iPhone Randomly Vibrates – Here’s What To Do About It

If you have an iPhone, then you are probably aware that you can set it to vibrate if you don’t want to receive a phone call or a text. It’s a useful feature and one that can help you out in a lot of different situations. But what about if your phone starts randomly vibrating with no seeming cause behind it? That can get tiresome quickly, especially if it continues for an extended length of time. Let’s talk about your iPhone vibrating when it’s not supposed to, and what you can potentially do about it.

iPhone Randomly Vibrates

The Uses for Your iPhone Vibration Feature

You might not have discovered the vibration feature for your iPhone yet if you just got it, and this is the first one you’ve owned. You’ll find, though, that this feature can be a real lifesaver in certain scenarios.

It could be that you’re likely to get an important phone call or text message when you’re out and about. Maybe you’ve gone to a movie on the weekend, but you’re expecting a vital message from work. You can turn off all sounds on your phone but leave on the vibration feature so that you can quickly respond without disturbing anyone.

People in Movie Theater

You might be out on a date, and you’ve left the kids with a babysitter. You do not want the phone to ring or make any noises, because you wish to give your spouse or partner your undivided attention. Still, you don’t want to turn the phone off entirely, just in case there’s something urgent that comes up. Having the device on vibrate is a useful compromise.

The longer you have the phone, the more likely it is that you’ll find more uses for it. If you have not taken advantage of this feature yet, now is the perfect time to do so. Now, however, let’s return to what you can do if your iPhone seems to be vibrating randomly with no desire on your part to have it happen.

Check to See if You Have Accidently Turned on the Vibration Feature

With any iPhone problem, it makes sense to try the most obvious solution first. In this case, you should check to see if the vibration feature has been activated. This might not explain why the vibrations are happening at random, but perhaps something this simple might solve the problem.

The main reason why your phone vibrates is that you have flipped the switch on the side into Silent mode. This mode does not deactivate your phone’s ability to receive calls and messages. It merely ensures that the phone does not emit any noises.

The switch to turn on Silent mode is located on the left-hand side, above the Volume controls. If you flip it toward the rear of the phone, the mode will be enabled. Check your phone to see if this has happened. If it has, then you can flip the switch back toward the front of your device.

iPhone Will Vibrate on Silent Mode

Now, wait and see if the phone keeps vibrating randomly. If it does, then you’ll need to look into some other troubleshooting solutions.

Vibration for Mail Notifications

Other than Silent mode, another aspect of an iPhone associated with it vibrating is the mail notification settings. If you go to Settings, and then Sounds, you should see the New Mail section. When you tap it, you will see the Vibration setting. If you set it to None, then that might be what solves this issue. What might have seemed like random vibration might only have been your phone receiving email.

Your iPhone's New Mail Setting

Remember, even if you have turned the mail sounds and notifications off, your phone will still vibrate every time you receive a new email if this feature it on. There’s one more place on your phone that you can check, though, if this doesn’t seem to have done the trick either.

Another Place to Check Mail Notification Vibration Status on Your iPhone

You should next go to Settings on your phone, and then the Notification Center. From there, go to Mail. Hit the account that you use for your email. Hit Alerts. You should see an Alert Tone and Vibration feature. Make sure that this is set to None. If you have any additional email accounts on your device, do this same maneuver for those as well.

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Mail Settings on iPhone

Like the mail notification status in the New Mail section, until you do this, you will still get a phone vibration until you make these adjustments.

Try Turning on Notifications for VIPs

If the solutions that we have suggested so far have not worked, here’s another fix you can try. You can turn on individual notification settings for VIPs or entire accounts. This might not be ideal, because it means that you will be notified every time new mail comes in, even spam. The way you will be notified, though, will take the form of a message on your screen instead of those annoying vibrations.

Go to Settings, then Notification Center, and then Mail. Tap either on VIP or Account if you would like to receive customized notifications for an entire account. To be clear, though, if you turn on notifications for a whole account, that is when notifications will bombard you on your display.

iPhone Notification Center

You can now customize the notifications you want for the individuals in question or the whole account. You can select such things as show a banner, ding, or appear on the lock screen instead of vibrating.

The Vibration Setting for Your Apps Might be Causing the Problem

Let’s say that what’s happening is not related to your mail settings or Silent mode. It might also be your non-native apps that are to blame.

It is possible that you might have downloaded an app and neglected to set up the notifications for it in the way that you would prefer. Most apps have settings for badges, sounds, banners, and alerts. If any of these are switched off, your phone might react to that by vibrating.

You can check on the status of your apps by going to Settings and then Notification Center. You will see a list of each app on your device for which you can adjust the notifications. Scroll down the list for each app and make sure that there are not any of them with just Sounds enabled.

Apps that Might Cause iPhone Vibrating

If you have turned off notifications for the app but left Sounds on, the resulting behavior could be a vibration without any visual indicator. What you’re thinking of as random vibrating might have to do with the settings of just one or two particular apps.

You Can Take the iPhone to the Pros

If nothing has worked to this point, then the other possible explanation is damage to an internal component of the iPhone. Maybe it was submerged in water or another liquid, and that is causing it to act strangely. If you remember dropping it or some other accident, that might be what’s causing these phantom vibrations.  

If you can’t figure out the problem on your own, head to an Apple Store that has a Genius Bar. The employees there should be able to examine the device and figure out what’s going on with it. Make sure that you call ahead to schedule an appointment, or you’ll probably have to wait. If your phone is still under the factory warranty or you bought an extended one, the repair shouldn’t cost you anything.