How to fix an Apple iPhone XR that plays notification alert sounds in silent mode

While many smartphone owners wouldn’t mind not getting notification alerts on their respective devices, other people would certainly do. Notifications are programmed to give end-users a heads up about something new that arrives or occurs on the device that requires action. Important notification alerts such as incoming calls and text messages often require user’s immediate action while others that are less important can just be neglected.

Considering the fact that some users care less about notification alerts, this feature is programmed in such a way that can be turned on or off. When notifications are turned on, that’s when you will hear your phone playing an alert sound whenever a new notification arrives and doesn’t when turned off. Putting a device in silent mode likewise silenced notification alerts. But odd occurrences really do exist as some phone owners were bothered by notification sound alerts that play even when the phone is in silent mode. This is one of the problems that were plaguing some iPhone owners ever since the early versions of iOS. And the fact that this problem is most likely attributed to software glitches makes it possible to occur on new iOS devices too.

In case you will bump into the same issue on your new iPhone XR device, I’ve mapped some helpful solutions for you to refer to when troubleshooting the problem. Read on and find out what to do when your iPhone XR play notification alert sounds even when in silent mode.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you are currently bugged by a different problem, then visit our iPhone XR Help Guides for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. We may have already published articles that could help you fix the problem with your device.

First solution: Soft reset or restart your iPhone XR.

Minor software glitches are often resolved by a soft reset or system restart. If this is the first instance that your iPhone is acting weird and play notification alert sounds even when it’s not supposed to, then it could be just a random glitch on certain apps or iOS. To clear this out, perform a soft reset on your iPhone XR with these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume button for a few seconds and then release when the Slide to Power Off menu.
  2. Drag the slider to the right to turn your iPhone completely off.
  3. After 30 seconds, press the Side/Power button again until you see the phone reboots.

Allow your phone to boot up and then see if the problem is resolved.

Second solution: Manage Do Not Disturb settings and app notifications on your iPhone XR.

Enabling Do Not Disturb feature on your iPhone XR doesn’t always mean that all notifications won’t play. You might have set some exceptions for certain apps to still play notification alerts even when your phone is muted through DND. For example, you might have set your device to Allow Calls from specific contacts even when DND is activated. Setting your phone in this way is referred to as contact-based DND. Another example is when you choose to have repeated calls defined as second call from the same contact within three minutes to ring through. This is the so-called frequency-based DND exception. If you don’t want to activate either exception, then just turn these options off. To configure Do Not Disturb in a way that doesn’t allow any of the aforementioned exceptions, refer to these steps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Do Not Disturb then turn the feature On.
  3. Under Silence section, select Always.
  4. Then navigate to the Phone section and turn off options to Allow Calls From as well as Repeated Calls.

If you’re getting notification alerts in silent mode only on specific apps, then there’s a chance that the app is configured to always play or allow notifications.

  • In this case, try going to Settings-> Notifications and then tap the app that you’re receiving notifications from. If the Allow Notifications switch is turned on, toggle to turn it off.

Updating the errant app can also help especially if it’s triggered by some random bugs. App updates also offer fix patches to get rid of any bugs inflicting trouble to certain applications.

  • To check for pending app updates, go to the App Store-> Updates section. A list of apps with pending updates will then show up. Tap the Update button to update individual apps or Update All button to install all app updates simultaneously.

Restart your iPhone after updating and then see if that fixed the problem. If not, then try other applicable workarounds.

Third solution: Install the latest iOS update on your iPhone XR.

Software updates can also fix device issues that are triggered by random bugs and system errors. Should the notification problem you’re dealing with is inflicted by any of the said factors, then updating the phone software to the latest version available can potentially fix it. Here’s how to manually check for new updates on your iPhone XR.

  1. Open the Settings app from Home.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Software Update.

If a new update is available, you will be prompted with an update notification with options to Download and Install. Before doing so, back up all your important files to iCloud or iTunes for safekeeping. To avoid having interruptions while updating and prevent system corruption from incomplete update, check and ensure that your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi internet and has enough power. Then follow the rest of the given instructions to proceed with the update download and installation.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XR.

Aside from Do Not Disturb and app notifications, there may also be some other options on the phone that needs to be properly configured for notification alerts sound to stop playing in silent mode. But since tracing these options is apparently difficult, you can perform this reset instead. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to reset all settings on your iPhone XR.

After the reset, all your customized settings are erased and default settings and options are restored. Put your iPhone XR in silent mode again and see if notifications alerts are still playing or not anymore.

Fifth solution: Reset then restore your iPhone XR to its factory settings (master reset).

You may opt to proceed with a master reset to delete everything from your phone and restore its factory default settings instead. This may be necessary if the problem is inflicted by system bugs or other factors that could not be remedied by prior workarounds. Note that reset will also erase all information saved on the phone memory. To prevent data loss, back up all your important files then carry out these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Tap the option to confirm master reset.

Your iPhone will restart by itself when the reset is complete. Wait until it boots up and then set it up as new. Software-related issues should already be resolved. To find out if everything on your iPhone works as intended, put your phone in silent mode then try if notification alerts are playing or not. To evaluate your device, place a test call or send a text message to your own number while your phone is muted and see if notification alert sound is triggered.

What to do if you’re still getting notification alert sounds even when your iPhone XR is muted?

While most notification problems are software-related, there is a small chance that some faulty hardware is at fault. To rule this out, take your device to an Apple-authorized service center nearby and have it examined thoroughly by an iPhone technician.

For other recommendations and more advanced solutions, you may also opt to escalate the problem to Apple Support.

I hope that this how-to post has helped you one way or another. Please help us spread the word by sharing this post to your friends or people who may also have similar problems. Thanks for reading!