How to fix an Apple iPhone XS Max alarm that is not working, alarm doesn’t sound [Troubleshooting Guide]

The built-in Clock app on your phone serves various purposes including alarm functions hence you can use your phone as an alarm clock. To get this done, all you have to do is create the alarm based on your preferences, save it and you’re all set. But then again, random issues do occur and you’d just realize that something is wrong if your phone doesn’t sound the alarm as intended.

To give you some inputs on how to deal with this issue, I’ve lined up a few suggested workarounds that are used to deal with alarm problems on the iOS platform. You can refer to this walkthrough whenever you need more help fixing the same problem on your iPhone XS Max alarm that doesn’t work. Read on to learn more.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you are looking for a solution to a different issue, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common problems reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XS Max with a non-working alarm

Before troubleshooting, check on a few important things that can affect the phone’s alarm functions. Among the first things that you need to check is the ringer volume on your iPhone. Alarms match the volume you set for your ringer alert. If your alarm volume is too low, then press the Volume Up button to make it louder. Or you can also go to Settings-> Sounds & Haptics menu, then drag to adjust the Ringer and Alerts slider. Make sure that the Change with Buttons switch is enabled so that the ringer and alerts volume can be adjusted through the physical volume buttons. Also check and manage the date and time settings on your iPhone XS Max. Make sure that the date and time are set correctly. It’s possible that the date and time on your phone is incorrect, thus your alarm doesn’t work. Remove any third-party alarm app from your device that might have caused conflict with the built-in alarm function of the Clock app.

First solution: Restart your iPhone (soft reset).

If this is the first instance that your alarm doesn’t work, then it could be just a random glitch on the Clock app or iOS. To clear this out, restarting the phone can help. Minor software issues are usually dealt with by restarting the phone, thus consider it among the first possible solutions to try on. To restart or soft reset your iPhone XS Max, simply follow these steps:

  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.

Temporary files and data that are stored as cache on the phone memory are likewise cleared in the process.

Second solution: Change and manage your alarm settings.

The problem may also be with the alarm settings. To rule this out, follow these steps to manage and modify your alarm settings and options.

  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.

You can 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.

You can also delete other saved alarms to make sure none of them is causing conflict with the selected alarm. Just select the alarm you want to delete then tap the option to Delete Alarm. Save the recent changes and then test the alarm to see if it’s working or not.

Third solution: Update your iPhone software to the latest version available.

Alarm problems can also occur among other system bugs that are usually addressed by an update. If your phone has fast and stable Internet access, at least 50 percent battery life and sufficient memory space, then download and install the latest iOS version available.

  1. To check for new update, go to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu. An update notification will show up if a new update is available.
  2. Read and review the update details then tap the option to Download and Install.

Fix patches are usually embedded into a new update to get rid of existing problems from random bugs, hence keeping your device software up-to-date is recommended.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XS Max.

If your alarm stopped working after changing or customizing your iPhone settings, then the problem could be attributed to some invalid settings or options. In that case, reverting the previous settings on your iPhone XS Max will likely fix it. Nonetheless, it may be difficult for you to identify which settings or options to restore. A simple solution to this would be a settings reset. And here’s how it’s done:

  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.

Your iPhone will then start erasing customized settings then reboots when done. After it reboots, you can start enabling individual options and features you want to use including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Fifth solution: Restore factory default settings on your iPhone XS Max (master reset).

A master reset can be considered among the last options to try if your iPhone XS Max alarm still doesn’t work after exhausting all applicable workarounds. There may be some fatal system errors that caused the Clock app to fail and these therefore must be rectified. If you wish to proceed, back up all your important files to iCloud or iTunes for safekeeping. Then follow these steps to wipe your iPhone and restore its factory default settings:

  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 should restart automatically. As soon as it boots up, you can proceed with the initial setup process and set up your iPhone as new. Then you can create a new alarm.

If your iPhone XS Max alarm is still not working, then you may escalate the problem to Apple Support for further assistance and more advanced solutions.


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!