iPhone 5s, iOS 9

I currently leave my phone almost exclusively on silent mode using the switch on the side so that it vibrates on notifications. But I want it to ring when one particular person calls me. Is this possible?

I've seen a similar workaround using the do not disturb function, but I don't think that solves my issue. I want it to vibrate on all notifications, texts, and calls, except ring when one particular person calls.


Buy a 'silence' ringtone from the iTunes Store. Make this your default tone, except for that one person.

  • 2
    That's not actually a bad idea - but don't buy one…. find one for free, they are easily obtainable. – Tetsujin Mar 2 '16 at 20:50
  • 1
    I like it! Good workaround. You can also make your own silence ringtone by following these instructions. Note that you will probably need to do an audio recording first of 'silence' and add it to you iTunes library so that you have a silent song to pick when using the instructions. – Monomeeth Mar 2 '16 at 21:47

You cannot do this, as you cannot define exceptions to the Mute toggle. Here are the possibilities I see, none of which solve your problem exactly:

  1. Disable all sounds for all apps, including ringtones (you can do this by making a blank ringtone file yourself, or by getting one from the iTunes Store). Then go into that one contact and assign a ringtone to them. However, disabling app sounds also disables their vibrations.
  2. Using Do Not Disturb allows you to specify a group of contacts that will bypass the setting, causing your iPhone to ring. You can find this setting under SettingsGeneralDo Not DisturbAllow Calls From. Again, this will also disable vibrations, as you appear to know already.
  3. In the overkill category, you could get an Apple Watch. Notifications will transfer to your Watch and not ring or vibrate your iPhone. You can then disable sounds without disabling taps on the Watch. When you get a phone call, your iPhone will still ring (this is the one exception to notifications on Apple Watch). From there, disable all ringtones except for that one contact as I described in 1.

While this was not possible at the time of the question, there is now a "None" option in the text tone vibration settings on a contact's card.

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