Have trouble remembering the birthdays of all your friends, family, and co-workers? Luckily, the Apple iPhone comes to the rescue with automated birthday reminders. All you have to do is add birthdays within the Contacts app and flip a switch in Settings. Here’s how to set it up.

First, for this to work, you must have notifications enabled for the Calendar app. To turn that on, visit Settings > Notifications > Calendar and set the switch beside “Allow Notifications” to “On.”

In iPhone settings, turn Calendar notifications on.

Also, you’ll need to have some birthdays defined in your Contacts app. To do that, open Contacts, then tap a contact from the list, select “Edit,” then tap “add birthday.”

RELATED: How to Add Birthdays to Contacts on iPhone

With all that settled, here’s how to turn on automatic Calendar birthday reminders. First, open Settings and tap “Calendar.”

In iPhone settings, tap "Calendar."

In “Calendar” settings, tap “Default Alert Times.”

In iPhone settings, tap "Default Alert Times."

In “Default Alert times,” select “Birthdays.”

In iPhone settings, tap "Birthdays."

On the “Birthdays” screen, you can pick a time when Calendar will alert you about upcoming birthdays. You can choose “On day of event,” “1 day before,” “2 days before,” or “1 week before.” For the first three of those choices, Calendar will notify you at 9 a.m. on the day you selected.

In iPhone settings, choose a time to be alerted about birthdays from the list.

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After that, exit Settings. When the proper alert time comes, Calendar will send you a notification about the birthday.

An example of an iPhone Calendar birthday alert.

Depending on your notifications settings, you can potentially see this alert on your lock screen or Notification Center as well as via pop-ups on your screen (To tweak them, visit Settings > Notifications > Calendar.). Very handy!

RELATED: How to View Notification Center on iPhone and iPad

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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