How to Turn the iPhone Ringer Off

Multiple Ways to Put the iPhone in Silent Mode

iPhone sounds menu
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Having your iPhone ring loudly in the wrong situation can be embarrassing. No one wants to be the person in church or at the movies who forgot to put their phone into silent and is disturbing everyone. Luckily, it's easy to turn off the iPhone's ringer and silence your phone.

Use the Mute Switch

The easiest way to turn the iPhone ringer off is to flip a switch.

On the left-hand side of the iPhone, there's a small switch just above the two volume buttons.

This is the iPhone's mute switch.

To turn the iPhone ringer off and put the phone into silent mode, simply flip this switch down towards the back of the phone. An icon showing a bell with a line through it will appear to confirm that sound is turned off. You should also be able to see an orange dot or line (depending on your model) revealed by moving the switch.

To turn the ringer back on, flip the switch up towards the front of the phone. Another onscreen icon will let you know the phone is ready to make noise again.

Mute Switch Is Off But Not Hearing Ringer?

Here's a tricky one: what if your mute switch isn't on, but your phone isn't making any noise when calls come in? There are a number of things that could be causing this and a number of ways to fix it.

Check out I'm Missing Calls Because My iPhone Isn't Ringing for all the solutions.

Vibration Options

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 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 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 enable vibration.

Get More Control With Ring and Alert Tone Options

Besides using the mute switch, the iPhone offers a number of 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. 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 what ringtone or alert plays when you receive a new text message. This can be overridden by assigning individual SMS tones to contacts
  • New Voicemail - The tone that plays when you a new voicemail has just been left for you
  • New Mail - If a new email has just shown up in your inbox, this alert tone will sound
  • Sent Mail - Want confirmation that your email has been sent? This tone provides it
  • Tweet - This tone does the same thing as Sent Mail, except for sent tweets
  • Facebook Post - When a Facebook post is made, this sound will play
  • Calendar Alerts - If you've set the Calendar app to remind you of an event, you'll hear this tone when Calendar sends a reminder
  • Reminder Alerts - The same as Calendar Alerts, but for the Reminders app
  • AirDrop - In iOS 7 and higher, you can swap files with other users wirelessly via AirDrop. This sound plays when an AirDrop transfer is requested
  • Keyboard Click - Want a typewriter noise when you type on your phone? Turn this setting on
  • Lock Sounds - When you click the wake/hold button, you can choose to hear a click or not
  • System Haptics - iPhone 7 series only. Controls whether the iPhone provides vibration feedback for all kinds of OS-level controls and actions.