How to Turn Off Emergency and Amber Alerts on iPhone

See the alerts; don't be frightened by them

Most iPhone notifications inform you of things like text messages or voicemails. Sometimes, local government agencies send notifications about things like extreme weather, Amber alerts for missing children, or Presidential Alerts that warn of a variety of emergencies. These alerts are relevant and useful, but not everyone wants to receive them. 

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

How to Turn Off Emergency and Amber Alert Sounds 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 are on/green by default. To turn them off, tap the switch to off/white.

    The Government Alerts section in iPhone Notification settings
  3. You can choose to have any of them on or off as you prefer.

If you have an Apple Watch and want to control how these emergency notifications appear there, check out how to avoid notification overload on Apple Watch.

Can Do Not Disturb Silence Emergency and Amber Alerts?

Usually, you can turn on the iPhone Do Not Disturb feature when you don't want an alert tone to interrupt you. This option 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.

Can You Change Emergency and Amber Alert Tones?

While you can change the sound used for other alerts, you can't customize the sounds for Emergency and Amber Alerts. It's worth keeping in mind, however, that the noise they play is unpleasant because it's supposed to get your attention.

If you want to get the information without the noise, turn off the sound on your phone. You'll only see the onscreen alert, but not hear it.

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. This type of message arrives 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. The disruption they cause is minor compared to the benefit they offer.