Apple has offered a physical Ring/Silent switch on iPhones ever since the first iPhone. It’s located on the top-left edge of your iPhone and facilitates quick switching between the ring and the silent modes.


However, since this switch is a physical component, it can sometimes malfunction and prevent you from toggling sound profiles on your iPhone. Most of the time, this is probably due to some dirt/gunk getting trapped in the button, in which case, cleaning it up can restore the button’s functionality.

Other times, it’s due to a hardware failure, and a visit to Apple’s authorized service partner is mandated. But while you reserve an appointment and head to your nearest service partner, here are a couple of ways to turn on/off silent mode on the iPhone without the silent button, which can help you in the meantime.

Method 1. Turn On/Off Silent Mode Using AssistiveTouch

AssistiveTouch is an iPhone accessibility feature that lets you use your iPhone if you’re facing trouble using its touchscreen or buttons. Here we’ll use it to toggle silent and ring modes on the iPhone.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch, and turn on AssistiveTouch.
    turning on assistive touch on iphone
  3. Click on Customize Top Level Menu.
    customize top level menu option in iphone settings
  4. Tap on any action you want to replace with Mute, and select Mute on the following screen.
    customizing top level menu

While you’re at it, head to Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut, and select AssistiveTouch under TRIPLE CLICK THE SIDE BUTTON FOR. This way, you can triple-press the power/side button to enable/disable AssistiveTouch on your iPhone.

Once you set an action for Mute in AssistiveTouch, you can now toggle between ring and silent modes using this button.

To do this, make sure AssistiveTouch is enabled. Click on it and select Mute from the menu. Depending on your iPhone’s current sound profile, you’ll either see Silent Mode or Ringer—with a bell icon—on your iPhone. Tap on the Mute option again, and your iPhone will switch to the other profile.

silent and ring profile alert

Alternatively, if you want to save yourself a few steps in this process, you can assign the Mute action directly to the AssistiveTouch button. For this, inside the AssistiveTouch settings, click on Single-Tap, Double-Tap, or Long Press and select Mute on the next screen. While you’re on the same page, click on Double-Tap Timeout to set the timeout for clicks.

adding mute option to an asstivetouch action

Now, whenever you want to switch profiles on your iPhone, bring up the AssistiveTouch floating button and perform a single-tap, double-tap, or long-press action—depending on which gesture you assigned the Mute operation to—on this button.

Related Read: How to Use iPhone Action Button and Top 5 Shortcuts for Action Button

Method 2. Turn On/Off Silent Mode Using Back Tap

Back Tap is one of the best iPhone features released in a while. As the name suggests, this feature allows you to tap the back of your iPhone to perform an action.

Apple currently supports two Back Tap gestures: Double-Tap and Triple-Tap, and it has a wide range of actions that you can use with either of them. Switching between the ring and silent profile modes is one of many such actions, and here’s how to use it.

  1. Open iPhone Settings.
  2. Go to Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap.
    enabling back tap on iphone
  3. Select either Double Tap or Triple Tap based on your preference and choose Mute on the following screen.
    adding mute to a back tap action

With the Back Tap action set, when you want to toggle between the ring and silent modes, simply perform double-tap or triple-tap the back of your iPhone—depending on how you set it—and it will switch the sound profile. To switch to the other profile, perform the same gesture again.

Switch iPhone Sound Profiles Easily Without the Ring/Silent Switch Button

Hardware buttons on the iPhone simplify many trivial operations like switching sound profiles or locking the screen. However, if these buttons stop working for whatever reason, there are accessibility options in iOS to help you perform their equivalent actions via software.

Hopefully, the methods listed above help you set up an alternative way to toggle silent and ring modes on your iPhone so you don’t have to rush to a service provider immediately and can continue using your device in the meantime.

FAQs About Toggling Sound Profiles on iPhone Without the Physical Switch

One of the easiest ways to unmute your iPhone is to push the Silent/Ring switch upward. Alternatively, if this switch iPhone is broken on your iPhone, you can use AssistiveTouch or Back Tap to unmute and mute your iPhone.

There are various reasons your iPhone might get stuck on silent. Here are some ways to troubleshoot this:

  • Make sure the Ring/Silent switch is not in the ON position (i.e. the orange indicator isn't showing).
  • If you're using AssistiveTouch or Back Tap to toggle sound profiles, make sure the silent mode isn't turned on.
  • Go to Settings > Phone and ensure that the Silence Unknown Callers option is disabled.
  • If nothing works, try restarting your iPhone. Or if this doesn't help either, try force restarting the device.

When your iPhone's silent switch doesn't function, tap the Assistive Touch option (under Settings > Accessibility) and select Device features. By tapping on the “Mute” button, you will be able to put your device in silent mode. Later, you can follow the same process to unmute your device (to turn off silent mode).
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