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What are Android rules and how do you create a Do Not Disturb rule?

Here's an Android feature that can really help to make your mobile life a bit more efficient.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Person using an Android phone.

Rules. We all know them. Some follow them, some break them, and some make them. But when it comes to phones, what are the rules? I'm not talking about whether or not you should use them while in line at the bank or if it's okay to block that one annoying acquaintance who continues to blow up your phone with nonsense.

I'm talking about rules you create that serve to automate changes that happen to your device, based on either a Wi-Fi network connection or location.

For example, you might have a work phone that you use and you want it to automatically switch to Do Not Disturb when you come home from a long day of fielding calls. Sounds nice never having to remember to silence that phone when you arrive home. 

Even better, when you leave home, your Android device will automatically go back to pestering you until you return home. The rules feature is handy. And because it's been around since Android 10, chances are pretty good that it's available to you.

I'm going to show you how to create an Android Rule that will do exactly what I described above -- switch your device to Do Not Disturb as soon as you arrive home.

Also: How to set up a bedtime schedule on your Android device

What are Android rules and how do you create a Do Not Disturb rule?


The only thing you'll need for this is an Android device running at least Version 10 of the operating system. That's it… let's set some rules.

1. Open the Rules screen

Open the Settings app from either the Notification Shade or App Drawer and tap System > Rules to open the Rules screen.

The Android Rules screen.

You must first enable the app to run in the background.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

2. Enable the app to run in the background

For this feature to work, you must allow the app to run in the background. As the warning states, this may cause an extra drain on your battery, but I've not noticed the drain to be all that much. To enable this, tap Next, and then when prompted, tap Allow.

The Android Rules battery drain warning.

Read the warning carefully.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Also: What is app pinning and how do you set it up?

3. Add your Do Not Disturb rule

Back in the Rules window, tap "Add rule." In the resulting screen, tap Add Wi-Fi Network or Location, and either select a wireless network or type an address for the location. In this example, you'd pick your home network.

Once you've taken care of that, select what you want the device to do when you arrive. For this example, select Turn on Do Not Disturb. You can optionally enable the notification, which will send a notification to the Notification Shade.

The Android rule configuration screen.

Creating a new Android rule.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

After taking care of that, you can then back out of the Settings app and trust that whenever you arrive home, the device will be placed in Do Not Disturb mode. 

Also: How to control what apps send notifications to your Android

And that's all there is to adding an Android rule to make your life a bit more convenient.

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