How to stop your iPhone from driving you crazy with little red dots and other interruptions

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How to stop your iPhone from driving you crazy with little red dots and other interruptions

  • iPhone notifications, sounds, app updates and more can be really annoying.
  • CNBC lays out some tips to help you manage the stress your iPhone might be causing you.
  • Here are some tips and tricks to make the iPhone more manageable.
Tired man with smartphone
Westend61 | Getty

If you're like me, sometimes you look at your iPhone with disdain. Another little red dot notifying me that I have new messages in an app? Why is the screen so darn bright? Why am I getting text messages in the middle of the night? It makes me want to pull my hair out.

Your iPhone should be a helpful tool, not an annoyance. I have a few tips that can help cut down on your iPhone stress levels.

Turn off badge app icons

Turn off badge icons
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Turn off badge icons

Those stupid red dots, right? They drive me bonkers, always notifying me that maybe someone random sent me something on Snapchat or I was tagged in Instagram. I'll check those apps when I want to, and you can turn off all of those red indicators — the ones that show you the number of missed alerts — really easily.

Here's how:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap Notifications
  • Choose the app that's particularly bothersome
  • Toggle the button for "Badge App Icon" to off

Automatically update apps

Automatically update your apps
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Automatically update your apps

Here's another thing that irks me: The App Store is always showing a number of applications that need to be updated. You can avoid this by having your apps update automatically .Here's how:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap iTunes and App Store
  • Toggle the button to turn on "Updates" for apps.

Automatically remove apps you don't use

Get rid of unused apps automatically
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Get rid of unused apps automatically

Sometimes I download an app to check it out but decide I don't like it. Then it just sits there, clogging up my iPhone and collecting dust. Apple added a feature that automatically removes apps you don't use. Here's how to use it:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap iTunes and App Store
  • Scroll down
  • Toggle "Offload Unused Apps."

Use Do Not Disturb mode

Use Do Not Disturb mode
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Use Do Not Disturb mode

This is my favorite. You can set your iPhone to stop disturbing you during certain hours, like when you're trying to sleep or if you're at work and don't want your personal phone going off all day. You can still allow calls from favorites to come through (like your family members) or repeated calls (if there's an emergency.) You can also set it to activate automatically when your iPhone knows you're driving. Here's how:

  • Open Settings
  • Click "Do Not Disturb"
  • Set a specific schedule (I use between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.)
  • Then choose specifics, like if you want it to be on while driving or if you want repeated calls to come through.

Turn off push notifications

Turn off Push Notifications
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Turn off Push Notifications

Turning off push notifications -- the ones that ding you every time something happens -- can save you from receiving every single alert. You have to do this app by app, which is a bit of a pain, but I've found I feel a lot less stressed after making sure that every news app and social app can't ping me whenever something changes.

Here's how:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap Notifications
  • Move through each app you don't want alerts from and turn off "allow notifications" at the top.

Use Night Shift

Use Night Shift
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Use Night Shift

This tip will help you fall asleep, too. Night Shift cuts out some of the blue light that your iPhone omits, making it much easier on the eyes while you're reading in bed. It also makes the phone less painful to view, should you wake up in the middle of the night and need to respond to a text message because you forgot to set it to "Do Not Disturb" mode like I told you to do earlier.

Here's how to use it:

  • Open Settings
  • Select Display & Brightness
  • Select your Night Shift Schedule (I use mine from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.)
  • Pro tip: you can also select night shift by opening the Control Center. To do that, swipe down on iPhone X, or swipe up on older iPhones, and tap the display brightness bar.

Show your battery percentage

Show your battery percentage
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Show your battery percentage

Tired of guessing how much battery you have left? There's an option to show what percentage is left at all times. Here's how to turn it on:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap Battery
  • Toggle "Battery Percentage"
  • Pro tip: turn on "Low Power Mode" when you get to around 20-percent to last even longer.

Turn off the keyboard noises

Turn off the keyboard click noises
Todd Haselton | CNBC
Turn off the keyboard click noises

This is one of the first things I do on any phone. The old-fashioned typewriter sound the iPhone makes each time I type a letter when writing a text message is enough to drive me mad. Turn those off by doing this:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap "Sounds & Haptics"
  • Toggle "Keyboard Clicks" to Off.