Today I want to… ding… Oh, sorry. Hang on a minute. Right, where was I. Today I’m going to… buzzt… Just a mo…
OK, I’m being silly – and in fact my phone has sat silently while I type this. But if you have a smartphone or tablet, you’ve probably noticed it makes random noises from time to time – often even if it’s in stand-by or sleep mode.
Obviously it makes sense for a phone to ring if someone calls you. Otherwise it’d be a bit useless. But that’s not all they do.
You might get a ding when you get an email, a buzzt when there’s a Facebook message, a blip when you get Facebook telling you there’s something you might be interested in and all sorts of other noises for other things – from telling you a download has finished to suggesting a video that it thinks you might want to watch.
Some are useful – personally I do want it to make a noise if I get a message (say through Facebook Messenger or Skype), so I can check it more or less straight away. But others can be just annoying – personally I don’t want it binging to tell me someone has posted something on Facebook.
They’re a type of “notification” – ways the phone or tablet tells you of something it thinks you’ll want to know about – that you’ve got an email or that a download has finished or whatever.
You get sound notifications (the ones I’m talking about) and also ones that appear at the top of the screen.
I’ve also found that sometimes things that didn’t make a noise will suddenly start making one – as apps update the people who design them will decide to make them make a noise for different things. In fact mine recently starting dinging when there was something on Facebook it thinks I want to see – but in the past it didn’t.
Luckily, you can usually turn these off and only have the ones you want.
There are two ways – you can go into the app that’s making the noise and change the settings. But if they don’t give you the option, you can also go into your phone settings and “block” that app from giving you any notifications.
The first way is probably best most of the time. You go into the app (in my case Facebook) and look for the settings option. It’s often three short horizontal lines above each other. In some apps it’s a cogwheel instead.
Once you’re in the settings you look for notifications or notification sounds (on some devices you might have to go into “account settings” first) – for example in the Facebook app on my phone you scroll down through umpteen options to find it. Tap on that one and you should get some more options. It might straight away give you the option to turn sound notifications on or off… or it might give you a list of the different things it can give you notifications for. In Facebook there are about a dozen different things and look for push notifications. Push notifications are the ones where it “pushes” the information to the device you’re using – which includes the sound ones. Tap that and you should finally have the option to turn sounds off.
You might have to hunt around a bit as different apps will have the setting in different places but if there really doesn’t seem to be an option for it, you can also make the phone stop the app from making these noises.
You need to go into your settings for the phone. On an iPhone you look for the settings cogwheel, on most Android phones you swipe down from the top and tap on settings or a cogwheel there.
Look for notifications or sounds and notifications and tap on that. You might possibly have to tap on device first. (You aren’t looking for notification panel, though – that’s the bit at the top of the screen where it shows you the notifications.)
Scroll down looking for apps or application notifications and tap on that. Scroll down again until you find the app you’re after, tap on it and you should have the option to either turn off the sound notifications (on some phones) or just to turn off notifications altogether (on others).
Tap the one you want, make sure it now says “off” or “blocked” and you’re done.
It’s a bit of a palaver, I know, but once it’s done, it’s done – you don’t have to keep doing it. And it’s better than it constantly binging at you to tell you things you didn’t want to know!