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Quiet Hours; Don’t let yourself get distracted by emails!

We all have these moments; You need to focus and don’t want to get distracted by anything for a longer period of time.

Alerts for incoming emails can be quite a distraction and those emails you thought only required a quick and short responds ended up becoming an essay or a back-and-forth conversation or just totally got you out of your rhythm.

Of course, you could close Outlook and all other applications that generate pop-up alerts or sounds, but did you know about Quiet Hours already?

Quiet Hours buttonQuiet Hours isn’t a new feature in Windows 10, but they took a completely different approach to it when compared to the Windows 8 implementation of Quiet Hours.

It is now really intuitive to use and I actually find myself using it more often.

Quiet Hours in Windows 10

Quiet Hours in Windows 10 is basically nothing more than an on/off switch for the feature. When it is enabled, notifications for applications that integrate with the Action Center of Windows 10 will no longer be shown or make a sound.

All the notifications that you missed are still collected in the Action Center so when you are ready to turn off Quiet Hours, you’ll immediately see an overview of these missed notifications.

To turn Quiet Hours on or off:

  1. Click on the Action Center icon.
  2. Click on the Quiet Hours button.

Quiet Hours button in the Action Center

Note: If you don’t see the Quiet Hours button, you may need to click on Expand first.

Quiet Hours in Windows 8

Hide Notifications buttonQuiet Hours in Windows 8 was a bit more sophisticated with various settings but lacks the quickly accessible on/off switch.

Actually, even though is has the same name, it is a completely different feature. Even when you have Quiet Hours turned on in Windows 8, as soon as it detects that you are using your computer, you’ll start receiving notifications again.

To turn Quiet Hours on or off:

  1. Open the Charm Bar and choose Settings or use the Windows key + I keyboard shortcut.
  2. Choose: Change PC settings
  3. Choose: Search and apps
  4. Choose: Notifications
  5. Section: Quiet hours

The feature that comes closest to the Quiet Hours feature in Windows 10 is to hide the notifications for a certain amount of time.

  1. Open the Settings Panel (Windows key + I).
  2. Click on the Notifications icon and choose one of the following:
    • Hide for 1 hour
    • Hide for 3 hours
    • Hide for 8 hours

To re-enable the notifications again, simply click on the Notifications icon again.

Hide Notifications in Windows 8.
Hide Notifications in Windows 8.

Extra Tip: Hide notifications while presenting

Presentation Mode buttonWindows 10 has another nice feature to automatically silence notifications while you are presenting. This way you don’t have to use the Quiet Hours feature for this.

  1. Open the Settings app (Windows key + I).
  2. Choose: System
  3. Choose: Notifications & actions
  4. Enable: Hide notifications while presenting.

Also, don’t forget that Windows has a Presentation Mode application which allows you to pre-configure some setting changes like disabling your screensaver, setting your sound level and adjusting your background (like to a corporate one instead of your personal one) with the click of a button. This will also hide various notifications and silence sounds that are not part of your presentation.


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