Note: This is similar to Mystery "notification" sound, but not the same symptoms, so I believe it is a different thing.

My issue

For about the past month, my phone has made a mystery sound almost every day. Video of it occurring here: https://youtu.be/cP4fYYouaAg. It typically happens some time after 9am, and it comes with no notification. As far as I can tell, there's no visual indication of what's happening at all. Does anyone know what this sound is??

My phone

Google Pixel 4a on Mint Mobile. Formerly T-Mobile prepaid.

Things I've tried

  • searched through all of the phone's built-in notification sounds. This isn't one of them(!)
  • turned off NFC, still happens.
  • turned off bluetooth, still happens.
  • noted location that it happens, doesn't matter (not consistent). Note that when I say location, I mean both geographic location and the phone's proximity to other devices (neither seem to matter).
  • noted times of occurrences. Not consistent. Doesn't happen every day, but on the days it does occur, it's usually between 9am and 9:30am CST.
  • I wrote down the exact second that this happened one day, then searched the phone's developer logs from adb logcat -b all. There were a handful of entries in the seconds surrounding the event, but all of those entries are common occurrences throughout the logs, so they can't be associated with this. In short: this sound leaves no trace in the phone's internal logs.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

  • check find my device and let device ring
    – alecxs
    Oct 23, 2021 at 17:08
  • Was the phone connected to charger when it made that sound? People report that as a reason when aftermarket or poor charge connection //Though you disabled NFC, remove all NFC cards from the phone case or nearby. Ditto for anything else that is NFC enabled (books fur example) // some people say it's due to weather app updating its status. Uninstall weather apps //Welcome to the site, good first question
    – beeshyams
    Oct 24, 2021 at 7:05

1 Answer 1


Following a suggestion from a user on a different forum, I put the phone into safe mode for a few days. This deactivates all external apps. (In the power menu, long-press the power off option.) While in safe mode, the phone never made the sound, which proves that it is some external app.

I am currently in the process of uninstalling my external apps, starting from the most recent. Each day, if the phone still makes the noise, I uninstall the next one. I am bound to find the offending app eventually. (Note: yesterday, I uninstalled Duolingo and it didn't make the noise today, so this may well be it. Couple more days to be sure...)

Final thought: why would an app do this? Though I have no direct evidence of this yet, I suspect that an external app was giving me a lot of notifications, so I must have long-pressed one of those to silence that app's notifications, but somehow, the sound is still getting through. Perhaps a bug is present in that app.

Thanks for suggestions above!

  • Did you ever find out what it was? Was it Duolingo? I also have the app and also getting these phantom notifications
    – laurent
    Jan 10, 2023 at 10:23
  • I did figure it out, and it wasn't Duolingo after all. Unfortunately, I don't remember off hand which app it ended up being. Safe mode is your friend. Take notes and use a binary search. (uninstall half of your apps each iteration, until you detect a change in behavior.) Jan 11, 2023 at 17:20

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