Getting phone calls or hearing your alarms is one of the most important things our iPhones do! And missing calls is not fun, especially when they come from your boss or a family member. So when you can’t hear your iPhone’s ringtone or your alarms because the volume is too low or it dips in volume after the first couple of rings, it’s a real problem.
Today, we share the one setting that fixes this problem for most folks. And we’ll add on some additional tips to get your iPhone ringing loudly AND consistently!
So let’s get to it!
- Quick Tips
- Check this one setting for ringtone and alarm volume problems
- Is your iPhone’s alarm volume too quiet?
Follow these quick tips to increase your iPhone’s ringer or alarm volume
- Temporarily turn off Face ID and re-enable it when you confirm your alarms & ringer volume is acceptable
- Turn off Face ID’s Attention Aware Features
- Slide your volume control all the way to its maximum volume
- Check your side switch to ensure mute is not enabled
- How To Change Alarm Volume on Your iPhone
- How to wake up to your favorite Music using iPhone’s clock app
- Ringer or Volume Icon Keeps Appearing On iPhone? How-To Fix
- Do You Keep Missing Messages and Calls? Here’s How to Fix It
- How to Fix iPhone Stuck in Headphones Mode, Speaker Not Working
Check this one setting for ringtone and alarm volume problems
Folks with Face ID enabled iPhones, like the Phone 11 models (11, 11 Pro, & 11 Pro Max) & X Series (XR, XS, XS Max, & X) notice this problem more than others (and older) iPhone models.
In particular, they report that the iPhone XR model often rings or starts an alarm at full volume but then quickly the volume fades out to a level that’s difficult to hear. This issue seems especially true for folks that are hard of hearing.
So if your iPhone’s ringer issue is that the phone’s ringer or alarm volume goes from loud to low, this tip is for you!
We mentioned there was a single setting that usually fixed the problem, and that setting is part of your iPhone’s Face ID. It’s called Attention Aware Features.
- Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode
- Toggle off Attention Aware Features
- When you deselect Attention Aware Features, your ringer and alert volume remains loud even when you pick up and look at the phone
- This feature is also in Settings > General >Accessibility > Face ID & Attention
When this feature is on, the TruthDepth camera, checks if you are paying attention and if it believes you are, it automatically lowers the volume when you look at the screen when the phone is ringing or when an alarm triggers.
It’s strange but true that on iPhones with Face ID there are special settings to adjust how loudly your phone rings AND they’re located in your Face ID & Passcode settings!
Is your iPhone’s alarm volume too quiet?
We’ve heard from a lot of our readers with Face ID iPhones that they are missing their alarms! They set the alarm volume to the maximum level but then in the morning; they don’t hear it!
If you set an alarm and then missed it because its volume was too low, causing you to be late for work or an appointment, follow the steps above and disable Attention Aware Features.
As a reminder, go to your settings for Face ID & Passcode and turn off the attention awareness feature. It should fix the problem!
Remember, alarms on iPhones use the same volume as the ringer!
Check out this article for more on changing your alarm volume and other alarm settings and controls.
What are the iPhone’s Attention Aware Features?
With the introduction of Face ID, your iPhone is now able to detect whether or not you are looking at your device via facial recognition.
With Face ID, Apple added two different features that use Face ID technology to assist you.
- Require Attention for Face ID
- Attention Aware Features
Require attention for Face ID uses facial recognition to verify your identity before iOS unlocks your iPhone and allows its use.
Attention aware features use this same technology to check if you are looking at your device. If your iPhone verifies you’re looking at its screen, when your phone starts to ring, the ringer or alarm volume starts at your set volume level but then reduces the overall volume, since it believes you are aware it’s ringing or sounding the alarm.
Turn your iPhone’s ringer’s volume all the way up
For those with older model iPhones without Face ID or if your ringer problem isn’t related to attention aware features, try increasing the overall ringer volume.
- Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics
- Locate the section Ringer and Alerts
- Slide the volume control all the way to the right
If you want to control the ringer’s volume with the side (physical) volume controls, toggle the switch for Change with Buttons on.
Tapping Change with Buttons allows you to manually adjust the volume of your alarms or your ringer as needed, via the physical volume buttons on the side of the phone.
When this option is off, tapping the physical volume buttons doesn’t change the volume of your ringer or your alarms.
Check your mute switch
Your iPhone comes with a switch to mute sounds quickly. People use this when entering meetings, a movie theatre, or another event where a phone ringing out loud would really disturb everyone else!
Your iPhone includes a physical ring/silent (mute) switch on the left side of your iPhone, just above the volume buttons. Flip it to control which sounds play through your iPhone speaker.
Can I have a separate volume level for my iPhone ringtone and my iPhone alarms and notifications?
Unfortunately, at this time, there is no way to separate the volume of your iPhone’s ringer for phone calls from the alert volume for things like alarms, texts, emails, messages, and other alerts–their sound is set at the same volume.
And we really don’t know why Apple ties both the ringer and alerts volume to the same volume slider. It’s doesn’t make sense for how we use our devices today!
So you cannot lower the volume for any alarm you use to wake up in the morning (or for whatever) without lowering the volume for incoming calls.
The current recommendation is to turn down the ringer volume slider each night, then turn it back up in the morning so you don’t miss any phone calls. Yeah…not ideal!
We’d love to see Apple separate phone ringer volume from alarm volume. And we’d also like to see a separate volume slider for notification volume for things like incoming messages and other app notifications.
For most of her professional life, Amanda Elizabeth (Liz for short) trained all sorts of folks on how to use media as a tool to tell their own unique stories. She knows a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides!
Her clients include Edutopia, Scribe Video Center, Third Path Institute, Bracket, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Big Picture Alliance.
Elizabeth received her Master of Fine Arts degree in media making from Temple University, where she also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member in their department of Film and Media Arts.