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On iPhone, there is a physical switch on the left side of the device for turning on “Silent Mode”. This mode does not disable all sounds. For example, if you open YouTube in Safari and play a video, it will produce sound.

By definition, “silent” means “not making or accompanied by any sound”, so Silent Mode is a lie. It doesn’t stop all sounds but only some sounds.

What I want is to stop all sound, regardless of where it is coming from. I actually don’t understand the use-case for Silent Mode. If I’m at a meeting and don’t want my phone to produce sound, turning on Silent Mode is not enough, so what’s the point?

Is it possible to stop an iPhone from producing any sound?

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    I understand the use case for Silent mode to be don't make any sound unless I want you to (for example by playing music or a video), which makes sense to me. It doesn't silence alarms, but I can see the arguments both for and against that - I don't want alarms going off during a meeting or concert, but I do still want my morning alarm to go off even if I happened to leave my phone in silent mode the previous night.
    – nekomatic
    May 26 at 14:44
  • @nekomatic The problem is that on the web, the user does not control sound reproduction. A website might randomly play sounds at any moment, without the user’s interaction (apart from looking at the website). So if you’re in a meeting, library, or similar environment, if you want to browse the web, you have no choice but to manually bring volume down to zero beforehand. This is just not a good experience. There should be a simple “kill phone speaker” switch, and the physical Silent Mode switch would be perfect for that. May 26 at 16:03

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You can set Do Not Disturb Focus mode from Control Center to silence calls, alerts and notifications.

You can create a Personal Automation Shortcut to trigger when you turn Focus on and have that Shortcut set the system volume (in the Media category) to zero which will silence music and videos. You can also have the Shortcut turn any alarms off using the Get all alarms action (from Clock) then a Repeat loop containing the Toggle alarm action configured to off.

I think this should silence everything. You will have to manually turn any alarms back on if you want them on though.

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  • Thanks. I’ll try. The Shortcut app has the most confusing UI that I’ve ever seen on iPhone. May 26 at 16:11
  • Sorry, I give up. There’s no way I can figure out how to set up an “If Focus turned on” condition in the Shortcuts app. Searching on the web for an answer didn’t help me. May 26 at 16:17
  • What version of iOS are you using? I'm on 15.5 and in the Shortcuts app I tap Automation (the centre icon at the bottom) > Create Personal Automation > scroll down to the Focus group and tap Do Not Disturb > select When Turning On > Next. Then tap Add Action and browse or search for the action you want in the sheet that slides up from the bottom of the screen. To add further actions you can slide up the sheet again, tap the X to clear the current selection and browse or search for another one. Let me know if this works or not and I'll edit my answer.
    – nekomatic
    May 27 at 7:51
  • This is so complicated, my head hurts. Why doesn’t volume go back up when I turn off Focus mode? Do I need to create a separate automation to bring volume back up? But there is no “return it to the same volume level that it was before I turned on Focus mode” option. May 27 at 13:00

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