How to create and customize vibration alerts on your iPhone

How to create and customize vibration alerts on your iPhone

By default your iPhone uses two quick vibration pulses for a text message and a continuous steady pulse vibration for incoming calls. All other Notification Center alerts receive a single vibration. But what if you want something different so you can easily tell what kind of notification you're receiving without even looking at your iPhone? As it happens, you can do just that by creating and assigning your own vibration patterns. Here's how:

How to create and assign custom vibration patterns on the iPhone

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Now tap on Sounds.
  3. Under the Sounds and Vibration Patterns section, choose the type of alert you'd like to create a custom vibration pattern for and tap on it. In this example, I'll use Ringtone.
  4. Now scroll all the way to the top and tap on Vibration.
  5. Towards the bottom, tap on Create New Vibration.
  6. Now tap the center of the screen in the sequence you want the vibration to be. Hold your finger down for a continuous vibration. Lifting it up creates a pause.
  7. Once you're done, tap on Stop.
  8. Play back the pattern to make sure you are happy with it. If you are, tap on Save.
  9. Now go back to the previous screen and assign it as your vibration pattern for that alert type.

You can repeat the above process for all the alert types you'd like to change the vibration pattern for. Keep in mind you can create custom vibrations inside the vibration option section of any alert. Anything you've created will then show up under the Custom Vibrations section for all alert types so you can reuse them if you'd like.

How to disable vibration alerts on a per-app basis

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Now tap on Sounds.
  3. Under the Sounds and Vibration Patterns section, choose the type of alert you'd like to disable vibrations for and tap on it.
  4. Scroll all the way to the top and tab on Vibration.
  5. This time scroll all the way to the bottom and tap on None.

That's it. The alert will still play a sound when not in silent mode, it just won't create a vibration.

How to delete custom vibrations on iPhone

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Now tap on Sounds.
  3. Under the Sounds and Vibration Patterns section, select any alert type. It doesn't matter what you choose if you're just deleting. For this example, I'll choose Ringtone.
  4. Scroll all the way to the top and tap on Vibration.
  5. Tap on Edit in the upper right hand corner.
  6. Delete the custom vibrations you don't want anymore and then tap Done in the upper right hand corner.

Do you use custom vibrations on your iPhone? If so, have they helped you distinguish what kind of alerts you're receiving even when you can't look at your iPhone? Let me know what you think of them in the comments!

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to create and customize vibration alerts on your iPhone

11 Comments

Fixed. Sorry guys. I'm so used to putting "iPhone and iPad" - that was a mistake on my part. No, it's iPhone only. Sorry again. Ninja fail :P

Yes, you could create custom vibration patterns on iOS 5, but the feature was hidden under the Accessibility features. I don't think you could apply them to different alert types, only to individual contacts.