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Daily Tip: How to turn on (or off) multiple text message alerts

Worried you might miss an urgent SMS message and wondering how to set up multiple alerts? Annoyed at the amount of notifications you're getting for texts and trying to figure out how to dial them back a notch or three? No problem, you can do both easily on iPhone and we'll show you how after the break!

If you want to increase or decrease the amount of pop up and sound/vibrate alerts your iPhone gives you for each text, here's what to do:

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Scroll down to Messages and tap it

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  1. Tap on Play Alert Tone

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  1. Set the number of alerts you want, from once (1) to 10 times.
  1. That's it!

Once, as the name implies, goes off once and never again. From Twice to 10 Times, alerts go off at 2 minute intervals.

Have any other handy SMS tips? Any special way you like to set up your texts? Let us know in the comments!

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you'd like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to (If it's especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we'll even give ya a reward...)

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Is this possible on the Verizon iPhone? It looks to me like it can only do the alert once.
  • On the Verizon iPhone you have a switch if it is set to off you get a single alert and if it is set to on will alert a second and third time.
    Would be nice to select a number of alerts. Oh well one day we will get to have the same options and features. Lol
  • FAIL for Verizon :(
  • On the vzw iPhone, it defaults to 3 times... Can't change it other than turning on or off
  • This doesn't work on Verizon phones because it was introduced in 4.3. The way it is on Verizon iPhones is the way it use to work on gsm phones. I'm sure when Apple finally manages to release 4.3.x for Verizon it will have this option as well.
  • If a text comes through during a call, you have to close the text before engine the call, how can you change this? It can ve a hassle when you have multiple alerts during a call!
  • This has been a problem since day one, hopefully ios5 will address this issue.
  • +1. Changed mine to "once" last month and could not be happier
  • Great tip. Thanks for posting. I need to up my iPhone ninja-level. I think I'm only a blue belt.
  • why is my not even there, i cant seem to find it anymore..what should i do?
  • Go to the Settings app Select Notifications Select Messages Scroll down and you’ll see the Repeat Alert setting… change it to whatever you prefer.
  • Thanks for the tip.
  • Iv done all this and ita still sending me text reminders its annoying