Since the launch of the iPhone, the Ring/Silence switch has been used continuously on all iPhones introduced so far. The sleep button is a physical switch located above the volume buttons on the left side of the iPhone. Silent mode essentially mutes your iPhone and turns off ringtones and notifications for incoming calls, messages, and notifications so you’re not distracted.
Unlike most smartphones, the iPhone has only one hardware button to control and mute the call or camera sound. While the dedicated mute button makes it easy to switch between call and mute mode, it can also be problematic. For example, if the Silent button is not working for some reason or if you have a broken Silent button. Or if you are using an enclosure that makes it difficult to operate the mute button. In such scenarios, it’s almost impossible to get your iPhone out of sleep mode if you don’t fix it.
A simple solution to this limitation might be to add a Mute/Vibrate shortcut somewhere in the control center. Unfortunately, this option does not yet exist. Even more surprisingly, you can’t tell if your iPhone is in silent mode or not. To verify this, you must explicitly check the position of the mute button, either visually or by touching it with your fingers.
Fortunately, there is a solution for those who want to disable their iPhone’s silent mode without the switch. The iOS’s AssistiveTouch feature lets you turn off your iPhone without using a button. This may not be the most realistic way to proceed, but it’s better to have an alternative on hand than nothing. So you can do it on iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6, etc.
To turn silent mode on or off without using the shift key on iPhone
in iOS 13 and iOS 14
- Go to Settings > Accessibility.
- Under Physics and Motor, tap Touch.
- Touch AssistiveTouch at the top of the screen and activate the AssistiveTouch mode switch. A floating button appears on the screen, which can be dragged to the edge.
- Tap the virtual screen button to open the AssistiveTouch menu.
- Tap Device, then tap Mute to put iPhone in silent mode. Also tap the Mute option to disable silent mode.
Help menu for the touch screen
Activate silent mode
Deactivating Silent Mode
TIPS: See the message at the top of the screen to confirm your choice.
Silent mode is disabled
Silent mode activated
NOTE: Activating and deactivating mute mode with AssistiveTouch cancels the action of the physical mute button. In other words, if the Mute button is on (Silent/Mute) and you turn off the iPhone with AssistiveTouch, Mute mode is disabled. And vice versa.
This can be confusing if you use both physical and virtual keys to control the Ring/Silent feature. Mainly because the iOS does not display a muted or silent icon in the status bar, control center, or lock screen to see if muting is on or off. So make sure you know your active settings so you don’t miss important calls and notifications.
ALWAYS READ: To turn off sleep mode on an iPhone running iOS 14
Other ways to activate the AssistiveTouch
If you are not always using AssistiveTouch, there is no point in having the button always displayed on the screen. In this case, you can simply ask Siri to do what is needed. Just say Hey Siri and ask to activate the AssistiveTouch.
Using the side or home button.
You can use the shortcut to turn AssistiveTouch on or off by clicking the button on the side of your iPhone three times. To do this, go to Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Overview and select the AssistiveTouch option. Now press the Side or Home button three times to turn AssistiveTouch on or off.
Using the control unit
To access AssistiveTouch directly from Control Center, go to Settings > Control Center. Under Advanced Controls, click the + icon next to the access shortcuts. Now open the Control Center, touch the shortcut command and touch AssistiveTouch to enable or disable it.
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