Why is there random sounds coming from my phone?

What are the common random sounds?

Some of the most common random sounds that smartphones make unexpectedly include:

  • Notification tones – Your phone may suddenly play a notification sound even though you have no new notifications. This often happens when there is a minor software glitch.
  • Ringtones – Hearing a call ringtone when you haven’t received a call could point to an app malfunction or corrupted sound files.
  • Alarm sounds – Alarms going off randomly, especially alarms you don’t remember setting, may indicate malware installed on your device.
  • Keyboard clicks – Phones making clicking sounds when typing is usually due to an accessibility setting enabled accidentally.
  • Sent message sounds – The sent message sound effect going off when no messages have been sent is typically a bug.

Most common random sounds originate from notifications, ringtones, alarms, key clicks, and messaging applications. Investigating your sound settings is often the first troubleshooting step.

Check notification and volume settings

One of the first things to check is your notification settings. Open the Settings app on your Android device and go to Apps & Notifications > Notifications. Review the notification settings for each app – you can turn off notifications entirely for apps you don’t want to get notifications from.

Also check that your phone isn’t muted or in Do Not Disturb mode by looking at the volume controls. Pull down the notification shade and long press on the volume icons to expand them. Make sure your phone isn’t muted and Do Not Disturb mode is off if you want to receive notifications. [1]

You can also go to Settings > Sound & Vibration on your Android device to check that your phone volume and media volume are turned up. Make sure that Also vibrate for calls option is enabled if you want to feel phone vibration for incoming calls and notifications.

Close background apps

One of the most common reasons for random sounds coming from your phone is apps running in the background. Even when you are not actively using an app, it may still be running processes in the background. These background processes can sometimes trigger sounds to play. For example, an app may have alerts or notifications configured that play a sound when triggered. Or media apps like music/video players can start playing content in the background. According to a discussion on the Apple forums, random music started playing from a recently downloaded game app running in the background (Source).

To troubleshoot, open your phone’s app manager and force stop or force close any apps not currently in use. This will fully quit them and stop any background processes that may be causing sounds. You can also adjust app permissions and disable options like “Background App Refresh” to prevent apps from running processes without your knowledge. Keeping unused apps closed can prevent distracting or confusing background sounds on your phone.

Update Your Operating System

One potential cause of random sounds is bugs in an outdated operating system (OS). As developers release new versions of phone OSes like iOS and Android, they fix bugs and issues that existed in previous iterations. However, if you don’t regularly update your OS, you may encounter problems that have already been patched in newer releases.

For example, iOS 15.0 had a bug that caused iPhone users to hear random noises even when no notifications were present. This issue was fixed in iOS 15.1 (source). Similarly, Android 10 reportedly had glitches that triggered odd sounds on certain devices, which were resolved in Android 11 (source).

To rule out bugs as the culprit, check that your OS is fully updated to the latest version. On an iPhone, go to Settings > General > Software Update to check for iOS updates. For Android phones, go to Settings > System > System Update to see if any Android OS updates are available. Installing the newest OS release may eliminate random sounds that are stemming from older, buggy versions.

Check for malicious apps

Adware and malware can generate odd sounds on your phone. These unwanted programs are designed to display disruptive ads or spy on you, and making random noises is one of their sneaky tactics.

Malware may play random clips of music or other sounds to eavesdrop on your conversations without you realizing it. Adware can trigger beeps and chimes to get your attention and show you pop-up ads. The sounds are meant to be annoying and noticeable.

Run a security scan using antivirus software like Malwarebytes to check for any malicious apps. You can also go into your app settings and browser history to look for anything suspicious. Remove any unfamiliar or sketchy apps. A factory reset may be required if the malware is embedded deep in your device’s software.


[1] https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/98557-10-signs-a-mobile-device-has-been-infected-with-malware

[2] https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/273337-random-music-clip-playing-on-android/

Try safe mode

One way to potentially diagnose the issue with random sounds coming from your phone is to boot it into safe mode. Safe mode starts your phone without any third party apps running. This can help isolate whether the random sounds are being caused by a problematic app.

To enter safe mode on an Android phone, press and hold the power button and tap “Restart in safe mode” (on Samsung devices) or “Reboot to safe mode” (on other Android devices). Your phone will then restart without loading any third party apps. Test to see if the random sounds still occur when in safe mode.

If the unwanted sounds go away in safe mode, then a third party app is likely the culprit. You can start uninstalling recently downloaded apps one by one and testing after each uninstall to pinpoint the problematic app. If the sounds persist even in safe mode, then the issue is likely with your operating system or hardware.

[“Troubleshooting: Using Safe Mode with Android” – Verizon]

Reset app preferences

Resetting app preferences can help resolve issues caused by corrupted settings or data within an app. This clears all app data and resets settings to default. According to Microsoft, going to Settings > Apps > Apps & features, selecting the problematic app, and choosing “Advanced options” > “Reset” will reset the app and clear its data and settings. This can resolve app issues like random sounds.

It’s worth trying this troubleshooting step if a particular app seems to be the source of random sounds. Resetting its preferences clears out any problematic settings that could be causing the unwanted sounds.

Restore factory settings

One solution that may resolve random sounds and other issues is restoring your Android device to its original factory settings. This erases all data and resets the phone’s software to its out-of-the-box condition (Source: Google Support).

To factory reset your phone, go to Settings > System > Reset options > Erase all data (factory reset). You’ll need to confirm your passcode or password. The phone will power down and reset itself, which may take 10-30 minutes. Once completed, it will be like a brand new device again.

Factory resetting should resolve any software glitches, unwanted apps, or corrupted files causing problems. It also wipes any malware. However, you’ll lose all data – photos, messages, downloads, accounts, etc. So first backup anything important. Resetting is an extreme fix best reserved for when all else fails (Source: Hongkiat).

If factory reset still doesn’t work, the issue may be hardware-related. Contact the device manufacturer for repair options. Resetting the phone to factory settings should be a last resort after trying other recommended troubleshooting steps.

Inspect physical buttons

One common cause of random sounds from a phone is a stuck or jammed physical button, like the power or volume buttons. This can happen if dirt, dust, or moisture gets trapped under the button, or if the button mechanism wears out over time.

On Android phones, a stuck power button is a particularly common issue that can cause random sounds or unwanted rebooting. According to Reddit users on r/GooglePixel, sucking on the power button can help dislodge any dirt and temporarily fix the problem (source). However, this is only a temporary solution.

For a permanent fix, the button itself likely needs to be repaired or replaced. On some Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel phones, the power button is soldered onto the motherboard, so repair involves replacing the entire motherboard (source). On other models, the button may be accessible and replaceable individually.

Inspect any physical buttons on your phone to check for dust, moisture, or damage. Try cleaning the buttons with compressed air. If a button appears stuck, try dislodging it. Ultimately, take your phone to a repair shop if the issue persists, as sticky buttons may need professional repair.

Hardware Issue

In some cases, random sounds from your phone may be caused by a hardware issue such as a faulty speaker or loose internal wiring (source). The speaker is one of the most delicate components of a smartphone and is susceptible to damage from drops or exposure to moisture. A damaged speaker can emit crackling sounds, buzzing, or other noises sporadically even when no audio is being played.

Loose wiring inside the phone is another potential hardware culprit. As your phone ages and endures normal wear and tear, the internal cables and connectors can come loose from their solder points. This disruption in connectivity can cause glitches that manifest as random beeps or chimes. Opening up the phone to check the status of internal wires is recommended if sounds persist after troubleshooting software issues.

In either case, hardware issues will likely persist and random sounds will recur until the phone receives professional repair or replacement of the affected components. While software fixes may provide temporary relief, they won’t address the root cause if speaker or wiring damage is to blame.

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