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How to control the volume in iOS

Sharon Zardetto | March 8, 2013
Most of the time, you hit a volume button on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, and it does what you expect, whether it's turning up your reminder alarms or turning down your music. And then there are the other times.

Want Siri to talk louder, or to lower its voice? Neither general audio nor Ringers and Alerts volume settings affect that. To adjust both the little chirp and the voice volume, start Siri with a press of the Home button, and use the volume buttons while Siri's open.

Setting limits

While you're in Settings, you can also set an upper limit for headphone music volume in Music > Volume Limit to protect your--or a child's--hearing. The setting doesn't restrict non-headphone volume. (A side effect of setting a lower limit is that each press of a volume button changes it by a smaller increment.)

You can prevent the youngling from upping the volume by locking the level with a passcode. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions; tap Enable Restrictions if necessary, and supply a passcode. Tap Volume Limit and then Don't Allow Changes.

Mute and other silencers

Volume isn't the only thing that depends on context. How you mute your device can depend on which device you're using, the situation, and hardware or software settings.

  • When your iPhone is ringing, hit either volume button to temporarily mute it; this also works for FaceTime rings on any device.
  • On the iPhone, flip the Ring/Silent switch to kill the ringer; it will still ring through headphones. This also mutes Calendar and Reminder alerts, most games, and other sound effects (including the camera shutter) but not alarms--an important point if you're sitting in the front row for the New York Philharmonic.
  • On an iPad, use the Side Switch to mute button ringers and alerts; it doesn't affect music or other media. In Settings > General, under Use Side Switch To, tap Mute. To override the setting, or mute the iPad when the Side Switch is set to Orientation Lock, see the details in Lex Friedman's guide to muting notifications. You can also mute the volume with the volume button: Hold down the lower end for about two seconds.
  • Use Settings > General and turn on Do Not Disturb to silence notifications during the times you specify. This works only when your device is locked, and does not affect alarms.
  • You can mute certain sounds for some individual apps in Settings > Sounds. Tap New Mail in the Sounds list, for instance, and then tap None.

 

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