How to opt out of the terrifying 'Armageddon alarm' coming to the UK
| Last updated
Next month, every UK resident will get a siren-like alert on their smartphone that has been dubbed the 'Armageddon alarm'.
The upcoming alert, which will take place on 23 April, is just a test for the government's new public warning system, which will allow them to send out urgent messages in the rare event of life-threatening situations.
The alert will ring out for around ten seconds, even if your phone is on silent, but there is a way to opt-out if you'd rather avoid the fright.
Whether you have plans on 23 April that could do without a sudden loud shriek coming your mobile phone, or you just want to avoid the inconvenience, there's a simple trick you can apply in your settings to make sure the alert doesn't come through - it is just a test, after all.
According to the UK government, the alert on 23 April will read: "This is a test of Emergency Alerts, a new UK government service that will warn you if there’s a life-threatening emergency nearby.
“In an actual emergency, follow the instructions in the alert to keep yourself and others safe. Visit gov.uk/alerts for more information.
“This is a test. You do not need to take any action."
Aside from this test run, public emergency alerts will only be set off if there is a clear and immediate threat to life in the UK, including floods or wildfires.
Both during this test run and in a real emergency situation, you'll be forced to acknowledge the government notification before you can use any other feature on your phone.
So, if you think you could do without that fright next month, here's how to block it from coming through.
Simply go to your phone settings and turn off emergency alerts.
On an iPhone, you can do this by opening your Notifications settings, then scrolling to the bottom to turn off 'Extreme Alerts' and 'Severe Alerts'.
And if you're on an Android device, simply open up your Notifications settings and then select 'Wireless Emergency Alerts'
That being said, if you're going to adjust your settings to block this test alert, it'd be worth your while to reverse those changes once 23 April passes - since it could potentially save your life.
Cabinet has already confirmed that the emergency alerts will be free to receive and won't collect any personal information about its recipients.
Speaking to Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg about the alert, Cabinet minister Oliver Dowden said that while he hopes most people will never have to hear the alert again after 23 April, this is 'a sound that can save your life.'