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7 ways to troubleshoot if your iPhone alarm isn't going off properly

Submitted by Tech Insider on May 27, 2022 - 5:32pm

iPhone X
You may need to try a few different troubleshooting steps to resolve issues with your iPhone alarm.


  • If your iPhone alarm isn't going off properly, start by checking the alarm's configuration in the Clock app, such as AM/PM and recurring settings.
  • Double check your Apple Watch, if you have one, to make sure it's not in Mute or Theater mode. 
  • Here are seven ways to troubleshoot an iPhone alarm that isn't waking you. 

While the old-fashioned alarm clock isn't extinct, it's certainly on the endangered species list. For many people, it's simply easier to rely on their iPhone to wake up in the morning — not only is it probably on the bed stand charging overnight, but it's the first thing many of us look at after waking.

But if your iPhone alarm doesn't go off, that can be a serious problem. Here are eight ways to troubleshoot your iPhone alarm so you don't oversleep in the morning. 

Double-check the alarm settings

Unfortunately, most of the time when an iPhone alarm doesn't go off when you expect, the root cause is user error — you probably simply set the alarm incorrectly. The most common errors? Choosing PM instead of AM (or the other way around) or believing the alarm was set to recurring when in fact it was a one-time alarm.

To check, start the Clock app, tap the Alarm tab at the bottom of the page, and find the alarm that didn't work the way you expected. Check for the proper time, AM/PM setting, and see if it's set to recur on the days of the week you want. If not, tap it and make the necessary changes. 

The Clock app on iPhone.
Check your alarm to make sure it's set to the correct time, AM or PM, and recurring, if necessary.


Use an Apple Watch? Check your settings there

If you use an Apple Watch in conjunction with your phone's Clock app, certain settings on your watch can interfere with the watch's ability to gently wake you in the morning when the alarm is scheduled to go off. 

First, make sure your Apple Watch isn't locked. If necessary, enter your passcode on the watch so you can gain access to your watch apps. Then swipe up from the bottom to see the Settings screen and make sure that it is not set to Mute, Theater mode, or Airplane mode. If any of those three icons are selected, tap them to turn them off.

The Settings screen on Apple Watch
Make sure that the Theater Mode and Mute settings are not turned on.


Check your alarm volume

By default, alarm sounds are controlled in the Settings app, not with the volume buttons on the side of the iPhone. Make sure it's set high enough to wake you — otherwise, the alarm could go off and you simply won't even know. 

Start the Settings app and tap Sounds & Haptics. In the Ringer and Alerts section, adjust the slider so it's loud enough to get your attention in the morning. It's also a good idea to make sure Change with Buttons is off, with the button swiped to the left, or else you can easily lower the volume of the alarm by accident using the volume buttons.  

Sound & Haptics settings on iPhone
Set the Ringer and Alerts volume high enough to wake you.

If you have trouble waking to your alarm sound, try a different sound — they're not all the same volume, and you might find others do a better job of getting your attention. 

Make sure your phone isn't connected to a Bluetooth device

Another way your alarm might sound but still not get your attention: The audio might be playing through a connected audio device, like headphones, earbuds, or a portable speaker that's in another room. You can ensure there are no connected Bluetooth devices, or simply toggle Bluetooth off and then turn it back on again. Any devices will disconnect and the alarm should play through the iPhone's speaker. 

To do that, swipe down from the top right of the screen to see the Control Center. Tap the Bluetooth icon in the top left, then wait about five seconds. Then you can turn Bluetooth back on again (or, if you prefer, simply leave it off). 

Control Center on iPhone
Turn Bluetooth off then back on again to make sure there are no Bluetooth speakers or headphones connected.


Restart your iPhone

There might be some sort of software glitch that's preventing your alarm from working properly. You can clear out this kind of temporary glitch by turning your iPhone off and then back on again. If you need a refresher, here is how to restart your iPhone — do that and then try to run the alarm again.  

Update your Clock app

It's also possible — though not very likely — that some sort of bug or software incompatibility is preventing the Clock app from working correctly. The remedy? Update your apps. Your iPhone should update apps automatically, but in case that hasn't happened, update the Clock app (and any other apps waiting to be updated) and try the alarm again. 

Use a different alarm app

If you have tried everything in this list and your alarms are still not working, it might be time to move on from the Clock app. There are a lot of third party alarm apps for the iPhone, and you can probably find alternatives that you like as well (or better) than the Clock app. Some of the best alternative alarm apps include Loud Alarm Clock, Alarmy, and Alarm Clock for Me.

Read the original article on Business Insider