How to Turn Off AMBER Alerts on Your iPhone


Like many smartphone owners in the New York area, I abruptly awoke in sheer panic last night around 4 am as a jarring AMBER Alert screeched menacingly from my iPhone. The alarm, which sounded boisterously with the familiar tone of government-issued flash flood warnings, was sent to inform New Yorkers that 7-month old Mario Danner had been kidnapped by his 25-year-old biological mother.

While the alert was sent with helpful intentions, it resulted in many groggy New Yorkers awaking with a mix of confusion, panic and terror. For those looking to avoid such interruptions in the future, follow these quick steps to disable AMBER Alerts on your iPhone.

1. Press the Settings option on your Home screen.


MORE: 10 Amazingly Dumb Things We Do with Smartphones

2. Select the Notifications option located underneath the “Do Not Disturb” switch.


3. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the menu to the “Government Alerts” section.


4. Switch AMBER Alerts to Off. You can also disable Emergency Alerts by flipping the switch just underneath AMBER Alerts. 


Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for since early 2013. When she’s not reviewing gadgets, she’s usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.
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  1. James Says:

    Why is this feature turned on by default? It should be an optional feature that you want to turn ON.

  2. MacReview Says:

    Hi! Does Amber Alerts only applicable to phones sold in NY area? What if I bought my phone in a different state, and live in NY – does this mean I won’t get Amber and Emergency alert?
    Sorry, I live outside the US, and I don’t have these alerts on my phone.

  3. Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director Says:

    It doesn’t matter where you bought the phone; it matters whether you are on a local network (which you would be).

  4. Rachel Says:

    Bless you!!!! This started up last night in LA, even though the alert is for Imperial County which I think is closer to Phoenix. I thought the LA River was going to overflow or something – even though it hasn’t rained since July. Now I’m at lunch and off it goes I have my headphones on but I could see people looking around looking confused, we should be warned about this and it should have a different tone. With this tone, I just have to turn it off. THANK YOU!

  5. Zak W Says:

    You’re a piece of sh@t.

    If your kid got kidnapped I’m sure you’d support that.

    Go get a worldview please. Sorry your world got interrupted because of someone else’s peril.

  6. Amy Says:

    I’m all for amber alerts, but the extremely loud, unexpected sound that came out of my phone at 1 am triggered a panic attack. If this went off while I was driving, I no doubt would have crashed. A push notification or even a simple text sound would do. Maybe even your normal ringtone – NOT the loud screeching even when your phone is on vibrate.

  7. MacReview Says:

    Thanks Avram Piltch!

  8. elaw Says:

    Thanks. This happened for the first time on my phone this morning. Really startled my dogs. Weird thing was the alert related to a place more than an hour away.

  9. Mark M Says:

    @Zak W: You’re clearly a dim bulb. Firing off the loud warning in the middle of the night is not going to help find or help anyone. Are you really stupid enough to believe that someone woken in the middle of the night like that is going to be able offer *any* assistance? Clearly there should be a way to *at minimum* correlate to the “do not disturb” schedule on someone’s phone. No one would be complaining about the feature if it was silent or only operated during normal waking hours.

  10. Andrew Says:

    WTF was that noise? Thanks for helping make sure it doesn’t happen again

  11. javier Says:

    this little “blog” was helpful in turning off those annoying amber alerts. if only i wasn’t spammed by multiple ads upon opening the page.

  12. Sleepy Rich Says:

    Thanks for the info on turning this off. While I support the Amber Alert system and have had mine on for the past few years, the alert went off at 2:15AM today, even though my phone is in “Do not disturb” mode overnight. A 3 year old is missing in another state over 130 miles away (sounds like a family thing with dad as the suspect). I feel bad for her and her family, but there’s nothing I could do 130 miles away at 2:15AM that I needed to be woken up for. The only alert that should over-ride “Do not disturb” mode would be emergency alerts where my life is in danger. The Amber alert occurring at 2:15AM can wait until I wake up at 7 before I see it. I doubt the girl is going to appear at my doorstep before that time.

  13. TrishB Says:

    Thanks for this info. We both were awakened the night before at 6 am while camping. I at least knew what it was; my husband, who just got his first iPhone and hadn’t heard an Amber Alert before, nearly came out of the bed. I said “It’s just an Amber Alert” and went back to sleep.

    And I think that’s the problem. It’s not that I don’t care – I do. And I feel awful for the families. But I think it can have the opposite of the intended response and can annoy people so they ignore it. I’m happy to get the alert, but I wish it weren’t attached to that obnoxious sound.

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