Here is a feature that for a lot of users might seem obvious, yet it is not supported by default on the iPhone: Setting your iPhone to alert you only when certain contacts call you, leaving all the rest silent. Up until iOS 5, something like this was almost impossible to achieve, but with the arrival of iOS 6, Apple introduced a feature called Do Not Disturb, of which we’ve already written a bit before and which also allows you to use a small workaround to have your iPhone alert you only when certain contacts call you.
Let’s take a better look at how to do this on your iPhone running iOS 6.
Creating a Custom Contacts Group
The first step in this workaround is to create a custom group of only the contacts you want to receive calls from. Oddly enough though, this is not possible to do on the iPhone’s native Contacts app, so your best bet is to do it either on your Mac or on iCloud’s website.
Step 1: Open Contacts on your Mac and select New Group from the File menu at the top of the screen. Then name your new group.
Step 2: Browse across all your contacts within the Contacts app and when you find one that you would like to always receive calls from, just click on it and drag it to the group you just created. Repeat the process for all the contacts you want to receive alerts from when they call you.
On iCloud’s Website
Step 1: Access the Contacts app via iCloud’s website. There you can add a group of contacts by clicking on the “+” icon at the bottom right of the Groups page.
Step 2: Similarly to how it is done on the Mac, you can add any contact you want to be alerted by when they call you by dragging and dropping them on the group you just created.
Once you are done, the new group you just created and all of its contacts will be ready and waiting for you on your iPhone.
On Your iPhone
Now let’s use Do Not Disturb to make your iPhone alert you of calls from only your selected contacts.
Step 1: On you iPhone go to Settings and open the Notifications menu. One there, tap on Do Not Disturb.
Step 2: Tap on Allow Calls From and on the next screen tap on the group you just created that has all your important contacts you want to get alerts from when they call you.
Step 3: To enable silent mode for all contacts except those in your newly-created group, turn on Do Not Disturb in the Settings app.
Thankfully, once your group is created, you don’t need to go back to your Mac or PC to add contacts to it, since that can be done right from your iPhone. To do so, just head to the Contacts app on your iPhone, tap on Groups and make sure only the group you want to add contacts to is selected.
There you go, now you can rest assured that you will be alerted of calls from only the contacts that are important to you.