How to turn off repeat SMS notifications in iOS 5 and 6

At some point a long time ago I my iPhone started playing a sound multiple times for the same SMS text message. This got really annoying because my phone would make the SMS sound, I’d look at it and think I’ll deal with it later and put it down, then a minute or two later I’d get another SMS sound, think I had a second message and so look at it again only to find nothing new was there. I understand some people like this behaviour, but for me it was annoying. I was thankful when Apple added the option to change it in Sounds-Messages settings.

However, in iOS5 I found the multiple SMS notifications occurring again and I couldn’t find the setting in sounds anymore. Thankfully, after much searching I found it… so if you have iOS5 and want to have only one notification per SMS you will find the setting as follows…

How to turn off multiple SMS/text notifications in iOS 5

1. Go to the Settings app
2. Select Notifications
3. Select Messages
4. Scroll down and you’ll see the Repeat Alert setting… change it to whatever you prefer.

  • Alex

    Thanks! I feel the same way, I hated repeat reminders, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to shut it off in iOS5. Glad you did!

  • Mike

    Thank you!

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  • Paul

    That worked for me for a while but no its not working again

  • Rob

    If disabled this in notifications. However, when I unlock my screen it repeats the alert of every notification I have received. Very annoying…

    • Kara

      I have the same problem- have you figured out how to fix this?

      • Meg

        Best I can tell is it’s happening if you have selected the “Banner” alert style while your iMessage setting is ON. I turned iMessage off (Settings>Messages) and that seemed to fix the repeat alerts every time I unlocked my phone.

  • Mable

    Thank you for this! I was looking all over the web for this

  • Carlos

    My hero! The repeated notification was driving me INSANE! Thanks a lot for the help!

  • Steve

    Thanks, legend!!!

  • Sunny

    Thank you! I was going batty from the excess message beeps.

  • David

    Arrived via Google search. Thank you for your concise fix!

  • Adam

    This is an asinine default setting. Thanks for letting us know how to turn this crap off.

  • 1024KB

    You saved my iPhone from being thrown out the window! Damn, I was getting frustrated at the constant alerts.

    Thank you!

  • Greg Lasley

    Great! Thanks for posting this. They really hid this function in OS5 and I’m so glad you found it.!

  • alvin

    I think there’s a mistake in your post, from “I couldn’t find the setting in sounds anymore.”. In iOS 4, the setting was under Messages. Even so, your post was very helpful as I couldn’t find the new setting in iOS 5! πŸ™‚

  • M

    Me too. This worked at first but now it doesn’t. My repeat notifications are on “never” and I am still being notified. It is annoying!

    • Olli

      repeat to never, means you get a first tone. If you want no tone at all, turn off the ‘text tone’ in the sounds section of the settings.

      It beats me why Apple loses intuitivity, in an ever growing public this is really odd…

      thanks MB for the post, I obviously hadn’t my intuition going to the notifications. There’s some redundant stuff in thos preferences, the whole chart of that app could and should be simplified…

  • Wei

    Tried it n it works! Thx!!

  • Benni

    Thanks, worked like a charm…

  • Arjun Shenvi

    Thanks a ton. Was annoyed from many days.

  • I am so grateful to you Marek… i’ve been searching for this option for a long time…

  • Ulrik

    Thanks. Was drivin me crazy!! πŸ™‚

  • You hit the nail on the head! I just spend ten minutes trying to figure out how to describe the problem to the googleverse, so glad I found your article!

    I knew there was an option when I updated… I just couldn’t figure out where it was. I have the same problem. I get an alert but don’t unlock the phone and then I get another thinking it was another text.


  • Sarah

    Thanks a ton! I don’t understand why they had to make it so difficult to find.

  • Luigi

    holy crap thank you!!!!!!

  • Frances


  • Mike

    Thank you!!

  • Salvatore

    Thank you very much!!!!

  • Angel

    That was driving me crazy! Thank you.

  • Dhanesh

    Thank u ..thank uu…thank uu… der is god …^^

  • Emily Honeywell

    YESSSSSSSSS! Thank you πŸ™‚

  • Frustrated user

    Thank you!!!

  • Thankful lurker

    Thanks new iphone user was frustrated as hell and found you page 1 on Bing!


    Man. This has been driving me insane. a minute later getting the second text and I’m all like “wow I am popular” and get my hopes up just to see it repeat the same message.
    I tried setting it to NEVER and it still repeats it one time after the initial alert though. Think I am done with this phone lol.

  • Michelle

    Thanks so much! It’s been driving me crazy!!!!

  • jon

    thank u SOOOO Much!!

  • LenZo

    Top man, although my 3GS doesn’t seem to agree with ios5, sometime my message tone does a kind of remix, very strange, anyone else have this issue

  • Topher

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I couldn’t find this setting anywhere! I would have thought they would have put it in the actual Messages settings. The double notification drove me insane!

  • Formerly Frustrated

    Thanks for posting this fix. This has been an annoyance of mine for a very long time.

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  • Luke Acott

    Cheers man, this was so annoying!

  • Katie

    Thank you! This has been driving me nuts for ages!

  • Crazy8

    Anyone figured out hot to do this for voicemail alerts? I’m still getting two of them for every vm.

  • DANA


  • StinaStax

    THANK YOU! πŸ˜‰

  • Audrey

    Thank you!!!!

  • Pankaj

    Thanks for this small but very useful tip. I was going crazy due to these repeat sounds.

  • Melissa

    Oh thank you so much. It was driving me mental. I kept looking in Settings/Messages and Settings/Sounds thinking I must be missing something, which I was. Huge thanks again!

  • ty

    thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Nick

    Thanks so much for this! I just purchased the iPhone 5 (my first iPhone) and this was driving me nuts!

  • Meg

    Thanks! I’m still having an issue for every time I unlock I unlock my screen — It repeats the sound for every text I received it repeats the alert of every notification I have received while the screen was locked πŸ™ πŸ™ Anyone have a solution to that??

  • james

    Thanks so much! My world is now more peaceful with less beeping!

  • Raja

    thank you!!! this was very useful, the double notification was so annoying and it is gone now.

  • Fiona Littleton

    THANK YOU πŸ™‚ other spaces said this couldn’t be done and here you provided the truth! finally I can turn the second alert OFF! Nice!

  • Nicki

    Thanx! I looked everywhere except there and was going crazy.

  • Cydne

    Still works on iOS 7. Thank you, thank you!

  • Ian

    Thanks very much. It was driving me crazy. Phone is next to my ipad at work so I was getting four alerts per message.

  • Dinesh Kumar

    Is there any other app to set it in the reverse way. I want to repeat it more than times. I want to get notified till I open the SMS alert. Is there any app to set that?