Silent Switch Randomly Turning On/Off on iPhone 12

iPhone 12 Pro with Apple silicone case

Many iPhone 12 users have had a mysterious problem: Their iPhone’s Silent switch seems to randomly turn itself on or off. This can be a big problem when you miss texts and phone calls. Although this issue is affecting iPhone 12 users, problems with an iPhone muting itself can happen on any model iPhone. In this article, we will discuss the most likely cause of this problem, as well as some other reasons your phone could be muting itself.

The Silent Switch

silent switch diagram

The Silent switch on the side of an iPhone is a physical switch and so cannot be switched on or off through your iPhone’s software. The only way to switch it on or off is by moving it. So if you didn’t intentionally move the switch, it must have been moved when something brushed against it. This can happen if you have put the phone in your pocket, or in a bag. One of the causes for this problem on the iPhone 12, specifically, seems to be loose cases. Some users are complaining that Apple’s own silicone case is too loose fitting and doesn’t stay securely in place on the phone. When the case moves, it can flip the Silent switch.

Other Possible Causes

If your iPhone’s problem with randomly muting itself is not caused by the physical Silent switch being accidentally bumped, you should look for software causes.

Back Tap

Back Tap is a feature in iOS 14 that works with iPhone 8 or later. Some users like this feature which allows you to trigger an action by tapping the back of your iPhone. One of the actions you can turn on using Back Tap is Mute. To check your Back Tap settings:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch. Scroll down and select Back Tap.
back tap mute
  1. If you see Mute next to Double Tap or Triple Tap, tap on the one that says Mute.
  2. Tap on None at the top of the list to turn off the Back Tap feature.

Do Not Disturb

When Do Not Disturb is on, your calls, alerts and notifications are silenced while your iPhone is locked.

Turn Do Not Disturb On or Off

There are two ways to access Do Not Disturb on your iPhone.

  • Open the Control Center by swiping down from the upper-right corner of your iPhone screen. Look at the button with the moon on it. If it is highlighted, your Do Not Disturb is on. Touch the moon button to turn it off.
  • Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb. Check the toggle next to Do Not Disturb.

Do Not Disturb Schedule

From the menu Settings > Do Not Disturb, you can view the Do Not Disturb schedule, if you have one set up. From here you can adjust the Do Not Disturb settings as necessary so you aren’t missing important calls.

do not disturb schedule

Silence Unknown Callers

Silence Unknown Callers will block calls from numbers that aren’t in your contacts (if you have texted with them, or they have shared their number via email, the call will go through). To check your Silence Unknown Callers settings:

  1. Go to Settings > Phone and look at Silence Unknown Callers.
silence unknown callers
  1. If Silence Unknown Callers is turned On, tap on it, then toggle the switch to Off.

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Dr. Stacey Butler is a tech writer at macReports covering news, how-tos, and user guides. She is a longtime Mac and iPhone user and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

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