Smartphones are exceptionally useful pieces of tech. Having music, games, social media, videos and books all in one small package is great. So great in fact that you could hardly be blamed for forgetting their basic, original function – a phone.
It’s even easier to forget it when your phone has bumped up against your thigh, and somehow reduced your ringer volume to zero. It’s something that’s happened to all of us at some point, and it’s responsible for innumerable frustrations and missed calls.
That’s not the only issue caused by those pesky little side-buttons. Whether you’re exercising and suddenly find your music volume dropping, or jumping out of your seat when your kids start blasting out YouTube videos at max, having more control over your phone can only be a good thing. Unexpectedly silent alarms are another bugbear… not many bosses will accept that one as an excuse.
Unfortunately, the stock Android operating system doesn’t have an in-built way to alter or lock the function of the volume keys. Luckily for you, there are a number of solutions provided by various apps. You can lock them entirely, you can limit different sources of sound to a specific range, and if you’re really fed up with fiddling about, you can even just switch the damn things off entirely.
If you want to take back control of how loud your phone is and to stop missing important calls, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the hard work for you to find the best, easiest to use apps for locking and limiting the volume on your Android phone.
Volume Lock by Evgeni Aizendorf
A very easy to use and simply designed app, Volume Lock is probably the simplest answer to your problems. Different types of volumes can be set to different levels, locked in place, or even assigned to a limited range.
That last one can be pretty handy, especially if you’re multi-tasking and can’t check your screen when changing the volume. This way you can crank up your music without risking damaging your eardrums when it hits the max, something that around 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults worldwide are at risk from according to a 2015 WHO study. It’ll also stop you accidentally going the other way and muting your sounds entirely.
The app is rated 4.4 on the Google Play store, and the recent reviews are all positive, so you should be good to go with this one.
Volume Control by Netroken
Volume Control is a highly rated and versatile option for locking your volume and quite a lot more. In fact, locking the volume is practically just a side-show to all the other choices this app gives you.
You can set up volume profiles for loads of different situations, such as when you activate Bluetooth or plug in your headphones. You can even schedule different profiles by time or location, so it will automatically mute when you get to work, and then set itself back to normal when you’re home.
It also provides a range of home screen widgets, including of course one for locking your volume, as well as ones that can switch between your profiles and change your vibration settings.
With a 4.3 rating out of over 1 million downloads, this app might well be the one for you. It does have some ads unless you spend a little to get rid of them.
Button Mapper by flar2
This one is something of a nuclear option. Using Button Mapper, you can change the function of any of the hard buttons on your phone, or turn them off entirely. If you’re really tired of faffing about trying to keep your ringer turned up and your music volume high, you could always just get rid of the problem.
This app also has a decent number of extra features. You could change it so that holding down your volume key for a long time turns on your flashlight, or you can activate the pocket detection function if you spring for the premium version.
It has a solid 4.1 rating on the Play store, and over a million downloads, so you won’t be alone if you decide that enough is enough.
Ground Control to Major Tom
With one of these apps, or one of the other options available from the Play Store, you should now be back in control of how loud your phone rings. Now you’ll have no excuse to not go out for that beer with your friends other than your social anxiety and laziness. Unfortunately, we can’t remap that one for you, but at least we’ve helped you to get up in time for work!