How to turn off emergency and AMBER alerts on iPhone (2023)

How to turn off emergency and AMBER alerts on iPhone

We all want to detach from the flood of notifications on our smartphones. So, the iPhone has a range of features such as Do Not Disturb and Focus Modes that let users block unwanted notifications and calls. But when emergencies hit, it’s important that you get notified with certain alerts.

In these circumstances, emergency notifications bypass your Do Not Disturb or other Focus settings—often accompanied by a special sound similar to a fire alarm. Fortunately, you can turn these alerts off on your device. Read on to learn how to turn off emergency and Amber alerts on your iPhone.

What emergency and government alerts will your iPhone display?

In the event of an emergency, whether a natural disaster, missing or abducted children (more on this in a bit), or other national emergencies (called Presidential Alerts), your iPhone will notify you and ignore any Do Not Disturb and Focus Mode settings.

Generally, your iPhone might display any of the following:

  • Alerts from your country or region
  • Alerts involving imminent threats to life or safety
  • Alerts for natural disasters and extreme weather conditions
  • AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response)
  • Public Safety Alerts

It’s important to note that alerts and notifications are location-specific. Some alerts may not be available in your region or country. For example, AMBER and Public Safety Alerts are unavailable in all countries or regions.

If you’re residing in the United States, you’ll receive three kinds of government alerts:

  • AMBER alerts
  • Emergency alerts 
  • Public safety alerts

What are AMBER alerts?

AMBER alerts are notifications intended to alert the public about missing children that were thought to be abducted. It provides information about the children, suspected abductors, and contact numbers people can reach out to in case of a sighting.

These alerts are only used for the most serious child abduction cases when law enforcement authorities believe that the child is in imminent danger of bodily injury or death.

How to turn government alerts off on iPhone

By default, Government Alerts are turned on in iPhones. To turn AMBER alerts and other emergency alerts off, just do the following:

  1. Go to Settings → select Notifications and scroll to the bottom.
  2. Toggle AMBER AlertsEmergency Alerts, and Public Safety Alerts off.

    Turn off the Government alerts on iPhone in iOS 16

Additionally, if you are using a US-based SIM, you can choose to receive Test Emergency Alerts. Remember that although it’s an iPhone feature, the local government has sole discretion over the content shared through test alerts.


Can you change the Emergency and Amber Alert Tones on your iPhone?

While iPhone gives you the option to customize most alert tones, you can’t change the alert tone of Emergency and AMBER Alert tones. Remember that the goal of these alerts is to catch your attention and inform you of imminent danger.

Is it OK to turn off AMBER alerts?

While the alerts can be irritating or disturbing, it is advisable to keep them turned on as threats like disasters can strike anytime, and your iPhone’s alerts can literally save your or someone else’s life. They also occur rarely, meaning their benefits greatly outweigh the minimal irritation and disruption they may cause.

Wrapping up…

Government and public safety alerts are intended to save lives in the event of an emergency. It’s ideal that you keep these on, as they can provide vital information and updates in times of distress. But if you wish to turn them off, simply follow the steps outlined in this article.  

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Author Profile

Rachel loves anything Apple —from iPhones, to Apple Watches, to MacBooks. She is also a medical writer and a ghostwriter for various publications.

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