iOS 11 is coming later this year, and includes a range of enhancements including Do Not Disturb While Driving. Do Not Disturb While Driving is much like the standard Do Not Disturb functionality introduced in iOS 6, with a few notable differences.

Do Not Disturb While Driving will automatically block incoming calls, texts and other notifications when it detects that you’re driving. It can even reply to chosen contacts that text you while you’re driving, informing them that you’ll get back to them once you’ve reached your destination.

While it’s a handy feature for drivers that should minimise distractions while driving, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Here, we show you how to set up Do Not Disturb While Driving, customise your automatic reply and more.

Not got iOS 11 yet? Here’s how to install the iOS 11 beta on your iPhone and iPad.

How to set up Do Not Disturb While Driving

So, the first step is to enable the Do Not Disturb While Driving option in the iOS Settings app. Simply head to Settings > Do Not Disturb and select one of the three options:

  • Automatically: iOS will automatically detect when you’re driving and blocks incoming notifications while sending your chosen Auto-Reply message. While it’s good in theory, the issue is that if you’re a passenger (on a train or bus, for example) you’ll have to remember to manually toggle it off or miss all incoming notifications.
  • While Connected to Car Bluetooth: An ideal option if your car stereo offers Bluetooth support as with this option, Do Not Disturb While Driving will only be activated once your phone connects to your car’s Bluetooth.
  • Manually: What it says on the tin – allows you to toggle it on and off yourself when required.

Depending on the option you’ve chosen, Do Not Disturb While Driving should automatically turn on when you’re driving. (You can turn off Do Not Disturb While Driving by tapping the onscreen notification and selecting I'm Not Driving.)

If you decided to opt for the manual activation of the feature, there’s an extra step to follow to make life easier: add the Do Not Disturb While Driving toggle to your Control Centre.

To do that, head to Settings > Control Centre and tap ‘Customise Controls’. From there, tap the green + icon next to ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ and it should be added to your Control Centre.

You should then be able to toggle the feature on and off via the car icon in the Control Centre, accessible by swiping up from the bottom of your display.

Read next: How to Drag and Drop in iOS 11

How to set up Do Not Disturb While Driving Auto-Reply

A handy feature of Do Not Disturb While Driving replies to any incoming text messages while activated, letting the sender know that you’re driving and will respond when it’s safe to do so.

While the default “I’m driving with Do Not Disturb While Driving turned on. I’ll see your message when I get where I’m going.” message is a little impersonal, there’s a way to customise the message. Simply head to Settings > Do Not Disturb and tap ‘Auto Reply’. From here, you can edit and save the default message.

You can also choose who gets the Auto Reply message in the ‘Auto-Reply To’ menu – you can choose from All Contacts, Favourites, Recent Contacts or No-One. Oddly enough there’s not an option for those who aren’t in your contact list, but we imagine that will change before iOS 11 is officially available later this year.

Recipients of the Auto-Reply will also receive a message informing them that they can reply with ‘urgent’ to override the notification block, ideal for emergencies.

Curious about what has changed in iOS 11? Here’s our iOS 11 vs iOS 10 comparison, and also how to use the App Store in iOS 11.