How to Fix Not Getting Text Notifications on iPhone

12 ways to get your phone's sound and text message alerts working again

If you’ve noticed that you’re no longer receiving text notifications on your iPhone, you can usually fix the problem by adjusting your settings, restarting the Messages app, restarting your phone, and making sure all of your software is up to date.

What Causes Not Getting Text Notifications on iPhone?

When text notifications stop working on an iPhone, it can manifest in a few ways:

  • You notice texts that weren’t accompanied by an alert sound
  • Notifications for new iMessage or SMS messages aren’t showing up on the lock screen
  • No red dot on the Messages app when messages arrive

There are a lot of reasons you might not be getting text notifications on an iPhone. If you aren’t receiving text messages at all, and you know people have sent you messages, then it’s probably a connectivity problem. In that case, make sure your phone is connected to both Wi-Fi and cellular data and that MMS and SMS are configured correctly. If you are receiving texts but not notifications, here are the most common causes:

  • Misconfigured notification settings
  • Incorrect volume settings
  • Software bug

How to Fix iPhone Message Notification Not Working

If you pick up your iPhone from time to time and see messages that weren’t accompanied by a notification sound, vibration, or any other kind of alert, that means something is preventing you from receiving text notifications. To fix that problem and start receiving notifications again, try these fixes.

  1. Check your notification settings. If your notification settings aren’t configured properly, you won’t receive message notifications.

    Open Settings > Notifications > Messages, and make sure the Allow Notifications toggle is turned on. Then make sure the boxes for Lock Screen, Notification Center, and Banners are all checked.

  2. Set or change your notification sound. If your notification sound is disabled or set to something quiet you don’t notice, you may not hear it.

    Open Settings > Sound & Haptics > Text Tone, and select a message tone that you think you’ll notice in the future.

    When you tap a sound in the alert tones list, your iPhone will play a preview of that sound.

  3. Unmute contacts in Messages. The Messages app allows you to mute conversations. If you do so inadvertently or have forgotten that you muted someone, you’ll find you don’t receive messages from that person when you expect to.

    Open the Messages app, and locate any conversation that has a crossed-out bell icon next to it. Swipe left on the conversation, and tap the bell icon that appears to unmute that person.

  4. Make sure the contact isn’t blocked. In addition to muting conversations, iOS also allows you to block contacts. If you did so accidentally or forgot about it, you won’t receive texts or notifications from that contact.

    Open Settings > Messages > Blocked Contacts, and check to see if anyone is on the list accidentally. If they are, swipe left on the contact’s name and tap Unblock.

  5. Make sure your phone isn’t on silent or do not disturb mode. If you have that mode activated accidentally, you won’t receive text message alerts. Turn off silent mode by pushing the switch located above the volume buttons, and disable do not disturb mode using this method:

    Open the Control Center, tap the focus icon, and select any setting other than do not disturb.

    You can also tap do not disturb in the focus options to turn it off without activating any other focus mode.

  6. Force quit the Messages app. If the Messages app is malfunctioning, that can result in it not sending alerts when text messages are received. In most cases, you can fix this by force quitting the app and then opening it again.

    • iPhone X and newer: swipe halfway up to open multitasking, then swipe up on Messages to close it.
    • iPhone 8, 7, and SE: double-press the Home button, and swipe up on Messages.
    • Older iPhones: double-press the Home button, tap and hold Messages, then tap the red badge.
  7. Restart your phone. In some circumstances, the issue may be with iOS and not the Messages app. When that happens, restarting the iPhone will usually fix the problem.

    • iPhone X or newer: press and hold the side button and volume down button simultaneously.
    • Older iPhones: press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the power off slider appears, then release Sleep/Wake.
  8. Disconnect Bluetooth devices. If you have a Bluetooth device paired to your iPhone, text alerts may go to that device instead of the phone speaker. Either open the Control Center and tap Bluetooth to turn it off, turn off the Bluetooth device itself, or unpair the device to make sure it isn’t connected. Then check to see if you receive text alerts on your phone.

  9. Check your custom text tones. Your iPhone allows you to set custom ring and text tones to each of your contacts. If you accidentally set it to none, you won’t receive a sound notification when that person texts you.

    Open Contacts, and tap the name of the person you aren’t receiving notifications from. Tap Text Tone, and select any option other than None. After you’ve chosen a tone, tap Done.

  10. Turn on Notify Me. Have you muted one or more conversations in the Messages app because you were receiving too many notifications, but now you aren’t receiving important notifications? If you turn on Notify Me, you’ll get an alert whenever someone mentions you in a Messages conversation even if you have it muted.

    Open Settings > Messages, and make sure the Notify Me toggle is turned on.

  11. Turn off Message Forwarding. Are you receiving text notifications on your other Apple devices, but not on your phone? Try turning off Message Forwarding, and see if that allows your phone to display alerts again.

    Open Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding, and disable the toggles for each of your connected devices.

  12. Check for updates for your iPhone. If your iPhone has an update available, try installing it.

    Make sure to update your Apple Watch too if you have one, as having one up to date and the other behind on updates can cause notifications to appear on the Apple Watch but not on your iPhone.

  • How do I silence text notifications on an iPhone?

    To mute iPhone text notifications, go to Settings > Notifications > Messages and turn off the Allow Notifications slider. You can also choose your message notification location, sound, and banner style.

  • How do I hide text notifications on an iPhone?

    To keep your text message notifications private, go to Settings > Notifications > Show Previews and select Never. You can also turn off notification sounds and set your phone to vibrate when getting a message, but this may still be apparent to people around you.

  • How do I turn off group text notifications on iPhone?

    To mute group text notifications on an iPhone, open the group text, tap the contact group at the top of the screen, and tap the Information icon. Turn the Hide Alerts slider to on/green. To leave the group text, select Information > Leave This Conversation (only possible if all participants are using iMessage).

Was this page helpful?