How To Fix Messages Notifications Not Working On iPhone (iOS 14)

Messages Notifications missing on iPhone

Messages Notifications missing on iPhone


Are you missing notifications for new texts on your iPhone? That’s because of an annoying iOS 14.2 bug, that causes alerts in Messages not to work as expected. This stock iOS app seems to only randomly show notifications for incoming messages. Some texts are announced as usual with a sound and a Lock Screen or banner notification, while others are delivered quietly.

When notifications aren’t working, the red Messages badge is missing too. I’m talking about the red number, that hovers in the top-right corner of the Messages icon, to signal that one ore more unread texts are available. The issue occurs for both iMessages and regular SMS texts.

This is very annoying because iPhone users can miss important messages. Don’t get me wrong, the texts are actually delivered but you won’t have any idea bout it, unless you manually check the Messages app every now and then. That’s highly frustrating especially when you’re expecting important news via iMessage or regular SMS.

Update (November 17) – Even worse, the Messages notifications bug also issues read receipts to your sender, signaling them that you actually read their text, without you being even aware that it landed on your iPhone. This is the worst combo possible and could make your loved ones or friends think that you are trying to ghost them and avoid interaction.
Credits: This additional behavior has been reported by Daniel in the comments section.

How To Fix Messages Notifications Bug

Our test have shown that force quitting the Messages app or rebooting the iPhone aren’t reliable fixes. They might work temporary, but because this bug’s behavior is so random you can’t really tell if the problem is fixed and resurfaces later, or isn’t fix at all.
What’s certain is that the bug re-occurred on our devices after rebooting the iPhone, after various time frames.

At the moment, we don’t have a confirmed fix, but you can try the following to troubleshoot:

1. Disable Filter Unknown Senders

how to disable filter unknow senders in messages

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Look for Messages.
  • Scroll and disable the Filter Unknown Senders option.

2. Reset iMessage

how to reset iMessage service on iPhone
One reader has informed us that he managed to fix the notifications bug by disabling Messages and turning it back On.
How To: Browse for Settings -> Messages and disable iMessage. Reboot iPhone and re-enable Apple’s free messaging service! Does it fix the missing Messages notifications?

3. Use Apple Watch

This option is rather a workaround. We’ve notice that even when the iOS 14.2 notifications bug is occurring the Apple Watch still does its job and displays the notifications on your wrist.
If you own a watchOS device you can trust it, to announce you when new texts are available!

Update (November 20)

4. Upgrade To iOS 14.2.1

Apple has released iOS 14.2.1 update that’s main goal is to fix the iPhone 12 mini Lock screen bug. However, the release notes also mention a fix for “some MMS messages may not be received.”
Fact: The update is currently only available for the iPhone 12, 12mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max models, which indicates that it might not fix the iOS 14.2 Messages notifications bug.
We do recommend you to update and see if it makes any difference. Use the comments section to share your feedback.

5. Other Fixes

Stephen mentioned a few other troubleshooting steps that you can try including:
– setting a custom message tone for the contacts and attempt to make the Messages notifications to work for important contacts.
– delete and recreate an important contact in the Contacts app.
Fact: However, none of the above fixed the Messages notifications not working problem.

Messages Notifications Bug – Readers’ Feedback

  • Liam: “Same thing here, it’s occurring even with non-iMessages, standard texts are also remaining silent.”
  • Ian: “I’m on iOS 14.2 and don’t receive any notifications at all when my phone screen is off but they work if I’m using the phone at the time the notification arrives. Really annoying!”
  • Jennifer: “This is happening to my boyfriend and I. Both on separate phones. Sprint. We both have IPhone 11s. Its so annoying. Even worse is that it shows that we READ the message but we actually didn’t and didn’t even get a notification for it. We just randomly check our messages and see that there was a message in there that we didn’t even know about. Its really really annoying and frustrating.”

Are Messages notifications not working on your iPhone too? Share your feedback using the comments section. Have you notice any specific behavior that triggers this bug? Don’t hesitate to mention it and we’ll attempt to fix this with the power of the community.

We’ll also use this topic to send a bug report to Apple. So, the more confirmations that stronger the case.

Related: Other bugs reported for iOS 14.2 are:
iPhone keyboard lag when attempting to type Messages.
Optimized battery charging for iPhone is automatically re-enabled after each iPhone restart or new charging cycle.
Incoming call banner disappears and isn’t interactive. iPhone user can’t answer a call from the banner.
iPhone speakerphone not working as it should, volume too low!