How do I get sound notifications for text messages on Android?

Sound notifications for text messages on Android allow your phone to play a sound to alert you when a new text message is received. This can be useful to ensure you don’t miss important text messages, as without a sound notification you may not notice a new message has arrived on your phone if you aren’t looking at the screen.

According to this article, SMS notifications like sound alerts for messages are useful for businesses to communicate timely information to their customers. For individuals, sound notifications can serve as reminders so you don’t forget to respond to messages from friends and family.

Enable Notifications for the Messages App

To enable notifications for text messages on your Android device, you’ll first need to open the Settings app. From there:

  1. Tap Apps & Notifications > Notifications.
  2. Under “Recently Sent” notifications, locate the Messages app and tap it.
  3. Make sure notifications are turned on for this app. Turn the “Allow notifications” switch to On if it isn’t already enabled.

As noted on Google’s Android Support page, “Open your phone’s Settings app. Tap Apps & notifications and then Notifications. Under “Recently Sent,” tap an app.” Enabling notifications for the Messages app in this way will allow you to receive sound, vibration, visual, and other types of notifications when you get new messages on your device.

Now that notifications are enabled for Messages, any notification settings configured will be able to alert you to new text messages. Our next section covers setting up sound specifically.

Set Notification Sound for Messages

To set a custom sound for new text message notifications on Android:

  1. Open the Settings app and select “Sound & vibration” or “Sounds and vibration.”
  2. Tap on “Default notification sound.”
  3. Select “Messages” from the list of apps.
  4. Tap on the current notification sound selected for Messages.
  5. Choose “My Sounds” to select from custom audio files saved on your device. You can also select from the other available notification sound options (source).
  6. Preview the sound and select “OK” to save your choice.

Now when you receive new text messages, your selected custom notification sound will play. You can set different notification sounds for other messaging or email apps as well using these steps.

Use Custom Notification Sounds

You can set custom audio files as notification sounds on your Android phone instead of using the default options. Here’s how to add custom sounds and set them for your text message notifications:

First, you’ll need to download or transfer the desired audio files to your Android device storage. Ensure the files are in .mp3 or other compatible audio format. You can obtain custom notification sounds from various websites or create your own audio recordings.

Next, open your device Settings app and go to Sounds & vibration > Notification sounds. Tap the menu icon in the top right and choose “Add custom sound”. Navigate to the location of your downloaded audio file and select it. This will add the file as an option for notification sounds.

Finally, locate the newly added sound in the notification sound list, enable the toggle next to it, and tap “OK” to set it. Going forward, you’ll hear your chosen custom audio play for incoming text notifications instead of the default alert tone.

If your selected sound file isn’t working properly, ensure it meets file format and size requirements per Android specifications. You may also need to adjust notification permissions.

Set Vibration Pattern

One option is to choose from a set of preset vibration patterns in the Messages app notification settings. Common patterns include short, long, double, and triple patterns. To select a preset pattern, go to Messages > Menu > Settings > Notifications > Vibration pattern, and choose one of the default options.

If you want more customizability, you can create your own vibration pattern in your device’s system settings according to AndroidPolice. Go to Settings > Sound & vibration > Advanced settings > Vibration pattern. Here you can tap to create a custom sequence of vibrations and pauses up to 500ms long. Tap “Save” to name and save your pattern, then select it in the Messages notifications settings.

Override Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb mode will prevent message notifications from making sounds or causing vibrations. Even if you have sound notifications enabled for messages, Do Not Disturb will override that setting. However, you can specify exceptions in Do Not Disturb to allow messages to make sound even when it’s activated.

To enable an exception for messages in Do Not Disturb on Android:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap Notifications > Do Not Disturb
  3. Tap People
  4. Tap the toggle switch next to “Messages” to enable the sound exception

With this option enabled, message notifications will still cause sound and vibrations even when Do Not Disturb is turned on. All other types of notifications will remain silenced.

Set Notification Importance

You can set the priority level for message notifications to help determine how intrusively they alert you. There are four importance levels to choose from: High, Medium, Low and None.

To ensure your message notifications stand out, it’s recommended to set them to “High” importance. This makes them a high priority interruption, meaning they will peek at the top of your screen and override Do Not Disturb mode (unless you have configured it otherwise). Android Developer Documentation notes that High importance notifications “should use sounds, vibration, and peek.”

To set your message notifications to High importance in notification settings:

  1. Open Settings and go to Apps & Notifications > Notifications
  2. Select Messages from the app list
  3. Choose “High” for Importance

Now your message notifications will take priority on your device so you never miss an important text.


If you are not getting sound notifications for text messages on Android, here are some things to check:

  • Make sure that notifications are enabled for the Messages app. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > Messages and check that “Allow notifications” is turned on.

  • Check that the notification sound is set for Messages. Go to Settings > Sound & vibration > App notifications > Messages. Make sure a sound is selected and “Use custom” is enabled.

  • Confirm that the volume is turned up on your device. Use the volume buttons to adjust the media volume when not in a call.

  • Ensure that Do Not Disturb mode is not enabled, as this will mute sounds and vibration. Pull down the notification shade and check that “Do Not Disturb” is turned off.

  • Try setting the notification importance for Messages to Urgent. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > Messages > Importance > Urgent.

  • Restart your device to clear out any glitches with the sound settings.

If you’ve checked all of the above and are still not getting notification sounds for texts, you may need to contact your device manufacturer or mobile carrier for further troubleshooting.

Third-Party Apps

While the default Messages app on Android provides basic customization options for notifications, third-party messaging apps often allow for more advanced notification customization. One popular app is Textra, which lets you set custom notification sounds and vibration patterns for individual contacts.

With Textra, you can upload your own audio files to use as custom notification sounds. You can also create your own vibration patterns by selecting different vibration durations and pauses. These custom notification settings can be applied on a per-contact basis, so you’ll know who is messaging you without having to look at your phone.

In addition to custom sounds and vibrations, Textra provides other useful notification options as well. You can set the notification LED color for each contact and enable contact pictures on notifications. Textra also allows you to customize the look of message bubbles and tailor various other aspects of the messaging experience.

So if you want more granular control over your notification sounds, vibration, and other settings for text messages, using a third-party app like Textra is worth considering. The advanced customization options allow you to personalize notifications exactly how you want.


Enabling sound notifications for text messages on Android allows you to customize your notification settings and choose a sound that alerts you when new texts arrive. The key steps are:

  1. Open your phone’s Settings app and go to the Apps & Notifications section. Select Notifications to manage notifications for all apps.

  2. Tap the Messages app and enable notifications, including sound, vibration, and when notifications can be shown.

  3. Tap Sound to select a default notification ringtone or use a custom sound file for text notifications.

  4. Under Importance, set Messages notifications to Urgent to allow sounds even when Do Not Disturb is on.

Following these steps allows you to personalize text message notifications so you never miss an important text again. Let your phone’s sounds alert you instantly about new messages.

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