Did your iPhone start playing a loud alarm sound with an Emergency Alert notice or Presidential Alert message on your screen? Then you may have received the test of the “Presidential Alert” from the Emergency Alerts system sent to your phone!
Indeed most Americans received an alert on their cell phone (iPhone or Android) that said something along the following: “EMERGENCY ALERTS – Presidential Alert – THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” as part of a scheduled test of the Presidential Alerts system.
Now you may be wondering how you can turn off presidential alerts, opt out of the government alerts, or maybe you want to disable all other emergency alerts and FEMA alerts for that matter too. Or maybe you want to keep the alerts enabled, but you want to mute them?
It turns out that some of these government alerts you can turn off, and some of them you can’t (for now anyway). And there may be ways to mute the alerts, but otherwise keep them enabled too. Let’s review the options for government alerts on iPhone with a little Q&A!
Can you disable Presidential Alerts?
No, not currently. It does not appear possible to disable Presidential Alerts from FEMA or the government, whether on iPhone or Android or another cell phone.
While it’s currently impossible to disable Presidential Alerts on any phone (iPhone or Android or otherwise), that might change in the future as an active lawsuit is challenging the alerts sent to cellular phones. How that case plays out will likely determine if future versions of cell phones, iPhones, iOS, and Android are able to disable all of these alerts or not.
However, you can disable AMBER alerts on iPhone and you can also disable other Government Emergency Alerts on iPhone like those about weather events and other disasters – more on that in a moment.
Can you mute Presidential Alerts on iPhone?
Yes, if you act quickly when the alert alarm sound is blaring then you can mute the alarm sound the alerts play.
While the iPhone is blasting out the loud alarm sound, press either of the volume buttons to silence the alarm sound effect.
This works to mute the alarm sound that comes with a Presidential Alerts, Government Alerts, FEMA Alerts, Weather Alerts, AMBER alerts, and any variation of the government alert system.
Pressing the volume buttons on the iPhone is also how you mute the ringer of an incoming call to iPhone, by the way. It’s a pretty handy trick!
Note that having the iPhone on “mute” and vibrate-only does not silence the loud alarm sound or stop it, you must actually press one of the Volume buttons to silence the alarm sound.
There are mixed reports that iPhone placed into “Do Not Disturb Mode” will display the alert, but not play the loud alarm sound that comes with them. This has not been confirmed, however.
How to Disable All Other Government Alerts on iPhone
AMBER alerts and Emergency Alerts include the same startlingly loud blaring alarm sound, so if you don’t want to hear that sound then go ahead and turn those features off.
On iPhone, you can disable these alerts by going to Settings app > Notifications > then scroll all the way down to the bottom and toggle the switches for “AMBER Alerts” and “Government Alerts” to the OFF positions.
Once the Government Alerts and AMBER alerts are disabled and turned off on the iPhone, the phone will no longer receive them at all.
Whether or not you should (or want to) disable these alerts is a matter of personal opinion and preference, and perhaps whether or not you want various government agencies pushing alerts and alarms to your phone at any given moment.
Do you know of any other tips, tricks, or suggestions about silencing or disabling government alerts, presidential alerts, or other emergency alerts on the iPhone or cell phones in general? Share them with us in the comments below!