Can you turn off notification sounds for specific apps?

Notifications from smartphone apps can be extremely useful for staying up-to-date and connected. However, the constant stream of pings, chimes, and vibrations from various apps can also become distracting, disruptive, and annoying over time. Recent research indicates that teenagers receive an average of around 200 app notifications per day, with 25% arriving during school hours. Studies have shown that frequent notifications often irritate users and make it difficult to stay focused. Luckily, most mobile operating systems allow you to customize notification settings on an app-by-app basis.

Check Notification Settings

Individual apps can have their notification settings managed through your device’s main Settings menu. To adjust notification options in iOS, go to Settings > Notifications, then select the app you want to modify. For Android devices, open Settings and go to Apps & Notifications > Notifications to pick an app’s alerts to customize.[1] Here you’ll find toggles to control notifications on the lock screen, sounds, as well as notification frequency and type.

The Notifications settings screen lets you enable or disable notifications entirely for that app. You can also tailor specific notification options, like showing previews,sounds, vibrations, and on-screen pop-ups. Android also allows blocking visual disturbances like full screen interuptions for an app. Each platform has additional notification tweaks to explore for your most used apps.

This main Notifications area is where you can take full control over an app’s alerts. Turn notifications off completely, or just disable certain elements like sounds if you want to keep getting notifications quietly.

Mute Notifications for Specific Apps

Most smartphones, including iPhones, allow you to mute or turn off notifications for individual apps right from the notification settings. Here’s how to do it on an iPhone1:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap “Notifications” to access notification settings.
  3. Select the app you want to mute notifications for.
  4. Turn off “Allow Notifications” to mute all notifications from that app.

This will completely mute all notifications from the selected app. You can go back and turn notifications back on for that app at any time. Muting notifications for individual apps is useful if you don’t want to be disturbed by certain apps but still want notifications from others.

Turn Off Sound for Certain App Notifications

You can often set an app’s notifications to vibrate or silent instead of making a sound. This allows you to mute notifications from specific apps while still allowing other apps to notify you audibly.

On Android, open the Settings app and go to Apps & Notifications > Notifications. Here you will see a list of apps that can send notifications. Tap on the app you want to mute. Then tap on the gear icon next to the app and select “Sound.” From here you can change the notification sound to “None” to turn off sound.

On an iPhone, go to Settings > Notifications and select the app. You can turn off sound by changing the “Sound” option to “None.” You can also adjust the notification style to “Banners” to silence notifications while still displaying a banner alert.

This customizable notification sound setting allows you to choose which apps make noise and which ones don’t. You can mute apps like email, news or social media while keeping sounds enabled for calls, texts and other priority notifications.

Use Do Not Disturb Mode

Do Not Disturb mode can mute all notification sounds from your phone except for exceptions you allow. When enabled, Do Not Disturb will silence all calls, alerts and notifications so your phone stays quiet. However, you can customize exceptions for certain contacts or apps to bypass Do Not Disturb.

Do Not Disturb settings vary slightly between Android and iOS, but generally you can:

  • Set a schedule for Do Not Disturb to automatically turn on and off at certain times, like during your sleep hours.
  • Allow calls or messages from certain contacts like family or favorites.
  • Allow repeated calls or messages to come through in case of an emergency.
  • Customize which apps can bypass Do Not Disturb to make noise or vibrate.

So Do Not Disturb gives you blanket silence but also flexibility to allow important notifications to reach you. It’s useful for uninterrupted sleep, meetings, movies or any situation where you want to avoid unnecessary disturbances. Just make sure to set your priorities so urgent alerts can still break through if needed.

Schedule Do Not Disturb

You can schedule Do Not Disturb mode during certain times like sleep hours. This allows you to mute notifications automatically during set times that you don’t want to be disturbed.

To set up a schedule for Do Not Disturb on iPhone and iPad:

  1. Go to the Settings app and tap Focus.
  2. Tap Do Not Disturb.
  3. Tap Add Schedule.
  4. Choose the days and times you want to schedule Do Not Disturb.

You can create multiple schedules, like one for bedtime and another for weekends. Scheduled Do Not Disturb will automatically turn on and off at the set times (source). This provides a convenient way to mute notifications when you don’t want to be disturbed.

Allow Priority Notifications

When Do Not Disturb mode is enabled, it blocks all notifications by default. However, you can customize it to allow priority notifications to come through.

On Android phones, you can set Do Not Disturb to allow notifications from specific contacts, apps, and events to notify you. For example, you may want to allow calls, messages or alarms to still make a sound when Do Not Disturb is on.

To enable this, open the Settings app and go to Sound > Do Not Disturb. Tap on “Priority only allows” and check the boxes for the types of notifications you want to come through when Do Not Disturb is enabled. This allows you to mute less important notifications while still getting notified for the essential ones.

On iPhones, Do Not Disturb can be customized to allow calls from certain people to notify you. Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb and tap “Allow Calls From.” You can choose “Everyone,” “No One,” or specific contacts like “Favorites” to be allowed through.

This gives you full control over which priority notifications can make a sound when Do Not Disturb is scheduled or turned on manually.

Customize Notification Sounds

Each app’s notification sound can be customized in the Settings app. To change the notification sound for a specific app on an iPhone running iOS 16 or later:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap Notifications.
  2. Select the app you want to change the notification sound for from the list.
  3. Tap Sounds.
  4. Select a new sound from the available options or tap None to turn off the sound for that app’s notifications.

This allows you to set a unique notification sound for important apps so you can identify them without looking at your phone. For example, you may want a special notification sound for email or text messages from close friends and family. According to Android Authority, custom notification sounds for different apps have been a popular iOS feature request for years, and Apple finally enabled it with iOS 16.


For Android and iPhone users, there are several ways to stop notification sounds for specific apps. You can go into notification settings to mute notifications per app or turn off sound for certain apps. Or you can enable Do Not Disturb mode to mute all sounds for a period of time or schedule it to turn on automatically. Within Do Not Disturb, you have options to allow priority notifications to come through. Finally, custom notification sounds can be set per app, so you can choose a silent sound if you want to mute an app but still get visual alerts.

In summary, iOS and Android provide flexible notification controls to mute app alerts as needed, while still allowing you to receive visual notifications silently. By utilizing the various approaches outlined here, you can customize notifications on a per app basis and reduce disruptive sounds for apps less important to you.

Additional Resources

Here are some links to other in-depth guides on managing notifications in iOS:

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