How to Turn Off Emergency and Amber Alerts on iPhone

See the alerts; don't be frightened by them

Local government agencies sometimes send notifications about extreme weather, missing children (Amber alerts), or Presidential Alerts that warn of a variety of emergencies. These alerts are relevant and useful, but not everyone wants to receive them. You can turn these iPhone notifications off while still receiving alerts about text messages or voicemails.

This article applies to iPhone users in places that have Emergency Alert or Amber Alert systems. These alerts are not used in all countries.

How to Turn Off Emergency and Amber Alerts on iPhone

To turn off Emergency or Amber alerts on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Settings app to open it, then tap Notifications.

    Settings and Notifications on an iPhone
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and find the section labeled Government Alerts. Amber, Emergency, and Public Safety Alerts set to on/green by default. To turn them off, move the sliders to off/white.

    The Government Alerts section in iPhone Notification settings
  3. You can choose to have any combination of the alerts turned off or on. Pick whichever settings you prefer.

Got an Apple Watch? Check out how to avoid notification overload, including notifications from emergency alerts.

Can Do Not Disturb Silence Emergency and Amber Alerts on iPhone?

Usually, the iPhone's Do Not Disturb feature lets you silence any alert so that it doesn't interrupt you. Do Not Disturb doesn't work with Emergency and Amber alerts. Because they signal an emergency that could affect your life and safety or someone else's, Do Not Disturb can't block these alerts. There is no way to block or silence these alerts except by turning them off.

Can You Change Emergency and Amber Alert Tones on iPhone?

While you can change the sound used for other alerts, you can't customize the sounds for Emergency Alerts and Amber Alerts. Yes, the noise for these alerts id very unpleasant and may even be scary, but it's worth remembering that these noises are unpleasant because they're supposed to get your attention.

Why You Shouldn't Disable Emergency and Amber Alerts on iPhone

Even though these alerts can sometimes be surprising or unwelcome, you should leave them on—especially the Emergency alerts. These messages arrive when there is dangerous weather or another severe health or safety event imminent in your area. If a tornado, flash flood, or other potential natural disaster is heading your way, you'll want to know so that you can take action.

Emergency and Amber Alerts go out rarely and only in specific situations. Given that, the disruption they cause is minor compared to the benefits they offer.