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How to Set an iOS Alarm That Will Vibrate, But Not Make Sound


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When you mute iOS, incoming phone calls and texts vibrate instead of playing whatever ringtone you set up. Alarms, on the other hand, will always play the ringtone whether your phone is muted or not. If you’d like to be able have an alarm vibrate your device instead of making a sound, you can do that by creating a silent ringtone.

Step One: Create a Silent Ringtone

Adding custom ringtones to your iOS device is not difficult. Unfortunately, there are no silent ringtones built in. There are a few available in the Apple Store for purchase, and if you want to add a new ringtone without hooking your phone up to a computer and using iTunes, purchasing one from the store is the only easy way to do it.

If you are willing to use iTunes, you have other options. You can make your own silent ringtone using a program like Audacity or a ringtone creator app on your phone–just record a few seconds of silence. But that’s still a bit of a hassle, so we created this silent ringtone to save you the trouble.

Just download the file, unzip it, then drag the file to iTunes (or open the file from within iTunes). iTunes will know that it’s a ringtone because it uses the M4R file extension and will set it up where it needs to go. Connect your device to your computer and open the device settings in iTunes.

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On the Tones page, make sure “Sync Tones” is enabled, then choose whether you want to sync all tones or just selected tones.

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Sync your device with iTunes and the ringtone will now be available on your device.

Step Two: Set an Alarm with the Silent Ringtone

Now that you have the silent ringtone on your device, you can set it up with an alarm. Open your clock App and switch to the Alarm tab.

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Tap the New button to create a new alarm.

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Set the time and other options for your new alarm and then tap Sound.

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On the Sound page, your custom ringtones are listed at the top of the available ringtones. Select your new silent ringtone (your phone will vibrate when you do) and then tap Back.

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Tap Save to save your new silent alarm.

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Now, whether your device is muted or not, that alarm will only vibrate and will not make any sound.

That’s all there is to it. Yes, you have to deal with iTunes, but only briefly. And once you’ve got the silent ringtone installed, you’ll probably find other uses for it as well. For example, you could assign it to specific contacts if you’d rather the phone not ring when they call.

Walter Glenn is a long time computer geek and tech writer. Though he’s mostly a Windows and gadget guy, he has a fondness for anything tech. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


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