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Do Not Disturb vs. Airplane Mode

Do Not Disturb vs. Airplane Mode

It’s been 13 years since Android came into this world. From notification sounds to guest users, we have several phone customization options.

Two of those similar features are Do Not Disturb and Airplane mode. The article covers do not disturb vs. airplane mode and which to use where.

Quick Do Not Disturb vs. Airplane Mode

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 airplane mode has no similar option.

Do not disturb mode

Do not disturb on Samsung
The Do not disturb mode on Samsung

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, but you can search for it in the settings.

Managing what to allow in Do not disturb

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

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

Unlike Airplane mode, the Do not disturb mode can be scheduled. Android phones come 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 schedule activates and deactivates Do not disturb at a specific time. It also supports days and whether 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, the call does not reach the phone. It depends on the SIM operator on how the call is handled.

For example, my service does not say 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.

Something similar: Samsung Internet versus Google Chrome

Where to use Do not disturb

There are many scenarios where the do not disturb mode works best. If you are in a meeting, you can toggle on the 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

The Airplane Mode on Samsung
The Airplane Mode on Samsung

Airplane mode, titled Flight mode on Samsung, is visible in the notification tray. 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. However, you can manually enable Wi-Fi. The Bluetooth and GPS location are not affected by this mode.

What happens to calls in the Airplane mode

No cellular calls are reachable in this mode. The operator says the phone is powered off. You can still make internet calls if you can access a Wi-Fi connection.

Unlike the do not disturb mode, you can’t allow contacts to call you.

Where to use Airplane mode

As the name suggests, the airplane mode works best 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 enable 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.


The Do not disturb mode is less aggressive, letting you make calls and send messages to selected contacts.

The Airplane mode completely cuts your SIM services, so it’s great for where you don’t want your SIM to work.

Both are different technologies and if you understand the difference, you can benefit from both.