Why your phone is vibrating randomly without any notifications

The vibrate alert is an important feature that lets you know when your phone has a new message or notifications. But what can you do when your phone is vibrating randomly without any notifications?

Phantom vibrations can be annoying and even make you feel like you are losing your mind. However, this is a common issue that can be caused by, among other things, faulty apps, bugs in the OS, system glitches, touch feedback, and hardware issues.

The good news is that you can easily fix the problems causing your phone to vibrate randomly. Below is a detailed look at how to troubleshoot the issue and fix the irritating vibrations.

Top reasons why your phone is vibrating randomly

Below are some of the top reasons that can explain why your phone vibrates randomly with no notifications:

  • You have enabled the haptic feedback on your phone, which is being triggered by touch, silent app notifications, or connected devices.
  • Rogue apps are triggering the vibration alert on your phone.
  • System glitches or bugs in your app or phone’s software could be causing phantom vibrations.
  • Loose or faulty cable can cause your phone to vibrate when charging.
  • Your phone is near a payment card with an NFC chip – it will vibrate once it detects it.
  • Your phone has suffered physical damage that could be causing some features like the vibrate alert to malfunction.

How to fix phantom phone vibrations problem

Now that you know some causes of random phone vibrations, it is time to look at solutions. Below are some top fixes to help you silence the annoying buzz of ghost vibrations.

1. Turn off the vibration settings on your phone

One of the top ways to stop random vibrations is to turn off the vibrate feature on your phone. This will prevent unwanted vibrations from apps, connected devices, and other phone alerts.

To turn off vibration on your Android phone:

  • Go to Settings > Sound & Vibration > Vibrate for calls and set the option to “Never Vibrate.” (this setting is under Vibration & Haptics for some phones)
    Vibration & Haptics on Android.
  • You can also turn the “Do Not Disturb” option on, disabling sound and vibrating alerts.

To turn off vibration alerts on your iPhone:

  • Go to Settings then Sounds.
  • Turn off the vibration option for different features like incoming calls, messages, new mail, and other alerts.

2. Close all open apps

Some rogue apps can trigger vibration alerts on your phone. In other cases, trusted apps can have special features that allow them to send you vibration alerts, even if you have disabled sound notifications.

Therefore, if you have an issue where your Android phone or iPhone vibrates for no reason, you should first close any open apps.

  • Unlock your phone
  • Swipe up from the Home Screen. You should see a list of all open apps.
  • Swipe up each app to close.

You might also want to go through your phone and disable or uninstall any new app(s) you might have installed – which could be causing the ghost vibrations.

3. Restart your phone

Occasionally, your phone’s systems or apps can experience glitches, which can cause phantom vibrations. Fortunately, most glitches are temporary, and you can fix them with a restart.

To restart your phone:

  • Press and hold the power button until “Power Off” and “Restart” appear on your phone.
  • Select the “Restart” option by sliding it upwards or to the side, depending on your phone model.

NOTE: Some phone models might have a different restart sequence. For example, with some Android phones, you might have to press and hold the Power and Volume Up (or Down) buttons simultaneously. On the other hand, to restart some iPhone models, you might have to press and hold the Home and the Side (wake) buttons simultaneously.

Once your phone restarts, it will clear up temporary glitches and bugs in your system or apps, which can help to stop the random vibrations.

4. Update your apps and phone’s software

An outdated phone OS or out-of-date apps are another common issue that could explain why your phone is vibrating randomly.

Therefore, ensuring your phone is up to date is another excellent solution for silencing the constant buzzing noise.

To update your apps, go to your app store (Google Play Store or Apple App Store) and check whether any applications have pending updates. Download and install all the updates, then restart your phone.

For Android:

  • Open the Google App Store
  • Tap your Profile Icon.
  • Tap Manage Apps & Device.
    Android App Update 2
  • Select Updates Available.
    Android App Update
  • Select Update All.
    Android App Update 3

To update your phone:

  • Ensure you are connected to a stable Wi-Fi network.
  • Go to Settings > System > System update (Software update) on Android or Settings > General > Software Update on iPhone.
  • Check for any pending OS updates, then tap the option to update your phone. In most phones, the updates will install manually, though you might have to download and install some OS updates manually.

Once your phone is updated, restart it and check if the ghost vibration problem has been fixed.

5. Check for a loose charging cable

damaged charging cable
A damaged charging cable may cause your phone to vibrate randomly. Image: shutterstock.com

A loose or faulty charging cable can be to blame if your phone is vibrating randomly when charging. In this case, you should first check if the charging cable is properly connected to your phone and the power outlet or USB charging port.

You might also want to consider buying a new charging cable if you notice a loose charging pin or exposed wires on your cable.

6. Turn off the haptic feedback feature

The haptic feature sends you vibration feedback when you touch certain buttons or use some features on your phone.

Unfortunately, it can be accidentally triggered by inadvertent touch, causing your phone to vibrate. In addition, some apps can use haptic feedback technology to send you vibration alerts even when you have disabled notifications on your phone.

Therefore, turning this feature off haptics is another excellent way to fix ghost vibrations on your phone.

You can turn off the feature by going to Settings > Special Function > Accessibility > Vibration & haptics on Android or Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Haptics > Off on iPhone.

7. Check for other connected devices

Connected devices such as Bluetooth speakers, headphones, earbuds, and smartwatches are another reason that could explain why your phone is vibrating randomly.

These devices are usually set to trigger a vibration alert on the connected phone when something happens, for example, during an incoming call or message.

Other devices, like smartwatches, might also have the haptic feature enabled on their end, which can trigger vibrations on your phone.

If the ghost vibrations from connected devices are constant, you can stop them by turning off the Bluetooth feature on your phone. However, you can leave the devices connected if the vibrations are not too annoying.

8. Remove any payment cards near your phone

If your iPhone or Android phone vibrates randomly, you could have enabled the NFC feature on your phone. This feature will scan and vibrate when it detects any nearby NFC features, for example, a debit or credit card.

Remove any payment cards close to your phone to stop the vibrations. However, you should note that the NFC module in some phones is very strong and will scan chips several meters away.

Therefore, you are better off turning off the NFC feature and only enabling it whenever necessary.

9. Factory reset your phone

Are you still experiencing random vibrations on your phone? There may be a hidden app, setting, or software glitch causing the issue.

Therefore, if none of the above solutions work, you should consider factory resetting your phone. A factory reset will wipe everything on your phone, restoring it to factory mode and removing any issue causing ghost vibrations.

To reset your phone, go to Settings > System > Reset Phone > Erase all data on Android or Settings > General > Reset iPhone on iPhone.

After resetting, set up your phone afresh, and any issue causing random vibrations should be resolved.

NOTE: Factory resetting your phone will wipe out all data from apps, pictures, videos, contacts, messages, and more. Therefore, before performing a reset, you should ensure that you have backed up all the important data on your phone.

Let us know which step worked for you.

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