Uninstalling Emergency Alerts

Hello. I am trying to find an OS where I will never get a government emergency alert and never see one under any circumstances !!! I don’t want the Government to be able to change my phone or control it.

Can you tell me if /e/OS is the one for me ?


Hi @fourthway,

welcome here in /e/OS world!
Which country are you talking about?
Indeed depending the country, different technologies are used: Cell Broadcast or Geolocated text message and perhaps some others.
It’s clear that for the second one, if your mobile is turned on with a valid phone number (whatever the OS of your phone: an /e/OS, an Android stock rom or even iOS), whatever you do, won’t block this alert (except if you block the number sending the message in your message app like in any mobile OS). Here, it’s not the government who send the message but the carrier. The government can’t control your phone (except if you are spied & your phone corrupted by a malware like the ones developed by Pegasus).
For Cell Broadcast (using 4G & 5G), I don’t know how that works so I can’t say.

Do you plan to receive so much alert? In addition, in general, we want to prefer to keep this kind of alert system on.

So keep calm, if you pay attention to the update of your OS with the last security patches and don’t install suspect apps, you might be calm

I hope that helps

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Hi, thanks. Well I am a newbie.
I have seen that when the UK government sends alerts, the alert overrides the phones it flashes on the phone and the phone makes special alert noise like in a war.

I don’t want this.

This is not a normal text message, but special function.
I do not want this function on my phone.

Is this function implemented in the /e/OS software ?, and can it be fully silenced ??

Based on what I saw, this kind of alert can be disabled on Iphone (double check of course: About emergency and government alerts on iPhone - Apple Support) and on Android, it’s something which has to be coded by the OEM of the phone.
For Android and so for /e/OS it’s like what we can see on this webpage about Android: https://source.android.com/docs/core/ota/modular-system/cellbroadcast?hl=en

So perhaps I’m wrong but for text message, you can do nothing if you don’t know the phone number used to send you the text message

About Cell Broadcast, there are the service (support for receiving the alert message) and the app.
And apologize I saw it after my answer, you can go in Cell Broadcast App and in its settings, you ca disable the alerts if you want

you can easily opt-in/opt-out!

So /e/OS would answer to your need!

Sorry @fourthway for my first wrong answer I fix now…

Thanks thats good news.

Apple iPhone information says … “3. In some countries or regions, you may not be able to disable Government Alerts.”

I assume that /e/OS … you can always disable them.

at least, I tried and that seems to opt-out.

Bad news.
Many handset companies have the emergency alerts on the device under the OS, perhaps in a 2nd chip.
There is a small list here.

I think the only option is to buy an old phone, or perhaps Chinese or Russia or Indian phone.

me, what I understand it’s that these devices are compatible and so support such alert if everything is implemented.
But that doesn’t mean it’s installed and turn on and that you don’t have the choice to opt-out the option.
It’s something at the hardware level (to be able to receive the signal) and also at the software level (to display the alert). If you disable alert at software level, you won’t see it.

Search for alerts in Settings on /e/ OS and you should find a page like this:

Then just disable what you don’t want.


You might can disable it using adb but that takes some more advanced IT knowledge

It appears the emergency alerts are in the handset. Therefore the OS can be overrided if the government wants to.
Perhaps the developers at /e/OS can confirm this is true.

Would you please be more specific and tell us what technology exactly you are referring to?
Emergency alerts come with e.g. cell broadcast or location based SMS and neither one can “override the OS” or “control the phone”
please do some proper research, you may start here:

You may not like these alerts, that´s totally fine and You are free to opt-out wherever you can. But emergency alerts actually may save lifes AND calling this technology “control” or “override OS” is a very odd definition of these terms and it trivializes what governments do when they really “control”.
Please discern. :slight_smile:


If you look on the Verizon link above, many manufacturers have changed their products so they are compatible with the global emergency texts.
I assume this is not in the OS, but beneath it in the handset itself.
If these functions were in the OS then why would the handset need to be marked as being compatible or not ?
Some Governments US/UK for instance have made it legally enforceable and so it is not longer optional.
That’s how it seems to me, but I cannot be sure.

Yes, as the technology is defined in the mobile telecommunications standards it is implemented on a hardware level to some extend in the first place - so that an OS can make use of it. (see this article with these standards mentioned: Cell Broadcast - Wikipedia)
If simple opt-out on a GUI-level is not for you and you want a phone that is sort of technically not able to receive these alerts instead - I assume you need to find a solution for yourself that does not at all use mobile network for “common” mobile telecommunication via gsm etc. … maybe that´s possible with a sim that has only a data plan and no mobile number together with some VOIP-solution instead… (I am speculating, I have no specific setup/app/carrier/etc. in mind nor do I know if that´d really work as intended)
edits: clarifications


I agree with @obacht and it’s similar to what I told you before.
Based on the standards of Cell broadcast, I think it’s not possible to hack your phone… It’s only very short message send using a specific frequency whatever the technology you use (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, …).
So just take any kind of phone supported by /e/, go in settings and disable the option.

Or use a very old phone which doesn’t support the technology… But I think you will have a phone, not a smartphone
Stop to panic

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To dispel some of the FUD about emergency alerts:


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And here’s an interesting article from the Guardian newspaper obou the weekend’s UK test