I'm a deaf person with a Nexus 5X. I almost never want my phone emitting any kind of sound.

When I had a Samsung Galaxy S4, there was a configuration option to mute all sounds independently of the various volume settings.

Since then, Android has released their do-not-disturb mode. That doesn't really fit in with my usage because that ties in with the whole notification system. I want my phone to function as if it was not in the DND mode, just without sound.

I looked into key remapping solutions to prevent accidental buttonpresses (phone holder, pants, whatever), but that doesn't prevent applications from changing the volume. e.g. Google Duo assumes that all videophone calls users will want audio regardless of the audio settings prior to opening the app. That absolutely makes complete sense, so that's why I'm asking for a lower-level way to disable the speaker.

I did look at several muting-related questions, but those seem to be more of one-time actions - "I want to turn off sounds right now, but I'll adjust them later"

So, the question is, as the title states, how to selectively stop the speaker from functioning that cannot be overridden by any app. How would I proceed to go about doing that on a Nexus 5X?


I recently updated and found a similar "mute all" function missing as well, so I feel your pain :/

My recommendation is to use a very powerful app: Automate

Automate allows you to monitor various activities on your phone and then respond to them. The catch-all method to accomplish what you want would be to create a simple loop of: if volume change -> set volume zero

While that sounds easy enough, there are some pitfalls: multiple loops based on ringtone, notification, media, etc., and, depending on how your phone implements it, possible high battery drain.

So on to my actual recommendation (still using Automate): monitor for a specific app, e.g. Google Duo in your example, and automatically set volume to zero when it changes it. This is what I do.

In conjunction with that, to alleviate the issue of accidental button/toggle pressing: you can set default ringtones, notifications, etc. to "silent" (go into sound setting and pick a sound. "Silent" should be first on the list). If that's not satisfactory, Automate can also save the day. It can detect if the phone ever leaves vibrate mode and set it back to vibrate (or silent, etc.).

You've got a few options, but I highly recommend the app. It's a very powerful tool that I believe is fit for just this sort of application. Right tool for the job :) Lemme know if you need any clarifications or extra help getting it set up, and best of luck!

  • That's a good suggestion, thanks. I'll hold out hope though :)
    – paulluap
    Feb 6 '17 at 5:41

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