How to fix Apple iPhone XS Alarm that stopped working after updating iOS to version 12.1 [Troubleshooting Guide]

The main issue addressed in this post is one of those that occurred following the iOS 12.1 update implementation. While this may not be a big deal to some people, other iPhone users who are particular with time and alarm schedules will likely be afflicted.

Read on to find out what to do in case your alarms suddenly failed to work after installing the latest iOS update on your iPhone XS.

If you have other problems however, visit our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help, fill up our questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

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How to troubleshoot iPhone XS alarm that stopped working

Before troubleshooting, check and ensure that the date and time settings on your iPhone are configured properly. Incorrect date and time settings may be the underlying cause. This usually happens if the update overrides your date and time settings and eventually resulted to some time or date conflicts. Make sure to check on that first. If necessary, set automatic date and time settings on your device. If the alarm is still not working even if the date and time on your phone are properly set, then proceed and try these subsequent solutions.

First solution: Soft reset/reboot your iPhone.

As always, performing a soft reset or restarting the phone is recommended after installing new apps or software updates. It does more than just turning the device off and then back on. In mobile devices, a soft reset is the simplest solution to various types of issues caused by random app errors and system glitches. After installing new software updates, apps can go rogue because of the recent changes. And this could be what’s occurring on the clock app you’re using. To rule out such random inconsistencies, follow these steps to soft reset your iPhone XS:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

Wait until the phone boots up and then test an alarm to see if it’s already working as intended.

Second solution: Manage your alarm settings.

This could also be a problem with your current alarm settings. For example, there may be some options that were automatically overridden by the update and that eventually resulted to an error or it could be that you have configured some options incorrectly. To clear these out, you can access your Clock app settings and then manage your alarm. If you’re using the built-in clock for your iPhone XS alarm, then you can proceed with these steps:

  1. Tap to open the Clock app.
  2. Tap on the Alarm tab.
  3. Tap Edit on the upper-left corner of the screen then tap to select the alarm you want to edit or change.
  4. If necessary, tap toggle the switch to enable the alarm. You’ll know if it’s enabled or turned on when the switch is green.
  5. Set the hours, minutes, and AM/PM to your preferred time by swiping up and down on the pickers.
  6. Set and manage other alarm options including Repeat, Label, Sound, and Snooze based on your preference.
  7. Change the alarm sound by tapping on Sound and then scroll through and select a desired sound for your alarm. Make sure the Sound value is not set to None. Test the sound and make sure it’s audible enough. Increase the volume/sound level by pressing the Volume Up button, if necessary.
  8. Once you’re done setting the new time for your alarm to ring, tap the Save button on the upper-right corner of the screen.

If you’re using a third-party app for your alarm, then you can head over to the app’s settings menu and then select the appropriate options. Menu options vary between apps so expect some slight or total variations.

You can also set a custom alarm sound if you think the built-in alarm sounds aren’t up to your standards. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Clock app.
  2. Tap on the Alarm tab to view your saved alarms.
  3. Tap the Edit button on the upper-left corner.
  4. Select the Alarm you want to customize sound on.
  5. Tap on Sound.
  6. Scroll up to the top of the list then select the option to Pick a sound.
  7. Tap to select a search option you prefer including Artist, Albums, Songs, etc.
  8. Tap to select the song you want to use for your alarm sound.
  9. Tap the Back button after making a selection.
  10. Then tap the Save button on the upper-right of corner.

To ensure that the problem isn’t due to some conflicting alarms, delete any other saved alarms on your phone. To do so, simply select the alarm you want to delete then tap the option to Delete Alarm.

After making all these changes, select the option to save and app recent changes to your alarm settings and then test to see if the alarm is already working properly.

Third solution: Install pending app updates.

If you’re using a third-party app and you suddenly have troubles with its alarm functions after updating your iPhone software to the latest iOS version, then your app may also need to be updated to keep up and stay compatible with the new platform. You can check for pending app updates manually by heading over to the App Store. Here’s how:

  1. Tap to open the App Store.
  2. From the App Store main screen, scroll down to and then tap the Updates tab. A list of apps with pending updates will then show up.
  3. Then find your clock app and tap the Update button next to it it. Doing so will instigate manual installation of Instagram updates.
  4. If multiple app updates are available, simply tap the Update All button to install all app updates at once.

Again, don’t forget to restart your iPhone after installing all pending app updates to apply the recent changes to your apps and likewise to refresh your clock app.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings.

This reset usually helps when dealing with application errors and software-related issues on an iPhone, particularly the ones attributed to incorrect settings and invalid configurations. Should the problem be triggered by some invalid settings override from the recent update, then performing this reset will likely fix it. Here’s how to reset all settings on your iPhone XS:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings. This will delete all customized settings from your phone and then restores the original values and options.
  5. Enter your device passcode, when asked to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm reset.

The phone will restart automatically when the reset is finished. By then you can start enabling individual features you want to use including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. You may have to set up a new alarm to make sure all attributes are properly configured. Once you’re done managing your phone settings, test to see if your alarm is already working.

Fifth solution: Restore factory default settings on your iPhone XS.

A factory reset can be considered among the last possible solutions to try on. This would be necessary if the problem is caused by more complex post-update errors. But you have to note though that this reset will result to permanent data loss as everything will be restored to its factory defaults or original configuration. Should you wish to continue, then be sure to back up all your critical data to iCloud or iTunes and once you’re all set, follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap to open Settings.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings. This will erase everything from your phone including downloaded apps, customized settings, and personal information.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm master reset.

After the reset, your iPhone restarts by itself and then loads factory default settings and options. As soon as it boots up, you can set your iPhone as new using the initial setup wizard. Then you can set up a new alarm on your device.

Generally, software-related issues are remedied by a factory reset thus everything should be working fine by now. If your iPhone XS alarm is still not working after the reset, then you could be dealing with a hardware issue which therefore requires service.

Seek more help

You may escalate the problem to Apple Support or report it to your device carrier so they can make further assessments on their end. Should this be confirmed a post-update bug, then Apple would be obliged to create a fix patch.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!