Blogs & News

Back to articles

Make it easier to focus on tasks with Focus Assist in Windows 10


Notifications can often be distracting when you are trying to focus on a task. You can mute all of your notifications, but that’s not always ideal when you need certain notifications to keep you up to date with important information.

The solution to this is Focus Assist. This is a great feature in Microsoft Windows 10 that can get rid of distracting notifications. Once enabled, you can choose which notifications you want to hide, and which ones you still want to receive.

The ‘hidden’, notifications will live in your notification centre, where you can check them out at a time that’s convenient to you.

How do I enable Focus Assist?

1. Use the search feature to open the Settings application.

2. Then go into System and click on Focus assist from the menu on the left hand side.

Focus Assist in Microsoft Windows

3. You’ll then have three options, when either disabling or enabling the feature:

  • Off – Keeping Focus Assist off means that you’ll still get all of your notifications.
  • Priority Only – This will hide all notifications, except the ones you deem as priority. You can customise your priorities using ‘Customize priority list’.

    NOTE: We’ll explore this option further below.
  • Alarms only – This option will hide all notifications, except for your alarms.

4. Underneath the Focus Assist settings, you can check the box next to Show a summary of what I missed when Focus Assist was on. This will give you a notification to view all your ‘hidden’ notifications, when you exit from Focus Assist.

How to create a priority list to show only certain notifications

If you’re going to use the Priority Only focus level, you can choose which notifications you still want to receive, even when Focus Assist is enabled.

To do this, click on Customize priority list, which is located underneath the Priority only option.

Customise priority list in Focus Assist

You’ll then see the following options:

  • Calls, texts, and reminders: Under this option, you can either show or hide notifications for incoming calls, text messages and reminders.
  • People: If you want to receive notifications from certain contacts in apps such as Mail, Calling and Messaging, you can add them here.
  • Apps: You can enable specific apps to bypass Focus Assist so you receive notifications from them.

To delete an application from the list, simply click on it and then hit Remove.

How to set up automatic rules for Focus Assist so you never have to turn it on yourself

Focus Assist must usually be turned on manually, but there is a way to automatically enable the feature.

Underneath Automatic rules, you have the following settings:

Automatic rules in Focus Assist

Here’s what they all mean:

  • During these times: Automatically turns on Focus Assist during a certain time frame, which you can choose.
  • When I’m duplicating my display: Automatically turns on Focus Assist when you connect to a second monitor.
  • When I’m playing a game: Automatically turns on Focus Assist when you’re playing a game.
  • When I’m using an app in full-screen mode only: Automatically turns on Focus Assist when you use an app in full screen mode.
  • For the first hour after a Windows feature update: Automatically turns on Focus Assist right after an update.

Additional Information

Microsoft’s Focus assist was first introduced in a 2018 update of Windows 10, where it replaced a feature known as Quiet Hours. This feature is called Focus in Windows.

Further Information

If you have any questions about this or need assistance, then please contact the GCC Group Support Team on 0345 260 1151 or

Microsoft 365

In our personal and business lives, we’re becoming more connected than ever. Microsoft 365 is the world-class cloud-based platform which helps you to achieve your goals from anywhere.

Microsoft 365 is a suite of apps bringing together all the greatest Office applications in one cloud-based platform, enabling your people to connect, collaborate and get things done from anywhere.

Applications that help you stay connected and get things done include:

  • Word
    Microsoft’s iconic word processing program allows you to create and share documents, now with intelligent document support.
  • Excel
    Simplify complex data with the world’s most-used spreadsheet program.
  • PowerPoint
    Create and share outstanding presentations.
  • Teams
    Bring everyone together with secure video & call conferencing, instant messaging, and collaboration.
  • Outlook
    Manage all your emails in one place.
  • One Drive
    Save files securely and access them at any time, from anywhere.
  • SharePoint
    Create team sites to share information, files, and resources.

Plus, other useful applications such as Exchange, Intune and Azure Information Protection.

Speak to us today to find out how which Microsoft applications could be deployed in your business.