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Tired of your noisy iPhone? Here’s how to silence your alerts

Key Takeaways

  • Use the Settings app to permanently disable app notifications or turn off their audible chime.
  • Use Apple Focus modes to temporarily customize notification settings based on specific activities like work or sleep.
  • Temporarily disable app notifications during scheduled downtime with Apple Screen Time.

Being overloaded with notifications and alerts from important and mundane apps isn’t really anyone’s idea of fun, and if you’re wondering how to turn off notifications on your iPhone, you’re far from alone. Thankfully, iOS offers several different options to take control of your notifications, whether you just want to turn off the dings while you sleep or permanently halt your most annoying apps.

To disable your most audible apps long-term or turn off the ding while keeping the message on your screen, the Settings app is your best option. Using iOS’ different notification options, you can choose which apps are allowed to send you notifications, how those notifications appear, and whether those messages come with an audible chime.


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You can silence social media notifications in Work mode, or turn off your productivity app notifications in Personal mode.

If you want to temporarily silence notifications, a feature called Apple Focus is the easiest way to customize your notification settings for specific activities like working or sleeping. Focus allows you to choose what notifications come through during certain activities. For example, you can turn off all notifications except phone calls from your contacts under Sleep Mode. You can silence social media notifications in Work mode, or turn off your productivity app notifications in Personal mode.

Here’s how to permanently silence notifications using iOS Settings, or temporarily silence notifications using Focus modes.

Screenshots of turning off notifications on iOS


How to silence notifications on iPhone

iOS offers several different ways to silence your notifications. One of the most common methods is to turn the notification off entirely, which both eliminates the audible chime and prevents the notification from appearing on your screen. This is customizable for each app that you have, but that also means you need to go through your apps one by one. Here’s how.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Notifications.
  3. Scroll down the list and tap into an app of your choice.
  4. Turn off Allow Notifications.

That’s it — this will disable that app’s ability to send you notifications, and you just have to do the equivalent for each app in your library.

Turn off alert sounds

Another option is to turn off the audible chime, but leave the notifications popping up on your screen and in your notification center. The process is similar:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Notifications.
  3. Scroll down underneath Notification Style and select the app you would like to adjust.
  4. Tap the toggle next to Sounds to turn the sound off.
  5. Check that the toggle turns gray instead of green when sounds are off.

Stop the app’s notification from showing on your lock screen

Using the same process, you can also change if the notification appears on your lock screen, in your notification center, or pops up as a banner if you are already using your device.

  1. Head into the Settings app.
  2. Tap Notifications.
  3. Tap the name of the app you want to adjust.
  4. Under alerts, tap to place a checkmark under the type of on-screen alert option:
    • Lock screen: These are the alert summaries that pop up when your phone is locked and stay there until you unlock your phone.
    • Notification Center: When you swipe down from the top left of your iPhone screen, you open the Notification Center, which houses a running list of your recent notifications.
    • Banners: If you are already using your phone when the notification comes through, it will appear in a short banner at the top of the screen.

Customizing your notifications can take a long time if you have a whole load of apps installed, but it’s a worthwhile effort to undertake. There are a few options, however, if you want to quickly and temporarily turn all your notifications off.


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How to temporarily silence notifications on iPhone using Focus Mode

If you want to use a more temporary setting to get yourself some silence, you can use Apple Focus. This feature allows you to create custom modes so that you can easily customize which notifications you see or even which calls come through based on what activity you are doing at the time. For example, by default, Apple includes a Work mode that limits notifications while you are at work, as well as Sleep and Personal options.

Each of these modes can be customized, and you can also create your own modes. If you want to turn off notifications all the time, the option above of using Settings to individually adjust each app is the best method.

If you want to turn off your social media notifications while you are at work, or silence your work apps while you are off the clock, Focus is the easiest way to do so.

  1. Pull down from the top-right of your display to open the Control Center.
  2. Tap Focus.
  3. Tap the Focus mode you would like to use, such as Work or Personal, or tap the plus icon at the bottom to create a new mode.
  4. The first time you use Focus modes, iOS will walk you through customizing your notifications for the mode. On the pop-up, tap Customize Focus.
  5. Under Silence Notifications, tap Choose Apps.
  6. Choose “silence notifications from” to silence a short list of specific apps, or “allow notifications from” if you just want to allow a few apps to send notifications.
  7. Tap Done.
    • Back on the Personal Focus screen, you can also choose if you want to silence some calls and texts during this mode. This is optional, skip ahead to the next step if you do not want to silence any calls or texts.
  8. Tap Choose People to select whose texts and calls you want to receive.
  9. At the top, choose if you want to select who to silence, or who to allow notifications from.
  10. Tap the plus icon to add people to either silence or allow. You can leave this blank if you want to allow all calls and messages.
  11. Tap Done once you are finished.

Use the options under
Set a Schedule
to automatically schedule when to turn those notifications on and off, such as automatically entering Work focus mode during your regular office hours.

Once you’ve customized your Focus settings, follow steps 1-3 again to turn focus modes on and off — skip this step if you set up a schedule for your focus modes. If you want to change the settings for each mode after that initial walk-through, you can access those settings again by heading to Settings > Focus.

Focus will silence selected notifications while it’s active. Once you exit that Focus mode, you’ll then receive those notifications that you missed. That means if you want to permanently stop seeing notifications, adjusting your notifications preferences in Settings is the best choice. If you just want to temporarily adjust your notifications while you are taking a nap, Focus modes are the better choice.

Another option to temporarily disable notifications is to use Apple Screen Time, which is similar to Focus. Screen Time doesn’t just limit notifications, but prevents you from opening certain apps during scheduled downtime, plus also tells you when it’s time to get off your screen.

When an app is disabled either through scheduled downtime or because you went over the limit that you set, you won’t receive notifications until your downtime is over.

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