How to customize your Apple News alerts

Apple News is a news aggregator app that comes pre-installed on iOS devices and is available to explore via the sidebar on Macs. It’s a fabulous free tool that can keep you updated with the current affairs that matter to you, whether that’s politics or pop stars. If you want to ensure you’re getting the latest breaking news on topics you care about, it’s a simple process to set up notifications that will send you an alert. We’re taking a look at how.  

Free Apple News services  

Apple News delivers “Top Stories” throughout the day that are sourced and selected by real-life editors who spotlight well-sourced, fact-based stories to provide you relevant, reliable news from a wide range of publishers. 

News top stories list

Credit: Apple

These publishers include the Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, BuzzFeed, NBC News, USA Today, HuffPost, ESPN, Reuters, NPR, Bleacher Report, Business Insider, Politico, Vox, and more. “Top Stories” show up in the “Today” tab at the bottom left of your screen.

When you start using Apple News, you’ll see the most popular content. But thanks to on-device intelligence, the more you read, the better Apple News gets, with suggestions for relevant stories to suit your interests. 

There is also the option to customize the Apple News notifications you see as alerts on your iOS device. But first we’re all about…

…Location, location, location  

If you share your location with Apple News, this information will be used to display local news and weather, along with locally relevant search results and adverts. If you haven’t allowed Apple News to see your location, or if you are unsure and want to check, it’s a simple dive into your Settings menu. 

"Allow Location Access" options: Never, Ask Next Time, or While Using

Credit: Apple

Open Settings, then the Privacy menu, then select Location Services. From here, simply scroll down to see Apple News and ensure you have selected “While Using the App.”

Speed things up with “Suggested by Siri” selections 

If you don’t want to wait for Apple News’ algorithms to learn your news consumption preferences, you can speed up the process in the Apple News app’s “Following” tab. 

Various options suggested by Siri for following

Credit: Apple

Tap on this tab, which you’ll find at the bottom of your screen. Scroll down to see the “Suggested by Siri” section. Here you can tap on the plus sign icon next to each topic you’re interested in, such as Politics, Science, and Technology, to see more content from those areas.   

Set up Apple News news channel notifications

As well as choosing topics to follow, you can choose to receive top story alerts from a wide range of different news channels, such as CNN, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and BBC News, among many others. 

To do this, tap the Following tab. Scroll all the way down to see “Notifications & Email.” Tap this. 

Notifications and email selector

Credit: Apple

In the next menu, you can choose which channels you’d like to follow. Simply toggle the button next to the channel’s name to show green in order to receive notifications from them. 

If you want to explore even more channels, back in the Following menu, scroll down to the bottom again and tap on “Discover Channels.”

"Follow Your Favourites" and various icons of news sources

Credit: Apple

You can now scroll through all the news channels that are available to you and choose to add them to your notifications list.


If you’ve set up your notifications in the Apple News app but you’re not seeing any, you may need to check that you have Apple News notifications enabled in your main Notifications menu within your Settings app. 

News Notifications selector

Credit: Apple

To do this, open the Settings app and tap on Notifications. Scroll down to see “News” and tap on this to check that you’re allowing the banners, sounds, and badges that you want.