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iPhone alarm not going off in the morning? Here are 2 possible fixes

Published Dec 29th, 2023 3:35PM EST
iPhone 15 Pro on a shelf.
Image: Jonathan Geller, BGR

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I don’t know about you, but I haven’t experienced any iPhone alarm issues recently. I wish I did some mornings, but my alarms always go off at the scheduled times. And then again nine minutes later. Yes, I am the kind of iPhone user who will have multiple alarms set up. And I’ll snooze them too.

However, there seems to be an issue where some iPhone users are having problems with their alarms. It’s unclear how widespread the issue might be. However, some of the affected users have identified two potential unofficial fixes for the bug. One concerns a security feature called Attention Aware Features. The other involves one of the new features that Apple introduced in iOS 17, StandBy.

iPhone alarm problems

A Reddit thread about the problems went viral a few days ago. It was written by an iPhone user who found that their alarms failed to go off in the morning. Well, one did, but the other four failed to go off:

Has anyone else had issues with their alarms failing to go off in the morning like this? I usually set several sequential alarms, as you can see in this picture. Only my alarm for 6:45 AM actually sounded, & I woke up to find that my earlier alarms had all remained “set” but failed to sound. None of these are recurring alarms, so they shouldn’t “reset” themselves after going off. I also did not snooze any of the first alarms. Is this happening to anyone else? It’s incredibly inconvenient, as the time I actually want to wake up is 6:38 AM.

The user provided the following image showing their alarm schedule for the day.

A Redditor's iPhone alarms failed to ring in the morning.
A Redditor’s iPhone alarms failed to ring in the morning. Image source: Reddit

Interestingly, many others posted comments detailing similar experiences. It’s unclear why their iPhone alarms aren’t going off in the morning, but bugs in iOS could explain this behavior.

It appears that two unofficial fixes work. I say unofficial because these are “hacks” that seem to fix the alarm behavior. But if the problem impacts multiple users, I’d expect Apple to find an official fix for it soon.

Turn off Attention Aware Features

The first fix involves turning off Attention Aware Features on the iPhone. It’s not to be confused with a Face ID security feature that I have had enabled since the iPhone X. That one checks that you’re looking at the iPhone to let you unlock it. The idea is that nobody would be able to get into your phone with Face ID while you sleep.

Attention Aware Features can lower the volume of some alerts, and do other smart things when your phone has identified that you’re looking at the screen.

Require Attention for Face ID and Attention Aware Features toggles in the Face ID & Passcode menu.
Require Attention for Face ID and Attention Aware Features toggles in the Face ID & Passcode menu. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Turning off Attention Aware Features might fix the iPhone alarm issue. But make sure you don’t disable the wrong feature.

The Face ID security feature is called Require Attention for Face ID, and you’ll find it in the Settings app, under the Face ID & Passcode menu. As you can see in the menu above, that’s where Attention Aware Features is. This might be the feature you need to turn off to ensure iPhone alarms work.

You’ll notice that the option to turn it off is locked on my iPhone because I use an Apple ID lock that would prevent iPhone thieves from resetting my password.

Back to the Attention Aware Features, you’ll also find it in the Face ID & Attention menu of the Accessibility section. It’s the same toggle:

Require Attention for Face ID and Attention Aware Features toggles in the Face ID & Attention menu.
Require Attention for Face ID and Attention Aware Features toggles in the Face ID & Attention menu. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

It’s up to you to decide whether to toggle these settings off. I’d test to see if alarms work by only turning off the Attention Aware Features, and leaving Require Attention for Face ID enabled.

Turn off StandBy

Other Redditors pointed out that StandBy might be the culprit for alarms not going off. StandBy is a brand new iOS 17 feature that turns the iPhone into a smart display when it’s charging and placed horizontally.

The StandBy feature is already turned off on my iPhone.
The StandBy feature is already turned off on my iPhone. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

I’ve already explained I’m not a big fan of the feature, and I deactivated it as soon as I upgraded the OS on my iPhone 14 Pro. To do it, head to the same Settings app, tap StandBy, and toggle it off.

Like the Attention Aware Features solution, you might want to test it out. Disable StandBy and set an alarm to see if it goes off.

If the iPhone alarm bug is more widespread, I’m certain Apple will be investigating the matter. Hopefully, an official fix will be available via a future iOS 17 update. At the opposite end of the spectrum there’s a bug impacting one iPhone user who can’t get rid of an alarm that’s been ringing daily for years.

Finally, I’ll point out a handy iPhone alarm trick you can use to make sure you never miss your alarm again. You can create an automation that enables a new alarm as soon as you turn off your original alarm. This trick involves your basic iPhone alarm working, however.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.