How to Turn Off the iPhone Ringer

iPhone sounds menu
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The easiest way to turn off the iPhone ringer is to flip the switch on the left-hand side of the iPhone. It is located above the two volume buttons on most iPhone models. This is the iPhone's physical mute switch.

Flipping the switch down so that the orange dot or line indicator on the switch is visible puts the iPhone into silent mode. Doing so will briefly display the icon a bell with a line through it on the phone's screen, confirming that it is now silenced.

Flip the switch up towards the front of the iPhone will turn the ringer on and take the phone out of silent mode. Another on-screen icon will appear to let you know the phone ringer is active.

Ringer is not muted, but phone still won't ring

Here's a tricky one: what if your ringer switch is set to on, but your phone still doesn't ring when calls come in? There are a number of things that could be causing this. You may have the Do Not Disturb feature enabled, for example. Or, did you block the particular number that can't cause your phone to ring?

iPhone ringer vibration options

Screenshot of iOS Sounds & Haptics page focusing on vibration toggles

A ringtone playing isn't the only way your iPhone can notify you that you've got a call coming in. If you'd rather not hear a tone, but still want a notification, use the vibration options. The Settings app lets you configure your iPhone to vibrate to signal a call. Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics (or just Sounds on some older versions of the iOS), and then set these options:

  • Vibrate on Ring controls whether the iPhone vibrates when calls come in. Turn on this option by moving the slider to on/green.
  • Vibrate on Silent controls whether the phone vibrates when a call comes in and the phone is in silent mode. Move the slider to green to on/enable vibration.

iPhone Ring and Alert Tone Options

Screenshot of iOS Sounds & Haptics settings

Besides using the mute switch, the iPhone offers settings that give you more control over what happens when you get calls, texts, notifications, and other alerts. To access them, open the Settings app, scroll down, and tap Sounds & Haptics. The options on this screen allow you to do the following:

  • Ringer and Alerts lets you control the volume of your ringtones and decide whether the volume buttons just under the mute switch can control volume or not.
  • Ringtone sets the default ringtone for the phone. To override this setting, you can assign individual ringtones to contacts.
  • Text Tone sets the ringtone or alert that plays when you receive a new text message. This can be overridden by assigning individual SMS tones to contacts.
  • New Voicemail sets the tone that plays when you receive a new voicemail.
  • New Mail sets the alert tone that sounds when a new email arrives in your inbox, this alert tone sounds.
  • Sent Mail plays a tone to confirm when an email you send is actually sent.
  • Calendar Alerts sets the reminder tone you'll hear when an event comes up in the Calendar app.
  • Reminder Alerts are the same as Calendar Alerts, but for the Reminders app.
  • AirDrop lets you can swap files with other users wirelessly via AirDrop. This sound plays when an AirDrop transfer is requested.
  • Keyboard Clicks turns on a typewriter sound when you type on your phone.
  • Lock Sound is the click you hear when the wake/hold button is pressed. You can turn this on or off.
  • System Haptics controls whether the iPhone provides vibration feedback for all kinds of OS-level controls and actions.