iOS10 Message Alerts Not Working? Fix

Several iPad and iPhone users have reported that they are experiencing SMS and iMessage notification problems after upgrading their devices to iOS 10. It seems that several users are affected by this problem.

See also: iOS 14 Text Notification Not Working, Fix

When you receive a new message, your iPhone or iPad can alert you with an sound alert, an on-screen alert, or a vibration alert.  You can customize your device (like sounds and vibration patterns) so that you can get notifications for new text messages.

If your sound and vibration alerts are not working properly, no notification sound/vibration with incoming texts, here is how you can troubleshoot:


Please try each until your issue is fixed:

  1. We previously explained iPhone / iPad Text Sound Notifications issues. Please try those tips.
  2. Go to Settings > Messages and Send&Receive. If your email address is selected please unselect. Only select your phone number.
  3. Settings > Notifications > Messages > and Turn off “Show in Notification Center”
  4. Make sure that Do Now Disturb is disabled. You can check this by going to Settings > Do Not Disturb.
  5. Make sure that the Mute switch (on the side of your iPhone and iPad) is not on.
  6. Force restart your device by pressing and holding the home and on/off buttons together until you see the Apple logo.
  7. Tap Settings > Notifications and Messages. Turn off “Allow Notifications”. Then restart your device. Now turn back on “Allow Notifications”.
  8. Go to Settings > Sound and check to see whether “Ringer and Alerts” is muted. If it is muted, make sure you slide the volume up.

See also: Mute Notifications

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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90 thoughts on “iOS10 Message Alerts Not Working? Fix”

  1. I am frustrated! In the past whenever I rceived a text message it showed a number on the message icon..1 message…2 messages. Not sure when it happened but I dont get those notifciations any longer. I get sound but if I am not beside my phone And dont hear the tone, i have to always check to see if I have a message. Liked it better when it shows like in Messenger. Any suggestions?

    • I can see how many messages I get, I wasn’t being alerted when I got texts when I updated to IOS 12, but following all
      The steps above fixed my solution. That’s odd, cuz it always shows how many texts you have on the message app in red, I dont know why your not getting them?

    • I’m now having the same problem with none of the solutions above working. It’s definitely frustrating. But I’ll let Apple figure it out when I go in to the bar.

    • I’ve been having the same problem with my iPhone 7 plus, iOS 12.1.2. Have tried all these suggestions and none of them have worked!

  2. I was on hold for almost an hour with att! They could not do anything because they are government alerts! Read your article, I Always Keep my IPad on MUTE! I have never gotten any alerts in years! Yes, my notifications are on. This makes so much sense! I unmuted my iPad and hopefully that fixes the issues with alerts on my phone, my phone did show muted! Thanks

  3. Thank you so much, I was on hold for over 40 minutes and put on hold again, only to hear from att that they have not control over the alerts! I told I have never gotten them, hung up on her and searched and found your article! This makes so much sense I Always Keep My IPad on MUTE, so checked my phone and it showed the mute on it! Thank you for being so smart!

  4. Same problem as others, no SMS alert on the iPhone 6s (iOS 11.4.1)

    Unpaired my watch and all is well. Alerts on iPhone (.

    With the watch paired, my phone and MBP are always silent (no SMS alerts) when the phone is locked and when the phone is unlocked, I get all the alerts on the phone (useless!). Done all the fixes, spent hours on the phone with Apple support and reset the iPhone. Seemed to me it was “fixed” up to the point I reloaded my apps. Something got in the way.

    I want alerts on the phone primarily or both phone and watch. Alerts on the watch alone are not reliable. I will fail to recognize them….

    Perhaps iOS 12 will address this. I see it is there, waiting for me to install.

    • My 10XR has two settings: Silence and Silence when locked. I don’t have the choice for notifications while locked. I updated to the iOS 12. No change. Just got the 10XR and am not happy.

  5. I have a 6. Problem started when my phone was plugged in on charge. I would hear the tone, but no notification. Go into messages and I have new messages. NOW, only after I got a new Apple TV and it used my device to login to iCloud ect, I don’t get any notifications. When I go into my message box, the text messages are there but show as read as opposed to unread. Extremely annoying

  6. My visual alert (number) on my messages on my IPad has not worked now for months. I have tried turning off/on. I’ve gone to settings and my notifications are on. I am getting sound notifications but obviously unless I hear the notification I am not aware I have messages.
    Any ideas as to what I can do. I have a friend with an I pad and she too is having problems. Is this a software problem?

  7. Why would you have a “show messages on locked screen” option, and then have it as an impossible option even when DoNotDisturb is disabled.

  8. IOS updates are SO frustrating! Why would text message alerts default to an email account when I’ve always had text message notifications turned “on” on my cell phone? I love Apple but I loathe the IOS updates and default resets!!!!!


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