News: You're Not Crazy, Your iPhone Is Making Strange Noises

You're Not Crazy, Your iPhone Is Making Strange Noises

Apple hasn't really changed notification sounds on the iPhone since iOS 7. So how come you hear strange pings, plunks, and doots coming from your iOS device? No, it's not an app you downloaded (although third-party apps can have their own notification sounds). Instead, what you're experiencing is likely the result of updating your iPhone to iOS 13.

The latest iOS update comes with over 200 new features, not to mention over 20 additional changes that iOS 13.1 brings to the table. Among these changes is a new suite of sounds for Tapback, an iMessage feature introduced in iOS 10. If you don't know Tapback by name, you know it by experience — they're reaction options available in Messages to Love, Like, Dislike, Laugh, Emphasize, and Question.

The six Tapback reactions.

In the past, Tapback notifications would use the same notification sound as your other messages, and would even arrive silently when in chats. With iOS 13, however, each Tapback has its own, unique alert tone. What you're hearing are the three-pings of someone "loving" your message, the "boing" of a "question" reaction, or any of the other four new reaction alerts. Apple uses these sounds both in-chat and throughout iOS, so you can quickly distinguish between a true message and a simple Tapback reaction.

If you aren't a fan of these new sounds, tough luck. True to form, Apple doesn't include a way to customize the alert tones for Tapback, nor does it provide an option to mute them entirely. If you don't want to hear Tapback outside of Messages, you'll need to disable sounds for all Messages notifications, which is a bit much if you ask me.

A less drastic measure? Just silence your iPhone with the mute switch.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new emoji, enhanced security, podcast transcripts, Apple Cash virtual numbers, and other useful features. There are even new additions hidden within Safari. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.4 update.

Cover image and screenshot by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks


Disabling all notification sounds from Messages doesn't work either. You have to put the whole phone on silent.
This is driving me nuts. Apple please give us a fix.

I've done the updates and my iPhone XR doesn't make the individual tapback sounds. I'd like to have them!
Finally, someone knows what I'm talking about and mentions it!!

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