How to fix iPhone notifications that are not working after iOS 13 update

Everything was working perfectly fine but after installing the iOS 13 update on your iPhone, you started to miss some important calls, text messages and emails simply because you don’t hear notification alerts coming from your device. Read on to learn why this happens and what to do if ever you’d end up facing the same trouble with your iPhone notifications that aren’t working after updating to iOS 13.

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Troubleshooting iPhone notifications that don’t work after iOS 13 update

Before troubleshooting, press the Volume Up and Volume Down button to check on the volume level of your phone. Notification alerts may not be audible if the volume is set to a lower level. In that case, all you need to do is to increase the volume by pressing the Volume Up key several times. If that doesn’t make any changes to your iPhone notifications, then you may go ahead and try the following procedures.

Don’t forget to test your iPhone notifications if they’re already working as intended. You can place a test call or ring your iPhone, send message to your iPhone or play video and audio files after performing each solution to determine whether or not the problem is solved.

First solution: Flip the ringer switch down and up.

An obvious yet mostly neglected reason why iPhone notifications aren’t audible on an iPhone is the ringer switch that’s positioned to mute. On the upper-left edge of your iPhone, you will see the ringer switch. This switch is used to set your iPhone to mute or ring mode. If the switch is in red position, your iPhone is set to mute and therefore sound is off. To hear sounds from your iPhone including notifications, the switch must be set to ring mode (red bad not visible).

The placement of the physical ringer switch on the iPhone makes it very possible to be flipped down or up unintentionally. With that said, your device can be silenced unknowingly. So before ruling out software-related factors that might have caused your iPhone notifications to stop working, check and make sure that the ringer switch isn’t set to mute. So here’s what you should try first:

  1. Flip the ringer switch downward (if it’s positioned to ring mode). You will then see an orange/red bar in the switch. This denotes that the phone is set to mute.
  2. Next, flip the ringer switch upward again to set it back to ring mode. The orange/red bar on the switch will then disappear.

After flipping the ringer switch down and up, press the Volume Down and Volume Up button to adjust the volume level of your iPhone.

Second solution: Reboot the phone (soft reset).

If nothing’s changed on your iPhone notifications from flipping the ringer switch down and up, move on and start ruling out minor software issues including post-update system glitches that caused iPhone notifications to stop working on your iPhone. And the first potential solution to these minor system flaws is a soft reset or reboot. Aside from rectifying minor system errors, rebooting the phone also clears out the cache and deletes any corrupt temporary data including audio caches. You are not required to back up files beforehand because nothing will be deleted from a soft reset. 

To soft reset/reboot an iPhone X or later variant, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your iPhone completely.
  3. Then after 30 seconds, press the Side button again to turn your iPhone back on.

To soft reset/reboot an iPhone 8, 8 Plus or earlier iPhones with a Home button, refer to these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Top or Side button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off the phone completely.
  3. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Top or Side button again to turn the phone back on.

Allow your phone to finish rebooting and once it’s back up and ready, test its audio functions using any of the aforementioned methods to trigger notification alerts on your iPhone. 

Third solution: Disconnect your iPhone from Bluetooth.

One of the possible reasons as to why you don’t hear any notifications for incoming call alerts, messages, and other audio outputs from your iPhone speaker is because it’s currently paired or connected to a Bluetooth-enabled sound device. In that case, audio outputs from your iPhone are routed to the Bluetooth device that it’s connected to. To make sure this isn’t causing your trouble, try performing these tweaks:

  1. Go to Settings-> Bluetooth menu. If Bluetooth is enabled, you should see the list of saved Bluetooth devices at the lower section of the screen.
  2. Select the Bluetooth device then tap the information “i” icon next to it.
  3. Then tap Forget this Device. This will delete the selected Bluetooth device from your phone.

Do the same to delete all other saved Bluetooth devices from your iPhone so that none of them would trigger your device to auto-connect or pair with a Bluetooth-enabled accessory upon turning on.

Or you can just turn off Bluetooth on your iPhone completely through these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Bluetooth.
  3. Toggle the switch to turn Bluetooth off.

Bluetooth functions are now disabled on your iPhone.

Fourth solution: Manage Do Not Disturb settings on your iPhone.

Do Not Disturb is an interesting iOS feature that allows you to get rid of sound alerts or notification distractions while you’re attending an important session, sleeping, driving, or working on something important. With this feature enabled, all the iPhone notifications and alert sounds for incoming calls, texts and emails will be silenced. With that said, you won’t hear any ring sound or alert on your iPhone. An indication that your iPhone is Do Not Disturb (DND) mode is a crescent moon icon on the status bar near the battery level indicator. If you see that icon and you don’t hear any notifications coming from your iPhone, then it must be the reason. In that case, all you have to do is to disable the feature or manage and set some exceptions. Here’s how:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Do Not Disturb.
  3. Then toggle the switch next to Do Not Disturb to turn the feature OFF

If you wish to keep DND mode enabled, then you can just set some exceptions like set a schedule for DND mode to activate on your device. You can set it to enable DND while the iPhone is locked or set a specific timeframe for DND to activate. To do this, you’ll need to access the Control Center first. Here’s how:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to launch the Control Center.
  2. Tap and hold on the DND icon (crescent moon). A pop-up menu will then show up.
  3. Select any from the given options to enable Do Not Disturb. 

Among the choices are for 1 Hour, Until this evening, Until I leave this location, Until the end of this event or Schedule a specific time-frame for DND to activate.

Fifth solution: Install pending updates for your apps.

If iPhone notifications are not working only for specific applications, chances are that the problem is isolated to those apps. This is usually the case if the apps aren’t up-to-date. It is possible that after the update, some of your outdated apps no longer able to meet the minimum system requirements given that your iPhone system has just transitioned or levelled up. With that said, installing app updates on your iPhone will likely solve the problem. If your iPhone has stable Internet access, sufficient storage space and battery life, check and install pending app updates through the App Store. Here’s how to get there:

  1. From the Home screen, tap App Store to open the Apple Store application.
  2. Next, scroll down to the bottom of the screen then tap Updates. A list of apps with pending updates will then show up on the next screen.
  3. Tap the Update button next to the name of an app to install individual app updates.
  4. Tap the Update All button on the upper-right side of the screen to update multiple apps at once. This option is only visible if multiple app updates are available.

Wait for your apps to finish updating and then reboot your iPhone once all app updates are completely installed.

Sixth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone.

Performing resets can be considered among the next approach if the notification problem continues after performing the previous methods. It is possible that some of your device settings, particularly those that are related to audio or sound have been overridden by the update and the overrides had caused some conflicts. To clear this out, try to reset all settings on your iPhone to erase all update settings overrides and erratic customizations. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Scroll down and select General.
  3. Tap on Reset
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings. This will delete all your customized settings and recent configurations.
  5. If prompted, enter the passcode to continue. 
  6. Then confirm that you want to reset all settings on your iPhone.

Wait for your iPhone to finish resetting and then restarts when done. To use the features that are disabled by default, you need to re-enable them individually after the phone restarts. Make sure the phone isn’t muted and the volume level is set at the appropriate level.

Last resort: Erase your iPhone and restore its factory default settings.

This can be considered among the last option if all else failed to solve the notifications problem on your iPhone. The underlying cause of the problem might be too complex that it requires a full system wipe and reset. If you wish to proceed, back up all your important files beforehand because they will also be deleted in the process. You can back up critical data from your iPhone to iCloud or iTunes for that matter. Once your backup is secured, you may proceed and perform these steps to factory reset your iPhone through settings:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and tap Reset.
  4. Choose the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. Enter the passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Confirm that you want to erase your device and restore its factory defaults.

After the reset, your iPhone will load up with its factory default settings. To use your phone again, you need to set it up first. You can use the start-up wizard to set up your iPhone as new.

When the reset is finished, enable sounds or audio functions of your iPhone and then test to see if notifications are already working as intended.

Still unable to get your iPhone notifications working?

If you’re certain that all sound features of your iPhone are enabled and yet notifications are still not working as intended, then you’re likely dealing with a complex system issue, if not hardware damage. To rule out complex system errors that might have ruined the phone’s notification and functions after the recent iOS update installation, you can try restoring your iPhone from a previous iOS backup either via recovery mode or DFU mode. These methods are usually used to deal with complex iOS update errors that could not be rectified by the initial procedures. But you have to note though that these methods cause permanent data loss as they erase everything from your iPhone system including information and files you saved on the phone storage. If you wish to proceed, try to back up all critical data from your iPhone through iTunes before restoring your device.

For more advanced solutions and official recommendations, you can also report the problem straight to your carrier or Apple Support. Just relay the complete details of the problem so they’ll be able to analyse what really went wrong and be able to offer you the ultimate solution.

Taking a trip to an Apple-authorized service center can also be considered an option if you suspect that the problem is attributed to a damaged audio component. While the symptoms started after installing the iOS 13 update, it doesn’t always denote that an iOS bug is to blame. With that said, hardware damage must be ruled out as well.

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