Quiet Hours


Windows 8.1 has a new feature called Quiet Hours enabled by default on all machines that controls notifications sent to users and background activity.  Quiet Hours allows for the user to define periods of time in which the system will be fresh and up to date when the user is present, but will stop background tasks and notifications when the user is away from their system. 

The expectation is that no notifications will be delivered to the user when Quiet Hours is engaged. The only exceptions are alarm apps, and if the user has selected, incoming call notifications from VOIP apps that are allowed on the lock screen.  Quiet Hours disengages if the user is present during a scheduled time.

Quiet Hours configuration

The default configuration for quiet hours in Windows 8.1 client is:

  1. The feature is enabled by default on all machines

  2. The window of time when it can be engaged is from 12 midnight to 6 AM

  3. Notifications related to calls from VOIP lock screen call capable apps and Alarms are allowed to come through.

The user can disable the feature, or change the times of quiet hours, and/or determine if calls are allowed through the Quiet Hours PC Settings screen.  Settings are on a per-user basis only.

System entry and exit from Quiet Hours

Quiet hours is engaged when the following conditions are true:

  • The time is during the scheduled quiet hour times.

  • No user input has been detected for a significant length of time (e.g. 5 minutes).

  • The screen is off.

  • There is no audio playing on the system.

Entry to Quiet Hours

If all conditions are met at the time that Quiet Hours begins, the system engages into Quiet Hours.

If only some conditions are met at the time that Quiet Hours begins, the system will stay out of Quiet Hours until all conditions are met. 

Exit of Quiet Hours

Quiet Hours is exited either at the end of the scheduled time, or when any one of the other conditions is no longer met.

Here are some examples of how these scenarios might occur:  

  1. If the scheduled exit time is approaching, the system will start to run background tasks that were stopped during the Quiet Hour period.  At the scheduled exit time, notifications would begin to be allowed through.

  2. If the user returns to the system while Quiet Hours is engaged, the system will immediately exit Quiet Hours and update its content.  When the user is no longer present, if it is still within the specified time window, Quiet Hours will re-engage.

Quiet Hours PC settings screen
  1. Open the Charms menu, click Change PC Settings

  2. Click the Search and Apps tab, then click Notifications

  3. Scroll until you see the Quiet Hours options

Figure 1- Quiet Hours PC Settings screen

Alternatively, you can click the Windows button to go the start screen, type quiet hours in the search box and chose the first option “Chose when quiet hours begin and end” which will bring up the quiet hours settings.

Figure 2- Searching Quiet hours


Forum Article Info

Last updated January 29, 2020 Views 18,382 Applies to:

I like this new feature very much. Thank you!

Giorgi Aptsiauri

IT manager at red ball 5

Thank you for Windows 8!
        Unique concept, change in operation procedure, thank-you Kay Farrens.

New concept, change in operations. Kay Farrens.



When I try to turn on Quiet Hours, Cortana tells me that I have to not be in driving mode, have to have Cortana turned on, and must not be in battery saver mode. I cannot get past that screen, even though my settings are all correct!

If I use the voice command to "Activate Quiet Hours," Cortana replies that "quiet hours is now on." But everything still gets thru--quiet hours is not REALLY tuned on.

Are there some hidden setting somewhere that may "spoof" the settings that Cortana does not like?

I like this new feature very much. Thank you!

Giorgi Aptsiauri

IT manager at red ball 5

***Breakthrough list disappears in quiet hours setting
Ahmet Şeref Türkmenoğlu asked on July 12, 2016
After adding contacts in breakthrough list of quiet hours in WP10, this list disappears.
You and 3 other people had this question


Joan Hamlin:

I've had this DISAPPEARING BREAKTHROUGH LIST on Quiet Hours since June, 2016.The conventional answer has been:

Try resetting Cortana(open settings>privacy>speech, inking & typing>stop getting to know me) and then do a soft reset.



The next fix-it suggestion is the exact same thing EXCEPT at the end do a "hard reset" (puts phone back to factory settings). Well, who wants to do that? Ok, another option is to do a BACKUP, then do a hard reset. I may try this, but have to learn how to do a backup first.

Anyone have any other suggestions? Thank you.