Why does my phone not make a sound when I get a text message?

One common issue many smartphone users encounter is not receiving sound notifications for incoming text messages. This can be an annoying and frustrating experience for users who miss crucial messages from friends, family, or important contacts due to the lack of a text notification tone.

The problem can be described as “silent text messages”. When this issue occurs, text messages are received by the phone, but no alert tone is played by the smartphone to inform the user of the new message. The text simply comes into the phone quietly, without any sound or pop-up notification (Phone Arena).

Silent text messages can occur on any smartphone platform, including iOS and Android devices. The causes can vary from incorrect notification settings, to software glitches, to damaged speakers. Regardless of the cause, this can result in missed messages and frustration for the user.

This article will provide an in-depth look at why text messages come in silently on smartphones and provide troubleshooting steps to help resolve the issue, so sound notifications can work properly again.

Notification Settings

Your phone has various notification settings that determine how it alerts you when a text message is received. These settings can affect if and how your phone makes a sound for text messages.

On Android, you can access your text message notification settings from within your messaging app. For example, in the Messages app, tap Settings – Notifications – Sound to change whether a sound plays for new messages [1]. This gives options like Notification sound, Vibrate, and Priority interruptions.

On iOS, go to Settings – Messages – and configure settings like Sounds and Vibration Patterns. You can toggle text message notifications on or off, or choose different alert tones [2].

Making sure these notification settings are enabled and configured properly can resolve problems with your phone not making a sound for new text messages.

Do Not Disturb Mode

Do Not Disturb mode is a feature on smartphones that mutes incoming notifications when enabled (Source 1). This includes muting phone calls, text messages, app notifications, and other alerts. When Do Not Disturb is turned on, your phone will not make a sound or vibrate when you receive a text message.

Do Not Disturb has exceptions and customization options depending on your phone’s settings. You may be able to allow calls or messages from certain contacts like Favorite contacts or groups. Or schedule Do Not Disturb during certain times like overnight (Source 2). Checking Do Not Disturb settings can help troubleshoot missing text message alerts.

Silent/Vibrate Switch

Phones with a physical silent/vibrate switch (iPhone models before iPhone X and select Android phones) will not make sounds for notifications when switched to silent mode. According to Apple Support, flipping the switch to the silent position will mute all sounds, though you can still turn on vibration to get haptic feedback. So if your phone has a physical silent switch enabled or is set to vibrate rather than making noise, incoming texts will not produce audible alerts or ringtone sounds.

Third Party Apps

Some third party apps have settings that override your default notification settings. For example, messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger often have their own notification controls that specify whether to sound an alert, vibrate, or silently display incoming messages. This allows you to configure notification preferences on a per-app basis, even if your main iPhone notification settings for phone calls and texts are set to make sounds (source).

So when troubleshooting a text message notification sound issue on iPhone, check the settings within the messaging app itself to see if the alerts have been muted or silenced. You may find that while your standard iPhone Messages text alerts are sounding properly, apps like WhatsApp have been individually customized to mute notifications.

Contact Specific Settings

Most smartphones allow setting notification tones and alerts differently for each contact in your phone’s address book (source). You can customize the notification sound played when receiving a text from specific people.

To change the notification tone for an individual contact on an Android phone:

  1. Open your messaging app (e.g. Messages or Anywhere app)
  2. Tap on the conversation with the contact for which you want to set a custom notification tone
  3. Tap the three dots or “details” button
  4. Go to Notifications
  5. Select the desired notification tone for that contact

Similar steps can be followed on iPhones (source). This allows you to distinguish texts from important people by sound, so you never miss urgent messages.

Software Bugs

Software bugs are one of the common reasons why a phone may stop sending notifications for text messages. New software updates for phones can sometimes inadvertently introduce bugs that impact certain features like notifications. According to an Apple Discussions thread (source), one user noticed incorrect badge notifications for messages after updating their iPhone to iOS 15. While the actual messages would show up in the Messages app, notifications and badges would disappear or get stuck.

Bugs can happen in Android phones as well, especially after major OS updates. Without proper testing, notifications for important apps like messaging can stop working with the new software release. Restarting the device or performing a factory reset can temporarily fix the issue, but a permanent resolution would require the phone manufacturer to issue a patch (source). Enabling or disabling certain notification settings may also provide a workaround until an official fix is released.

Damaged Speakers/Hardware

If your phone’s speakers are damaged or defective, this can prevent notification sounds from working properly. Issues with the phone’s hardware, like a cracked speaker or audio jack, could block the notification sound or cause it to only play faintly through one speaker.

Carrier/Network Issues

Sometimes network problems can prevent you from receiving text notifications on your iPhone. Issues with your cellular carrier or data network connectivity can disrupt the delivery of text messages to your device.

For example, the Apple Discussions forum points out that confusing “important carrier messages” could be related to a carrier problem on their end causing missing text notifications (source).

To troubleshoot, first check if you have cellular signal and working data connectivity. Try toggling Airplane mode on and off to reset the network connection. If the issue persists across Wi-Fi and cellular data, contact your carrier to see if they can investigate network interrupts that may block notifications.

Switching cellular networks or carriers could also resolve a deeper incompatibility causing missing texts. As a last resort, completely restoring or replacing your iPhone may eliminate any device-specific notification bugs related to the network.

Troubleshooting Steps

Here are some steps you can try to resolve the issue of your phone not making a sound when receiving text messages:

First, make sure your phone is not set to silent mode. On an iPhone, toggle the side switch so it is not set to vibrate/silent. On Android, check that silent mode is not enabled in your quick settings.

Next, check your notification settings. Go to Settings > Notifications and confirm that notifications are turned on for your messaging app and the sound is set to something audible. You can also try toggling the notifications off and back on again. [1]

Try reviewing notification settings for individual contacts. Open your contacts, select the problematic contact, and make sure notifications are enabled and sound is turned on.

Restart your phone to clear any software glitches that could be preventing proper notifications. Turn your phone off completely, wait 30 seconds, then power it back on.

Update your phone software and apps. Go to Settings > General > Software Update and install any available updates, which may include fixes for notification issues.

Finally, if you’ve tried all troubleshooting steps and the problem persists, it could be a hardware issue. Visit a phone repair shop to have the speakers or notification system evaluated.

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