Overriding the Mute Switch and Do-Not-Disturb with Pushover for Teams

Pushover is used in many organizations for sending network monitoring alerts to Ops teams and even in many volunteer firefighter departments to send out secondary alerts.

A popular feature Pushover has had for years is our Emergency-priority alerts, which repeat at a given interval until the recipient acknowledges it by tapping a button on the notification. Combined with per-alert sounds, this can be enough to get a user’s attention when they’re busy (or wake that unfortunate on-call person from their slumber).

A key feature of our new Pushover for Teams service is the ability for team members to configure SMS fallback, which will retry emergency-priority alerts over SMS in cases where the user is out of range of reliable Internet service, or to do custom alerting not possible with our mobile apps due to OS restrictions.

Here we’ll walk through setting up SMS fallback and configuring an iPhone running iOS 11 to bypass the hardware mute switch and Do Not Disturb mode, both of which may be turned on when a user is sleeping and interfere with receiving emergency alerts.

Setting up SMS Fallback

To get started, login to your Pushover Dashboard and click on Configure SMS.  If you do not see this option, you’ll need to signup for Pushover for Teams first.

Next, select your country and enter your phone number.  Note: SMS fallback is currently only supported for US, Canada, and UK mobile numbers.

You should receive a confirmation code on your mobile phone within a few seconds.

Enter that confirmation code on the Pushover website and click Verify Number:

Your SMS number is now setup and configured with some default settings.  Change them if you want and click Save Changes, otherwise you’re all done.

Configuring Mute-Switch Override

For iPhone users, you can configure Pushover’s SMS messages to bypass the hardware mute switch, as well as Do Not Disturb mode (emergency-priority messages already bypass your configured Pushover Quiet Hours).

Note: Pushover messages delivered outside the US and Canada are sent from a different, country-specific number, and will differ from the 312-757-PUSH number shown here.

Open the Messages app and tap on the notification from Pushover that included your confirmation code.  Then tap on the icon at the top.

Next, tap on Create New Contact.

Assign a name in the Company field if you want, and then tap on Text Tone (not Ringtone).

Enable the Emergency Bypass option, and optionally chose a distinct vibration pattern and alert tone.

Repeating Notifications

By default, iOS will only play the text message sound and vibration once.  To enable automatically repeating the alert until you dismiss it, open the main Settings app, then Notifications, then Messages.  Tap on the Repeat Alerts option and choose the amount of repeats.

You’re all set!

Now when receiving an emergency-priority notification through Pushover that is not acknowledged before it’s set to retry (and according to your SMS retry setting entered on the dashboard), you’ll get the next retry as a text message which will now bypass your device’s mute switch and Do Not Disturb.  To acknowledge the SMS message, just text back 1.

If you’re new to Pushover, try it out for free on iPhone/iPad, Android, or Desktop.  For more advanced features like SMS fallback demonstrated here, check out Pushover for Teams.