important events and developments in real-time.

Weather Warnings: Weather apps can send Time Sensitive Notifications for critical weather conditions such as severe storms, tornado alerts, or other emergencies, helping you take necessary precautions promptly.

Flight Updates: If you’re traveling and have a flight booked, airline apps can send Time Sensitive Notifications for flight delays, gate changes, or important announcements, ensuring you stay updated about any changes to your itinerary.

Appointment Reminders: Calendar apps can use Time Sensitive Notifications to remind you of important meetings, appointments, or events, ensuring you’re punctual and don’t miss any important engagements.

These are just a few examples of how Time Sensitive Notifications can be used on iOS. The feature allows apps to deliver time-critical information to users, ensuring that they receive timely updates and stay informed about important events and activities. Also read How to Hide Apps on iPhone (& How to Unhide Them).

How Time Sensitive Notifications Display on iPhone

When you get a time-sensitive notification on your iPhone from an app you’ve allowed, it will show up prominently on your lock screen. It will also make a sound and vibrate to grab your attention right away. This is different from regular notifications that may only appear in the notification window. The notification will wake up your screen so you can’t miss it.

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If you have set up Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone, time-sensitive notifications will show basic information at first. But you’ll need to use your face or fingerprint to unlock your phone or enter your passcode to see the full content of the notification.

Advanced Features and Settings for Time-Sensitive Notifications

1. Emergency Bypass 

This feature allows you to receive notifications from specific contacts or apps even when your iPhone is in Do Not Disturb mode. It’s useful for urgent situations when you need to get important information right away.

2. Focus Filters

With focus filters, you can create custom rules for which notifications you receive based on your current activity or location. For example, you can set it up so that you only get notifications from your food delivery app when you’re at home.

3. Scheduled Summary

This feature lets you receive a summary of your notifications at a specific time each day. It helps reduce interruptions during certain periods, like when you’re working or reading.

4. Siri Integration

Siri, the voice assistant on your iPhone, can help you manage your time-sensitive notifications. You can use Siri to turn notifications on or off, create custom filters, and adjust Focus settings using voice commands.

How to Customize Time-Sensitive Notifications?

You can customize Time-Sensitive Notifications on your iPhone in the following three ways:

1. Notification Settings

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down and tap on “Notifications.”
  • Select the app for which you want to customize Time-Sensitive Notifications.
How to Customize Time-Sensitive Notifications?
  • Toggle the switch next to “Allow Notifications” to enable or disable notifications for that app.
  • Look for the “Time-Sensitive” or “Critical Alerts” option and toggle it on or off to customize Time-Sensitive Notifications specifically for that app.
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How to Customize Time-Sensitive Notifications?

2. Focus Settings

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down and tap on “Focus.”
  • Choose the Focus mode you want to customize (e.g., Work, Personal).
  • Tap on “Customize” or “Options” under the selected Focus mode.
Focus Settings
  • Look for the “Allowed Notifications” section and select “Time-Sensitive Notifications” to allow them or deselect it to block them while in the chosen Focus mode.

3. Do Not Disturb Settings

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down and tap on “Do Not Disturb.”
  • Toggle the switch next to “Do Not Disturb” to enable or disable the Do Not Disturb mode.
Do Not Disturb Settings
  • Scroll down to the “SILENCE” section and choose “Always” or “While iPhone is locked” based on your preference.
  • Look for the “Allow Calls From” section and select “Everyone,” “No One,” or “Favorites.”
Do Not Disturb Settings
  • You can also enable or disable “Repeated Calls” and “Emergency Bypass” based on your needs.


In summary, time-sensitive notifications on iPhones are designed to make sure you don’t miss urgent alerts. It’s important to customize them according to your security and information needs. By making the most of this feature, you can enhance the power and usefulness of your apps.

If you own an iPhone and want to stay informed about important things, time-sensitive notifications are a great feature.

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