AMBER alerts and other emergency notifications rarely come at a convenient time. While the notifications—often loud and unmissable—are important and mark the most urgent of situations, they can also be an unexpected disruption.

Because the alerts are received by default, most people think the notifications aren’t optional. However most mobile devices, Android and iOS alike, have the ability to turn off the alerts and the unexpected ringing and vibrating that come with them.

Before turning them off, it’s important to know why one is getting the notification in the first place.

AMBER alerts are sent out when a child has been abducted or has gone missing and are part of a government alert system. The notifications are typically only sent to those within the region where the abduction took place and are designed to send the message to as many people as possible in order to raise awareness of the situation and generate tips and leads. They may be annoying, but they can also be invaluable to law enforcement and affected families.

How To Turn Off AMBER Alerts In iOS

For iOS devices—be they iPhones, iPads or iPod Touches—AMBER alerts are listed as Government Alerts, same as weather warnings and notifications issued by government agencies.

To find the AMBER alerts setting and turn off the notification, do the following:

  • Open the Settings app

  • Select the “Notifications” menu

  • Scroll to the “Government Alerts” header at the bottom of the page

  • Toggle the AMBER Alerts setting off

After toggling the setting off, the device will no longer receive AMBER alert notifications. The alerts can be turned back on by following the same steps and toggling the alerts back on.

How To Turn Off AMBER Alerts On Android

For Android devices, the location of the AMBER alert settings can vary depending on the model, as many Android smartphone makers use their own, modified version of the operating system that results in settings being tweaked and moved around.

For stock Android devices and for those that haven’t had the settings adjusted, AMBER alerts can be turned off by doing the following:

  • Open the Settings app

  • Find the “Sound” menu

  • Select “Emergency broadcasts”

  • Find the “Cell Broadcast” page

  • From the “Cell Broadcast” page, tap the box next to “AMBER alerts” to deselect it. Once the box next to the setting is no longer marked, the notifications will stop.

Most Android devices have a similar setting, though the menu names and steps for finding the settings may be slightly different. On Samsung Galaxy devices, for example, the setting moves around based on the device model and carrier. Check for settings like “Sound,” “Alerts,” or “Emergency.” The notification for AMBER alerts can usually be found under such a heading.