Updated: Fixing iOS 4′s wonky daylight saving alarms

Xavier Verhoeven
6 October, 2010
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If you’re used to waking up to the soothing (or not-so-soothing) tones of your iPhone’s alarm, you may have noticed it went off at the wrong time this morning (if you’re in a state that has switched to daylight saving time). Thankfully, we had some warning of the bug, as New Zealanders have been affected since daylight saving began a week earlier across the Tasman. The problem relates specifically to recurring alarms that will go off an hour early. Whilst waking up at 5:30am could have its benefits, I prefer the 6:30 that I set my alarm for.

In our testing of possible fixes, only one appeared to rectify the issue: simply turn off recurring alarms.

In fact, to be sure your alarm will go off at the right time, re-set it now that daylight saving is in effect, and in the Repeat options, make sure no days are selected. These alarms appear to work as expected – the only problem is that you have to remember to set the alarm each night when you go to bed.

We also tried changing the time on the iPhone to manual rather than automatic (Settings > General > Date & Time > Set Automatically), but this didn’t help matters at all.

If you’ve managed to fix the problem via another method, let us know in the comments.

Hopefully the workaround is only temporary, but Apple has not indicated whether a software fix is on the way.

UPDATE: As was pointed out in the comments (below), an easy – if inelegant – solution that lets you keep recurring alarms is to simply set them an hour late.

UPDATE 2: Apple Australia spokesperson Fiona Martin has confirmed that the company has a fix ready to go: “We’re aware of this issue and already developed a fix which will be available to customers in an upcoming software update,” she says in an email to Australian Macworld. In the meantime, it looks like the workarounds are still necessary.


32 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Katie says:

    Or maybe (until it’s fixed) set your recurring alarm, or a new one, for 1 hour in the future.

  2. Michael Maher says:

    I read somewhere a couple of days ago that this will be rectified with iOS4.0.2 due in November, this would probably tie in with teh US ceasing daylight saving in November.

  3. Kerry O'Dea says:

    Just set the time for your local area ie Brisbane Australia, and the time and alarms will function at the correctly
    Automatic seems to be the problem

  4. Melzy says:

    I had this problem yesterday. I turned off my alarms and then turned it back on again. It worked.

    With the time setting – What worked for me is: settings > general> date & time > time zone > pick your location.

    Hope this helps.

  5. Laith says:


    It’s the Telstra HipTop DST curse!!!…

  6. Tim says:


  7. Tim says:

    Fixed it by another method: http://www.iphonewzealand.co.nz/2010/all/iphone-alarm-borked-by-daylight-savings/comment-page-2/#comment-10584

  8. Tom says:

    Piece of crap woke me an hour early today. THANKS APPLE!
    I can’t believe they have known about this for over a week and it isn’t fixed yet.

  9. Jay says:

    It happened to me….. now I can’t get back to sleep. Damn you Apple and damn you body clock for not recognizing daylight savings

  10. Pvw says:

    Urghhh. My iPhone IS my recurring alarm. And I’m on Optus. I couldn’t believe it and had to stagger through to the trusty $5 clock on the wall to check. Come on people?!

  11. defecta says:

    it wouldn’t be so frustrating if it was just Telstra related. But I am on Virgin and this issue has been known since the middle of the year when a US state also found out about this bug the hard way also.


  12. Skope says:

    You can keep your recurring alarm… just set the alarm time to 1 hour ahead. So if you want it to go off at 6:30, set the alarm to go off at 7:30. Then you don’t have to remember to set it every night.

    Just don’t forget to change it back when Apple finally fix this bug.

  13. AMW staff says:

    Thanks for all the comments! Clearly if you want to keep a recurring alarm, setting it an hour late is the solution for now. Let’s just hope Apple doesn’t somehow update it without letting us know! Waking up an hour early is arguably better than waking up an hour late.


  14. Richard says:

    Just use another alarm clock program. I used touch LCD and it works fine with daylight saving

  15. Eddy says:

    It’s taken Apple Inc. 34 years to get this far… How long have we got to go..? I’m tired and grumpy. I may just set the countdown timer before I go to sleep tonight – surely this will work ?!

  16. Phil says:

    I live in Melbourne’s time zone, which is shared by Guam. Guam doesn’t have daylight saving as far as I know. I changed my location to Guam and readjusted the time to current DST time.
    Alarms work perfectly now

  17. kian says:

    a simple reset (two fingers reset) will fix this kind of issue….try to press and hold home button together with the power button at the same time for about 15 sec or until you see the apple logo…then let go,,as easy as that=)
    hope this helps…….

  18. Cybs says:

    I HAD the problem till i went to every alarm I had set and edited them by changing the alarms to the opposite AM/PM Saved, then went back in and Re-set them back to their correct AM/PM setting (eg. 6:00am changed to 6:00pm SAVE, 6:00pm changed to 6:00am SAVE). That worked for me, can anyone else confirm that fixed the problem?

  19. Shannon says:

    The question I have – How does a daylight savings bug affect me, I’m in Queensland, we have no daylight savings – yet my alarm for 5pm now goes off at 4pm.

  20. Andrew says:

    DST is by no means an easy fix as some people believe. Whenever governments change DST (and remember we have had several changes in the last 5 years alone in Australia) then you have to change many layers of code. The OS (and Microsoft get this as well remember), time/date applications such as mail, logging software, calendar, OS clock, Java, Flash, etc all have to change as well. Time was so much easier when it was a straight offset from GMT. If you are going to blame anyone, blame the government… And by the way, it is software and not hardware (so only ever a temporary issue), so get over it, and have a backup such as an actual alarm clock – redundancy then until the issue gets fixed. You’d think the sky was falling in with all of the raging Threads, lighten up! :)

  21. Ricardo says:

    What a joke.come on apple this should have been fixed already.I’m sure the one guy you got working on this in the back room has the smarts to get it done.

  22. Marek says:

    Apple is becoming a Microsoft, so after simple matching we get Applesoft. Pdf hole, alarm clock, what else Steve?

  23. Arran says:

    So when will the software update be out?

  24. AMW staff says:


    No word from Apple, unfortunately. Hopefully not too long.


  25. Rod says:

    It was pretty easy to fix for me, I just turned off Time Zone Support in the Mail, Contacts, Calendars settings.

    Good Luck


  26. Kieran says:

    I paid a fortune for this smart phone and a $50 nokia’s alarm will go off at the right time.

  27. Unhappy says:

    Hey Apple (dodgy products) Inc, fix my damn alarm already! Chop chop, times a wasting…

  28. JulesT says:

    UK clocks went back yesterday, recurring arms didn’t now late for work. Thanks apple. Let’s get this fix out quick please.

  29. Mark says:

    So, Apple says they have a fix ready to go. So why keep us waiting for iOS 4.2?

    In my case it affects every alarm set in the Calendar app, whether it is supposed to repeat or not.

  30. iOzzy says:

    Deleting the preset repeating alarm completely and then adding a new alarm, appears to fix the problem…
    Good Luck!

  31. bskies says:

    This problem went away for me a few days ago. It may have coincided withthe end of daylight savings in the US but have no idea how this would be the case without a software update. Nothing I tried before worked, including recreating the recurring alarms but it’s all good now.

  32. Security Integrations says:

    Security is essential for any home, or business, whether its security alarms or similarly related.

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