Use Focus Assist on Windows 11 to the Fullest

Austin Dean

2022-04-20

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Focus Assist is a handy feature that first appeared on Windows in 2018. With its help, you can temporarily block all incoming information: notifications from social networks, news, system messages, and so on. All this is done so that you can fully concentrate on work and not be distracted by minor irritants.

When this tool first appeared, it replaced the Quiet Hours service, which was very similar in purpose and usage. Nothing much has changed on Windows 11 compared to the previous 10th edition. However, the developers have simplified the activation of this feature, including adding automatic activation in certain operating modes. We tell you in detail how to use Focus Assist as efficiently as possible.

Session Launch

In the new version of the operating system, the assistant has become a built-in tool of the Clock app. You need to find it on the taskbar, after which you will be automatically transferred to the page with the service settings. Here you can manually pick the session length that suits you, set a goal for each day, and link the app to third-party resources like Spotify or Microsoft To Do.

While still in the app, hit the gear button to set the notification block duration, select breaks, and set sounds for each action. If you have any services whose notifications you don’t want to restrict, you can pick different options for them. The information coming from them will not be filtered. Here you can also change the main theme of the application if you wish.

Service Settings

Full settings for Focus Assist can be found in the system settings. From the main “Start” menu, open “Settings” and select “System.” On the left side of the window, find the tab “Focus Assist.” You can also use the search bar and type the name of the function there or use the option that we described above through the Clock app.

The rest of the focus settings remain the same. There are two main blocks in this section that allow you to set notification filtering conditions and choose some automatic rules. In the first part, you can freeze absolutely all applications, allow only alarm clocks to send you information, or specify services that will not be blocked. The last option involves manually setting priorities, including incoming calls from selected contacts, emails, connected devices, etc.

The second “Automatic rules” part gives you the opportunity to fine-tune the service. Here you can set the time or choose certain modes of using the device when you do not want to be distracted by notifications. It could be during the night (after 11 PM), when you play games, share your display, or open programs on full screen. It is also possible to block incoming messages for an hour after installing system updates. The restrictions you set in the first block will apply in the situations you specify.

To quickly see all the information that came to your computer or laptop while Focus Assist was active, check the box next to the last option on the page. In this case, you will be shown a summary with all the data when the restrictions are lifted (automatically or manually).

You can set automatic rules for activating restrictions or manually enable Focus Assist when you need it if your activity does not fit into the proposed conditions. At first glance, it may seem that there are not very many configuration options, but they almost completely cover all scenarios for using PCs or laptops. Please share your experience with this feature. Do you find it really helpful? What rules would you add to the settings? Should the developers have made more significant changes to the service version for the new OS?

 

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