Random message error “Notifications silenced” confuses us


Do your friends and family keep asking you why your notifications are muted? If you don’t already use Focus Mode like Do Not Disturb, this will probably be a head-scratcher for you.

This exact thing happened to me this morning. I use Sleep Focus mode at night and turn it off as soon as I get up. Otherwise, your Apple Watch only displays a large green digital clock all day. This is not good.

After a colleague asked why I had muted their messages during a conversation, I made sure nothing was in focus. Not a Mac, not an iPhone, or an Apple Watch.

The fix was the usual, turn it off and back on. Well, in that case, turn it on and off again. One round of that on one device solved the other person’s silent random notification message. No feelings were hurt, I suppose.

A real thing seen on the Apple support forums

It turns out that this is something more people are seeing. iPhone users have reported experiencing this issue on different iPhone models with both iOS 15 and iOS 16. If you are also seeing this, then the good news is that you are not alone. This probably means that Apple will work it out sooner rather than later.

The bad news is that there is no real solution at the moment. If you’re not in focus mode, there’s nothing to turn it off. Just keep switching these focus modes.

And there is one more thing. This bug does not actually silence notifications when contacts see that message. It just creates awkward situations where people will think you are ignoring them. On the other hand, maybe this is just Siri making assumptions…

Not using focus modes yet? Learn how to do more with focus modes in iOS 16.

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