How to Set a Custom Vibration in iOS6

From time to time, we need to mute our mobile phones, whether we’re in a meeting, in church, in class, etc. Yet to hear or feel your phone vibrating and not know why can be maddening. iOS 6 now has several different vibrations and also allows you to create your own vibration that helps you identify why your phone is going off and if it’s important enough for you to leave the meeting, church, class, etc.

This tip is only available for the iPhone. The iPad isn’t included. I assume the prevailing thinking is that you don’t get phone calls on your iPad, but you do get texts, and I do silence my iPad sometimes as well, so that’s perhaps a little shortsightedness on Apple’s part.

iOS Vibrations sounds

Going to the settings app on your iPhone, find “Sounds” listed on the menu listing. Clicking on that, it gives you choices of “Vibrate on Ring”, “Vibrate on Silent”, a volume button, and the different actions that require a notification sound/vibration. To change a vibration pattern, click on one off the alerts, such as Ringtone.

iOS vibration ringtone

On the resulting page, it lists all of the ringtones, both the native ones that came with iOS 6, as well as any that you have purchased or created. Below that list is all of the Alert Tones that are native, purchased, or created. On top of both of these lists is the selected Vibration. To change it, tap the name on the right side.

iOS Vibration

This gives you a list of all the vibrations that were included with iOS 6. There’s quite a few of them. They allow you to customize your alerts just the way you do with the audio ringtones. I get emails all the time, so I don’t want that vibration to be something very involved. I chose Quick for that. There’s an S.O.S. vibration on there for those situations where someone might be notifying you for help, or offering you the help that you need. There are several to choose from, but suppose none of these fit your needs? Click on the last option on the bottom, Create New Vibration.

iOS Create New Vibratioon /></picture><noscript><img decoding=

Just like with Ringtones, Vibrations allow you to set specific ones for different contacts. With many people, I just want to know that it’s a phone call or a text, but with certain people, like my husband or kids, I want to know it’s them if I have my phone on silent mode. I know I don’t want to ignore those calls and texts. It allows you to create and make your phone meet with your own lifestyle.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox