Apple released the final stable build of iOS 15 to the public last week. As you’d expect, the new version of iOS brings with it a handful of praises and some complaints, like the behavior of alarms on the iPhone. In this post, we’ll discuss all the issues people are facing with Alarms on iOS 15 and the many ways you can solve them on your own.
What are the issues users are facing with Alarms on iOS 15?
After updating their devices to iOS 15, several users have started reporting different issues happening with their Alarms on iPhones. In this section, we’ll discuss what issues users are facing when using alarms on iOS 15.
Issue #1: Alarms don’t ring anymore
The basic function of an alarm is to alert you at a particular time, either to wake you up from a nap or to notify you when you’ve got things to do. If a function as basic as that won’t work, then it may get pretty annoying. That’s what’s happening to some users as their iPhone struggles to play a sound when going off but instead only vibrates and shows that the alarm went off.
While there are a lot of reasons this may happen, lately the issue appears to be common on iPhones running a beta version of iOS. If you’re running a beta version of iOS 15, you should upgrade to its stable build and if that doesn’t work, you should try the rest of the fixes listed below.
Issue #2: Cannot change sounds to Clock alarm tones
If you’re someone who uses the Sleep/Wake up schedule on iOS 15, you may have noticed that the tones that appear for selection inside your Sleep schedule aren’t the same as the ones available on the Clock app. While this isn’t necessarily an issue, it needs to be understood that you cannot apply your default alarm tones when you create a Sleep/Wake Up schedule on the Health app.
To use the Clock app’s native alarm tones, you will have to create alarms from within the Clock app, not on the Health app.
Issue #3: Ghost alarms go off
Some users are reporting that after updating to iOS 15, alarms on their iPhones go off randomly even if they don’t visibly show up inside the Clock app. Upon inspecting further, it appears that this issue has persisted in older versions of iOS as well and people have been facing a similar issue for several months. To resolve this issue, you may want to check out Fix #1 and Fix #9 further down this post.
Issue #4: Alarms don’t play my selected song
iOS allows you to set an alarm tone directly from the Apple Music app on your iPhone. If you’re unable to hear your selected song when an alarm goes off, then chances are that your device hasn’t yet downloaded the track you chose as your alarm tone. That’s because songs you select as alarm tones from Apple Music cannot be streamed at the time of the alarm, you should have it downloaded on your iPhone so that it can play it when the alarm goes off. In such scenarios, it’s always sensible to select an alarm tone that comes preinstalled on iOS.
Issue #5: Auto-snooze doesn’t work properly
Some users are complaining that the Snooze function on their iPhones no longer works after the iOS 15 update. Because of this, the clock app either completely turned off an alarm a few minutes after the first ring or turns down its volume for subsequent rings. At the time, it’s unknown whether this issue is present in the stable build but if you’re facing this on a beta version of iOS 15, we advise you to update to the latest stable version to check if the problem persists.
Issue #6: Alarm Volume is too low
The worst thing to happen to your alarm routines besides your alarms not ringing is when your alarms are ringing but very silently. After the iOS 15 update, some users have pointed out that their alarm tones have gone soft in terms of volume. The issue seems to happen even when the volume levels on the iPhone are set to maximum.
If you’re one of those facing this issue, you can check out Fixes #3, #6, and #7 from down below.
Issue #7: No Alarm preview
iOS 15 on some phones is no longer showing previews of upcoming alarms on the lock screen. We don’t really know if this is an issue that affects iPhones running on iOS 15 stable or beta builds, but if it’s the latter, you should consider upgrading your OS to the latest stable build. The inability to see Alarm previews could also be because of notification settings you’ve set for different focus routines on your device.
Issue #8: Wind Down Shortcuts no longer appear
iOS 15 allows you to add Window Down shortcuts to your lock screen so that you can directly access them before you sleep. Some users on iOS 15 are unable to see these shortcuts ever since they updated their iPhone to the latest iOS version. There are two reasons this may happen – either your shortcuts haven’t yet been added to your Sleep Focus or you’re running on a beta build of iOS. You can resolve this issue by check Fixes #2 and #10 in the next section.
How to Fix Alarm Issues on iOS 15
If you’re someone who’s been facing one or more of the above issues regarding alarms on iOS 15, you may want to take look at the fixes listed below.
Fix #1: Set up your Wake Up/Sleep schedule rightly
The first thing you can do to solve your alarm problems is to make sure you have set up your Sleep schedule the right way. If you have not set up a Sleep schedule on your iPhone yet, then you can get started by opening the Clock app, selecting the ‘Alarm’ tab at the bottom, and then tapping on ‘Set Up’ under ‘Sleep | Wake up’.
Clock will now prompt you that the Sleep schedule is now inside the Health app. On this screen, tap on ‘Set Up in Health’.
You will now be taken to the welcome screen on the Sleep app. To get started with the setup process, tap on ‘Next’. On the next screen, you will be asked to set a sleep goal, usually sometime around 8 hours for most of us. Once done, tap on ‘Next’.
On the next screen, you should see the sleep goal you selected applied by default. The sleep goal should be visible as a partial ring outside the circular clock to a preset time for sleep under the ‘Bedtime and Wake Up’ section. You can, however, change your Bedtime or Wake Up times to your preferred time of the night.
You can make further changes to your schedule like selecting the days they stay enabled, ringtones, volume, vibration, and snooze.
Once your schedule is ready, you should be able to see all the details about your configuration on the next screen.
After that, you can follow the on-screen instructions to turn the Sleep screen, set up Wind Down mode, and Shortcuts. Once they’re all ready, you should see them appear inside the ‘Features That Are On’ section.
Fix #2: Make sure you’re not on iOS 15 beta
Apple released the stable build of iOS 15 for everyone on September 20, 2021, after several weeks of beta testing through developer and public beta builds. The official build that was released last week should be the cleanest and the most polished release since iOS 14.8 and in terms of bugs, it should be quite minimal. If you’re facing issues over alarms on your iPhone, then you may want to consider removing the beta profile from your device and upgrading it to the latest stable release of iOS 15.
Fix #3: Use Built-in alarms instead of ones from Apple Music
The native Clock app offers the added functionality to set a song from Apple Music as your default tone for an alarm. Sometimes, the selected songs may fail to play when your alarm goes off, thus not alerting you when your iPhone was supposed to. That’s because songs you selected from Apple Music need to be downloaded before you apply them as your alarm tones since they cannot be streamed.
To choose an alarm tone from your iPhone, select an alarm you want to make changes to and tap on the ‘Sound’ section.
Instead of picking a song from your Apple Music library, you can choose one from under the ‘Ringtones’ section.
You can now check if this alarm tone rings when it goes off and if it’s audible enough to wake you up when needed.
Fix #4: Enable Snooze for all your alarms
A lot of us don’t generally wake up when the first alarm goes off but tend to put it off until it’s too late. The Clock app on your iPhone lets you snooze your alarms so that the alarm you snoozed sets off once every 9 minutes for as long as you snooze it. You can enable Snooze for any alarm by select the alarm inside the ‘Alarm’ tab on the Clock app. On the next screen, you can turn on the toggle adjacent to ‘Snooze’ to enable it for the selected alarm.
If you feel your alarm tone is really low, you may be able to increase the volume levels when the alarm is actually ringing, provided that you have the ‘Change with Buttons’ option enabled inside Settings. To enable the ability to change your alarm volumes manually using the volume button, open the Settings app and select ‘Sounds & Haptics’.
On the next screen, tap on the toggle adjacent to ‘Change with Buttons’ to enable this option.
Fix #6: Select your preferred vibration type
While the most important aspect of iPhones is how they ring when they go off, the way they vibrate is also equally significant. That’s because, when kept in the right location, your alarm’s vibration may be enough to wake you up. That’s why you should configure how your alarm vibrates your iPhone when going off. To set up how an alarm goes off, select the alarm inside the ‘Alarm’ tab on the Clock app and then go to Sound > Vibration.
From here, select the vibration you want to set for your alarm or create a new vibration yourself.
Fix #7: Know where to place your iPhone
Besides selecting the right vibration type, it’s important that your iPhone is kept at the right location so that its vibration is enough to wake you up over the alarm tone. For best results, you can place your iPhone on a firm surface, like a table next to your bed, so that when the alarm goes off, it vibrates loudly and at regular intervals to wake you up.
Fix #8: Enable a stream of alarms
iOS lets you snooze alarms so that they ring every 9 minutes but what if you wish to be alerted more/less often than that. In that case, creating cascaded alarms is your next best option. Cascaded alarms are a stream of alarms you create manually in and around your desired alarm time and can be created at any different interval as you like and unlike the ‘Snooze’ function, you can customize each and every single one of them with different sounds and vibration so that at least one of them wakes you up before it’s too late.
Fix #9: Clear all alarms or ask Siri to do so
If the alarms you set on your iPhone don’t work as intended or if you’re encountering ghost alarms, the only way to solve them is to clear the existing ones. To clear an alarm manually, open the Alarm section inside the Clock app and tap on ‘Edit’. Inside the Edit screen, tap on the Red-dash icon and then select the ‘Delete’ option to remove the alarm.
Alternatively, you can remove all your existing alarms from the Clock app by asking Siri to do it. For this, press and hold the Side button on your iPhone and ask Siri to “Clear all alarms”. You can confirm the process by tapping on ‘Yes’ in the prompt that appears.
Fix #10: Add a shortcut to Sleep Focus
If you’re not able to see Wind Down shortcuts on your Lock Screen after updating to iOS 15, then chances are that they haven’t been added to your Sleep Focus routine on your iPhone. To add them to Sleep Focus, open the Shortcuts app on your device, tap on the ‘3-dots’ icon on a shortcut you created, and select the ‘Settings’ icon at the top right corner.
Inside the Shortcut’s Settings screen, enable the ‘Show in Sleep Focus’ toggle by tapping on it.
This should allow the shortcut to appear on the lock screen when your iPhone switches to Wind Down mode.
That’s all there is to know about alarm issues and fixing them on iOS 15.
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