When I use silent mode, I expect no sound and hence I expect alarms to be silent as well but they are not; ring/silent switch has no effect on alarms!
On iOS 5 this used to work and in silent mode alarms did just vibrate.
How can i put alarms in silent mode without reconfiguring each of them one by one when I need silent mode?

  • 1
    It's not in the spirit of alarms to be silent, and I sure am thankful they are not silenced in silent mode. What type of alarms are you setting where you prefer this behavior? Maybe calendar reminder are more appropriate?
    – Gerry
    Nov 13 '12 at 7:28
  • Well I have plenty of alarms with different days and times in the week and don t want to bother which one may ring or not when in silent mode!
    – Than
    Nov 13 '12 at 7:53
  • 1
    Moreover I m used to wake up and get alarms notifications in vibration mode (ios 5) that is to wake me up but not my husband or my neighbours! That is even not possible with ios 6. I ll search for a different alarm app since default iphone alarm is not suitable anymore for me.
    – Than
    Nov 13 '12 at 7:56

Use a silent MP3

Here's the solution that worked for me:

  • Get silent audio clip. Search online (e.g. using Google) or create (using GarageBand, Audacity, etc.) a 20-25 second clip of silence.
  • Get clip into iTunes. Save it in your iTunes as a "song" (I just called it Silent Ringtone).
  • Get clip onto iPhone. Then sync your phone so it's now on your phone. (Make sure you check the Sync Music checkbox in iTunes.)
  • Use clip on iPhone. Now, when you create an alarm, use Pick a Song from your library, and select your "Ringtone" song. If you have your settings elsewhere set to vibrate on silent or whatever, then you should now have a song that "plays" while your phone happily buzzes.

Hope that helps!

P.S. As someone who only recently switched to iPhone from a phone that could do the vibrate-only alarm thing easily, I would use these alarms to set myself private reminders for lots of things. Such as when I was in a lecture or meeting and needed to remember to leave 5 minutes early but didn't want to be watching the clock constantly. Or if I had to remember when to go back and put more money in the parking meter. Or basically a multitude of things to alert myself that I didn't need to whole world to know about! Just a simple buzz in the pocket was enough.

Further reading: HowToGeek has screenshots


When you make the alarm, go to the option where it says "sound" and go all the way to the bottom where it says "none" and click on it. I just tested it with my iPhone on silent and the alarm does not go off. Hope this helps.

  • This fails on iOS 9 because it does not vibrate when "None" is selected in the sound settings. Sep 1 '16 at 12:47
  • 3
    Reinstated as of iOS 10 Dec 2 '16 at 12:09

Set "Sound" to "None"

Don't know if this will do but for me (iOS6), setting to silent and then turning the ringer down as far as it will go makes the alarm vibrate only. Just remember to turn your volume back up later.

Further reading: Apple Support: How to set and manage alarms on your iPhone

  • 1
    I know I'm wierd but since I keep my phone on my person, almost indefinitely, I hate having it ring. I keep the volume all the way down, all the time. This has caused my alarm to only vibrate in the mornings, which has the effect of waking me up but not my wife. This solution is the answer.
    – RLH
    Feb 15 '13 at 3:37

In your situation where you would like the vibration, but just not the sound the solution may require a bit of an investment. If you go into iTunes and search for "Silent iPhone" they have ringtones that you can set as the default for your alarms. I think that would give you your desired result of vibration with no sound. The only downside being if you are expecting more than just a vibration if you are out of silent mode.


I did a lot of searching, and most solutions were to download a free ringtone recorder to record a silent ringtone. However, there was still static in the recording just due to ambient noise. The best solution is to do the following:

  1. Do a google search for blank MP3 (I used the following result: http://www.xamuel.com/blank-mp3s/)

  2. Download a blank MP3 to your desktop (I think any length will work, as I tried the 5 Sec and 30 second files and both had the same result, so I went with the 5 second file)

  3. Open iTunesFileAdd To Library

  4. Select the blank MP3 file from your Desktop that downloaded in step #2

  5. Either give the blank MP3 file it's own playlist and sync that playlist to your iPhone (I created a playlist called Silent) or add it to an existing playlist that is sync'd to your phone

  6. Go to the alarm that you only want to vibrate, select the sound option, select pick a song and select the Silent MP3 file you just sync'd

  7. The last thing you need to do is make sure your phone is set to vibrate when it rings; go to SettingsSounds and make sure Vibrate On Ring and Vibrate On Silent are on


I tried the suggestion to search "silent iPhone" in iTunes ($1.29 & I chose the second option). Then I sat that as the tone for my daily recurring alarm to take my Claritin (it goes off in the morning & when I'm sitting in lecture it's rude & annoying to have someone's phone go off & disrupt the entire class). I made sure to flip the mute button on my iPhone 6 with "vibrate on ring" & "vibrate on silent" both turned on. The alarm went off perfectly with only a vibration in my pocket so the world doesn't have to stop what they're doing- I can quietly take care of it & go about my day with everyone else none the wiser.


How to Set an iPhone Alarm to Vibrate Only

  1. Open the Clock app.
  2. Select Alarm at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Touch Edit at the top-left corner of the screen.
  4. Select the alarm that you wish to modify.
  5. Tap the Sound button.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and select None.
  7. Scroll to the top and select Vibration.
  8. Specify the type of vibration that you wish to use.

From here: https://www.live2tech.com/set-iphone-alarm-vibrate/


I think the best solution is, select any song as a ringtone, select a type of desired vibration(like Symphony or SOS), save the alarm , then reduce the phone ringtone volume(by pressing the external volume buttons), and bingo, job done.

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