How do you make your phone completely silent?

Turn Off Notifications

One of the easiest ways to silence your phone is to turn off notifications for apps and services you don’t need alerts from. You can disable notifications entirely or customize which apps can send notifications.

On an iPhone, go to Settings > Notifications and select an app. Turn off Allow Notifications. You can also adjust notification settings for each app individually.

On Android, open Settings > Apps & Notifications > Notifications. Here you can turn notifications off for any app. Tap Advanced to customize which notification channels to keep on per app.

Both platforms also allow you to turn off lock screen notifications, so alerts don’t appear when your phone is locked. Go to Settings > Notifications > Show Previews and select “When Unlocked.”

You can also disable LED notification lights and pop-ups that appear when notifications arrive. On Android, go to Settings > Accessibility > Flash Alerts and turn off all options. On iPhone, disabling pop-ups and sounds will remove these alerts.

Enable Do Not Disturb Mode

Do Not Disturb mode silences all incoming calls, alerts and notifications on your phone so you aren’t disturbed by ringtones, vibrations or screen wakes during set times. You can enable Do Not Disturb mode manually or set a schedule for it to turn on automatically, like at night when you’re sleeping.

To set a schedule, go to Settings > Do Not Disturb and select Scheduled. You can set specific times and days for Do Not Disturb to activate. This allows you to customize when you want your phone to be silent without having to remember to toggle it on and off.

While Do Not Disturb blocks notifications, you can allow calls or messages to come through from certain favorite contacts. Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb > Allow Calls or Messages From to add VIPs. This way important people can still reach you even when DND mode is on.

According to a HelloRaderco article, using Do Not Disturb mode helps minimize distractions and allows people to better focus on tasks and priorities without constant interruptions from their devices.

Lower the Ringtone Volume

One easy way to silence your phone is to lower the ringtone volume all the way down to zero. Here are the steps to lower ringtone volume on both iOS and Android devices:

On an iPhone, open the Settings app and tap “Sounds & Haptics”. Drag the “Ringer and Alerts” slider all the way to the left to set it to zero volume.

On an Android phone, open the Settings app and tap “Sound”. Drag the “Media volume”, “Call volume”, “Ring volume”, and “Alarm volume” sliders all the way to the left to mute them.

Lowering ringtone volume to zero will prevent any audible ringtones, alerts, or notification sounds. Your phone will stay completely silent except for alarms.

However, an important caveat is that you may miss important calls or notifications if you have the ringtone muted. You won’t hear the phone ring when someone calls you. It’s generally a good idea to keep ringtone volume at a low but audible level so you can still hear notifications for incoming calls or messages.

You can also enable vibrate along with a muted ringtone. That way, you’ll still be alerted to notifications through vibration feedback, while keeping audible sounds off.

Enable Airplane Mode

Airplane mode turns off all wireless connections on your phone, including cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and more. This disables any network connectivity and prevents your phone from transmitting or receiving signals. Some key reasons to enable airplane mode include:

When you want to disconnect for a while and avoid distractions. Airplane mode gives you a complete break from texts, calls, notifications, and the internet.

To save battery life. Keeping radios like cellular and WiFi active in the background drains your battery. Airplane mode prolongs battery life.

While flying on a plane, as using cell networks during flight is illegal. Airplane mode ensures you comply with regulations.

When traveling abroad and not using a local SIM card. This prevents unintended roaming charges.

Enabling airplane mode is easy – just swipe down to access Quick Settings and tap the airplane icon. You can quickly toggle it on or off as needed. With airplane mode enabled, you can still use wifi and bluetooth if you turn them back on individually.


Mute the Phone Itself

One of the quickest ways to silence your phone is to mute it directly using the mute switch or volume buttons. Most smartphones have a physical mute switch on the side that toggles between a muted and unmuted state. Sliding this mute switch into the muted position will silence all sounds from your device (Source 1). You can also press the volume down button on your phone repeatedly until it reaches zero volume and is muted.

The downside to muting your phone fully is that you will miss all notifications and calls while it is muted. This may mean missing important messages or calls if you forget to unmute it later. Some people report feeling anxious when their phone is muted for too long because they feel disconnected (Source 2). However, for short periods of time when you need silence, muting the phone directly can be an effective option.

Block Calls and Messages

Blocking specific contacts is an easy way to stop unwanted calls or texts from reaching your phone. Both iOS and Android have built-in settings to block numbers and contacts.

On an iPhone, go to Settings > Phone > Blocked Contacts to add numbers and contacts to block. You can also block contacts directly from your Recents or Favorites list by swiping left on a contact and selecting Block this Caller.

On Android phones, open the Phone or Contacts app, tap the contact you want to block, and select Block number. You’ll no longer receive calls or texts from blocked numbers.

Blocking contacts can be useful in many situations, like stopping harassment from an ex or preventing spam calls from telemarketers. However, you may still want to receive calls from important contacts like doctors or emergency services. Be thoughtful about who you block, and be sure not to block crucial contacts.

Disable Keyboard Clicks

The keyboard clicks that sound every time you tap a key can be disabled in your phone’s settings. This prevents the audible tapping sound both from your phone’s built-in keyboard as well as from any third party keyboards you may have installed.

Turning off keyboard clicks can be helpful in a variety of situations. For example, it may be preferred if you frequently type in quiet environments like libraries, meetings, or classrooms where the tapping sound could be disruptive to others. Disabling the sound effects can also be useful at night when a partner is sleeping near you and you want to text or browse quietly. Some people simply find the repetitive tapping sounds annoying or distracting so they opt to turn it off entirely.

To disable keyboard clicks on an iPhone, go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Keyboard Clicks and toggle them off. On Android, go to Settings > Language & Input > Advanced > Sound and choose to remove the checkmark next to Keyboard sound to disable the option. This setting will make typing completely silent so you can text away without any audible clicks.

Turn Off System Sounds

One way to completely mute your phone is to turn off the various system sounds it makes. This includes sounds when you charge your phone, take screenshots, and tap on the screen. To disable these on an iPhone, go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics. From here you can turn off Lock Sounds, Keyboard Clicks, Screenshot Sounds and more by toggling the switches next to each option. You can also slide the Ringer and Alerts volume all the way down to zero.

On Android, open Settings and go to Sound. Look for options like Charging sounds, Screen locking sounds, Touch sounds and Dial pad tones and disable them. You may need to go into advanced sound settings to find some of these toggles. For both iOS and Android, lowering the volume down completely in Sound settings is another catch-all way to mute system sounds.

Turning off system sounds can be useful when you want to keep your phone on silent in settings like meetings, classes, sleeping, or public places. Just be aware you won’t get audible feedback for actions like plugging in your phone or taking screenshots.

Switch to Vibrate Mode

Vibrate mode mutes the ringer and notification sounds on your phone while still allowing it to vibrate when calls or messages come in. This creates a subtle alert that avoids disturbing others around you.

Vibrate can be useful in many situations where completely silencing your phone may cause you to miss important calls or messages:

  • At work meetings – Vibrate allows you to notice incoming calls without interrupting colleagues
  • At the movies or theater – Vibrate lets you know you have a call without bothering other patrons
  • At night – Vibrate can wake you up for urgent calls without blaring a loud ringtone
  • At school or libraries – Vibrate enables subtle notifications that don’t disrupt others

The key advantage of vibrate over completely silencing your phone is that it makes you aware of communications so you don’t miss important messages. For many, vibrate provides the right balance between avoiding disturbances and remaining reachable if needed.

Use Do Not Disturb While Driving

Do Not Disturb While Driving is a valuable safety feature that can help prevent distracted driving. When enabled, it will automatically mute notifications and calls while the phone detects you are driving. This prevents the temptation to check or respond to your phone while operating a vehicle.

To set up Do Not Disturb While Driving on an iPhone, go to Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb While Driving. Toggle it on and customize the auto-reply message that will be sent to notify others you are driving. You can allow calls and notifications from certain contacts in case of emergency. Android phones have similar settings under Digital Wellbeing or a Driving Mode setting.

According to the NHTSA, nearly 3,100 people died in distracted driving crashes in 2020. Features like Do Not Disturb While Driving work to reduce the possibility of distracted driving and improve road safety. While nothing can replace full focus on the road, this is an important option to remove the temptation to check your phone while driving.

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