You might have thought your friends were ignoring you or avoiding you, but it turns out that the issue is being caused by Apple’s iOS 15.1 update from last year.
This update broke how alerts work for your iPhone by adding a Focus Mode that allows you to mute notifications from specific apps or contacts.
According to Apple, the new feature was designed to help users focus on what they’re doing on their phones, which can be great if you want peace and quiet while working on something important.
But it can also be frustrating if you don’t know how to switch it off and want to see what your friends are sending you, and vice versa.
Luckily, there are some steps you can take to fix this issue and we’ll walk you through them right here!
First things first: what exactly is causing this problem?
There are a few reasons why it might be happening. Here are the most common ones:
- You have the Focus Mode enabled. When Focus Mode is on (and you don’t realize it), it silences all alerts from your phone – including notifications from apps like Messages, WhatsApp, Facebook, or Twitter.
- You’ve shared your Focus Mode settings with another person who has turned the feature off on their own device. This means that when you share the same settings with someone else, they will also receive no notifications while they have their phone in Focus Mode, even if yours hasn’t been turned on yet!
- There’s a bug in iOS 15 that causes notifications to stop working when certain apps are updated while in Focus Mode.
We’ll discuss these causes and their solutions in detail in the following sections, along with some other situations that can cause glitches.
Sometimes, the “Notifications Silenced” message is a result of an issue with your phone’s settings. If the “Do Not Disturb” icon is enabled, it will silence all calls and alerts.
Here’s how to fix the problem:
- Go to your iPhone’s Control Center by swiping up from the bottom edge of your screen.
- Check if your DND mode (the icon of a half-moon) is enabled.
- If it is, tap on it to turn it off.
- After you turn off DND, go back to the app you were using to check if you can receive notifications again. If you’ve disabled the DND mode and still can’t get alerts, try any of our suggestions below.
The second thing you can do to restore the alerts to your screen is to turn off the “Focus” mode on your iPhone. While Focus is active, your apps are allowed to send notification messages to you, but you must open them in order to see them.
To turn off Focus from within your iPhone’s Control Center, simply tap on the ‘Do Not Disturb’ icons following the steps outlined above.
It’s also possible to disable this mode through the Settings app. Here’s how:
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- Open up your Settings app from your home screen.
- Tap “Focus”.
- In the Focus screen, pick the Focus option you want to disable.
- You can choose between “Work”, “Yoga”, “Sleep”, “Eating”, “Personal”, “Driving”, and “Do Not Disturb”. For this example, we’ll choose the DND feature so that you can turn off Focus mode across most of your apps.
- Now, toggle the switch to OFF and close the Settings app.
Focus Mode has a feature that allows you to sync your settings across all your iOS devices. If you have it disabled on your iPhone or iPad, there’s a good chance that it is somehow activated on another device (even if it was never set up).
It’s important to note that when this happens, there’s no way for your device to know that Focus Mode is enabled on another device. The only way to fix this is by checking all of your devices and making sure the feature is off on each one of them.
- Go to “Settings”
- Select “Focus” under “Notifications”
- Scroll down and turn off the switch next to “Share Across Devices”
Now, when you set your Focus settings, they will only apply locally to the device you configure them on.
If you’re still having trouble receiving push notifications, it may be because you’ve muted alerts from certain apps and can’t turn them back on.
To fix this:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone and select “Notifications”.
- Choose “Notification Style” to access your notification settings for each app.
- Turn “Allow Notifications” on if the toggle of the app you want to receive alerts from is grayed out. You can also schedule a notification to appear immediately or in the summary at a specified time by switching the “Time Sensitive” option.
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There’s an option called “Share your Focus status” that can be found on the Settings > Focus > Focus Status page.
When this option is enabled, apps will notify people that your Focus Mode is active and you can’t respond to messages. However, you may find that the “Share your Focus status” feature can interfere with your notifications, even if the Focus Mode is switched off.
So if your phone isn’t picking up any alerts with this option enabled, it might be worth checking to see if this is the cause and if so, disabling it.
To do that:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap Focus, and then choose the Focus Mode you want to use.
- Select the “Focus Status” option.
- Turn off the switch next to it.
If you want to receive notifications from some apps while the Focus mode is turned on (for example, Messages), you can whitelist them inside the “Do Not Disturb” mode on the Focus screen.
When you choose this setting, you will get alerts from the selected apps even when Focus is turned on and blocking notifications from all your other programs.
To do it, follow these steps:
- Go to the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Choose Focus.
- To whitelist an app, tap on the Focus mode button in which you wish to add the app.
- Scroll down to the Apps section, located under ‘Allowed Notifications’.
- Add specific apps to your Focus whitelist by tapping on “+ Add” in the upper right corner of the screen. It appears under “Allowed Apps”.
- Once you have chosen which apps are allowed to send notifications, select ‘Done’ and exit the Settings app.
If you’re getting the “Notifications Silenced” message specifically when texting someone, it’s probably because their phone number got blocked.
While not a showstopper, this is an annoyance because it implies that there are notifications you’re missing out on and that your contacts are being ignored by you.
To fix this issue, we recommend adding the person who sent you the message to your Focus whitelist. Similar to the whitelist we mentioned above, this one is a set of people that allows you to receive notifications from them even if your Focus setting is on.
To do so:
- Open the Settings app and go to Focus > your chosen Focus mode.
- Now, select “People” under “Allowed Notifications”. You’ll see a list of the contacts that are already on the whitelist (if any).
- To add someone new, tap “+ Add” at the end of the contact list, enter their name into the search field, and select them. You can also browse through your contacts and select the ones you wish to add.
- Once they’re added to the list, hit “Done”.
Now all the messages from them will come through without being silenced.
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Low Power Mode is a setting that helps your iPhone conserve battery life when it’s running low.
It can be helpful when you’re on a long road trip or in an area where there’s no service or WiFi, but it can also cause problems if you rely on notifications from certain apps, like WhatsApp, for example.
This happens because the Low Power Mode automatically switches on if your device has less than 20% of battery life remaining and it helps you to get through the final minutes of your day by reducing power-hungry background apps and other functions. This sometimes causes a glitch with push notifications.
The feature displays a shortcut in the Control Center of your iPhone, so you can enable or disable it with one tap.
However, you can also:
- Navigate to “Settings”.
- Scroll down and tap on the “Battery” option.
- Untick the toggle the ‘Low Power Mode’ button.
Now you’ll need to turn on Notifications from any screen on your phone by pulling down from the top of the screen and tapping Notifications. All your app notifications will appear in one easy-to-view list again!
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If you aren’t receiving any alerts and you’ve already checked your settings, it’s possible that there are app updates available for some of the apps that are notifying you.
To check for app updates:
- Go to your iPhone’s Settings app.
- Tap the Apple Store icon.
- Tap your profile icon (the picture at the top of the screen) to get to your profile.
- Scroll down to check the latest updates and release notes.
- Tap the “Update” button next to an app to update that app only, or tap “Update All” to update all of them at once.
If you still have problems after updating your apps, then try deleting and reinstalling them again. This will often reset them so that they work properly again.
The unavailability of your alerts may also be a sign that your device doesn’t have enough storage space to allow notifications. When you see this message, it means that your device can’t store all of the alerts and messages it should be receiving.
The first thing to do is check how much storage your device has available.
You can do this by going to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage and looking at how much space is taken up by all of the apps on your device.
If you don’t have enough storage, there are two things you can do:
1) Delete some photos or videos from your camera roll if you have any.
2) Delete some apps from your phone.
If the issue persists, try to clear the cache of the app you’re having problems with.
The app cache is like a folder on your iPhone that stores temporary files. Apps use this space to store information like login information and other things they need to run.
When you clear the app cache, you’re telling your device to delete all of these temporary files so they don’t take up space anymore.
- Open the Settings app and tap on General.
- Scroll down and tap on Storage & iCloud Usage.
- Tap on “Manage Storage” and then select an app to view more details about its storage usage.
- Select “Clear Cache”.
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If you’ve tried all of the above but still see the “Notifications Silenced” message, there may be an issue with your phone’s software itself.
You can check for updates by going into Settings and tapping Software Update (if an update is available).
Also, you can try installing a new version of the operating system on your iPhone device to see if it fixes the problem. For example, if you’re running iOS 14.6 on an iPhone 6S or older model, updating to iOS 15 will solve this problem once and for all!
The next thing to check is your ringer/silent switch, which is located on the side of your device.
If this switch is in the “Silent” or “Vibrate” position, then your device will not ring when you receive notifications. Sometimes, this can also cause a bug that makes your phone think you’ve silenced notifications when in reality, you haven’t.
To check this:
- Turn your iPhone on and then swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center.
- You’ll see two sliders: one for volume and one for vibrate. Check the slider for “Ringtone” and make sure it’s not muted.
- If it is, tap on it to turn the ringer back on!
If nothing works, it might be because your device is having trouble connecting with the Apple Push Notification service.
It’s important to note that this problem is usually caused by uninstalling or reinstalling a third-party app that you’re using for getting alerts.
To solve this problem, all you need to do is restore your iPhone from a backup. Once you’ve done that, all of your apps should work properly again and start sending notifications again as well.
- Press and hold the side button until the Slide to Power Off slider appears, then drag it right to turn off your iPhone.
- Wait a few seconds, then press and hold the side button again until you see the Apple logo appear on-screen.
- The first time you restart your iPhone after installing iOS 15 or later versions, you will be asked if you want to restore from an iCloud or iTunes backup. Select either “Restore from iCloud Backup” or “Restore from iTunes Backup,” depending on how you want to restore your data and settings (if at all).
- If prompted to set up as a new device or restore from a previous backup, choose what you prefer and wait for your iPhone to finish restoring.
If the “Notifications Silenced” message is still popping up after you’ve tried to fix it by following the steps above, here’s the last resort: Try resetting your network settings.
You may have network connectivity problems or other device issues that prevent proper communication between your iPhone and Apple’s servers.
Resetting your phone’s network settings will clear out any cached information that may be causing the issue, which should then allow you to receive notifications again without seeing this error message.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap General.
- Then tap Reset at the bottom of the screen.
- Next, choose Reset Network Settings from the list of options that appear on your screen.
This will reset all of your network settings back to how they were when you first got your iPhone, so any changes you’ve made will be undone.
All in all, if you’re having trouble with notifications getting silenced on your iPhone, the solutions we’ve outlined above should clear things up.
If none of these tips work for you, make sure to check out the Apple support page for more information on how to fix this issue.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing.
Tom has been a full-time internet marketer for two decades now, earning millions of dollars while living life on his own terms. Along the way, he’s also coached thousands of other people to success.