You’ve probably been startled by the vibration or ringing of your phone, only to find out it was caused by a seemingly random AMBER alert. They’re only used when a child goes missing in your area, and they certainly do a good job at getting your attention. But you may want disable such geo-centric notifications for a number of reasons, most likely because you’re out of town or continue to receive them in the wee hours of the morning. All smartphones — be it Android or iPhone — receive AMBER alerts, and here we explain how to turn the notifications off. Then again, is knowing what’s going on in your local area such a bad thing?
It’s important to note that AMBER alerts are different from other emergency alerts. For example, in late 2018 the government tested a new so-called “Presidential Alert,” which can’t be turned off.
Turning off AMBER alerts in iOS
In iOS, AMBER alerts are categorized as Government Alerts alongside Emergency Alerts, the latter which amounts to weather warnings or notifications issued by the President. Provided you’re using an iPhone 4S or later — and your carrier is AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon — you should be able to toggle them on and off.
Step 1: Start by opening your Settings.
Step 2: Tap Notifications, then scroll to the bottom of the page to find the Government Alerts sections.
Step 3: Tap the toggles next to AMBER Alerts and Emergency Alerts to turn them off.
Turning off AMBER alerts in Android
The settings to adjust your AMBER alerts may be found in a different place depending on your Android phone. Below, you’ll find instructions for stock Android devices, the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge, and the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge.
Turning off AMBER alerts in stock Android
Step 1: From the Home screen, open your Settings.
Step 2: Scroll down and tap on Apps and Notifications, followed by Emergency alerts.
Step 3: Unchecked AMBER alerts. Tap it again to disable it. You can also disable alerts for Extreme threats and Severe threats.
Turning off AMBER alerts on a Samsung Galaxy
For a Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge, S7 or S7 Edge, or S8 or S8 Plus, S9 or S9 Plus (AT&T, T-Mobile)
Step 1: From the Home screen, open the Messages app.
Step 2: Tap the three button icon in the upper-right corner, then tap Settings.
Step 3: Tap Emergency alert settings > Emergency alerts.
Step 4: On the Emergency alerts screen, toggle off AMBER alerts, as well as Extreme alerts and Severe alerts.
For a Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge (Verizon)
Step 1: Go to Apps > Emergency Alerts.
Step 2: Tap Settings in the upper-right corner.
Step 3: Tap Alert types.
Step 4: Toggle off AMBER alerts. Here, you can also choose to turn off Extreme threats and Severe threats.
For a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge (Verizon)
Step 1: Open Settings > Privacy and emergency.
Step 2: Tap Emergency alerts and select Settings in the upper-right corner.
Step 3: Tap Alert types.
Step 4: Toggle off AMBER alerts. Here, you can also turn off Severe alerts, Extreme alerts, and Emergency alert test messages.