How to turn off the camera sound on an iPhone

Apple likes to bring you realism in the sound effects it installs on its iPhone. One good example is the shutter sounds when you take a picture. While some people enjoy the sound, it annoys others.

The good news if you are in the latter group is you can probably turn the sounds off. In fact, there are a few different ways to accomplish this goal, and each requires only simple steps.

Use the mute switch

iPhone 11 mute switch
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The easiest way to mute the camera sound is to use the ring/silent switch on the upper left-hand side. When you turn on the silent switch, you will feel the iPhone vibrate and you will see a notation signaling the switch. Turning off the ringer mutes all notifications, incoming calls, and other alerts, so you want to use this control judiciously.

Turn down the volume

iPhone 11 lower volume switch
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

What can you do if the silent switch isn’t working? If you’re having problems getting your silent switch to cooperate, turning down the volume using the volume button on the left-hand side of the phone below the silent switch is the next best thing. But you have to do it at the right time. If you do it while you’re in the camera app, it will start taking pictures in burst mode. Yikes.

The trick is to lower the volume before you launch the Camera app and start shooting. Alternately, while in the Camera app, you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the Control Center, and you can lower the sound from there.

Country restrictions

In some countries, notably Japan and South Korea, the camera shutter sound stays on at all times. Shutter muting is disabled, as phones sold there are customized for those markets to ensure privacy and prevent secret filming. Though it’s not a law, manufacturers and Japanese wireless carriers have cooperated so that phones make a distinctive sound whenever you use the camera. If you’re in these countries, even if you mute the iPhone, your camera app will still make a sound.

Possible workarounds include muffling the sound by covering the speaker while you shoot, enabling the Live Photo feature, which is believed to silence the noise, using the headphone jack and shooting photos using your headphone as a shutter, using third-party camera apps instead of the iPhone’s default Camera app, and using the volume buttons on your iPhone as shutter buttons. For those shooting images legally and not violating anyone’s privacy in those countries, it’s worth a try.

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