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Do Not Disturb vs. Airplane Mode

Do Not Disturb vs. Airplane Mode

It’s 2022, and it’s been 12 years since Android came to this world. From notification sounds to guest users, we have several options to customize the phone.

Two of those features are Do not disturb and airplane mode. What’s the difference? This is the do not disturb vs. airplane mode article to help you decide.

Do Not Disturb vs. Airplane Mode: Difference

Do not disturb stops call and app notifications except for the allowed ones. In contrast, Airplane mode completely stops the SIM card and wi-fi services.

Do not disturb supports excluding contacts and apps from the list to contact even when the mode is on, whereas the airplane mode has no similar option.

Do not disturb mode

Do Not Disturb on Android 12
Do Not Disturb on Android 12

The do not disturb mode can be enabled in the notifications tray or by going to notifications and then do not disturb. Depending on the device, the option may not be there, so you search for the term in the settings if you can’t find it.

Managing what to allow in do not disturb

The mode is like airplane mode but with flexibility. You can allow started contacts to ignore this feature.

It works by starring contacts in the Contacts app. The mode automatically gets the data without any extra settings. It might not work with third-party contact apps. Apps can also be excluded from this list.

Furthermore, you can modify alarms, touch sounds, media sounds, reminders, and calendar events to ensure you get the most out of this feature.

Scheduling do not disturb

Scheduling Do Not Disturb on Android 12

Unlike airplane mode, the do not disturb mode can be scheduled. Android 12 comes with three scheduling options:

  • Event
  • Time
  • While driving

The event schedule checks the Google Calendar for events. If you have two Gmail accounts, you can choose one or both.

The time schedule activates and deactivates do not disturb at a specific time. It also supports days and if the alarm can override it.

The driving mode uses the device’s motion and Bluetooth connections to detect when you drive. The mode does not entirely enables the do not disturb mode. It allows silent notifications.

What happens to calls in do not disturb

If the caller is not on the do not disturb list, their call does not reach the phone. It depends on the sim operator on how the call is handled.

For example, the service I use does not say that the phone is turned off. The operator says that the number is not responding.

If the caller is added to the allowed list, their call comes on the screen with the regular call tone.

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Where does it work best

There are many scenarios where the do not disturb mode works best. If you are in a meeting, you can toggle on the do not disturb mode instead of airplane mode. Other occasions include:

  • Having dinner with family
  • Playing sports
  • Meeting guests
  • While sleeping
  • In cinema theater
  • While driving

If you are on land and don’t want to be disturbed, you can switch it on.

Airplane mode

Airplane Mode on Android 12
Airplane Mode on Android 12

Like do not disturb, airplane mode is also visible in the notification tray. It is one of the important features, so most likely found in the beginning. It can also be found in the network and internet settings.

Managing what to allow in the airplane mode

Enabling the airplane mode disables the SIM services and wi-fi. This includes calls, SMS, and mobile data. So you are entirely cut off. In airplane mode, you can manually enable the wi-fi, but SIM services can be enabled.

What happens to calls in the airplane mode

In airplane mode, no cellular calls are reachable. The operator says the phone is powered off. You can still make internet calls if you have access to a wi-fi connection.

The Bluetooth and GPS location are not affected by this mode. Unlike the do not disturb mode, you can’t allow contacts to call you.

Where does it work best

As the name suggests, the airplane mode works best while in a plane. Also, according to Verizon, putting your phone on airplane mode while charging can increase the charging speed up to 4 times.

So, if you don’t have enough time to charge, you can put the phone in airplane mode. Some other scenarios where airplane mode can benefit:

  • When the battery is low
  • When you want to leave the phone at home
  • While driving

If you want to stop the SIM card from working and still want to use the phone, airplane mode is what you need.


Both are different technologies, and if you understand the difference, you can benefit from both. Anyway, this is for do not disturb vs. airplane mode on Android. Please share your suggestions if you have any in the comments.