Not getting text notifications on iPhone?
Are you finding that your iPhone isn’t alerting you when text messages arrive? Is there no red dot indicating that you have unread messages? If so you aren’t alone.
iPhone text notifications bug
Since the arrival of iOS 14 in September there have been reports of a bug in the iPhone operating system that was causing some iPhones to not display notifications for text messages. Notifications for these messages do not appear on the lock screen or as a red dot beside the app’s icon on the home screen.
Initially the bug was thought to be exclusive to iPhone 12, but it has since been shown that it can affect any iPhone models running iOS 14. There have been multiple posts on Apple’s support forums about the issue.
As one post on Apple’s support page stated back in September: “I am not getting sound notifications on text messages nor is the banner showing up on my locked screen. I have an iPhone 11 and just downloaded the latest iOS 14. Have reset my phone twice now. Please advise. Thank you.”
How to fix the text notification bug
When Apple released iOS 14.2.1 at the end of November it fixed a separate issue being experienced by iPhone 12 users. In that case SMS messages were delayed before being delivered – and sometimes were not delivered at all. However, this is a different bug.
On 14 December Apple released iOS 14.3. In the release notes accompanying iOS 14.3 Apple claims that the update addresses the following issues:
- Some MMS messages may not be received
- Some Messages notifications may not be received
- Contact groups failed to display members when composing a message
This hopefully means that the iOS 14.3 update fixes the issue with notifications for text messages not appearing. However prior to the update being issued, The Verge reported that the final beta showed no signs of fixing the problem.
If the bug is not fixed in iOS 14.3 we do expect that Apple will fix the bug eventually.
Updating to iOS 14.3 should – hopefully – fix the problem. If not, several users have tried to find temporary solutions to the problem without success.
It seems that one fix is to force close the Messages app after you use it (swipe up from the bottom of the screen to see all the apps you have open and then swipe up on the Messages app page).
If the notifications aren’t being delivered for conversations you have pinned you could try unpinning that conversation to see if notifications are then delivered.
Others who have an Apple Watch have reported that when they are wearing their Watch the notifications aren’t delivered to their iPhone, but if they remove their Watch they do get notifications on their iPhone.
If you have other text messaging issues you may find the answer here: How to retrieve deleted text messages or What to do if Messages not working.
Including reporting from Macworld Sweden.