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I just realized that my iPhone SE, iOS 12.3, isn't issuing the "ding" tone when texts are received. The Messages app shows a badge (small red circle) when a message arrives. The ring for a phone call works correctly.

The text tone sounds correctly in Settings > Sounds > Text Tone, Do Not Disturb is turned off, and Settings > Notifications > Messages is set to "Allow." I've restarted (soft and hard), and the Mute switch on the side of the case is in the up (sound allowed) position. Selecting another text tone has no effect, the different tone is also not issued.

What else might I try?

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    Are you logged in to a nearby awake Mac, which is associated with the same Apple ID for iMessage, when you do these tests? I don't think the iPhone sounds a message alert tone under those circumstances, presumably on the basis that you're working on the Mac and will see the message alert there. I don't know if this behaviour is configurable. – nekomatic May 17 at 11:49
  • That's a good question, thanks. I am logged in to the iMac on my desk, which is (for email purposes) always on. I will disassociate them and see what happens. – David supports Monica May 17 at 13:48
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    I went into the phone's Settings > iCloud > Messages, and turned the switch to "off." Just now, the phone received a text, and the text tone sounded. I was sitting at the iMac, and saw the badge appear on the Messages icon in Dock too. Your comment was exactly correct. Post it as an Answer, and I'll acknowledge that it solved my issue. Thanks again. – David supports Monica May 17 at 15:00
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It appears that if you have Messages in iCloud enabled on the iPhone, and you're also signed in to Messages on a Mac with the same Apple ID, and the Mac is logged in and awake, then the iPhone doesn't make an alert sound for new messages. Presumably the idea is that you're at the Mac and will see the message alert there.

I don't know of a way to configure this other than switching off Messages in iCloud on the phone.

  • Is there a downside to switching off Message in iCloud? – Windmill Jul 6 at 15:48
  • @Windmill that would mean that messages you send, and past messages you received, on the phone won't be synced to your other devices. – nekomatic Jul 8 at 8:05

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