How do I turn off the annoying notification sound?

Why Notification Sounds Can Be Annoying

Notification sounds on your phone can quickly become annoying and contribute to alert fatigue. Alert fatigue refers to the frustration and disengagement that occurs when people are bombarded with frequent notifications, alerts, and other interruptions. According to one report from Asana, 63% of U.S. workers continue checking work email outside of work hours, leading to high levels of alert fatigue that reduce productivity (source).

The constant noises from notification sounds can be incredibly distracting, especially when you’re trying to focus on important tasks. The auditory interruptions break your concentration and make it harder to stay on track. Research shows that with every reminder of the same alert, people’s attention drops by 30% (source).

Certain notification sounds are also more irritating than others. Abrupt, jarring sounds tend to be more disruptive compared to gentle chimes. Even if you don’t consciously notice the sound, the frequent distractions can take a toll on your productivity and lead to stress.

Locate Notification Settings

The first step in managing notification sounds is to locate the notification settings on your device.

On Android devices, open the Settings app and go to Sound & vibration > App notifications to control notifications for each app. Here you can turn notification sounds on or off for individual apps.

On iPhones, open the Settings app and go to Sounds & Haptics. Tap Sounds to manage ringtones and notification sounds. You can change the default notification sound or turn sounds off completely.

Knowing where these notification settings are located on your device puts you in control of your notification experience.

Turn Off All Notification Sounds

The most direct way to turn off all notification sounds across your Android device is to toggle on ‘Silent’ or ‘Vibrate’ mode. This will instantly mute any audio from incoming notifications.

To enable Silent mode:

  • Open the notification panel by swiping down from the top of the screen.
  • Press the Silent icon, which looks like a bell with a slash through it.

Alternatively, you can press the volume down button on the side of your phone repeatedly until you reach zero volume. This mutes notification sounds while still allowing media audio to play.

For a more granular approach, go to Settings > Notifications and toggle off the ‘Play notification sound’ option for each individual app. This will mute notifications for select apps only.

You can also go to Settings > Sound and drag the volume sliders for ‘Media’, ‘Alarms’ and ‘Ringtones & Notifications’ all the way to the left to mute audio system-wide.

Using one of these methods will stop your device from making noise when notifications come in, while still allowing notifications to appear silently on your screen.

Customize Notification Sounds

One way to make notification sounds less annoying is to customize them so they better suit your preferences. Both Android and iOS allow you to change default notification sounds as well as set custom sounds for individual apps.

To set a new default notification sound on an iPhone, go to Settings > Sounds (or Sounds & Haptics on newer models). Tap on Ringtone or Text Tone to browse Apple’s built-in options or choose a custom sound file. For Android devices, open Settings > Sound & vibration > Phone ringtone to change the default for all notifications.

You can also assign unique notification sounds for different apps. On an iPhone, go to Settings > Notifications > [App Name] > Sounds to customize alerts from specific apps. For Android, long press on the app icon > App info > Notifications > Sound to choose app-specific tones. Consider using more pleasant or unobtrusive sounds for apps that don’t require immediate attention.

If you want to use a sound not included with iOS or Android, you can download custom notification tones online or create your own. Make sure the file is in the proper format, then add it to your device and select it as your new notification sound. Using a personal sound file can help notifications seem less jarring.

Customizing your notification sounds allows you to make alerts less abrasive without missing important information. Choose sounds that are soothing or melodic (Source) rather than jarring beeps or buzzes.

Use Do Not Disturb Mode

Do Not Disturb mode is a useful feature on both iPhones and Android phones that allows you to silence all notifications during designated quiet times. This prevents incoming calls, alerts, and notifications from disturbing you.

You can schedule Do Not Disturb to turn on automatically at set times, like overnight while you’re sleeping. On an iPhone, open the Settings app and tap Focus > Do Not Disturb to set up an automatic schedule.

It’s also possible to allow exceptions for contacts you designate as favorites or important. This way calls or messages from certain people can still reach you. On an Android phone, open Settings > Sound > Do Not Disturb and tap “Allow exceptions” to customize who can get through.

You may also want to activate Do Not Disturb manually when you need uninterrupted quiet, like during a meeting or dinner. Toggle it on and off as needed. Both iOS and Android also have options to turn on DND while certain events occur in apps like Calendar.

Using Do Not Disturb strategically allows you to take control over when notifications can disturb you. Schedule it for regular quiet hours or activate it on-demand when you need some peace and quiet.

Manage App Notification Settings

You can customize notification settings for each individual app on your Android phone to disable specific app notifications, set priority levels, and reduce notification frequency.

Open the Settings app and go to Apps & Notifications > Notifications. Here you will see a list of apps that have recently sent notifications. Tap on an app to open its notification settings.

For each app you can toggle notifications on or off entirely. You can also set a priority level like Urgent, High, Medium, or Low. Urgent notifications will always make a sound/vibrate, while Low notifications will only briefly show a silent banner.

Under Advanced settings, you can limit how often an app sends notifications. For example, you could set Facebook to only send notifications Every 30 Minutes when the app is in background usage. This prevents constant interruptions.

Customizing notifications for each app allows you to silence pesky apps, while still receiving alerts from your most important services. It provides more granular control over notifications than just enabling/disabling everything.


Use Focus Modes to Minimize Interruptions

Focus modes allow you to pause notifications from apps that tend to be distracting during certain times when you want to stay focused, like work or study. On Android, this feature is called Focus mode [1], while on iPhones it’s called Focus [2].

To use focus modes to minimize interruptions:

  • Set up focus modes for your main activities like Work, School, Exercise, Gaming, etc.
  • Choose which apps you want to pause notifications from in each focus mode.
  • Schedule your focus modes to turn on automatically during your usual work or study times.
  • Manually turn on a focus mode when you need to concentrate on a task.

With distracting apps paused, you’ll get fewer interruptions when you need to stay focused. Just don’t forget to turn off focus mode when you’re done!

Try a Minimalist Notification Approach

Sometimes the best solution is to minimize notifications to only the essentials. This helps avoid constant distractions and interruptions.

Here are some tips for a minimalist notification approach:

  • Only enable alerts for the most important apps. Disable notifications for apps that don’t need to send alerts.
  • Carefully review each app’s notification settings and turn off badges, pop-ups, sounds and vibrations that aren’t absolutely necessary.
  • Use subtle ringtones for any enabled alerts. Avoid harsh or startling notification sounds.
  • Set your phone to vibrate only and keep it on silent as much as possible.
  • Reduce the frequency of alerts, even from essential apps.

The goal is to remove excess noise and distractions, while still receiving truly important notifications. With minimal enabled alerts, you can stay focused without constant interruptions from your phone.

Use Wellbeing Tools to Monitor Usage

Android and iOS both have built-in Digital Wellbeing settings that allow you to view how often you are interrupted by notifications (Google). This can help raise self-awareness of notification overload.

You can view daily notification counts for each app and see which apps are sending the most. This data may show certain apps are unnecessarily spamming you.

Another useful Digital Wellbeing feature is the ability to set app time limits. This allows restricting daily usage for your most distracting apps. Once the time limit is reached, the app will be locked for the rest of the day.

Regularly reviewing the Digital Wellbeing dashboard can help identify which apps to target in order to reduce unnecessary alerts. You may even decide to delete or re-configure the most distracting offenders.

Make Your Phone a Peaceful Place

There are a few key steps you can take to reduce notification noise and make your phone a more peaceful, distraction-free environment:

  • Turn off all non-essential notification sounds in your phone’s settings menu. This includes app notifications, keyboard clicks, sent mail sounds, and more. According to a Discover Magazine article, even brief notification sounds can negatively impact focus, memory and learning.
  • Use Do Not Disturb mode to mute all notifications during set times like meetings, meals, or bedtime. You can customize it to allow calls or messages from certain contacts.
  • Go into individual app settings and disable sound alerts you don’t need. For example, you may not need a ping every time you get an email.
  • Try switching your phone to vibrate only mode for a peaceful atmosphere.

The benefits of reducing notification noise are plentiful. With fewer audible pings, dings and rings, you’ll be able to focus better, think more clearly, and avoid distraction-induced stress. Customize your notification settings based on your needs – whether that means going sound-free during work hours or allowing notifications from close friends and family anytime. The goal is to take control over your technology so it doesn’t control you.

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