6 Replies Latest reply: Jul 13, 2014 5:02 PM by BenRup
BenRup Level 1 Level 1

I was befuddled by this for a long time.

Alert sounds would just stop making noise.  This includes dings from txt messages and new mail.

If I went to Settings>Sounds>Text Tone and select several options, all I would get were vibrations.

I rebooted the phone and toggled the silence switch on and off.


I finally figured out that if I started a game and turned the volume up, the noises would come back.


I think it is reasonable for a user to wish to play a game on mute but still hear alert messages. 


I think if we can only have two separate systems for audio control, the alert sounds should be tied to the ringer, not to the media/game sounds.


When I spoke to an apple support person over online chat, they seemed to agree that this sounds like a bug.


I have seen many confused posts in these forums regarding alert sounds suddenly disappearing.


Below is the text that I submitted at http://www.apple.com/feedback/


If you share this problem, I suggest you do the same.


My case number is 606343836


Begin message:


I've had a 5S since a few weeks after launch and this problem has only come about in the last few weeks, so I suspect it has to do with a recent OS patch.

Sometimes my alert messages just stop working.  They seem to work one minute, then they stop.  Alert messages would include email notifications and txt message pings.  When they are not working, I can go into Settings>Sounds>Text Tone, and all of the options will simply result in a vibration and no sound. 

Rebooting the phone does not fix the problem.

What I have found to fix the problem is to open a game and raise the volume of the game.  Then when I exit the game, alert messages start again. 

This seems reversible, if I go back in and mute a game, my alert messages go away as well.

If this is by design, I do not think it should be, as I think it is reasonable for a user to want to control the "media" part of the volume separately from the "ringer" and "alerts" part of the volume. It makes sense to want play a game or video on mute but still get alert messages. If anything, I think the alerts volume should be tied to the ringer volume, I think that would make sense.

iPhone 5s, iOS 7.1.1
  • BenRup Level 1 Level 1

    Additional info, which makes me think this is a bug rather than a feature.  If you go into Settings > Sounds and turn off the "Change with Buttons" option, then the ringer should always ring at the volume of the slider on the screen. 


    The volume buttons now appear to only affect the media/games volume, and it works as expected EXCEPT:

    if you are in a game and you mute the volume in the game, then exit the game, all alert sounds are muted and you can't turn them back up by raising the volume with the volume buttons.


    If you go back into the game and raise the volume within the game, then exit the game, then alert sounds do turn back on.


    I have tested this with two games from two developers.

  • BenRup Level 1 Level 1

    I just borrowed a friend's iphone with the same model and os version, and the other phone does not have this problem.  When I mute the volume of a game, his messages and alerts still make sounds.

  • Secretmachine Level 1 Level 1

    The posted "Official" fix does not work after switching apps. If you've lost sound in app and games but not in music or headphones, then try this. Close all current apps, go to settings, control center and turn off "Access Within Apps". Then do a soft reset with the home and sleep button. Your audio/external speakers will now work in apps. Apple broke the audio controller (pause/play/forward/back/volume) in the Control Center with their 7.1.1 update.

  • BenRup Level 1 Level 1

    Hmm SecretMachine, thanks for the thought but what you're describing doesn't match this problem.

  • BenRup Level 1 Level 1

    Additional note:  As Applecare suggested, doing a backup and restore from iTunes temporarily fixes this problem, but then it comes back after a day or so.  I have paid close attention, and the last time it broke I had not used any functionality of the phone other than the voice calling app or the messaging app or gmail.

  • BenRup Level 1 Level 1

    Doing a reset and not doing a store from the backup fixed the problem long-term.  Shame to lose all that info though.