Today I missed an event alert because I stepped away from my desk for a few minutes. What settings would affect whether Calendar Alerts have an audible alarm? Is there a way to force an audible alarm sound for specific items?

1 Answer 1


If you go to Settings -> Notifications, then under In Notification Center, select Calendar and scroll down to Calendar Alerts and choose it.

This will give you the screen to select an alert tone for your calendar alerts. You could select a ringtone for it even. To my knowledge there is no option to select a different tone for specific calendar items.

  • Does this apply for every Event which has an Alert?
    – KatieK
    Jan 24, 2013 at 16:51
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    Is it possible to make it sound even if the physical switch is set to silence? Oct 20, 2016 at 11:38
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    Well, in ios 13, there is settings->Notifications->Calendar->Upcomming Events where you can chose a tone, but this tone will never play. Events never trigger it, even though notifications are on, sound is on, events have alerts set etc. I have had iphones for 5 years, and have yet to receve any notificaiton of any event in mac or iphone - I miss EVERY event. The only solution I have found is to set the phones alarms. But this only works for next 24 hours - there is no way to set an alarm for an event next week for example. Sep 28, 2019 at 11:49
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    Wasted 30 mins on this... what I learned: Under "Silent Mode" then Calendar won't override (you're not the only one to miss an app't thanks to this). Silent mode off is a pain tho, because every app makes annoying sounds (esp. Facebook). But w/ silent mode OFF, you can get REAL alarm if you go to "Upcoming events" in Notifications, choose SOUNDS, then scroll to the END and choose CLASSIC, then choose from alarms sounds. ONLY classic sounds will play loud and loop. This is a real Apple fail... to work around this I set ONE event for a week before, then I set an ALARM for that day. :-( Mar 19, 2020 at 13:04
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    @JohnLittle You can set an Alarm further than 24h out. Just set the alarm, and designate it ONLY runs on the Weekday name that your event falls on. Of course you have to disable the alarm afterwards, or it'll trigger 1 week after the event. This is a USABILITY NIGHTMARE but Google Calendar (on IOS) is no better. Maybe they just want us to buy the Apple Watch for real event alarms? Mar 19, 2020 at 13:08

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