Amber Alerts are an essential, life-saving tool for missing persons and their families. With that being said, the system is far from perfect. Whether receiving an irrelevant alert from halfway across your state or getting that deafening tone in the middle of the night, it helps to know how to turn off Amber Alerts on an iPhone.
Ultimately, there’s no federal law or state requirement for your iPhone to keep Amber Alerts turned on. For this reason, it’s up to you to opt-out temporarily or permanently. Whatever your reasoning may be, you must first know how to turn off Amber Alerts on your iPhone in the first place. Our simple guide below outlines the steps for doing so.
Why Do Amber Alerts Show Up on iPhone?
Before explaining exactly how to turn off Amber Alerts on iPhone, it’s worth knowing why alerts show up on the phone in the first place. You see, Amber Alerts fall under the banner of Wireless Emergency Alerts, i.e. WEA. You might also know it as the Commercial Mobile Alert System (or CMAS), or the Personal Localized Alerting Network (or PLAN). With the help of Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (i.e. FCC) first established this emergency alert system in 2006 under the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act.
First called CMAS, the program had a budget of $106 million and set out to establish a network of federal agencies and alert systems in case the president, the National Weather Service (NWS), or another emergency service needed to make a widespread urgent broadcast. For these alerts, the phone will make a special alarm sound even if your phone is silenced.
15 years after the WARN Act was established, the system is made up of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T). Some states even allow for Silver Alerts, which pertain to missing adults and senior citizens with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other similar disabilities.
How to Turn Off Amber Alerts on iPhone
Here’s what you need to do to turn off Amber Alerts on your iPhone. It’s quick, easy, and it’ll save you the trouble of having to silence your phone the next time one goes off quickly. Follow along with the steps and pictures below. However, if you’d prefer a video tutorial instead, we found the perfect step-by-step guide on YouTube.
Step One: Go to Settings
Go to your iPhone’s Settings app, then Scroll down until you see the section labeled Notifications. You’ll find it a couple of sections down, after your user information and the connection settings. Tap Notifications to access your notifications settings.
Step Two: Turn Off Amber Alerts
Once on the Notifications page, you’ll want to scroll to the bottom. If you feel like you’re scrolling for a long time, you have to get past every notification setting for every app on your phone. This setting is hidden deep within the iPhone for a reason. They want you to have the alerts turned on for your own safety (and the safety of others, too).
At the bottom of the Notifications page, you’ll see a section labeled Government Alerts. This is where you’ll see the Amber Alerts setting. Tap the switch to turn it gray, effectively turning off Amber Alerts on your iPhone.
You also have the option to turn off other alerts beyond Amber Alerts. Every option is found underneath the Government Alerts section, from general emergency alerts to pertinent public safety alerts to random test alerts. You can turn them all off or pick and choose as you please. The choice is yours. Plus, you can always turn them back on later.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Gabo_Arts/Shutterstock.com.