How to change settings for emergency alerts on your Android phone

Android gives you lots of flexibility for controlling the emergency alerts you receive, though the settings are tucked away.

emergency alerts android
Nick Mediati

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The emergency alerts feature on modern smartphones is legitimately useful: It can warn you about dangerous weather conditions, natural disasters, AMBER alerts, or other important tidbits of information. But perhaps you already keep up on the news. Or maybe you don’t feel the need to be alerted about everything.

If any of this sounds like you, you’ll be pleased to know that Android has a healthy array of options for managing emergency alerts.

To start, head on over to your Settings app and open it. Next, tap More... under the Wireless & Networks heading, scroll to the bottom, then tap Cell broadcasts. Here, you’ll see various options you can toggle on and off, such as an option to “Display alerts for extreme threats to life and property,” another one for AMBER alerts, and so on. Toggle these settings on and off as you see fit.

emergency alerts screen

If you’d like to change the duration of the alert sound, tap Alert sound duration, then adjust how long you’d like the alert sound to, uh, sound. You can pick durations ranging from 2 seconds to 10 seconds in two-second intervals. If you’d like to be alerted again in case you missed the initial alert, tap Alert reminder and choose your preferred setting.

Even if you’re well plugged-in to the news, there are still good reasons to keep the alerts on—they aren’t too frequent, and depending on the circumstances, they may be quicker at getting you the news you need than media outlets would be. Still, these options are there if you want or need them.

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