Android got a brand new camera app with ICS. The old camera app from previous android versions didn't play a sound when the phone is in silent mode, the new one does. Obviously this can be somewhat anoying in some situations.

Can this sound be muted?

Note: I'm asking for an answer that doesn't require a rooted device. I'm aware that I can rename/delete the sound files from the system (as documented in this question), but I'd rather not root a device just for this.

  • 5
    As an aside, you may want to investigate your local laws, because doing so is technically illegal in some places (I know it's common in various US states, not sure about other countries). I think this is part of why the option is generally not available on stock systems, actually. Mar 1, 2012 at 22:52
  • 1
    I'm living in europe (Germany to be specific). I searched about this a while ago. As far as I know there is no law regarding camera shutter sounds in the whole EU (it's illegal in parts of the US and Japan though as you say).
    – alextsc
    Mar 1, 2012 at 22:59
  • 1
    You may want to consider trying other camera apps. Mar 1, 2012 at 23:23
  • On my Samsung Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean), the built-in camera app plays no sound when the phone is in silent mode. That might mean that Jelly Bean restores the old silencing behavior. (For those who got here through Google, you enter silent mode by holding down the power button and then pressing the Silent icon.) Oct 3, 2012 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


Alright, I went through the sourcecode and the answer is surprisingly obvious:

Yes, this can often be muted by simply using the volume keys while using the app or adjusting the volume of the media audio channel in the preferences. The media volume is used, regardless if the device is in normal, silent or vibrate mode. But it depends on where you bought your device if this works (I guess), some devices enforce audio over a channel that can't be muted.

More (technical) details:
The camera app checks the device configuration (system property ro.camera.sound.forced) whether it should play the camera sounds over a system-enforced audio channel that can't be muted. If this setting is off, it uses the media and music channel instead.

In case that it uses the music channel, it ignores when the device is in silent mode though. This might be a bug/small oversight by the authors. This is why you have to adjust the channel volume instead.

I guess the property mentioned above is set depending on where you buy your device, since the sound is required by law in some places/countries as explained by eldarerathis in the comments.

  • 1
    this property is set in the build properties, and, at the very least, would required root to change the value if it is set to "true". This explains how to modify the build.prop. Mar 2, 2012 at 14:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .