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iPhone Won’t Vibrate: Causes and Solutions

iPhone Won’t Vibrate: Causes and Solutions

The iPhone has been dominating the “vibration motor” space for quite some time. Even the latest and greatest Android phones do not come close to Apple’s Taptic Engine. But it’s not all merry and fun, as the iPhone is not completely devoid of the vibration issues that plague most modern smartphones.

An iPhone won’t vibrate if its vibration motor is broken. The motor is likely the cause when the phone doesn’t vibrate for calls, messages, keypresses, when silent, etc. In such a case, the motor must be replaced. If the problem is at the software level, however, a simple reboot can fix the niggle.

Your iPhone may vibrate when it rings but not when the text messages come through, or vice versa. Regardless of the kind of iPhone vibration issues you’re facing, keep reading to gain comprehensive information about the topic.

iPhone Won’t Vibrate on Ring/Call 

iPhone Won’t Vibrate on Ring/Call

Cause: Your phone’s “Vibrate on Ring” toggle could have been turned off if your iPhone doesn’t vibrate when set to ring mode.

How to fix: Check if the “Vibrate on Ring” option on your phone is turned on. To do so, tap “Settings” on your device and then tap “Sounds and Haptics”. If the option is not turned on, turn it on, and restart your device. If it’s turned on, hit the on/off toggle once, and then restart your phone.

iPhone Won’t Vibrate on Silent Mode 

iPhone Won’t Vibrate on Silent Mode

Cause: The iPhone’s “Vibrate on Silent” option could have been toggled off in “Settings”.

How to fix: Access the “Vibrate on Silent” function in your iPhone, using the steps mentioned above.

Besides, also turn on “Vibration” in the “Accessibility” section of your phone. For that, take the Settings > General > Accessibility path. Under “Accessibility”, you will find the “Vibration” option. Turn it on, if it’s not already, and restart your phone.

The vibration pattern of your phone could be the cause too. If you have not chosen a vibration pattern, it could have been set to “None” accidentally or by default. To fix this, do the following:

  1. Go to “Settings”
  2. Tap “General”
  3. Head to “Sounds and Haptics”
  4. Select the “Ringtone” option and tap “Vibration”

Choose a pattern from the multiple options available. Just make sure it’s not chosen as “None”.

iPhone Won’t Vibrate for Notifications 

iPhone Won’t Vibrate for Notifications

Cause: The “Vibration” option could have been turned off. This happens irrespective of whether the phone is set to “silent” or “ring”.

How to fix: Turn on the “Vibrate on Ring” and “Vibrate on Silent” option following the steps mentioned above if you’d like your phone to vibrate irrespective of the sound profile it’s set to.

iPhone Won’t Vibrate on Text Message 

iPhone Won’t Vibrate on Text Message

Cause: Your iPhone not vibrating to notify incoming text messages could again be due to the “Vibration” option turned off in the phone’s “Settings”.

How to fix: There is no separate option to set text message vibration on your iPhone. Therefore, head to “Settings” and access “Vibration”, following the path mentioned above.

Always restart your phone after changing any of the aforementioned software settings to allow iOS to clear cached data and carry out other system optimizations.

Inspect the Vibration Motor 

Inspect the Vibration Motor

If none of the aforementioned software-level solutions fix the issue, check the phone’s vibration motor. To inspect the motor, follow these couple of steps:

  • Slide the ring/silent switch situated on your phone’s side.
  • Slide the switch one more time.

If your iPhone vibrated during the sliding motions, the motor is fine. If it did not vibrate, look further. Before getting to the motor, slide the switch back and forth multiple times to confirm the motor could be the cause. But your phone’s vibration motor doesn’t break easily. Therefore, blame it only after all other possibilities have been thoroughly looked into.

Do a Factory Reset of Your iPhone

Do a Factory Reset of Your iPhone

If the “forced restart” method doesn’t work, try factory-resetting your iPhone. The factory restore will erase all your custom settings and information on your iPhone, so if you have important data on your phone, back it up before doing the reset. 

There are different ways to back your iPhone data. You could do it with iCloud or with your computer using iTunes. Here is a video demonstrating how to back up your iPhone to iCloud: 

If you need more than one backup, you may store all your information on iCloud, your computer, or an external storage device. Once the factory reset is done, your phone should most likely not have vibration problems, even those relating to notifications and text messages.

A Couple of “Out-of-the-Box” Tricks

When everything from the manual has been tried, and nothing worked, a few out-of-the-box or “unusual” methods are worth giving a try. You may, for instance, try tapping on your phone a few times. If the vibration motor is stuck, a few physical taps on the phone’s exterior could set the motor right again.

If this “unscientific” method seems laughable, or you’re sure the vibration motor of your phone is just fine, try changing your phone’s ringtone. Changing the ringtone or playing with different sounds on the phone could cause the vibration to work normally again. 

It’s not clear how it works, and it’s also not sure to work. But this “ringtone changing” methodology doesn’t take too long to complete, and it also will not harm your phone in the process, so you might as well give it a try.

The iPhone’s OS Could Be at Fault

The iPhone’s OS Could Be at Fault

If your iPhone vibration motor is fine and none of the software-level settings and/or fixes mentioned above work, your phone’s OS could be the problem. To fix the OS, you’ll need a system repair tool.

There are multiple third-party iOS software repair tools for the job. ReiBoot, Dr.Fone, PhoneRescue for iOS are some of the most effective and reliable tools available. These tools help resolve all issues relating to the core of your device, letting you address concerns relating to your iPhone’s vibration mechanism and all other possible problems that you may or may not have discovered.

The system repair method and the issues addressed may vary across the different tools, but those won’t be drastically different. If you know how to repair your iPhone at the system level, you should have no problem working with any of the tools available for the job.

Here is a video explaining how to use Joyoshare UltFix, another capable system repair tool, to address the vibration issues of your phone, along with other concerns:

iOS Upgrades

iOS 6, in September 2012, introduced the option for iPhones to vibrate for messages without having to set the vibration for calls on. Before iOS 6, text message vibrations could not be set individually.

Upgrading to a newer version of iOS or any operating system mostly ushers in new and enhanced features. But the fresh OS version could also break a phone or make it less efficient. Users have faced issues with their iPhones in the past after upgrading to the latest OS.

If you recently upgraded your phone to the newest version of iOS and found your phone’s vibration function not working like before, resort to some troubleshooting. The fresh OS install could have inadvertently or, as a rule, untoggled vibration mode in the “Settings” of your phone. To enable it again, head to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Vibration.

If the vibration switch is on already, try the following:

  1. Tap “Settings,” “Sounds & Haptics,” and then disable “Vibrate on Silent,” and “Vibrate on Ring.”
  2. Once done, restart your device.
  3. After your iPhone is turned on, head again to “Settings,” “Sound & Haptics,” and re-enable “Vibrate on Silent” and “Vibrate on Ring.”
  4. Check the vibration feature by sliding on and off the Silent switch.

Final Thoughts

The vibration motor is quite likely the only piece of moving hardware in your iPhone. It’s the most constantly at work compared to the camera sensor, speakers, and other hardware components of the device. Needless to say, it’s prone to breaking down or losing steam more than any other part of your phone.

It’s not always the failing motor. Often, the phone’s software may fail to communicate with the motor the way it should. A simple reboot or factory reset will help set things right in such scenarios. Always ensure the software is clear before you blame the motor.

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