I would like to change the number of times my phone 'pings' me when I receive an SMS message.

I'm not sure who decided that 2 pings was enough and there would be no visual indicators but I would like to at least change the number of times it tries to tell me I got a message.


You can go to Settings > Notifications > Messages and change the Repeat Alert option to Never. This will stop it from bugging you twice!

  • Although I was really hoping to be able to adjust the number of alerts and the time between (keep trying every 15 minutes until I respond), I am guessing that this is the only option that Apple allowed.
    – Kevin
    Feb 15 '12 at 21:01
  • Unfortunately, yes.
    – Matt Love
    Feb 15 '12 at 21:39

This has now been updated with the new IOS 5.1

Now you can go to Settings > Notifications > Messages

You now have a couple of options here. If you click on the "Show" button, it will let you choose how many recent messages you want the phone to show if you don't answer anything, the options being 1, 5, and 10.

You also have "Alert Style". This is the "Visual Indicator" that you asked about, but this indicator is for when the IPhone is unlocked, and you are doing something with it. You can set it to None (no indicators); Banners (it shows who sent the message, as well as a part of the first line of the actual message) which appears on the top of the screen, you only need to click it to go to the message; and Alerts (tells who sent the message, approx. 3 lines of text, and asks to dismiss or reply) {Note: When Alerts is activated, you MUST select either dismiss or reply before you are allowed to continue with your work}

Other options are:

"Badge App Icon" > on/off

"Show Preview" > on/off

The one you were looking for, "Repeat Alert" > Never (this is never REPEAT, it will still ring when you receive the message), Once (again, this means it will repeat exactly once), twice, 3 times, 5 times, and 10 times. Unfortunately, Apple forces 2 minute intervals, and doesn't let you change that.

And finally, the last option, "View in Lock Screen" > on/off

  • Is that really new in 5.1?
    – segiddins
    Mar 17 '12 at 1:32
  • It is, I just downloaded 5.1 3 days ago, so I was actually checking it while I was writing my answer. Mar 17 '12 at 17:33
  • I mean, are you sure it wasn't in 5.0? I'm on 5.0.1 and recall having those options.
    – segiddins
    Mar 18 '12 at 1:51
  • It did, but the person who asked the question either didn't notice, or didn't have IOS 5, so I just decided to use the newest software in my explanation. Mar 19 '12 at 2:44
  • Ah ok. Sounds good to me.
    – segiddins
    Mar 21 '12 at 2:04

On iOS 7,

Settings > Notification Center > Messages > Repeat Alerts

Change the setting from "Once" to "Never"


Here's a quick & easy-to-understand GIF tutorial on how to change the number of repeated alerts on iPhones. Just in case anyone needs a visual:


Basically, go to: Settings > Notifications > Messages > Repeat Alerts > Choose Never (for no repeated notifications at all)

NOTE: This is for iOS 8.

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