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I always use my iPhone in silent mode and do not want any notification sounds except for calls. I would prefer that calls (from anyone) always rings, no matter if I am in Do Not Disturb mode or not. Since people only call me for very important things. Currently, I could set it up such that call notifications are displayed in the Do Not Disturb mode, but I cannot get the phone to actually ring so mostly I will just miss the call and notice it later as I don't check my phone often. Updated the phone to iOS 16.

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  • This is a very important question, I miss calls, but same as OP I don't want any Notifications to ring a sound or vibrate, I just want any calls to ring and vibrate while on Silent because realistically you don't get too many calls in 2023, it's all notifications. Feb 14, 2023 at 22:04

2 Answers 2

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From iOS 15 [can't check 16 yet]

Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb > People > Also allow Calls From > Everyone

Requires the phone is not set to silent mode with the side switch.

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  • The problem with this approach is that the phone cannot be set to silent mode (I do not want to myriad of sounds the phone makes while typing etc) and I have to set it do not disturb mode to get disturbed by calls, which doesn't make much sense if I want to see regular messages (but not hear them) as well
    – jhk999
    Sep 14, 2022 at 16:17
  • Typing noises are independently switchable. Use a different, manual focus mode if you also need DND for something else.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 14, 2022 at 16:18
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This article from Apple's iPhone User Guide for iOS 16 regarding the "silent mode" activated by the physical switch on the left side, clearly states that silent mode is just silent (and full stop):

When silent mode is on, iPhone doesn’t ring or play alerts or other sound effects (but iPhone may still vibrate). Important: Clock alarms, audio apps such as Music, and many games play sounds through the built-in speaker, even when silent mode is on.

However there is an exception to this rule: iPhone WILL always ring for an incoming call if you customize the contact ringtone, regardless of silent mode or focus mode. To do that open the phone app > click a contact > click edit (upper right) > click ring tone or sms tone (right under email) > click "emergency exception" to turn ON.

Different story not to be confused with the "do not disturb" focus mode, for which this other article of iOS 16 leaves the door open to allow calls or notifications from specific people during a Focus, or even wider audience from favs group, all contacts or anyone at all. Inside a focus mode 'persons' you can also define a general flag to allow repeated calls within 3 minutes to ring.

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