If the reminders that you’ve set for your to-dos do not fire, or fire differently from what you expected, the following tips might help.

This page is about Things’ own reminders feature, which sends notifications at a specified time. This feature is not related to our integration with Apple’s Reminders.

Before you get started

  1. Have you rebooted all your devices? Please do not skip this step.
  2. Are you using the Gregorian calendar format? Please check here.
  3. You must close the to-do after you’ve set the reminder. Otherwise, it’s not saved and can’t be synced to other devices.

It might also be useful for you to know that reminders are not a persistent alarm but a short notification; that the red badge on the app icon has nothing to do with reminders; and that our reminders can’t persist indefinitely on the Lock Screen of your iPad & iPhone due to limitations by the Operating System.

Check these settings

Mac

Are notifications enabled?

  1. Go to System PreferencesNotifications
  2. Find Things in the list of apps.
  3. Toggle Allow Notification on.
  4. Check the box for Allow time sensitive alerts.

Is sound enabled?

  1. Go to System PreferencesNotifications
  2. Find Things in the list of apps.
  3. Check the box for Play sound for notifications

Are you in a Focus mode (Do Not Disturb)?

If the DND setting is on or you’re using a Focus mode, notifications might not be delivered. On macOS Monterey or later, make sure to allow Things to deliver time sensitive alerts as described at the top of this box; on macOS Big Sur and older, turn DND off.

iPad & iPhone

Are notifications enabled?

  1. Go to SettingsNotifications
  2. Find Things in the list of apps.
  3. Toggle on Allow Notification as well as Time Sensitive Notifications.

Is sound enabled?

  1. Go to SettingsNotifications
  2. Find Things in the list of apps.
  3. Toggle Sound on.

Is background app refresh enabled?

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Scroll down until you find Things.
  3. Toggle Background App Refresh on.

Is use of cellular data enabled? (Cellular devices only)

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Scroll down until you find Things.
  3. Toggle Cellular Data on.

Are you in a Focus mode (Do Not Disturb)?

If you are using iOS/iPadOS 15‘s Focus modes, you might not have added Things to the apps that are allowed to send you notifications. Make sure you enable Time Sensitive Notifications as explained at the top of this box. To check how to turn DND on or off, please refer to Apple’s own support page.

Don’t quit the apps

If you quit Things, your reminders will not fire. Things must talk to the Operating System in order for reminders to work, and it can’t do so when it’s not running.

In addition, when you quit an app on iPhone and iPad, you are preventing background app refresh. This makes it impossible for the apps to exchange information about reminders, update widgets, and much more.

If you are not sure if you are quitting apps, please refer to Apple’s own support pages for Mac | iPad | iPhone to learn more. Things is most useful when left running.

Reminders for completed to-dos still fire

When you have scheduled a reminder for a to-do but complete this to-do ahead of time, or reschedule the reminder for a later time or date, you might still see the original reminder pop up.

There are different reasons for this:

  • You’ve quit Things, preventing the app from being notified when this change was made on another device.
  • You haven’t enabled background app refresh (iPad & iPhone). Things will be unable to receive information about this change until you open the app itself.
  • Things did notify the OS about the change, but this request wasn’t processed by the OS in time. This can even affect the same device where you completed/rescheduled the to-do.

Reminders don’t appear on Apple Watch

Things for Apple Watch mirrors reminders that appear on iPhone. If you leave your iPhone behind and only have the watch with you, you won’t see any scheduled reminders on the watch. This is true for both GPS-only and Cellular watch models.