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Social media and videos can easily take our attention away from the tasks we may be supposed to be doing – like writing articles about Windows 11. To assist us in staying focused, operating systems are now incorporating features like Focus assist. To learn How to use Focus assist in Windows 11 let’s read this article.

How to use Focus assist in Windows 11

In Windows 10, Microsoft introduced a new feature called Focus assist as part of an update in 2018. Windows 11 did not offer any radical updates to Focus assist, but it has simplified its user interface. You can activate focus assist by putting your display in presentation mode, playing a game, or using an app full screen. It prevents notifications from popping up on your screen.

The next step is editing the automatic sessions. To get started, follow these instructions.


The Focus assist feature has been incorporated into the Clock application in Windows 11. Type “Clock” into the Search icon on your taskbar to begin a new session manually. After you click through to the site, you are taken to a page that lets you set the length of your session and the goal you want to achieve each day. In addition, you can use Microsoft To-Do to pick a task for your focus session or link your Spotify account (if you have one) to it. Neither of these is necessary? Let’s find out.

Under the settings icon, you can set the length of your focus period (including breaks) in the Clock app and choose which sound will play when your focus period (or break) ends. You can also remove the Spotify and To-Do tiles.

During a Focus assist session, you can choose what notifications are not filtered out during the Clock settings page. You can also choose a theme for the app.

Go to “Focus assist settings” to edit the automatic settings and further customize this feature.

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It is possible to access Focus assist settings in several ways: via Settings > System > “Focus assistance,” or via the taskbar search icon where you can find “Focus assist.” You can also click on the system clock at the bottom of the taskbar and “Focus assist settings.”

You’ll find two main sections once you’re there.

You can turn on and off Focus assist in the first section and set parameters when it is active as follows:

  • Having a priority list limits the notifications you can receive to those you have set as active. You can customize this list by clicking on the “Customize priority list” link below the “Priority only” subheading. If you want, you can get notifications from specific apps, or you can just get notified of incoming calls and reminders. You can now prioritize notifications from contacts that are pinned to your taskbar or who you specify by clicking the “Add contacts” button in Windows 11.
  • You can hide all notifications, except any alarms you might have set, with “alarms only” turned on.
  • Afraid you might miss something? As soon as Focus assist is no longer active, you will receive an email summarizing everything you missed while focus assist was active.

You can adjust several pre-set rules in the second section, headed “Automatic rules.”. Click on the name of any feature to adjust its settings, but you can toggle it on and off from this page.

  • Setting specific times and days for Focus assistance lets you specify when it should kick in. You can toggle the setting on the next page by selecting “During these times.” Regardless of whether it applies to every day, just weekdays, or just weekends, you will have the option to set start and end times for each session and decide if it will only apply to priority or only to alarms.

Under the “Automatic rules” tab, other features behave similarly. You can turn them on and off on the Focus assist page and adjust them by clicking on their names.

  • If you’ve got two displays running, “When I duplicate my display” kicks in; toggle it on so you can set priority to only display or alarm to only display.
  • You could switch it to only priority or only alarms when playing a game.
  • The option “When I am using an app in full screen, only” can be tweaked to display only alarms or priority.

One final thing to remember is that you’ll see the moon icon on your taskbar when Focus assist is active. There will be a list of missed notifications once you click on it.

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