Prevent Volume Buttons from Changing the Ringer & Alert Levels on iPhone

Jul 18, 2014 - 1 Comment

Disable iPhone volume buttons

If you’ve ever let a child play with your iPhone, you know that every physical button probably gets pressed a few million times, often repeatedly. There’s obviously little harm in that by itself, but a fairly common scenario is that a parent hands their iPhone to their kid to play a game or watch a video, and then gets the iPhone back to put back in their pocket not thinking much of it. Then a few hours (or days) pass, and uh oh, the parent discovers they have been missing out on phone calls, text messages, alerts, and email chimes, because the phone isn’t putting out any sound at all, despite the mute switch not being activated. Hmm!


The cause of this is fairly simple; the volume buttons on the side of the iPhone. Fortunately, Apple thought of this exact scenario, and they came up with what I like to call ‘parent mode’ for the Volume Buttons, which lets you set a a volume limit through iOS software Settings while simultaneously disabling the hardware volume buttons from actually changing the volume level.

How to Disable Volume Button Controls on iPhone

This prevents the hardware Volume Buttons from adjusting the Ringer & Alert volume levels only:

  1. Open the Settings app on the iPhone and head to “Sounds”
  2. Under ‘Ringers and Alerts’ slide the volume adjustment to whatever level you want to set, then toggle the switch for “Change with Buttons” to the OFF position
  3. Prevent volume buttons from changing the ringer and alert volume on iPhone

  4. Exit out of Settings with the security of knowing that the volume buttons will no longer hush the phone even if they’re pressed a few billion times

You can try it out yourself by pressing the volume buttons, they will no longer impact the ringer or alert levels at all, though they will continue to change the volume of things like app, games, and playing videos.

The average iPhone user probably won’t find much use for this and may even be annoyed by their iPhone volume buttons not working to change the volume level as expected, but parents, babysitters, and educators will probably love it as one of the many tips to make their devices more kid friendly.

For what it’s worth, the iPad and iPod touch offer the same setting in iOS, but because those devices aren’t regularly used as primary contact devices, it’s a bit less useful on them when compared to iPhone. That said, all iOS devices can benefit from setting volume limits, even even if it’s just on the Music app.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks

One Comment

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  1. Sandy Dechert says:

    Pretty good for the handicapped and older people, too.

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