I like to listen to music on my iPhone when running, but it's really annoying for the music to be interrupted by calls/texts/alerts. I know I can put it in airplane mode, but that will keep me from using the GPS to track my mileage through apps like RunKeeper. Is there another way to "silence" calls/texts/alerts and just have them show up as missed when I'm finished listening to music?

  • 10
    <sarcasm>It's called iPod Touch</sarcasm> ;) Nov 2, 2011 at 14:49

11 Answers 11


Coming in iOS 6, you'll have the option to set "Do Not Disturb" mode in the device's Settings. DND allows you to block out a time window where calls and alerts will be silenced.

You can optionally configure it to allow calls from "favorites" or repeated calls to still come through.

  • DND is one of those features that doesn't sound too interesting until you try it. Then you wonder how you lived without it. Kinda like Swype. Dec 16, 2014 at 21:27

If you have a GSM phone, you can just pop out the SIM card. You've now got a GPS capable iPod touch while you run.

If you normally have notifications coming in over WiFi networks that your phone might join during the run, optionally turn WiFi off to be safe.

If you don't have service through a SIM, getting rid of everything but the voice call interruption is easy. Most carriers will let you forward your voice calls temporarily - say to google voice if you are into a free solution. Combine the two and you have your solution.

All of these work in the Settings App:

In Sound:

  • Set the Ringer and Alerts volume to zero
  • Set Change with Buttons to OFF
  • Set Vibrate to OFF when Silent

In General -> Network

  • Set Cellular Data to OFF

At this point when you have the side switch to silent, only an incoming call should silently pause your music. You can then press any hardware button to get right back to the music. Not exactly what you ask, but the best you can do without modifying the iOS software.

  • 2
    I'm able to achieve the ability you describe in this answer (only incoming calls silently pausing music) by just setting vibrate off when silent, and siding the switch to silent. Works great as I'll frequently listen to a podcast while going to sleep.
    – Shea
    Nov 10, 2011 at 23:11

Before iOS6 the short answer is no. The iPhone's and iOS flexibility in certain aspects is really (sometimes for the good) small. iOS doesn't support the old traditional "modes" where you could set your old phone in "meeting" or "some name" and then set the ringtones for each individual mode, and even silence and turn off vibrate. I remember an old Nokia phone almost 10 years ago was capable of doing this :)

Your other bet (albeit an annoying one) would be to setup a "silence" ringtone and turn off vibration, but I believe your music will be "paused" while the phone is ringing while there's a cross fade from your music to the ring tone.

The drawback is that you'll have to put them back after your session.

Your other alternative is to Jailbreak the phone and seek Cydia repositories and other "unknown sources" to find something like this (which I'm sure exists out there).


The easiest solution I can think of is just to forward your calls. On my AT&T phone, I can do this right from the settings app — send them to another number (Google Voice is a good suggestion, though make sure GVoice won't just send the call right back to your iPhone!) I think I remember reading that CDMA phones don't support this automatic forwarding feature because the network doesn't support it. This was pre-Sprint days, so it may have only been a Verizon limitation. At any rate, I'm sure there's some way to turn on call forwarding through the Verizon website or by calling into your non-visual voicemail or something.

  • Interesting thought - can I turn it off and on pretty quickly? I obviously wouldn't want to turn call forwarding on forever, just for a couple hours at a time. And I'd want to be able to turn it off right away when I'm finished listening to music too. Thanks!
    – Lauren
    Nov 8, 2011 at 19:42
  • Yes, it's fast. It took me less than 10 seconds just now, and that included trying to remember where the setting was (Settings -> Phone -> Call Forwarding). It will remember the last number you forwarded to, so after the first setup, you just need to navigate there and toggle a switch. There's also a handy icon in the status bar to remind you forwarding is on.
    – beverson
    Nov 10, 2011 at 3:16

In iOS7 You can now use Do Not Disturb mode to both prevent unwanted notifications and calls/alerts etc, and unlike in iOS6 you can choose to have this setting effective whether or not the phone is unlocked, meaning that if a call comes in while you have the Music apps open to select a new playlist etc, you can still avoid the disturbance if you choose.

Settings > Do Not Disturb > Silence: Always/Only while iPhone is locked


Note sure why nobody has mentioned this: Just switch your phone to SILENT on the side.

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Music and Podcasts will still play, but it will stop your phone from interrupting the music/podcast to alert you about phone calls, texts and emails. I do it all the time and it works a charm.


Just flip the volume switch on the side to off. It works for music and podcast apps. I can now listen to them and not have the volume go down.


I use the do not disturb mode during my workouts. Works also on long road trips or bike rides when I don't want to have my music paused.


The RIGHT answer is to flip the silent switch on the side of the phone.

  • 4
    Be nice is one of the expectations here. You could rephrase your answer to be a concise and helpful one.
    – M K
    Sep 19, 2013 at 10:34

Go into settings and switch to aeroplane mode!! No calls or texts what so ever will come through yet you can listen to music.

The only problem is, you can't get Internet using this option so if your using a gps then this option is no good for you.

  • Thanks for the suggestion - I actually included this option in my question and said that it works to shut off calls but won't allow me to use GPS tracking like Runkeeper.
    – Lauren
    Jul 23, 2012 at 13:48

I recently learned, and personally tested with my iPhone 4, if you go into your Settings, then turn on Airplane Mode, it will stop your phone from receiving phone calls and text messages. You will be able to retrieve voicemails and text messages when you turn the Airplane Mode back to the Off position. If you want to have access to WiFi capabilities like GPS, maps, email, etc. turn your WiFi on in Settings. It's right underneath the Airplane Mode feature. Of course, if you have any APPS that have push notifications on, it will effect the volume of your iPod. To remedy that just change your Notifications to the Off position in Settings. All 3 of these features are in Settings, all next to each other at the very top. So it makes it very easy and convenient.

  • 1
    Welcome to SE. By the way, GPS is not a Wifi capability. Wifi can be and is used in iPhone to help locate a device when in range of Wifi, but apps like RunKeeper will primarily run on GPS (Global Positioning Service). The OP actually mentioned that they would rather not use Airplane mode because that effectively disables GPS. Jan 7, 2013 at 14:31

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