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How to activate silent mode in Android 5.0 Lollipop

Prepare to be disturbed; silent mode has vanished from the latest version of Android. In all of the excitement about Android 5.0 Lollipop something went unnoticed by a lot of people. Anyone with a Nexus 6 will know – as will anyone who has managed to grab the OTA update or manually update the Nexus 5 – silent mode has been removed from Android 5.0. There's a trick on how to activate silent mode, but by default you'll have to make do with either a very quiet ring tone, or a vibrating phone.

silent mode
How to activate silent mode on Android 5.0 Lollipop. © Motorola

If you try to put your Android 5.0 phone into silent mode by turning down the volume, you will find something strange happens. The lowest level you can set the volume to is 1. Hit the volume down button one more time and your phone will switch to vibrate mode – there is no option to have the volume set to 0 and disable vibration. Well, there is, but it's not ideal.

There are in fact a couple of workarounds. The first is to turn the volume all the way down to activate vibrate mode, tap volume up to set the volume level to 1, and then reboot your phone. When Android restarts, you'll be in silent mode, but it's a far from perfect solution. The other option is to switch notification mode to the None settings, but this means that your phone will make no noise at all – including silencing your alarms.

Check out the video from Motorola that shows how the volume settings work:

Are you frustrated by the lack of silent mode in Android 5.0 Lollipop? Do you think Google should release an update to reinstate the feature?

Source: Talk Android

61 comments

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  • G A 2 months ago Link to comment

    Really stupid move, Google. You've succeeded in making a simple task impossible, and given us an all but useless alternative.

  • Google, you're really messing up here - this is such a frustrating annoyance, I'm just about done with Android. Give me back silent mode!!!

  • Android 5 is so crap I shelved my Nexus and purchased a BLU phone running 4.4.2 - finally I have control of the device again and can manage the volume in an intelligent way. I'm all for progressing technology, but not to the point that re-learning basic functions takes 100's of search queries to get answers. Or maybe this is Google's objective - find new ways to get them to search???

  • m w Apr 6, 2015 Link to comment

    I try to lower the volume of the ringer on my phone to vibrate in the completely inefficient fashion that this lollipop has created, and instead I end up lowering the volume on the phone, not the ringer. To lower the ringer to vibrate, I have to go into settings. How do I fix this?

  • M Neely Apr 1, 2015 Link to comment

    To create a "Silent Mode" in lollipop...

    1. Go to Settings and click on "Sound and notification"

    2. Make sure ring tone is not on vibration mode

    3. Select "Silent" ring tone from the ring tone menu (scroll to the top in ring tone selector menu)

    4. Now just turn down the volume on the sliders for "notifications" and "system" volume settings.

    5. Done

  • Hello guys.

    One friend of mine had this phone and I saw the problem.

    I suddenly developer an app that if you set your volume to 0 there will be a popup which will show you a chooser between SILENT and VIBRATE.

    Please, would you give it a chance? ;)
    The app is called "WLHF (What Lollipop Has Forgotten)" on Google Play

  • HELP! I just need to turn my text and email notifications down while I'm at work and I no longer see the option when I press my down arrow for volume. It only gives me an option for ringtone.

    • I developed an app that if you set your volume to 0 there will be a popup which will show you a chooser between SILENT and VIBRATE.

      Please, would you give it a chance? ;)
      The app is called "WLHF (What Lollipop Has Forgotten)" on Google Play

  • This lack is one of the main reasons why I'm going back to KitKat and skipping Lollipop.
    TBH, there's so much wrong with Lollipop that my next phone will probably be either WP or iOS...

    • I developed an app that if you set your volume to 0 there will be a popup which will show you a chooser between SILENT and VIBRATE.

      Please, would you give it a chance? ;)
      The app is called "WLHF (What Lollipop Has Forgotten)" on Google Play

  • Why the hell developer's can't test firmware 100% before it gets sent out I don't know!
    kitkat was just fine but now lollipop ( lollipop sucks ) has been released half my apps don't work anymore and no mute app will work correctly either as there's no way of muting the phone since the firmware update WTF ? Galaxy s5

  • Hello everybody!

    Please help me i did that thing that Mark said on a galaxy s5 and now I can not take the phone ouț of silent mode,can anyone help me:

     The first is to turn the volume all the way down to activate vibrate mode, tap volume up to set the volume level to 1, and then reboot your phone. When Android restarts, you'll be in silent mode, but it's a far from perfect solution
    Tks very much

    • I developed an app that if you set your volume to 0 there will be a popup which will show you a chooser between SILENT and VIBRATE.

      Please, would you give it a chance? ;)
      The app is called "WLHF (What Lollipop Has Forgotten)" on Google Play

  • Sometimes video play back also goes wrong for android 5.0.2. Especially HD videos

  • Google should definitely provide some updates for android 5.0.2. So that all bugs are eliminated

  • CvH Feb 14, 2015 Link to comment

    Turn down vibration intensity to get a working silent mode while maintaining working functionality of your alarm clock! See link for instructions:
    www.edbblog.dk/index.php/silent-mode-in-android-lollipop-workaround-without-reboot/

    • I developed an app that if you set your volume to 0 there will be a popup which will show you a chooser between SILENT and VIBRATE.

      Please, would you give it a chance? ;)
      The app is called "WLHF (What Lollipop Has Forgotten)" on Google Play

  • Sylvia V. Feb 12, 2015 Link to comment

    As I never use the vibration option anyway, I just went into the sound menu (you easily get there by pressing the shortcut for a few seconds) and turned the vibration intensity down to zero. Thus, I'm back with the full "normal" silence mode with my shortcut.

    But, yes - I also can't see any advantage in depriving us from the old settings. They could have offered us the mentioned new feats without making life less easy for the rest of us.

  • Malcolm B Feb 11, 2015 Link to comment

    To all of those hurling abuse at Google for the change, remember you and your phone's manufacturer paid exactly $0 to Google for Android. Also, some of the issues being experienced relate to the customisations that manufacturers make to Android before releasing it to their (your) phones.

    Finally, there are many free or low cost apps which will enable you to do many of the things being talked about here. A little research will surface many options.

    • I bought my Nexus 5 direct from Google, I'm pretty certain that Android isn't a free gift to me but even if it were I would still have the right to complain considering it's the only OS I can use on my phone.

      There are zero free apps or low cost apps that will enable silent mode, the functionality of it has been entirely stripped from the OS and of the numerous apps I have tried, they all revert to priority mode - because the code for silent within Android is set to revert it to priority by default.

      It's a terrible change, to set it up close to what I want it to do means messing around, it certainly isn't a 'simple solution' as you described above - by the way, I love it when people say something is simple and then write a massive paragraph - much better than 'click the volume rocker all the way down for silent mode'.

      Priority mode sucks, I'm either happy to have everything come through or I want it silent with no vibrate but alarms enabled for when I'm at work and going to bed. That's all. I can't imagine a situation when I don't want whatsapp to bother me but I'm ok with phone calls getting through. Easily the most frustrating thing about LP

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