Getting pop-up notifications can be very annoying and inconvenient, especially when you are in the middle of a full-screen game or app. Windows 10 and Windows 11 notifications or pop-ups from other apps could force minimize your current app or game in order to get your attention. So, how can we turn off notifications, disable pop-ups, and enable game mode in Windows 10 and Windows 11?
The problem with pop-Up notifications in Windows 10 or 11
Pop-up notifications in Windows 10 and Windows 11 can be a significant distraction, especially when you are trying to focus on something important. For instance, when you’re playing a game or working on an important project, an incoming notification or pop-up can disrupt your concentration and lead to errors or frustration. This is where Focus Assist comes in.
Introducing Focus Assist
Fortunately, since Windows 10, Microsoft has introduced Focus Assist. As its name suggests, it assists you in focusing on your work by temporarily turning off all notifications and disabling pop-ups that could interrupt you. It works as if you have game mode enabled in Windows 10 and Windows 11.
Focus Assist is a feature introduced in one of the Windows 10 major updates. You need the latest update to be able to use the Focus Assist feature. If you haven’t already updated it, run Windows Update on your PC now.
How to enable Focus Assist in Windows 11/10
To turn on Focus Assist in Windows 10 and Windows 11, follow these steps:
- Click on the Action Center (notification icon) at the bottom right of the Windows 10 or Windows 11 desktop screen.
- Select Focus Assist.
- Select either Priority only or Alarms only.
- To turn Focus Assist off, select Off from the same menu.
Selecting Priority only will hide all notifications except those in your priority list. We will talk about how to manage your priority list later in the post. Selecting Alarms only, in contrast, will hide all notifications and pop-ups, including those in your priority list, except for alarms.
Managing the priority list in Windows
When you turn on Focus Assist, all notifications and pop-ups will be disabled and sent to the Action Center instead, where you can see them anytime after your work or gaming session. If you select Priority only, it will hide all notifications except those in your priority list. To manage your priority list in Windows 10 and Windows 11, follow these steps:
- Click on the Action center at the bottom right of the Windows 10 or Windows 11 screen.
- Click on All settings at the bottom.
- Click on System.
- From the left pane, select Focus Assist.
- Under the Priority only option, click on Customize your priority list.
- From there, you can manage which notifications are allowed.
In the Priority list, you can choose which notifications you still want to see when Focus Assist is switched to Priority only, such as VoIP calls, texts, reminders, or the People app. You can also add any app that would send notifications or pop-ups to the exclusion list. It will be like enabling game mode in Windows 10 and Windows 11 while still being able to receive notifications from apps of your choice.
Using Focus Assist with a schedule
In the Focus Assist setting, you can also set a schedule and choose the times when you want Focus Assist to be turned on automatically. It’s useful if you have fixed working hours and don’t want to be disturbed during this period without the need to keep switching Focus Assist on and off.
You can also choose the activities when Focus Assist should be turned on automatically, such as when you’re playing a game or when you’re duplicating your display. When the “Show me a summary of what I missed while focus assist was on” option is enabled, it will show you a summary of all notifications and pop-ups you’ve missed after you turn it off.
Disabling notifications in Windows 11/10
If you don’t have the Windows 10 or Windows 11 latest update or if you can’t update to it yet, you can choose to disable the notification of any app in the system setting in Windows 10 and Windows 11. To learn more about how to turn off notifications or just the notification sound of an app or program in Windows 10 and Windows 11, read this: How to disable notification sound in Windows 10.
The bottom line
Using Focus Assist is a great way to turn off notifications, disable pop-ups, and enable game mode in Windows 10 and Windows 11. With this feature, you can easily focus on your work or gaming session without getting interrupted by notifications and pop-ups. By following the steps outlined above, you can customize Focus Assist to fit your needs and schedule, and ensure that you stay productive and focused throughout the day.