How do I unlink ringer and notification volume?

On Android devices, the ringtone and notification volumes are linked together by default. This means when you adjust the ringer volume using the physical volume buttons, it changes the notification volume as well. Many users prefer to control these volumes separately. For example, you may want the ringer loud but notifications quieter.

Android does provide options to unlink the ringtone and notification volumes so they can be adjusted independently. This allows more customization and control over your audio experience. In this guide, we’ll walk through the steps to separate these volumes on Android devices.

Check Current Settings

To view your current notification and ringer volume settings on Android, open the Settings app and go to Sound & vibration. Here you will see separate sliders for Media volume, Call volume, Ring volume, and Alarm volume. The Ring volume controls the volume for incoming calls and notifications, while the Media volume controls music, videos, games etc.

On some Android devices like the Pixel series, there is a single volume slider under Sound & vibration that controls both ringing and notification volume by default. To separate them, tap the 3 dot menu in the top right corner and enable “Separate app volumes”. This will split the single slider into a Ring volume and Notification volume slider that you can control independently (source).

For Samsung devices, open Settings > Sounds and vibration > Volume and tap the 3 dot menu. Choose “Separate app sound” to split ringing and notification volumes. On Xiaomi devices, go to Settings > Sound & vibration > Volume and toggle on “Separate sound for ringing & notifications” (source).

So in summary, the current individual volumes for ringing and notifications can be viewed under Sound settings. Look for options to separate or independently control ringer vs notification volumes.

Unlink Volumes in Settings

To unlink the ringer and notification volumes in the Android Settings app, follow these steps:

1. Open the Settings app on your Android phone.

2. Scroll down and tap Sound & vibration or Sound settings.

3. Tap Volume.

4. Under Ring & notification volume, toggle off the Link volumes option. This will unlink the ringer and notification volumes, allowing you to control them separately.

5. You can now use the sliders to adjust the ringer volume and notification volume independently.

6. Tap the back button or home button to exit Settings.

The ringer and notification volumes are now unlinked. You can customize them to suit your needs.[1]

Use Volume Buttons

By default, pressing the volume buttons on an Android phone adjusts the ringtone volume. However, you can change this to control the media playback volume instead. Here’s how:

Open the Settings app and go to Sound & vibration > Volume. Tap the three dots in the top right corner and choose Media volume. Now when you press the volume buttons, it will adjust media playback volume rather than ringer volume. You can toggle this setting on and off to switch between controlling ringtone or media volume.

Some Android phones like the Pixel also have an option called “Prevent ringing” in Sound settings. Enabling this makes the volume buttons always change media volume first before affecting ringtone volume. This lets you separately adjust media vs ringer volume using the physical buttons.

The volume buttons offer a quick way to control the ringtone vs media volumes on your Android phone. With the right settings enabled, you can use them to separately adjust notification or ringer vs playback volumes as needed.

Per App Volumes

If you want more granular control over volume levels, there are apps that allow setting volumes differently per app. This gives you the flexibility to customize volumes on an app-by-app basis.

For example, one Reddit user mentions using an app called Volume Control to set different volume levels for each app on their Android device. This allowed them to lower the volume of certain apps that were too loud without affecting the system volume.

There are various apps on the Google Play Store, like Volume Control, Precise Volume and Volume Panel, that provide per-app volume control. These can be great options if you only want to change the volume of select apps rather than your whole device.

Automation Apps

Third party automation apps like MacroDroid allow for more advanced control and automation of your device’s volumes. With MacroDroid, you can create custom macros that will automatically adjust your ringer and notification volumes to different levels based on triggers like time of day, app opened, or location.

For example, you could set up a macro in MacroDroid that mutes your ringer volume while keeping notification volume on during work hours. Or create one that turns both ringer and notification volumes to max when you open a music app. The flexibility of MacroDroid lets you customize volume automation to suit your specific needs.

While MacroDroid requires more initial setup than just using your device’s built-in settings, the app allows unlinking ringer and notification volumes in more powerful and customizable ways. If you need advanced automation and triggering of your audio settings, MacroDroid is a useful tool to achieve independent control of ringer and notification volumes.

Accessibility Settings

One option to unlink ringer and notification volumes on Android is by using accessibility services. Accessibility services allow customizations to Android to assist users with disabilities. They can be enabled in Settings > Accessibility and provide additional options to control device behavior.

In particular, the accessibility services framework in Android allows apps to customize volume control. As Google notes in their Android developer documentation, accessibility services can “Adjust master volume and ringer modes” and “Monitor volume, ringer modes and audio routing.” (source)

By enabling an accessibility service focused on custom volume control, such as Galxy Volume Control, users can unlink ringer and media volumes. These services provide granular settings to separately change ringer volume, media volume, alarm volume and more. This allows complete customization of volume behavior on Android.

The downside is that accessibility services must remain enabled for the volume customizations to work. Disabling the accessibility service will revert volume control back to the default Android behavior of linking ringer and notification volumes.


Unfortunately, there are certain situations where the ringer volume and media/notification volume can’t be fully unlinked on Android. This primarily occurs when using Bluetooth and absolute volume.

Absolute volume is a feature intended to simplify Bluetooth volume control, by syncing the system volume with the volume of connected Bluetooth devices. With absolute volume enabled, adjusting the system volume will also adjust Bluetooth volume. This makes it difficult to control them independently (source 1).

Most newer Android devices have absolute volume enabled by default. While it can be disabled in developer settings, some OEMs like Samsung remove this option. So unlinking volumes may not work fully over Bluetooth on certain phones (source 2).

Absolute volume also impacts other volume-controlling apps, limiting your ability to customize volumes granularly. And on Android 11 and up, further restrictions prevent full unlinking due to privacy changes affecting app volumes (source 1).

So in summary, limitations imposed by absolute volume and recent Android versions mean ringer and notification volumes can’t be fully unlinked in all situations. The extent depends on your Android device model and version.


If you are still having issues with unlinking your ringer and notification volumes after trying the steps above, here are some troubleshooting tips for common problems:

Check that the individual app volumes are turned up – Go into Settings > Apps & notifications > App info and make sure the volume for your critical apps like Phone, Messages, Email etc. are turned up.

Toggle Do Not Disturb mode off completely – Go into Settings > Sound & vibration > Do not disturb and make sure it is turned off. This overrides all other volume settings when on.

Restart your phone – Sometimes a simple reboot can fix volume issues. Power down your phone completely and then turn it back on.

Clear app caches and data – Go into Settings > Apps & notifications > App info, select the problematic app, and choose Clear Cache and Clear Data to reset the app.

Factory reset – As a last resort, you can reset your phone to factory default settings if unlinking volumes is still not working. Back up data first.

Check for system updates – Install the latest Android OS and app updates, as a bug fix may have addressed volume issues.


In summary, there are a few different ways to unlink ringer and notification volumes on Android devices. The most straightforward method is to go into your device’s Settings app and find the Sound or Sound & Vibration menu. There you can toggle separate sliders or volume controls for media, notifications, ringer, and alarms. This gives you granular control over each volume type.

You can also use your device’s volume buttons to change the ringer or media volumes independently, if this quick toggle option is enabled. Some Android skins like OneUI have separate volume panels for ringtone and media. Finally, certain automation apps can unlink volumes automatically in different scenarios.

Unlinking volumes is useful for personalizing your notification and ringer behavior. Keeping notification volumes lower prevents unwanted disruptions, while maintaining louder ringer volume ensures you don’t miss important calls. Just be aware of any accessibility limitations, like hearing loss, and test volume changes before relying on them long-term.

With a bit of customization, you can take control of your device’s various volume levels. Just dive into Sounds settings, try the volume buttons, or explore automation apps. In no time you’ll have your ringer and notifications sounding just right.

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