iPhone / iPad Text Sound Notifications Not Working? How to Fix

You may lose text sound notifications with incoming texts alerting you with a sound whenever you receive a text. This article explains what to do when your iPhone or iPad is not making any sounds when you get a new message.

Devices: All iPhone models (e.g., iPhone 6, iPhone 5, iPhone 6s ), all iPad models (e.g., iPad Air, iPad 2).

If you’re not getting notification sounds, then this article is for you.

See also: Apple Watch Not Getting Notifications From iPhone, Fix

How to fix sound notification problems

If iPad or iPhone notification sounds are not working, meaning if your iPhone (or iPad) does not let you know when you receive an incoming text message (e.g., iMessage), here is how to fix:

Before you do anything, make sure that you are using the latest version of iOS or iPadOS. On your device, go to Settings > General > Software Update. And if there is an update available, then follow the onscreen instructions.

1– Make sure that you do not have Do Not Disturb turned on. You may check this by going to Settings > Do Not Disturb. Set this to “Off”.

Turn Off Do Not Disturb
Turn Off Do Not Disturb

2– Make sure that Do Not Disturb is not turned on for any particular contacts. To check this, launch the Messages app where you can see your messages.  Does any message have any moon sign? If there is, this means that you enabled Do Not Disturb for that contact:

Messages Do Not Disturb
Messages Do Not Disturb

To disable this, tab “Details” and turn off “Do Not Disturb”

3– Tap Settings > Notifications > Messages, make sure that “Allow Notifications” is turned on.

See also: Notifications Disappearing From Lock Screen? Fix

4– Your device has a mute switch (ring or silent). On your iPhone, this switch is located on the left side of your device, on your iPad, it is located on the right side of your iPad:

iPhone Mute Switch
iPhone Ring Silent Switch

Make sure that the mute button isn’t turned on by pushing the “Ring/Silent” switch to the “Ring” position.

5– Try setting the alert to a different sound. On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Notifications and select an app (e.g., Messages) and tap Sounds and select a different one.

6– Restart your device. Here is how you can restart your iPhone or iPad.

  • iPhone X, 11 or later: Press and hold the volume up (or down) and the side or top buttons together until you see the power off slider. And drag the slider and wait for your device to turn off. Press and hold the side or top button until you see the Apple logo.
  • Other iPhone or iPad models: Press and hold the side or top button until the power off slider appears. Then drag the slider and wait for your device to turn off. Press and hold the side or top button until the Apple logo appears.

7– Restart the Messages app. You can force the Messages app to close. Simply press the home button twice, find the Messages app, and swipe up to close it. Then relaunch again.

If you do not see the contact names, see this article.

See also: WhatsApp Push Notifications Not Working on iPhone

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.

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153 thoughts on “iPhone / iPad Text Sound Notifications Not Working? How to Fix”

  1. My iPad is set to make a sound when a text message arrives but it only makes the sound if the text is sent from a cell phone. If it is sent from a Mac using the Messages app, there is no sound, whereas, on my iPhone the sound is heard regardless of the source.

    Reply
    • Do you mean the actual text? Did you check that “Show Previews” is selected as “always” and isn’t set on “never?” If you mean the ring tone, I am still having the same issue with just random texts not making any notification sound. It’s sporadic and works sometimes but sometimes doesn’t. It’s frustrating because my tones are set to always allow and my silent button is obviously off.

      Reply
  2. I use blue tooth headphones all the time. I get notifications only occasionally. Some days my watch will buzz all day long with the text messages I am receiving. Other days I look at the time and notice I have 13 texts From some of the same people but no sounds from my phone or in my ears or vibrations on the watch. What in the Apple world is this?

    Reply
    • Same! I kept thinking I just wasn’t noticing the sounds or something, but it’s happened one too many times now for me to believe that. Even when I’m driving with my phone connected to the sound of my speakers (so really obvious if a text comes and interrupts a song) I will miss a couple. And my switch is definitely off silent because sometimes I’ll get 1 notification tone and see 5 missed ones.

      Reply
  3. On my iPhone 7 I can’t get the sound to work on text messages that have sound I can’t figure out how to get the sound to work.

    Can you help me figure out the problem?

    Reply
  4. I am having problems with not receiving notification when my phone is locked how do I fix that! I want to receive All notifications even when my phone is locked.

    Reply
  5. I have an iPhone 5s and suddenly there is no sound for text messages. I have checked the Do Not Disturb, on/off switch, bluetooth. What else can be done to get a sound when a new text comes in?

    Reply
    • Try open up a message from someone, click on their name. You will see an icon for Info. Click on that and you will see Hide Alert. Make sure that is turned off. You may have to do that to all your contacts if that’s the case.

      My son with iphone 5s couldn’t get notification from just my wife. It took me 3 hours clicking on everything I could to find that option, and I don’t even use Iphone. Why Apple does that? I don’t know.

      Reply
  6. Thanks. I went through all these and none of them solved my problem. I would recommend adding one more – the one that actually fixed my problem, and made me slap my forehead… check that your headphones aren’t plugged in! Lol!

    Reply
  7. Just purchased the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Before this, I had the iphone 7S. After one of the updates my microphone stopped working, which forced me to get a new phone. Before the microphone went out, I was having issues with receiving notifications. I tried everything. Now with my new iPhone 11, having same notification issues. I always get a notification if I am on my phone, but if I am not – no tone for messages EVER. I do have an iWatch, but only receive a sound notification from it every once in awhile.

    I tried all of the fixes presented in this thread, but nothing is working. I’ve turned bluetooth off, I’ve checked for DND, silent mode, turned on Always instead of only while locked, deleted messages, etc… and nothing.

    I need a real fix…

    Reply

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