13 Best Ways To Silence Notifications On iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch

how to silence notifications on iphone

Whether you’re fed up with the notification sounds or you’re in a situation where you don’t want interruptions from your phone, you may be looking for ways to silence your iPhone (or any other Apple device).

You can find a bunch of methods to silence notifications on your iOS device. Let’s run down the list of notifications muting features from the easiest to the most sophisticated ones.

how to Silence Notifications on iPhone and iPad?

Some of these methods that silence all notifications may also silence all of your calls. If you’re expecting an important call but also want to silence your iPhone, use Method 4, 9, and 13.

  1. Use the Physical Switch on Your iPhone
  2. Use the Volume Down Button to Silence Your iPhone
  3. Silence A Certain App from the Notifications Center
  4. Mute Text Notifications for All Apps
  5. Silence A Few Apps’ Notifications
  6. Hide the Notifications for Specific Apps Altogether
  7. Turn Off the Text or Call Sound for a Specific Contact
  8. Silence and Hide a Certain Text Conversation
  9. Use Do Not Disturb (Focus)
  10. Mute Calls from Unknown Numbers Only
  11. Silence a Specific WhatsApp Chat on iPhone and iPad
  12. Turn off Notifications for an Individual Signal or Telegram Chat
  13. Explore the Focus Mode

1. Use the Physical Switch on Your iPhone

The fastest method to silence all notifications on your iPhone is by using the Ring/Silent switch on the left side of your phone above the volume button. Just change the switch to Silence Mode. The small space between the switch and the phone’s side would be orange when the switch is Silent.

iPhone's ring/silent switch

For this, you don’t even need to turn on your phone’s screen. Press the switch, and there will be no disturbance from your phone until you switch it back to the Ring mode. Some iPads also have the Ring/Silent switch.

The Silent switch works instantly. However, it would still vibrate for calls and notifications if you activated vibration for those. 

If you prefer no vibration when you turn on the Silent switch, you can turn off vibration for the Silent mode:

  • Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Tap ‘Sounds & Haptics’.
  • Turn off ‘Vibrate on Silent’.

2. Use the Volume Down Button to Silence Your iPhone

This is also a quick method to silence all notifications. Simply press the volume down button and keep pressing it until you see the confirmation message that the device is now silent.

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If your volume buttons don’t adjust the ringer and notification sounds, you may need to activate it from Settings.

  • Navigate to Settings > Sounds & Haptics.
Settings options on iPhone
  • Find the ‘Ringer and Alerts’ section and turn on ‘Change with Buttons’.

3. Silence A Certain App from the Notifications Center

Some apps are too aggressive in their notifications approach. There are easy solutions for handling these kinds of apps. In case an app is bothering you much, you can mute it right from the Notifications Center.

It is a quick method because you don’t need to go to the Settings. The app sends yet another unnecessary notification, you’re reminded that this app doesn’t need your attention, and you silence it right from the Notifications Center. Follow these steps:

  • Swipe up on the lock screen or swipe down from the top when your phone is unlocked to access the Notifications Center.
  • Find the notification of the bothersome app and swipe left.
  • Tap ‘Options’.
  • You’ll get some muting options. Mute for 1 Hour, Mute for Today, and Turn Off. If you select ‘Turn Off’, the notifications for this app will be turned off forever. If you only want to silence it, for the time being, choose any of the first two options.

4. Mute Text Notifications for All Apps

This is a smart method of silencing your iPhone because you can turn off the text notifications sound without changing your call ringtone settings and other reminders and alarms. So, notifications will be silenced while calls will ring as usual. 

  • Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics.
Settings on iPhone
  • Tap ‘Text Tone’.
Sounds & Haptics on iPhone
  • Choose ‘None’ from the list to disable the text alert tone.

5. Silence A Few Apps’ Notifications

Method 4 turns off the text notifications sounds of all the apps. But if you want to silence a few apps that bother you with unnecessary notifications, you have to perform a different set of steps.

  • Navigate to Settings.
  • Select ‘Notifications’.
Settings options on iPhone
  • You’ll find a list of apps. Select the app that you want to silence.
  • Turn off ‘Sounds’.
App Notifications options on iPhone

6. Hide the Notifications for Specific Apps Altogether

Silencing notifications work for most apps. However, if you’re flooded with notifications on a certain app, you may want to hide the notifications completely so you can check the notifications by opening that app on your own time. This is useful if any of your social media accounts are very active and receive bundles of notifications. 

  • Go to Settings.
  • Pick ‘Notifications’.
Settings on iPhone/iOS
  • Choose the app to hide notifications for.
  • Toggle off ‘Allow Notifications’.
App Notifications options on iPhone

7. Turn Off the Text or Call Sound for a Specific Contact

If you don’t want to hear someone ringing your phone, you can silence their calls. If that person’s texts are many or frequent, you can also silence texts for them. Use these steps:

  • Open the ‘Phone’ app.
  • Select the ‘Contacts’ tab from the bottom of the screen.
  • Choose the contact you want to silence calls and/or texts for.
  • Tap ‘Edit’ at the top right corner when that contact opens.
  • Swipe down and tap ‘Ringtone’ or ‘Text’ for silencing calls or texts, respectively. After the selection, choose ‘None. If you don’t see any, toggle off ‘Hide Alerts’.
  • Tap ‘Done’.

8. Silence and Hide a Certain Text Conversation

We mentioned in Method 7 how to silence texts and calls of a person. But if you get many texts from a group, that method won’t work. To turn off the notifications of a text thread, duplicate the below steps:

  • Navigate to the Messages app.
  • Open the chat thread you want to silence.
  • Tap the contact’s name or group’s name at the top of the chat.
  • Find ‘Hide Alerts’ and turn it on.
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Now that chat will be mute. Moreover, you won’t see its notifications on the Notification Center as well. 

9. Use Do Not Disturb (Focus)

DND mode is a commonly used feature to silence all notifications while selecting a few to go through.

  • You can block all the notifications from everyone
  • Mute all app notifications but allow all calls from contacts
  • Silence all apps and all contacts but allow a few contacts or apps.

For demonstration, we’ll mute everything and allow one contact and one app using the Do Not Disturb mode. 

Note: Previously, the location of Do Not Disturb was Settings > Do Not Disturb, but now it’s Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb. (We’ll cover Focus in the later section).

  • Open Settings.
  • Choose ‘Focus’.
Settings menu on iPhone
  • Select ‘Do Not Disturb’.
Focus options on iPhone
  • Turn on ‘Do Not Disturb’.
  • Under ‘Allowed Notifications’, tap ‘People’ and select the contact for whom you want the phone to ring even when DND is on.
Do Not Disturb Focus options on iPhone
  • After that, under ‘Allowed Notifications’, tap ‘Apps’ and select an app you still want to receive notifications of.
  • To remove a contact from allowed contacts, go to the ‘Contacts’ tab and tap the minus icon on the picture of the contact. Similarly, go to the ‘Apps’ tab and then tap the small minus button on the app’s icon for removing an app.

There is also a ‘Calls From’ option in the ‘Contacts’ tab that allows calls from your favorites and repeated calls. You can set it up as calls from favorites are enabled by default.

A similar option in the ‘Apps’ tab is ‘Time Sensitive’. It’ll allow apps that are marked as time sensitive so you don’t miss any important notifications. Toggle it on or off.

10. Mute Calls from Unknown Numbers Only

Calls from unknown numbers could be from telemarketers, political surveyors, spammers, or scammers that you would want to avoid. If you want your contacts to connect with you and don’t want to be bothered by unknown phone numbers, use the Focus/Do Not Disturb mode. However, by doing this, there is a chance to miss an important call, for example, a doctor’s appointment or a friend’s call from a new number.

  • Open the ‘Settings’ app.
  • Pick ‘Focus’.
  • Choose ‘Do Not Disturb’.
  • Toggle on ‘Do Not Disturb’.
  • Tap ‘People’ and select all of your contacts.

11. Silence a Specific WhatsApp Chat on iPhone and iPad

Some chats or groups on WhatsApp are unstoppable and you may want to turn off or hide notifications for those. Follow these steps:

  • Open WhatsApp.
  • Select the chat or group to mute and swipe left.
  • Tap ‘More’.
  • A list would open, choose ‘Mute’.

12. Turn off Notifications for an Individual Signal or Telegram Chat

  • Open your instant messaging app.
  • Select the conversation to mute and swipe left.
  • Tap the bell icon.

13. Explore the Focus Mode

Focus is a powerful feature of iOS to control and customize your phone’s notifications and calls. You can choose Do Not Disturb from Focus and use any combination you want to allow some apps or people and silence all others, as explained in the Do Not Disturb section (Method 9).

With the Focus mode, you can set different categories or profiles like Sleep, Driving, Work, and Personal to turn on your specific settings for that time or location with one tap. You may have to tweak the settings first.

Allow the apps and contacts you want while silencing all others on a specific category so you can turn it on later when needed. Go to one category like Sleep or Do Not Disturb and explore. The schedule option is also there to activate a specific Focus category at a certain time.

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You can also let your contact know that you have silenced notifications by going to Focus > your profile (for example; Work) > Focus Status > Share Focus Status . Your Focus category isn’t shared. It only shares that you have muted notifications.

13.1 Create a New Focus Category

If the Focus categories aren’t enough, you can add more by following these steps:

  • Go to Settings > Focus.
Settings on Apple iPhone
  • Tap the ‘+’ button at the top right corner.
Focus menu on iPhone
  • It’ll show you options for the category you want to create. Choose any of them or select ‘Custom’ to create a new category.
Create a new Focus on iPhone
  • Set up the people you want to allow or silence for that category on the next screen.
Select allowed people for notifications when creating a new Focus on iPhone
  • Next, choose the apps that you want to allow when that Focus category is on.
  • Set up other options.

13.2 Activate Your Focus from the Control Center.

Once you’ve set up your Focus settings, you can turn it on from the Control Center. 

  • Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen.
  • Tap the Focus icon (crescent moon).
  • Choose the Focus category to activate.
Choose Focus on iPhone from Control Center
  • For more options, tap the three dots next to the Focus category.

How To Silence Notifications on Apple Watch?

You can silence notifications on your Apple Watch from your iPhone or the Watch itself.

  1. Mute Apple Watch Notifications Directly from the Watch
  2. Mute Notifications on Apple Watch from Your iPhone

1. Mute Apple Watch Notifications Directly from the Watch

This is helpful if you’ve already set up your Focus settings on your iPhone, but you can simply turn on the silence mode from the watch even if you haven’t.

1.1 Active Focus on Apple Watch

  • Swipe up on your Watch.
  • Tap the crescent moon icon.
Options on Apple Watch
  • Select the Focus category to activate.

1.2 Silence Notifications on Apple Watch

  • To quickly silence notifications, swipe up on the Watch.
  • Tap the bell icon.
Options on Apple Watch

Now, notifications will be silenced, but the haptic touch will work.

2. Mute Notifications on Apple Watch from Your iPhone

Set up Focus on your iPhone first to perform these steps because it mirrors your iPhone’s Focus settings. Furthermore, install the Apple Watch app from the App Store. After that:

  • Open the Apple Watch app.
  • Swipe down and select ‘General’.
  • Choose ‘Focus’.
  • Turn on ‘Mirror my iPhone’.

Conclusion

You can use different ways to mute notifications on iPhones and iPads. Use the ring/silent switch or the volume down button for quickly muting everything. To use a customized silent profile, use the Focus mode.

FAQs

How Do I Make My iPhone Notifications Silent?

Find the ring/silent switch on the left side of your iPhone above the volume button. Switch it, so the small space between the switch and the phone side shows orange. Silent mode is activated on your iPhone.

How Do I Silence My Text Notifications On IPhone?

For silencing every text notification on your iPhone, go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Text Tone > None.

How Do I Turn Off Sound For Certain Apps?

To turn off the notifications sound for certain apps on your iPhone or iPad, navigate to Settings > Notifications > choose the app > turn off ‘Allow Notifications’.
For Android, go to Settings > Notifications > Apps Settings or More > choose the app > toggle off ‘Show Notifications’.

What Does It Mean If Someone Has Their Notifications Silenced?

If you call or text an iPhone user and see the label ‘[user] has notifications silenced’, it means that the person has activated the Focus mode (Do Not Disturb mode). The person may have muted some or all notifications.