iPhone: turn off Amber Alerts

Yes, I’m a terrible human being. I turned off my Amber alerts.  (You can too).

Here’s the thing: If I were on the road a whole lot, Amber Alerts would be much more relevant: X is missing in Y vehicle from Z town. As I’m nearly always a) asleep or b) in my very remote near hideaway where nothing scary or even interesting happens, it’s literally alarming when these alerts come screaming through my iPhone. Disturbing, actually, in a literal sense. I feel like I should apologize more for this decision, so, I cannot imagine the heartbreak and fear involved in wondering where your child is, and I mean that. I apologize for opting out.

But, it’s the right thing for me, and it might be for you, too.

Here’s how, and it’s brutally simple:

iPhone: Notifications -> Government alerts

iPhone: Notifications -> Government alerts

Just so you know, even if you turn all the Government Alerts off, you’ll still get Presidential Level alerts.

So you know.



  1. iPhone: turn off Amber Alerts: Yes, I’m a terrible human being. I turned off my Amber alerts.  (You can too). … http://t.co/epGjm6eQDD

  2. Glen Weaver says:

    I turned them off for my Android yesterday afternoon-after three alerts for incident that was 350+ miles away. I’m happy help, but I’ve never received an alert for events in my area.
    I’ll claim my seat in the “Terrible Human Being Lounge”

  3. caroline says:

    didn’t even know iPhones got amber alerts…i have at&t and apparently it’s not an option. i’d like to get emergency alerts. http://www.gottabemobile.com/2013/02/08/att-cant-push-iphone-emergency-alerts-over-4g-lte/

  4. I live in Ohio and I feel like a perfectly fine turning off an alert system that has woken me up numerous times to tell about problems in Virginia, Tennessee, Colorado and Maryland.

    The Amber Alert program is just a political stunt trying to make people believe politicians are doing something about the popular crisis de jure. Look, cute little white girl gone missing, how sad. Instead they should actually do their job.

  5. How can anyone be so cold hearted to turn their backs on an abduction of a child? My family is military and my son too. Think about what you are doing if there is an Amber alert anywhere you have family or friends could you not call them? These Children are in need of help.

    • I just got a notification at 2 am for a missing girl over 150 miles away. What am I supposed to do, throw on my cape and fly to the rescue? They need to fine tune their system, or it can stay turned off.

      • Jack S. says:

        Correction: According to Google Maps, the alert originated at a location 350 miles away. Thanks, iPhone

  6. I turn this off at night and back on during the day since I have insomnia and these alerts, well intentioned as they may be, were driving me nuts. I forgot to turn it off yesterday and an alert came in at 3am. Now it’s 6 am and yet another night of no sleep. Plus, the abduction happened 300 miles away so what am I supposed to do about it at 3 am?

    I guess Amy sits up all night looking for a car 2 states away and phones her relatives in the middle of the night- kudos to her. But I think people should feel fine turning it off if it’s negatively affecting them.

  7. After our entire family was woken up at 3:00 am with my phone blaring, I have also turned the feature off. WTH?? Didn’t even know I had an Amber Alert feature. It’s not that I am unconcerned about missing children but what am I supposed to do in the middle of the night?

    • Jack S. says:

      Not only the middle of the night; the system should have a “radius” feature. Why be notified of an Amber Alert 300 miles away? What can anyone do about that? There are degrees of being reasonable here.