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 How to use silent mode in Android 5.0 Lollipop

How to use silent mode in Android 5.0 Lollipop

With the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google removed the silent mode out of its mobile operating system and replaced it with a so-called priority or do not disturb mode. While many of us probably used silent to get rid of all notifications (including vibrate) during the night. With Android 5.0 Lollipop this gets a little bit more complicated than before, but you’ll also receive some cool new features with it. In the following I’ll explain how to find and use the silent mode in the latest Android version.

As with previous Android versions, you can access the various sound modes by pressing the volume up or down button on your phone or tablet. Android 5.0 Lollipop offers three different sound settings:

  1. Regular sound mode
  2. Priority sound mode
  3. Do not disturb mode – including complete silent mode

Priority and do not disturb mode were introduced with the latest Android version and offer a few nice features. Here’s what they have to offer:

Table of Contents

Android 5.0 Lollipop Priority sound mode

Priority sound mode basically offers a silent mode with the possibility to whitelist calendar entries, messages or incoming calls from certain people. This is especially handy if your kids, significant other or family should be able to reach you at all time – even when you’re sleeping and want all other notifications shut down. To only allow a few contacts being able to reach you when in silent mode, simply hit the star icon in the contact list.

You should use this mode if you want to avoid any calls, emails or events disturbing your sleep, while stay having the possibility to use your phones alarm function in the morning. You’re also able to setup a schedule to automatically put your Android device to silent mode whenever you want. When in priority mode your phone will display a star icon in the top bar.

Android 5.0 Lollipop Do not disturb mode

Another new thing coming with Lollipop is the Do not disturb mode which basically shuts down all notifications. You won’t hear phones, messages or any other notifications. This also includes your alarm clock. Consequently, you should not be using this mode if you actually want to hear your phones alarm clock in the morning. When the Do not disturb mode is active, your Android device display a no symbol in the top bar.


While I like the new priority mode, I’m wondering why Google did not leave the already-known silent mode in its mobile operating system. There is no point in only having the vibrate function available and I think that this might make things just overly complicated.


Cleo Hall

Cleo Hall

Cleo Hall is a tech writer for, sharing informative articles on the latest tech trends and advancements. With a passion for technology, he aims to educate and inspire others.
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24 thoughts on “How to use silent mode in Android 5.0 Lollipop

The fact that you cannot whitelist the alarm clock in complete silent mode is a joke! I don’t want other notifications making noise while I sleep, which priority mode just doesn’t do properly at all. The system is overly flawed in its makeup and to me, completely useless! I want the phone to shut the fk up overnight, yet wake me with my alarm. I don’t see how google finds this thing so hard to grasp?


Android is an OS designed by engineers, not designers.


Nice article to assist with a major flaw. Thanks

I have this issue. I see the Priority Sounds screen as you picture above but confused by “You’re also able to setup a schedule to automatically put your Android device to silent mode whenever you want” As far as I can see this option has been removed? I have added nearest and dearest to Favourites and understand that those calls will be allowed. But the issue remains of using the phone as an alarm clock. Even though in the Priority Sound screens – it mentions “Alarms always have priority” – this is not the case and must be considered a bug. I will try using Airplane mode but it’s not quick and convenient to get to and I will have to remember to turn it back on in the morning

Nathan Hubbardsays:

I messed around with this on my Nexus 5 and never actually could figure out how to set it up the way I wanted, which is basically having any call or message vibrate the phone (like a silent mode) when I select that mode. I don’t ever want my alarms to be silent and don’t want to bother with priorities because I always want to know if anyone is calling me / texting me.
It seemed like no matter what I did, I ended up with my phone permanently silencing everything, or silencing nothing.


One of the reasons I keep getting chased back to my IPhone. Google does interesting stuff but their human factors are a bit lacking. On my IPhone DND does the right sorts of things and allows the alarm clock notification to just work. This used to be the case with my kitkat LG G3 I believe but with lollipop I’m astounded there’s no setting for the alarm to work under DND mode. Overslept two mornings so far.


With the previous Adroid OS, I was able to mute my phone and have my alarm still go off to wake me up. I now have overslept three different mornings because the alarm makes no sound. Yes, I’ve fiddled with the priority settings and it still doesn’t sound. This is ridiculous. Why can’t you mute your phone at night anymore EXCEPT the alarm clock sound? Time to get out my old alarm clock out and go back in time technologically speaking. Oh, btw, I did to a hard reset…and still only the sound of silence!

Babii Girlsays:

Is this a joke. Nobody wants to hear any kind of notification sounds when there phone is on silent, therefore it has to be in priority mode for the alarm clock to work that’s jus ridiculous. Looks like I have to use an old alarm clock. Please Google release an update for this problem asap. :(((. Another problem that I had is with the notifications, while I’m using my phone I don’t want the notifications to pop up at the time with the message. Privacy concerns. Is there any way I can just have the name of the person messaging me pop up!!!???


On your sound settings
Scroll all the way down to notifications
Select Hide content while lock
That will show you when you get messages. But no content.
It’s safe!


Well that’s funny. I dont even have these so called “priority” or “do not disturb” modes in the first place! Seriously, everything has gone to shit after the lollipop update. Im honestly considering on changing phones entirely because this shit’s just getting ridiculous. Nothing seems to work properly, my phone is slow (Samsung s5) and all the apps keep crashing (especially Contacts and Daemon whatever it was). I’m so sick of this. I’m trying to be patient and wait for an update that fixes these bugs but im just so sick and tired of this.

Tabatha Lewissays:

I completely understand, Im pretty sure Im going to change phones. If Samsung cannot even get the alarm to go off while on silent, I dont want the ohone then.


This is bullshit…I don’t have this problem with my iphone.


This is fucking terrible. Whoever came up with this clearly doesn’t do any type of research on functionality. I only have my phone on silent while I am asleep and I always use my phone to wake up in the morning. Not to mention my internet is SO SLOW ever since I updated. Now my phone is just an expensive paperweight.


The priority mode DOES NOT WORK. Causing me and clearly many others much aggravation. I receive texts from my friends who work night shift consistently, am I supposed to tell them not to text me?

Mike Hawksays:

Jesus fucking christ what have they done? I just got lollipop and this is driving me insane. So let me get this straight, in order to silence my phone, I have to ENABLE NOTIFICATIONS, and just tweak them in such a manner that EVERYTHING I DONT WANT doesnt come through? How fucking idiotic and backwards thinking is this? And my only option to undo this in the morning is to basically flip it all backwards? Goddamnit now I have to put an oldschool alarm on my desk that scares the shit out of me in the morning. FUCKING GOOGLE.

Go figure that Android has to screw things up again with every update. I regularly used the silent mode function when it meetings or places like theaters so my phone would only vibrate to let me know when I receive a call or message. Now with the lollipop update their is no option. Either I chance the phone not ringing or not have any indication when a message or call is received. This update sucks.

The Doctorsays:

No alarm in silent mode.
No smartwatch notifications in silent mode.
No notification light in silent mode.



I now hate my phone and my tablet. At thee movies I think it is muted butt it is not. I can seem tto only do ITT by opening up setting. ITT is a freaking joke. Also my tablet keeps the sound on for music and video but mutes everything else so I also have to keep goinginto settings to mute it. I googled it and found no fix. So I have stopped using my tablet for video and music. Until they fix this.

Frankie Dsays:

This feature is obviously not working as planned. I am so pissed right now at my new android phone. Late to work in first week, tested alarms in daytime they work fine and I look like an idiot. So I assume I just slept too hard and changed the alarm sound to an extremely loud, disturbing custom ringtone, set 5 alarm times within the hour I have to be up to get to work, and hooked phone to my surround sound. I hear my phone go off and jump in shower. Then realize it was not my alarm, it was my work calling to ask where I was AN HOUR AND A HALF AFTER MY ALARM WAS SUPPOSED TO GO OFF. I’ll be lucky to keep this job at all, but there is no avoiding looking like a totally irresponsible slacker like I have been in the past. I don’t know if it’s the OS or the phone itself, but it has now cost me easily over $1000 and possibly tens of thousands if I lose my job now. Is there a way to completely disable the stupid added silent feature? It just randomly goes silent mode on me, immediately after I turn it off sometimes and other times later.
I go to settings ad even when I select “allow all notifications” When I go back to the settings screen it still says

Frankie Dsays:

To make it simple, can’t I just remove, or turn off the silent mode/priority option altogether??


Nope, buy an iPhone. You don’t even have to deal with the software, just toggle hardware button on the side. FYI the different solution offered on the store don’t work.

I am not liking this lollipop update! Before it updated, my phone used to automatically go silent during meetings I setup in my Google calendar. Now it rings at weird times unless I remember to manually silence it. So far Google searches have only offered my paid apps to get functionality the old OS provided for free!!! I do not want to manually adjust my phone. I have a consistent schedule, so the phone should be able to take care of itself. Also not liking the BS with notifications. In order to use my phone as an MP3 player, I have to turn on all notifications, then manually turn off each one that I don’t want. From the lock screen, music controls are only available as notifications.

Joe Greenesays:

I figured out how to fix this. Turn on Do Not Disturb mode, tap on allow exceptions, turn allowing on, check clock, go back, turn do not disturb mode off. Set the volume sliders all down, make an alarm for 1 minute from now and check it out.


Am seriously considering taking this phone to the shooting range and use it for target practice for my buffalo rifle.

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