Has your iPhone alarm gone silent? It may be a bug

Do not be alarmed - Apple said it is working on a fix, but there could be other causes for unwanted sleep-ins

If you overslept this morning, you might have a valid reason for not hearing your alarm: it may have been silenced.

Some users have been complaining that long-established alarms are no longer sounding, leading to some awkward conversations with bosses and missed meetings. It is not necessarily new alarms either; some people on social media say it affects long-standing ones they have not touched since they were initially set up.

Apple is aware of the issue and is working on a fix, it said.

But before you blame Apple, there are a couple of things you should check on your phone to make sure it is not user error.


First, make sure you haven’t inadvertently turned down the down the volume on your alerts. You might laugh, but it is easily done, especially if you have activated the ability to change the volume of alerts and ringtones with the side buttons.

If you no longer want to do this, you can turn it off. Go to Settings>Sounds & Haptics and scroll to Change with Buttons.

Another culprit could be the Attention Aware Features. Available on the iPhone X and later, this uses the iPhone’s front facing camera to check if you are looking at the screen so it won’t dim the display while you are reading it. It is also the same technology that will expand notifications as you look at them, and crucially, lower the volume of some alerts.

To turn this off, go to Settings>Face ID & Passcode and scroll down to Attention Aware Features.

It is a timely reminder that we shouldn’t count on technology for everything, and sometimes the traditional mechanical ways are best.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist