Warning! iPhone bugs: Alarms not working in 2011

One of our Australian forum members, TrAJik let us know that his iPhone alarm failed to wake him up this morning, January 1, 2011 (Australia time) and doing a quick look around the web it seems like he is not alone.

The iPhone had trouble with repeating alarms back during the change to Standard Time so this could be the same bug rearing its ugly head again.

UPDATE: According to comments below, this affects **ONE TIME ALARMS* rather than recurring ones, so the opposite fix should work:

  • Tap Clock
  • Tap Edit
  • Tap your alarm
  • Tap Repeat
  • Set a repeat interval
  • Tap Save

iOS 4.2 fixed that bug. Will we have to wait for an iOS 4.3 this time? If you're experiencing the problem and if you've found any other fixes, let us know in the comments below or help trouble shoot in our iPhone Forums.

UDPATE 3: Engadget confirms it's one time alarms that are causing the problem, not repeats.

UPDATE 3: 9to5Mac says the bug fixes itself on January 3.


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, hosts the ZEN & TECH podcast, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Prime.

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There are 75 comments. Add yours.

Derek Kessler says:

Christ, come on Apple. This is unacceptable.

Joe McG says:

I like how folks in Austrailia are the guinea pigs for everything time related...

Andy B says:

Likewise, my alarm didn't go off. It's a one off alarm too.

Joe McG says:

Engadget is claiming this bug is relevant for one-time alarms only and not recurring. I'm not saying who is right, just noting the discrepancy. If you really need to get up I would set both.

Amish Thakrar says:

Even my one time alarm didn't work today morning, tried deleting all set alarms but still not working, this is really frustrating!
Anyone finds a solution, kindly update.

Ferooooo says:

I live in Cali...will this affect me.

Runswithscissors#IM says:

Would a work-around for repeating alarm be just to create an appointment in Calendar that repeats, or is this affecting Calendar notifications as well?
(And I realize no one wants to see "Wake Up" on their calendar every day, but just a thought)

Runswithscissors#IM says:

Never mind...as I was typing my post TiPb updated the original post

Jason says:

@Derek Kessler
It's an alarm bug chill out. It sucks but give me a break. Crap happens and no company is perfect and no product is perfect.
You've already cried the river, now build a bridge

Antonio says:

Since a 2 week my iPhone 4 have a delay with the alarm. Have a delay of 30 min.
Happy New Year from Venezuela.

Ilovegeorgia says:

This isn't big at all. Angry droids on engadget are trying to attack this post. They have similar one up. Why don't you just use a real alarm or get a third party alarm.

Tiago says:

buuuhhuuu, such a big deal =P
Hey listen up everyone, start sell all your iphones 'cause theres a major bug with the alarm at the very first day of the year!!!
PS: but the rest of the year you're safe!

Chris says:

Works fine for me. Even let the clock run from 11:58 to 12:00 and both a 12:01 and a 12:02 alarm went off.

Limegrntaln says:

I just started using repeat alarms last week. Lol I've managed to avoid both occurrences.

BobWert says:

Just as noted above, same is happening in Brazilian iPhones.
Not a beep from my alarm so far.....
Hope it gets fixed before Monday.

GeoffD says:

Use it as an excuse to go late to work @Freo

Jason says:

I got the alarm bug here in Michigan as well.

Dewy says:

Lol this is weird does anyone why this is happening?

Jason says:

I was just coming back to this to ask the same thing. I could see the daylight savings time bug but new years? Sucks because I use my phone as an alarm. Hope they fix it soon, if not it's not too big of a deal I'll find another app or source of alarm clock.
But enough of what I'll do if it's not fixed fast since no one cares nor should they...anyone know what's causing this?

FLskydiver says:

Confirmed in Eastern US time zone.

Leo from miami says:

can i find out right now like a test. let me try and I live in Miami FL

Leo from miami says:

not working here in Miami FL :(
i just put it for 12:43AM and it didn't work let me try again

Leo from miami says:

yeah is not working her in Miami FL

Jason says:

Guess I should read the whole article lol. Didn't see that it should fix itself Jan 3

Limegrntaln says:

Glad to see 9to5 Mac can see into the future.

FLskydiver says:

So Y2K was a problem because programmers took shortcuts and only used two-digits to specify the year. When Apple wrote iOS in thd middle of the decade, did they only use one digit? Is the Alarm set (internally) for 2001?

Dylon says:

Happen in Malaysia as well

FLskydiver says:

Still trying to logic out a reason it should start working again on the third, though.

Patrick says:

I've had the problem in Paris, France, this morning. Late at work for the first day of the year :-(

parabel says:

Man, is a simple alarm clock THAT hard to program?! >:(

Cfroisland says:

I guess I'm 'that guy,' mine worked fine this morning at 3:45.,,thank goodness!

Liam says:

Mine worked fine this morning. Up for work ok. (UK)

Keith Conti Borda says:

Same here.. One time alarm not ringing but repeated alarm works. hope they release a fix. SOON !

tan says:

It happend to me here in Saudi just few minuets ago!!!
I'm really pissed and angry,,,I missed all my classes!!

Pete B says:

I would agree that in the main this is a small problem and in the great scheme of things is not "Life threatening" but that is no excuse for not carrying out proper testing before releasing products.
In the Military an alarm not going off can seriously affect mission targets. Come on Apple, I love my iPhone but you need to get a grip, you're not Microsoft ;-)

Surfergirl Cymru says:

Same problem here, South Wales, UK - alarm ( one off setting) has decided not to function overnight. Was staying with family so was my only available alarm. Woke up in time to get my daughter to work

Jose says:

In Portugal The same thing happened.The 6.45AM alarm (and others) did't go on. Arrived late at work! :(
"not “Life threatening” " But very serious in my case!

Cato says:

I've got an iPhone 4 on iOS 4.2.1, and I woke up at 11:00am here in the UK because the alarm failed to go off. It's not a big deal for me yet as I'm not due to go back to work until the 4th of Jan (one of the benefits of socialism lol). I tried the recurring alarm fix and it seems to work okay, it's not that big a deal really.

Ryan says:

I tried changed the date to 3rd of January and its fixed automatically...
It is an easter egg by Apple's programmer.. Those guys just want iPhone user get a rest in holiday... LOL!
Good Work!! Happy New Year!!

cMc says:

I set the one time alarm last night, but was worried I would not get up (secondary to lack of sleep, 1.5 hr - new years party). I set a count down timer as a back up (thank you Lord), otherwise I would have missed my flight! I thought to myself, I must have been sleeping very heavy to not even hear the 1st alarm.

Sean says:

I just woke up to my alarm on time and it's not on repeat..?

Cg says:

Why would it automatically fix itself on Jan 3? Is there some logic in that?

Joe McG says:

The assumption that it fixes itself on January 3rd is dangerous. Obviously the logic in the alarm is flawed. Who's to say it won't stop working again in January 11th, or February 1st, or even January 1st 2012?
The frustrating part is that Apple will probably barely acknowledge the problem and not issue a fix for weeks or months.

tuscanidream says:

Yeah. Thanks Apple. I didn't get up today.

Euroclie says:

The (not recurring) alarm worked fine on my iPhone 4 (OS 4.2.1) this morning, so the bug may not happen for everyone... Strange...

Annette says:

Yep thanks Apple 1hr late for work not happy !

Boots says:

Pretty sad such a huge successful company cannot make an alarm program app work...

Jason says:

Apple is not responsible for you being late to work. Dc if the alarm went off or not
Everyonebquit your whining

Lars says:

What the heck, Apple? Is it so %%%^%!!! hard to write a calendar app that can handle a new year???
As a software engineer who has dealt with these kinds of issued, I can tell you it is NOT that hard. Or it shouldnt be.

M says:

thank god I checked this before Sunday, I set my alarm on everyday and it seems to work now. THANKS TIPB <3 I would have been late to university tomorrow morning.

Ann says:

Yep. My i 4 alarm quit functioning. I tried your suggested fix, but it didn't fix it

Nathan Blank says:

Happened to me too, but i didn't have to get up for anything important. My alarm was a recurring one though.

kingweb says:

It just DOESNT work
Another reason jailbreaking is good. Let's developers fix things without waiting for apple to update.

Newborgcity says:

Problem also affects my older 3G phone as well

Fred nerk says:

My recurring alarm which was setup last year still works but any new single shot alarm doesnt. This is a disgraceful effort by apple. Such a simple piece of programming and they can't get it right.

Doug says:

Twice I have slept through the start of my shift due to apples incompetence to write a decent program... A simple alarm clock program..... Ffs... Get your game on apple!!
Am now using my old nokia permanently plugged in on charge next to bed as an alarm as apple has proved itself to be too #*%^ing unreliable...
iPhone = junk

Daniel Torres says:

One more for Apple to release ios 4.3 and screw up the jailbreak and unlock.Apple should be ashamed.

Chageyourdiapers says:

Surely the alarm going off makes the product unreliable. I mean come on thats what we all buy the iPhone for, for an alarm clock!
And why should apple be ashamed for screwing up the jailbreak? It voids their warranty, if they could find out the device was jail broken . It's a hack. They have nothing to be ashamed about. You just want to cry like a little baby.

Phil says:

I was 2 hours late for work! But after a bit of research I found that if I changed the date to the 3rd of January the alarm works! I know we shouldn't have to do this but if you need the alarm during the day that's the quick fix.

Aman says:

No wonder my alarms didn't work, I had four on aswell!

Howard says:

Just go in and set the time and day from automatic to manual and set it to at least Jan. 3rd. I tried everytign else and nothing worked. With today being Jan 1st and my phone thinking its the 3rd, the alarm works normally now.

jasonact says:

I tried setting an alarm to test this "bug", but it still worked as it was supposed to. What gives?

iphoney says:

three iphones, not one went off for the new years morning flight!
really pissed. this sucks, and my iphoney still isn't setting off alarms.

v1nn1e says:

Steve Jobs just released a statement on alarm-gate:
"Who sets alarms on a weekend? It'll work Monday."

MaxPower2003 says:

My single and recurring alarms have all worked. Running on 4.1. Maybe that's why?

Reloaded47 says:

If the alarm does in fact fix itself on the third...the only days affected are Saturday and Sunday...a very small minority will actually require the alarm to work on the weekend without losing their jobs lol
Did apple do this intentionally so that they could offer a fix which many will require and for many will require to unjailbreak their phones?

Redux says:

None of my alarms work.including one-time alarms. I have an iPhone 4 running 4.1
Alarms worked up until 2011

Josh says:

To the tune of Bob Dylan's "The Times They are a Changin"... "The iPhone's times it ain't a Alarmin"

Tasha says:

Alarm didnt go off and was late to work ! Thanks alot apple!

Jason says:

I was in the cell business for over three years, nothing does better than that $5.00 alarm clock you can get at Walmart. I could't tell you how many phones had this same issue.

g-man says:

Android's response to iPhone's alarmgate. http://twitpic.com/3nsyav

Ahaberkorn says:

My repeat alarms are not working