Several times a day for the past several weeks, I'm noticing my phone briefly vibrating as though I've received a notification of some sort. However, upon checking, I have no new notifications of any kind.

Per the suggestion in How do I know which App is sending Vibrate-only Notification?, I've triple checked my notifications, and any app which has sound enabled (and therefore vibration when phone is muted) should also either badge the icon or appear in history or the lock screen. Neither is occurring.

Help?! As someone who disables the vast majority of notifications so I can stay focused during the day, this is driving me crazy!

  • ****Sighs in disappointment**** 😕 Same issue here. Probably another random iOS 11 glitch. May 21, 2018 at 20:54

2 Answers 2


Check your mail notifications specifically: it is possible to have vibration without sound or other notifications on a per account basis.

Settings > Mail > Notifications and then traverse each account. Make sure both sound and vibration are both set to none, if that’s what you want.

  • I find mine will vibrate to signify a new download at the specified 1 hour interval even if I open mail and looked at the new mail already...
    – Solar Mike
    May 21, 2018 at 12:03
  • I wish it were so simple, but I don't use Apple's Mail app, but instead use AirMail.
    – James
    May 21, 2018 at 13:09
  • So you do not have any accounts in Settings > Accounts & Passwords that could possibly have email activated?
    – samh
    May 22, 2018 at 12:28
  • @samh correct, none of my accounts there have Mail enabled.
    – James
    Jun 1, 2018 at 7:11
  • 1
    How about location-based alerts that might be triggering near a geofence boundary?
    – samh
    Jun 5, 2018 at 5:08

For me at least, this ended up being the "Airmail" app, which I use instead of the default Mail app. I had notifications set to Badge, but due to how Airmail retrieves messages, the received date of emails would almost always be many minutes behind when the badge occurred. Oftentimes substantially, so it never seemed to align.

The app gives no insight into how it retrieves messages. I'm assuming they are merely fetched at an interval and not pushed, which if they were would likely avoid this confusion.

I eventually confirmed this by disabling notifications altogether for several apps, and narrowed it down to Airmail in the end.

  • To anyone who solves this in future (or to James if he remembers): Are vibrations happening for apps that only have badges (and not Sounds) enabled?
    – joshfindit
    May 21, 2022 at 21:22

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