iOS 15 Notifications Silenced? How to Fix the issue


iOS 15 is finally out to the masses and users from around the world are getting their hands on the latest iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system. Although the OS has gone through several weeks of testing, like on any software out there, you may still experience some issues with this new version of iOS on your iPhone. Several users on Reddit and Twitter are now reporting that they’re unable to see notifications on their phones, even when they’re actively using them. 

If you’re one of those who are facing the same issue, the following post should help you fix the problem on your iPhone. 

Why are your notifications getting silenced on iOS 15?

The inability to receive notifications for calls, texts, and app alerts appears to revolve around iOS’ new Focus feature which is a revamp of the Do Not Disturb (DND) function that previously existed on iPhones. In iOS 14, users were able to use DND and still see notifications when their iPhone was unlocked (if they had selected the ‘While iPhone is Locked’ option under ‘Silence’ inside their DND settings). 

With the release of iOS 15, Apple has not only replaced the Do Not Disturb mode with that of Focus but it has also been removed. Instead, users get granular control over which people and apps to get notified from within various routines they set up or create on Focus.

The recent reports about not getting notifications are from those users who had used the DND mode on their iPhones at all times. This meant that all notifications that users received including calls, messages, and other app alerts were silenced regardless of whether your iPhone was locked or unlocked. 

How to fix this Notification Silenced issue

If you’re one of those people who used the Do Not Disturb mode on iOS 14 all the time, then the inability to see notifications for calls and messages applies only to you. Although the new Focus feature has a native Do Not Disturb option, Apple has completely refreshed the way it behaves. If you wish to fix the Notification Silenced issue on iOS 15, there are two ways to do so.

Fix #1: Turn Off Focus/DND mode

Now that it’s established that you cannot receive any notifications when Do Not Disturb is enabled inside Focus, the only way you can now see alerts for calls and messages is to turn it off entirely. You can turn off Focus from within your iPhone’s Control Center by simply tapping on the ‘Do Not Disturb’ bubble. 

An alternate way to disable Do Not Disturb on iOS 15 is through the Settings app. To turn off DND, go to Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb and then tapping on the (green) toggle adjacent to the ‘Do Not Disturb’ option to disable it.

We have explained the step-by-step process of both these methods inside the ‘How to Disable Focus on an iPhone’ section on the post that’s linked below. 

How to Disable Focus on an iPhone

Fix #2: Whitelist apps from Focus

If you want to continue using the Do Not Disturb mode on iOS but still be able to see alerts from some apps on your phone, you may want to whitelist them inside DND mode or your selected Focus. This way, you will be able to receive alerts from the selected apps even when Focus is turned on. 

To whitelist apps for a Focus routine, open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on ‘Focus’. 

Now tap on the Focus mode where you wish to whitelist an app.

Tap on the ‘Apps’ section under ‘Allowed Notifications’ at the top of the screen.

On the next screen, select the ‘Apps’ tab at the top and then tap on the ‘+ Add’ button under the ‘Allowed Apps’ section.

Tap and select the app you wish to whitelist for the selected Focus mode. After you’ve selected the apps you want to whitelist, tap on ‘Done’ at the top right corner of your screen.

And that’s it! The selected app will now be visible inside the ‘Allowed Apps’ section and will be whitelisted from the concerned Focus mode on iOS 15.

Fix #3: Whitelist people from Focus

Similar to whitelisting apps, Apple allows you to continue using the DND mode with notifications from important people in your contacts. This way, you will be able to notifications for calls and messages from the people you whitelist for a particular Focus routine. To whitelist a contact in Focus, open the Settings app on your device and tap on ‘Focus’.

You will now get a list of all your custom focus schedules. Tap and select the desired focus mode where you wish to whitelist a contact.

Tap on the ‘People’ section under ‘Allowed Notifications’ at the top of the screen.

On the next screen, select the ‘People’ tab at the top and then tap on the ‘+ Add’ button under the ‘Allowed People’ section.

The Contacts screen will now pop up from the bottom. Scroll through your list of contacts select the contacts you wish to whitelist inside Focus. You can also use the search bar at the top to search for contacts one-by-one. Once you’ve added all the contacts you want to whitelist, tap on ‘Done’ in the top right corner.

And that’s it! The selected contact will now appear inside the ‘Allowed People’ section and will be whitelisted from the selected Focus mode.

When the selected Focus is active, you will get incoming notifications from them at all times.

Fix #4: Disable Low Power Mode

iPhone users often use the Low Power Mode to elongate the battery life of their devices. While it’s a nifty little feature, the Low Power Mode is known to disable some of your iPhone features, one of which is background app refresh. In case you don’t know, Background App Refresh allows apps on your iPhone to check for new information while running in the background. If you’re not receiving notifications from certain apps even after whitelisting them inside Focus mode, chances are that you have enabled the Low Power Mode on your phone. 

To disable it, go to Settings > Battery and then toggle off the ‘Low Power Mode’ option at the top. 

If you’ve configured Low Power Mode to appear as a shortcut inside the Control Center, you can toggle the feature on/off by simply tapping on the Low Power Mode shortcut from the Control Center. 

That’s all you need to know about fixing the Notifications Silenced issue on iOS 15. 

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Ambivalent, unprecedented, and on the run from everyone's idea of reality. A consonance of love for filter coffee, cold weather, Arsenal, AC/DC, and Sinatra.


  1. That doesn’t fix the issue that want to see alerts when iPhone/iPad is unlocked

  2. Holy crap!! I’m going back to a phucking flip phone. Apple seems to thinks they are “fixing” things ands all they do is make things more complicated than they need to be. I’m sure poor Steve Jobs is rolling over in his grave (yet again).

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