A Guide to Creating or Selecting Vibrations for Alerts on the iPhone

Last modified
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Sometimes, a buzz buzz is better than a ding ding during say a meeting or at a conference. If you've ever forgotten to put your phone on silent during an important event, vibrations can help a lot.

?Vibration Explained

On the iPhone, you have options to create, select, and assign vibrations. This is done from the Sound settings on your phone. I'm going to be showing you how to do all of these things, so you can know when your bestie is messaging you, or your mom is reminding you about this test you just don't want to take.


  1. iPhone
  2. Check to see if vibration works. If not, it may be damaged.
  3. Ringer set to off so you can test your results

Part 1: Getting it All Set Up

To access vibration settings, open the Settings app and select Sounds, not too far from General. The first set of vibration settings are visible.

Vibrate on Ring

This configures whether if someone calls y/FaceTimes you, if you would like your phone to vibrate and ring at the same time, or only ring.

Vibrate on Silent

This configures when your ringer is set to on, whether your phone should vibrate, or remain silent.

Advanced Vibration Settings

The advanced vibration settings are found in where you can pick your sounds for the desired category, e.g. ringtones, text tones, new mail, sent mail, etc.

Let's use ringtone for now. Open Settings, select sounds, then select Ringtone with the current ringtone in front of it.

At the top, find vibration, with the current vibration name in front of it. Double tap it, and a list of at least ten or more vibrations will show up. You can select one, and each time you select, you can feel the vibration on your phone before deciding whether to pick it. At the way bottom, is the add custom vibration button. Let's check it out.

Creating and Saving a Custom Vibration

Follow the steps below to create a custom vibration.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Sounds from the list.
  3. Find ringtone/text tone/new mail and double tap which one you want to set a vibration for.
  4. At the way top, select Vibration with the current vibration name in front of it.
  5. At the way bottom, select Add a Custom Vibration.
  6. Use E.B.T, (Explore by Touch) and find the touch surface to create the vibration.
  7. Now, simply tap the screen to the vibration you would like to create. Note: The vibration can only be 15 seconds or less.
  8. When the recording ends, you can play your vibration back, and if you are satisfied, hit Save. Then name the vibration what you want.

Part 2: Assigning Vibrations

Now you can assign vibrations to contacts by following the steps below:

  1. Launch the Contacts app.
  2. Select a contact you would like to assign the vibration to, then select the Edit button.
  3. Scroll down to find Ringtone and Text Tone. Select either one, and find the Vibrations area, then select a vibration for the contact, or create one following the steps above.

Vibrate Only

Finally, if you want your phone to vibrate only on specific categories, follow these steps: 1. Open the Settings app. 2. Select Sounds. 3. Scroll down to your desired alert category, and select it. 4. Somewhere in the jumble of alert sounds, there should be an option called None. Select it, and that category will only play the vibration, but no matter what the ringer switch is set to, no sound comes out from that category unless you choose a sound other than None.


I hope this guide helped. Please use my AppleVis contact form for any questions.



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Submitted by Ekaj on Monday, June 25, 2018

Thanks for this helpful guide. The more I learn about my iPhone, the more I like it. I've seen the vibration setting but haven't done much with it. These phones are so customizable.