How to disable AMBER and Emergency alerts on iPhone

By , Apr 14, 2016

AMBER Alert iPhone Lock Screen

Your iPhone comes equipped with government notifications, such as AMBER and Emergency alerts. These alerts are pushed out to individuals by their carriers based on their location, and can be useful for a variety of reasons.

On the other hand, if you don’t think you’ll be using them any time soon or you get sick of seeing them on your device, you can always disable them.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how!

What are AMBER and Emergency alerts?

AMBER and Emergency alerts are alerts that the government deems important enough for its citizens to know about.

For example, if a child is abducted near you, you may receive an AMBER alert that gives you a description of the vehicle known to belong to the abductor so that if you see it, you can call and tip off police.

If you have a tornado warning in your area, and tornadoes are making touch-downs near you, you might receive an Emergency alert that tells you to take shelter in a safe location.

Overall, this is the gist of what these alerts are used for. They’re intended to help with public safety, but they’re also an unnecessary feature to have enabled on each and every one of your iPhones. Instead, you may want to limit the feature to only one of your iPhones, or none of them at all.

Note: your carrier may or may not support the feature, but these alerts are strictly for iPhone users, and they don’t appear on your iPad or iPod touch.

Disabling AMBER and/or Emergency alerts on your iPhone

If you’ve decided you would like to disable these alerts, and I could understand why, as the alert tone is quite annoying, the process is simple. Here are the steps:

1) Launch the Settings app from your Home screen and open the Notifications preferences pane.

Disabling AMBER and Emergency Alerts on your iPhone Settings app steps

2) Scroll all the way down to where you see the Government Alerts header and toggle the AMBER Alerts and/or Emergency Alerts switches to the off position.

You’ve done it! Now you will no longer be alerted of AMBER and/or Emergency alerts when they come up. You can always reverse these settings if you change your mind about seeing them on your iPhone later on.

Wrapping up

Overall, these alerts can be useful, and have a good intent, but when you have more than one iPhone, or you just don’t think you’ll ever make use of the notifications, you can always disable them easily with just a couple of toggle switches in your Settings app.

Do you like to leave your AMBER and Emergency alerts on or off? Share in the comments below!

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  • Me

    Why would someone do this? This shouldn’t be a thing….

    • Because as stated, if you have multiple iPhones (which I do), you might not want each and every one of them going off at the same time when one is plenty.

      • Me

        The fact that this may be a problem for you is incredibly selfish. If your child was missing, I wouldn’t mind having all my devices alert me. It’s a missing child, not spam email.

      • Bill

        Get over it. 🙂

      • TJ

        If people watched there brats there would be no Amber alert.

      • If you weren’t interested in the guide, you shouldn’t have clicked on it. For the record, I keep the feature on on all my devices, so you’re pointing fingers for absolutely nothing.

  • IlIl

    Why is this even an option?

    • tskwierc

      Its always nice to have choice. As important as the feature is, i can see situations as mentioned in the article, where having more than one phone for work to have the second one disabled. Maybe there are other sensible reasons some may want this off.

      • IlIl

        I understand and agree that choice is a good thing. I can also see wanting to turn amber alert on secondary or third devices. But emergency shouldn’t be an option in my opinion. The more devices you have to aware of emergency, the better.

      • tskwierc

        Yea its kinda hard to imagine something as important as a child kidnapped could be allowed to be ignored.

      • Bill

        Quite frankly, I am sick and tired of the old “do it for the children” thing. Too many freedoms have been lost under this BS banner. Go ahead and down vote me all you want without trying to think critically but those who already know, already know, and they are tracking.

      • tskwierc

        Well If anything I would like more choice. As it is now those kind of features are an all or nothing scenario (on or off). If you have kids, that kind of alert may be more important to you especially with all the school violence today. If you live in tornado alley knowing a tornado is eminent may be important. Having that thing go off all day long as the most annoying sound in the world every hour because you live in some bad part of the world can get old quick. (sound should be able to be customized) I have a friend that lives about 3 miles from a prison and as far as I know, it will alert of an escape too. Anyway I keep it on personally, but some customization to it would be helpful.

  • Jamessmooth

    One reason: being scared to death after being woken up in the middle of the night by one of these things.
    It’s ok to turn these off guys, you’re not a bad person if you do.

  • Gabriel Anaya

    I keep these on because even if the chance is extremely slim, you never know when it could end up saving a life.

  • John Kerby

    This isn’t listed in settings here in Canada

  • Bill

    It should be noted that you cannot disable alerts from the president. Yes, that is a thing. Google it.

  • Lui

    Wow, I am surprised to read what a service exists from government or authorities. It is very useful.

  • techfreak23

    I can’t believe how many people are flipping out about this. Sometimes it is really annoying to have that sound randomly go off if you’re in a meeting or a place were that notification is not appropriate. If the notification went to my watch, I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but it doesn’t nor does it respect the mute switch on my phone or DND. I work in a retail store that sells iPhones and it is very bothersome to have every phone in the store go off with these alerts at once. It doesn’t make you a bad person to turn these off. I leave them on with my phone, but it’s nice to be able to turn them off if you need to.

    Funny side note is that I received one here in California right when I clicked on this article lol the location isn’t even in my immediate surroundings.