How to get the old notification sounds back on your iPhone | Cult of Mac

How to switch back to the old notification sounds on iPhone


Did You Hear That?
Yes, the sounds in iOS 17 are a bit different. Here's how to get the old sounds back.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

In iOS 17, many of the default sounds for notifications, alarms and timers have been changed — but how do you get back the old sounds if you don’t like the new ones?

A lot of people get deeply attached to the sound effects. If you want the old noises back, you can change (most of them) back manually. I’ll show you how.

How to get the old notification sounds back on iPhone

Set Sounds in Settings
This is the set of sounds you should have for all the classic iOS alerts.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

First, open Settings and go to Sounds & Haptics. Here are all of the sound effects as they should be (I cross-checked this with an old iPhone 5s running iOS 12 and an iPhone X running iOS 15).

  • Ringtone: Reflection, formerly Classic > Opening (iOS 7) before that, Classic > Marimba (iPhone OS 1)
  • Text Tone: Note
  • New Voicemail: Classic > Tri-tone
  • New Mail: None
  • Sent Mail: Classic > Swish
  • Calendar Alerts: Chord
  • Reminder Alerts: Chord

Unfortunately, for third-party apps like Snapchat or Instagram that use the default notification sound, there’s no way to switch it from the new one, Rebound, to the old one, Tri-tone. There’s no ‘Other’ category in Settings.

Apps that don’t define their own sound are stuck with whatever the system default is, and that cannot be changed.

Change the timer sound back, too

Setting the Timer sound in the Clock app
Pick the old Timer sound.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

There is one more change you can make, though. Open the Clock app. Apple changed the default timer noise — Radial is the new default.

Go to the Timers tab and tap When Timer Ends. Scroll all the way down and tap Classic, then tap Radar and tap Set.

Should you switch to the old sounds?

Personally, I like the new sounds — not that I hear them anyways, since my phone is perpetually on silent. But I understand a lot of people might be attached to the old ones. Certain sound effects dig into your brain like that.

See our master list of other changes in iOS 17 here.


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