Slept through your iPhone alarm again ⏰? We’ve all been there. Definitely not a good way to start the day.
Sometimes it’s not even our fault and that the alarm just doesn’t go off on its own or make a sound. According to user reports, after activating their alarm, they’ll wake up later to see the Alarm screen but with no sound. Not only that, on other nerve-wracking occasions, users reported that the alarm is still active and turned on even after the set time has passed. These are only a few stories we’ve heard people have with their iPhone alarms. You might even have your own infuriating one.
Nevertheless, you can’t deny this is very off-putting, and potentially messes up your whole schedule for the day. Having said that, this “bug” with the Apple Clock app rarely occurs to iPhone users, excluding us unlucky few. So, Apple has yet to release a straightforward fix to this bug.
On that note, say goodbye to oversleeping and being late to the office with this 16-STEP guide. Through this, we’ll show you step-by-step how you can fix your iPhone alarm that’s not working or going off.
Subsequently, after each step, try setting up a test alarm, just to narrow down the issue and help resolve it.
Why is Your iPhone Alarm Not Working or Going Off?
We narrowed the possible issues that could cause your iPhone alarm not to work as:
- Software-related Problems
If your iPhone alarm fails to go off irregularly, or now and then, it’s probably due to an issue within the software. This is most likely due to a pesky bug or interference from another app or setting.
Especially if your iPhone is no longer supported with the latest software updates. Thus, an older iPhone stuck with an older firmware, may not possess certain critical bug fixes in these updates. Thus, your phone will be more prone to glitches.
- Hardware-related Problems
If your alarms never seem to ring, even after trying out some fixes, it could potentially be a hardware-related issue. Thus, there might be a problem with your iPhone’s main speaker. The downside to this is, it will cost you to repair or replace a faulty iPhone speaker.
- Heavy-sleeper Problems
As silly as it may sound, according to many iPhone users, the alarms issue is that they can’t hear the alarms in their deep slumber. Other than that, some argue that they’ve even found themselves turning it off subconsciously in their sleep.
Moreover, keep in mind, your alarms tend to have a time limit before it stops playing. Then, you’ll receive a notification stating the “alarm was silenced”.
However, no worries, we have some workarounds if you’re having this problem. This includes increasing your alarm volume, changing your alarm sound, snoozing your alarm and setting up additional alarms with 1 or 2-minute intervals.
So let’s get right into the steps one can take.
16 Fixes for iPhone Alarm Not Working or Going Off
1. Ensure the Mute Switch and Silent Mode are Turned Off
Usually, silent mode on your iPhone shouldn’t affect your alarms in the Apple Clock app. Hence your set alarms should still ring. If your iPhone is set to silent, only ringtones, and alerts, like texts, are silenced while other sounds remain unaffected. However, some people have found this to be the right fix, so it doesn’t hurt to try it out.
Do this by gently pushing the mute switch forward towards the screen side till it clicks. If there is an orange line at the switch, that means your phone is in Silent Mode.
Subsequently, you should see a pop-up on your screen stating “Silent Mode is Off”, such as the following.
2. Disconnect any Wired or Bluetooth Headphones and Turn Off Bluetooth
If your iPhone is connected to any earphones or speakers, whether wired through the headphone jack or wirelessly, only the media sound is outputted through the external speaker. At the same time, your Alarms should, by right, sound through your iPhones main speaker. Nevertheless, your iPhone may have a bug or glitch, causing it to ring through the earphones instead. As opposed to how it’s programmed.
Hence, we suggest before heading to bed, ensure that all external speakers are unplugged from the phone. Remember to turn off and keep your Airpods as well.
Better yet, turn off Bluetooth altogether to prevent any unwanted connection and to save battery. To turn off Bluetooth on your iPhone, simply bring up your Control Center and tap on the Bluetooth icon.
3. Reboot or Restart Your iPhone
Rebooting your iPhone is seen as an effective way to solve various minor software issues with your phone. Through this step, you can end the background activities on the phone and start a new session lag-free. You can choose to either force restart your iPhone or do a normal restart.
The steps to force restart an iPhone depends on what model it is.
For an iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s+, and iPhone SE: Press and hold the Home button and Power button till you see the Apple logo.
For an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+: Press and hold the Volume Down and Power button till you see the Apple logo.
For an iPhone 8, iPhone 8+, and iPhone X or newer: Press the Volume Up button once, then press the Volume Down button once, and press and hold the Power button till you see the Apple logo.
To Restart your iPhone, simply press and hold the Power button, then slide the Power off switch. After about 5 seconds, press and hold the Power button again till you see the Apple logo appear to turn your iPhone back on.
4. Check and Turn Up the Alarm Volume Level
Do note that changing the volume with the side buttons on your iPhone does not affect your alarm volume, instead, it only alters the media volume. In order to change the alerts volume, which includes your alarm volume, you’ll have to do it from the Settings app.
Here, we would suggest maxing this setting out if you’re a heavy sleeper or need an especially loud alarm. If you want your alarms to be even louder, try placing your phone closer to you, maybe on a nightstand.
To check and change your alarm volume level, firstly, you’ll need to open the Settings app, tap on Sounds and adjust the volume with the slider under RINGER AND ALERTS.
5. Update the Date & Time Setting
Ensure that your iPhone has the latest time according to your geographical location. This will prevent any unwanted interference towards your alarms due to an uncalibrated time. By default, this setting should be automatically ticked, but just give it a quick check. Through choosing the Set Automatically setting, the time on your iPhone follows that of the location corresponding to your WiFi. Thus, it’s especially nifty if you often travel through different time zones.
That being said, the foollowing steps ensure the date and time settings on your device are automatically configured to be up-to-date, based on your time zone:
- First, open the Settings app, tap General, and then select Date & Time.
- On the next page, switch on the tab next to Set Automatically.
6. Check Your Alarm Sound and Pick a Loud Alarm
When checking the Alarm Sound, first off, ensure that Sound is not set to None and that a particular ringtone is set. If the Sound is set as None, the alarm will play without any tone or noise, and you’re sure to miss it. Many users, including us, have accidentally overlooked this minuscule setting, mainly because occasionally, a ringtone isn’t set by default when you create or sometimes even reuse an alarm.
Additionally, when you select a song from the ringtones, ensure that the preview plays at the right volume without any significant issues. Through this, you can determine if there is an error, that lies in the software and not hardware. For this, we mainly want to see whether the phone is capable of producing sound when the alarm is active.
After that, you need to choose an alarm you’ll be sure to wake up to, preferably something loud and clear. Try refraining from using mellow music, like Sail Away by Enya or something like that. Sure you can wake up peacefully, but you might end up sleeping through the alarm.
To set a tone for your alarm, open the Clock app, in the Alarm section, tap on Edit at the upper left corner, select the alarm you wish to edit, and tap Sound.
After that, from the list of RINGTONES, choose one that suits you. When there’s a tick at the ringtone, that means you’ve selected it, and you’ll be played a preview of the tone.
7. Change Your Alarm Settings
Sometimes your alarms don’t ring because they’re set for the wrong day or time. You can find this in the alarm settings. Each of the alarms on the list that you’ve set may have different settings. Hence, it’s essential to review the alarm settings before activating them, so they’ll ring at their designated times with no issue.
To individually review the settings of each alarm, like before, in the Clock app, tap Edit at the upper left corner, select any particular alarm you’d always use, and that would bring up the Edit Alarm page where you can choose your alarm settings.
The settings you should take a closer look at are mainly AM/PM, Repeat, and Sound(stated in the previous step).
Firstly, be sure to set either AM or PM correctly for your alarm. Although a minor detail, you’ll be surprised how easily people end up setting it for the wrong time of day.
The Repeat setting will replay the Alarm for each day it has been selected for, without you having to turn it on before each day. For this, you could leave it as Never, then just remember to turn it on before whichever day you want. Do check to see if doing this has fixed the issue with your alarms.
If you already have a fixed schedule in mind, proceed to choose the days of the week you want the alarm to ring.
Once you’re satisfied with your settings, you can tap Save at the upper-right corner.
8. Delete the Old Alarm and Create a New One
For starters, we suggest deleting the 1 or 2 alarms that you use frequently or face issues with.
Subsequently, make a copy of the alarm, then proceed to test the alarm if it rings with no issues.
The easiest way to delete an alarm is to swipe left on the alarm you wish to delete, then tap the red Delete button.
Moving on, to create a new alarm, tap the + icon at the upper right corner.
Then, choose the alarm settings you want (as said before, pay close attention to AM/PM, Repeat, and Sound). Once everything checks out, tap Save at the upper right.
9. Delete All Your Alarms
The next course of action we suggest is getting rid of all your alarms on the list. For many users, the Clock app is riddled with a long list of set alarms, some of which are duplicates. As each alarm has different settings, it may be time-consuming to review each one to see why it isn’t functioning. Moreover, it’s best to keep the alarms clean, making it fast to navigate through. Hence, now and then, it’s better to start with a clean slate.
You could delete them manually, but who’s got the time. Therefore, to delete all your alarms, open Siri and say, “Hey Siri, delete all my alarms”. After that, you can get a fresh start and begin adding new alarms in the app.
10. Disable the Bedtime Feature in the Clock app
Some folks have reported that the Bedtime feature interferes with their alarms and causes it not to work optimally. Occasionally, if both are set at the same time, either both of them ring in sync, or they cancel each other out. Therefore, since there’s not much extra use to the Bedtime feature for us, we figured it’s best to disable it altogether. After that, check to see if there are any recurring problems with your alarms.
However, if you’re more accustomed to the Bedtime feature, instead of disabling it, remove your alarms. Then, simply change your Wake time and Bedtime, in the feature, according to your schedule.
To disable the Bedtime feature, in the Clock app, select Bedtime from the bottom bar. Then, tap the Bedtime and Wake tab, and deselect the switch next to Bedtime Schedule.
11. Snooze an iPhone Alarm
Now, this may not seem like a fix to any bugs related to the Clock app and your alarms. Nonetheless, snoozing your alarms can be effective for certain people. This is because in the event your alarm does ring, you may tend to stop it without even knowing. So by snoozing it, you can ensure that the alarm replays in the next 8 minutes.
To snooze an iPhone alarm, you’ll need to access the particular alarm settings by tapping Edit at the upper left corner and selecting the alarm you want to edit. Then next to Snooze, turn on the switch.
With that, the next time that alarm is set and rings, you can either tap Snooze or press the Volume Down button to snooze the alarm.
12. Set a Backup Alarm
Essentially, for this step, what you want to do is create an extra alarm 2 or 3 minutes after the first one. For instance, if you intend to wake up around 6:00 AM, set an additional alarm for 6:02 and 6:04. Do try to space them out to prevent any interference.
Hence, this step is similar to snoozing your alarm, where you create a backup alarm in case you miss the first one, or if the first one doesn’t ring. If you’re still paranoid or don’t trust yourself to wake up for the first alarm, set 2 or 3 extra ones. Space out the alarms with 1 or 2 minutes from the initial one.
13. Stick to Using One Alarm App
That’s right, refrain from using multiple alarm apps, as you’ll be prone to issues with both apps down the line. Preferably, we advise sticking with Apple’s default Clock app, since it’s more optimized for iPhones than other App Store alternatives.
However, if you frequently face issues with this Clock app, and have given up on the app, then it wouldn’t hurt exploring alternative options to see if it can fit the bill. According to some users, using alternative clock apps managed to resolve the issue with their iPhone alarms. Keep in mind that the alarm settings such as volume control, snoozing, etc. is different for third-party clock apps.
If you’ve found the alternative not functioning correctly, remove it and revert back to using the Apple Clock app.
14. Check for Software Version Updates
Usually, older iPhones have recurring software issues and problems with stock apps, including the Clock app and iPhone alarms issues. This is mainly because these iPhones are running an outdated software version. Furthermore, Apple may release key bug fixes along with these updates. Thus, it’s crucial for your iOS devices or iPhones to be running an up-to-date firmware.
If you’re experiencing issues with your alarm after updating your iPhone to a new version of iOS, it’s possible that there is a software bug causing the problem. In this case, you may want to try downloading and installing the latest version of iOS again, or reach out to Apple support for further assistance.
There are 2 ways you can check for updates on your iPhone:
1. Through the iPhone Settings
For this, open the Settings app, go to General, tap Software Update, and it will begin checking for any IOS updates. If there is an update available, tap Download and Install to proceed to install the update.
2. Through connecting your iPhone to iTunes on a PC
Occasionally, you may not see any updates from your iPhone settings, as stated in the previous method. In that case, from time to time, we suggest checking for updates by connecting your iOS device to iTunes.
- Firstly, connect your iPhone to your PC with a lightning cable, and open the iTunes application.
- Then, from your iPhone, you’ll need to “Trust the Computer” so tap Trust and input your Passcode.
- As your iPhone syncs with iTunes, you should be prompted with a message stating there is “A new iPhone Software Version available”. Here, you can click Download & Update to install the update.
Alternatively, you can manually check for updates on iTunes, by clicking the phone icon at the upper left corner. Then, click Check for Update.
15. Reset Your iPhone to Default Settings
If all else fails, your last resort should be to restore your iPhone to factory settings. This reverts all the alterations made to the iPhone’s settings. As a result, making your iPhone seem like it came right out of the box. Doing this, can declutter your iPhone and remove installations that might’ve caused these bugs or interfered in the first place.
Before going through with this step, we’ll advise backing up your important data and files on the iPhone, mainly your photos, contacts, messages, notes, etc. that are difficult to replace.
To reset your iPhone settings, you’ll need to open the Settings app, General, scroll all the way down and tap Reset, then select Erase all Content and Settings.
And just like that, you’ve successfully returned your iPhone settings to its original state. If you want, you can restore your iPhone’s essential data, such as your Contacts and Photos.
16. Look for iPhone Repair Options
In the event your iPhone alarms never seem to ring or produce any sound, this may be a Hardware Issue. Especially even after trying out the other steps on this list, and you’re confident this isn’t a software issue. This could most probably occur due to a problem with the iPhone’s main speakers requiring repair.
Thus, the best course of action would be to visit your nearest Apple Store or any other trusted phone hardware repair shop to take a look at the issue in more detail.
Alarm Bells Start Ringing…
In a nutshell, missing your alarm and being late to things can be a real pain in the neck.
On that note, we’ve prepared this guide of 16 fixes which we would take to resolve problems with the iPhone alarms. Most of these steps have been effective for other users. So feel free to give them a try.
Do share in the comments if you’ve faced a similar issue with the iPhone Clock app. How did you resolve it?
We hope you find the steps in this guide to be helpful 😁. Do share this post with someone whom you know has issues with their iPhone alarm not going off.
Editor’s note: This guide was originally published on April 2nd, 2020. It was updated on January 29th, 2023.