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Cannot turn off Focus Assist in Windows 11/10

Focus Assist is an incredible feature in Windows 11 and Windows 10 that allows you to control the distraction from all the app notifications. That said, it is not as same as how it works on a Phone, and hence many would like to turn it off. However, like many other things on Windows, if you cannot turn off Focus Assist in Windows, then this post will help you resolve the problem.

How to turn off Focus Assist in Windows?

The usual way to turn off Focus Assist is through the settings.  Go to Settings (Win + I) > System > Focus Assist. Then choose the Off radio button and turn it off.

However, if this option is greyed out or reverting to the last selected state, we need to use other methods to fix this problem.

Cannot turn off Focus Assist in Windows 11/10

If you are not able to switch it off, you can still choose the Alarms-only mode to hide all notifications except for alarms. If you don’t have an alarm set, it is as good as Focus Assist turned off. However, it’s only a workaround, and here is the possible solution to fix the problem. Make sure you have an admin account to execute the suggestions.

Group Policy is available in Windows Pro and above version but can also be enabled for the Home version. So if you are using the Home version, follow the link to enable it on your PC.

  • Open Run prompt using Win + R
  • Type gpedit.msc and press the Enter key to open Group Policy Editor
  • Navigate to the following path in the group policy User configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar > Notifications
  • Locate the Turn off Quiet Hours policy and double click to open it.Turn off Quiet Hours Windows
  • Choose to Disable it to turn off Focus Assist

Even more interesting is that if you turn off from here, the option to disable from Settings will not be available. The description mentions:

If you disable this policy setting, toast notifications will be suppressed and some background tasks deferred during the designated Quiet Hours time window. Users will not be able to change this or any other Quiet Hours settings.

So, instead of disabling it, you can disable, save, and then set it to the Not Configured option. This should reset the permission, and you should be able to configure Focus Assist as you need it.

Is Focus Assist the same as Quiet Hours?

Yes. In the earlier version of Windows 10, it was termed as Quiet Hours, but later it was changed to Focus Assist. In simple terms, it is the DND mode of smartphones that can be customized based on priority, rules, and what you are doing on the PC or Laptop.

How do you reset the Focus Assist?

The best way to reset apart from Group Policy is to keep switching between different options and toggle the settings under automatic rules. However, there is no switch to the default option available.

Why does Focus Assist turn on automatically?

There are some rules which can bypass the Focus Assist setting and show notifications. It can be based on time, display duplication—playing a game, and the app on full screen. So make sure it is appropriately configured.

How to reduce notification in Focus Assist?

Most of the notifications are grouped by apps, and for some of them, you will receive an option to show fewer similar notifications. Apart from this, you can click on the three-dot menu of any notification and choose to turn off, change priority, and so on. More can be configured through the Notifications settings.

I hope the post was easy to follow, and you were able to turn off the Focus Assist in Windows 11/10, which was not possible earlier.

Cannot turn off Focus Assist in Windows 11/10

This article was originally posted on 9to5linux.com. Read here

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