I can't count how often I overslept since I'm using my iPhone as my main alarm clock. I can't reproduce it and it's happening without any observable frequency of occurrence. Here is all I know:

  • My iPhone is not jailbroken and I've already done a complete reset for several times.
  • The volume is loud enough. I test the volume of the alarm clock before I go to sleep and it's definitely loud enough. In addition, the iPhone is lying in a distance of 15 inches from my head.
  • I'm not sleepwalking, so it's impossible that I turn off the alarm clocks at night. ;)
  • Most of the time I set three or four alarm clocks with intervals of 15 or 20 minutes. Just to get that I'm so glad I can sleep another 15 minutes - feeling.
  • As I already mentioned, the malfunction does not always occur. The alarm clock does work sometimes. The first alarm clock goes off at 5:30, another one at 5:45, I get up and go to work. But in 30 % to 50 % of the cases, it does not go off and I'm late for work, in a bad mood and really stressed.
  • When I realize I have overslept I first have a look at my iPhone. When I unlock it, I see that there is still the message I programmed for the alarm clock to display when activated! Like Get up! or something. That's very strange because it implies that the alarm has been activated but only the message is shown and no sound.
  • I've got no other problems with my iPhone (besides a synchronizing issue I got the Tumbleweed badge for). Sound is working fine, settings are always applied.
  • It's not an issue of push-messages being displayed. I first assumed that it could be a push message from Google+ or a news-app I'm using but the malfunction is also occurring without any push-messages being displayed.
  • I've been searching the net for a solution and found the issue of iPhone alarm clocks going off one hour late. That is not my problem, because - as I already said - the alarm seems to go off, but without sound.
  • I'm not deaf.

The iPhone:

  • iPhone 4 32GB
  • iOS 4.3.5
  • No jailbreak

I hope one of you has a solution for this problem, because I would feel very strange buying an old school alarm clock. :) But I think I have to, if I can't fix this malfunction of my iPhone.

Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    What country and time zone are you in? There were a lot of issues in Australia when daylight-savings time started and ended. Also, these issues only seemed to occur for recurring alarms, not one-offs. Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 3:04
  • I'm from Germany, timezone should be GMT+2. I heard of those timezone problems where the alarm went off with a delay of one hour, but my alarm isn't going off at all.
    – Exa
    Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 14:19
  • Is there a reason you're still on iOS 4?
    – hellothere
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 4:54
  • 1
    Is there a reason you didn't notice that the question has been posted August 25, 2011?
    – Exa
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 12:40
  • i've been able to re-create this: The phone vibrates for half a second, and only makes a sound for half a second before only the message shows. And usually not nearly enough to wake me up.
    – user150934
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 4:54

13 Answers 13


I have written up a procedure for you to try:

  1. Restore your phone.
  2. Test - if successful go to last.
  3. Take your iPhone to the nearest Apple store and tell them what's happening.
  4. Test the issue with the refurbished iPhone they gave you to replace the one that was malfunctioning - if successful go to last.
  5. Enjoy your "15 more minutes" feeling.

Failing all of these, your alarm is going off and you're sleeping through it because you stayed up too late playing WoW, drinking, coding, whatever. It eventually stops making noise and leaves the message on the screen. Try placing the phone across the room so you have to get up to turn it off. See if that helps. Either way, now you have a newly refurbished iPhone 4.

Please forgive the snarky nature of this answer. I wrote it after my alarm didn't go off in the morning due to a push notification.

  • 1
    Wait, so are you also saying push notifications can cause the alarm to fail? Do you have any more info on that? Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 23:51
  • In my experience, and also that of my friends who are also iPhone users, we have collectively experienced push-notification-related alarm failures. Where the alarm will not sound and the alarm dialog will not appear for as long as a push notification is left on the screen. This is repeatable by allowing a push notification to appear prior to the alarm's designated time. Do not dismiss the push notification and wait until after the alarm was to sound. Now dismiss the push notification, your alarm will either sound now, or not sound at all, and finally appear on screen.
    – sholsinger
    Commented Sep 4, 2011 at 1:12
  • I will accept your answer to mark this question as answered. By now I got rid of my iPhone and bought a Lumia 920. No problems with that phone at all.
    – Exa
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 8:28

When you create a new alarm, there will be a menu above the section where you choose the time. Make sure to select the "sound" option. It's possible that your sound was set to "off" for your alarm. This solved my problem.

  • 1
    iPhone uses the last alarm sound you used as the default sound apparently, and this can include "None". It's confusing, so always double check the "Sound" option.
    – duozmo
    Commented Jun 9, 2013 at 17:49

I had the same issue. Hold down the home button until Siri pops up then turn up your volume. Somehow Siri has its own volume. Try it; it can't hurt.

  • He does have Siri
    – hellothere
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 4:53

I had the same problem. Apparently, Apple has two separate volume controls on the iPhone. One controls regular volume (music, games, etc.) and one controls ringers and alerts. While they are sometimes on the same setting, my ringer and alert volume was turned off even though regular sound was on.

To fix this, I went to Settings - Sounds and turned Ringer and Alert Volume back on.


So you are not crazy. I experienced the same thing. That button on the side sometimes doesn't go all the way up. Just flicker it up and down really fast, and end with it on. It should work then. If it doesn't than go to Settings → Sound and turn everything on and the volume up.


It's calendar bug. I figured that the same day I have something scheduled on my calendar the alarm does go off but without a sound.


Revise your alarm app settings. There is an option to "repeat" to set your alarm as needed Monday–Sunday; this has all been compacted on the same page.


I have the exact same problem with the 6 plus.

  • I know how to use my phone - including the volume - thanks!
  • They will go off, but stop after a certain time. I'm a deep sleeper.
  • Apparently if you sleep thru one alarm, the message displays with no sound or vibe and successive alarms with not play through. Period. No push msgs, no operator malfunction.

Just a programming glitch that Apple hasn't addressed yet with a bug fix.


You could try Beautiful Clock Radio; works every time for me and has radio.

  • Can you provide a link to the app you mention in your answer?
    – Cajunluke
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 0:36

I had this happen on my iPad. Underneath the timer (circle) itself is a word that displays what music or sound you selected for your timer sound. Beneath your sound choices is an option 'Stop Playing'. I don't know how I did it, but that was selected on mine. Just go to the sound choice (above that) that you want and select that sound (it will 'de-select 'Stop Playing' when you do that.). Also check the volume level selector on the right side to make sure the volume is on, or up (the 'longer' button on the right side.) Hope this helps...:)


This was happening to me as well.

iPhone 6 w/ iOS 9.1

Woke up late to the silent "alarm" notification. To troubleshoot, I set a new one for the next minute. It would vibrate, but even though the volume was all the way up, the alarm sound was barely audible. Tried again after deleting that alarm entirely and creating a new one. Same thing. Did a hard reset of my phone and that fixed it.

No root cause, but at least a fix.


Forget all the information above. I experience the same problem all the time. It is a fault with the iPhone, insofar as it just 'jams'. Please report to Apple as it just glitching and more users must have the same problem and think they have a 'possessed' phone, or they forgot to set the alarm.


You probably have your Alarm ringtone set to "none" accidentally. I'm telling you my personal experience. Everything was good with my new iPhone and every night when I set up an alarm to wake up in the morning it never buzzed and I end up going to work late till one day I realized that I was playing with alarm ringtones and accidentally set it "None". I hope my answer help you.

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