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iPhone tip: Use a Silent Ringtone to Screen Calls in Your Sleep

Have you ever wished your iPhone would ring only when certain people call? Here’s how to do it:

  1. Download the “Silence” ringtone here: silence.m4r
  2. Copy this file into the Ringtones section of your iTunes. (Click to enlarge.)

  3. Sync your iPhone with iTunes to load the ringtone.
  4. On your iPhone, change your ringtone to “Silence” (under Settings -> Sounds -> Ringtone). You’ll no longer hear your phone calls.

  5. For each person whose calls you still want to hear, change his or her Custom Ringtone to something audible: Click the name in your contact list, choose Ringtone, then choose something besides Default

    3_iphone_important_caller 4_iphone_audible_ringtone

Now you can screen calls in your sleep. Because Sunday afternoons are for napping.

329 replies on “iPhone tip: Use a Silent Ringtone to Screen Calls in Your Sleep”

Richard, Thank you very much for the great tip. Is there anyway that you know of to “silence” the vibration for a particular caller? Most of the time, I have my phone set to silent mode and thus calls that I don’t want to receive still vibrate.

Thank you in advance for your consideration!

Thank you, Richard!

It’s important that I get 90% of my calls, with the other 10% are unbelievably bothersome- – your ringtone was something I’ve thought about but never looked for until today.

Thank you- now I can be available 24/7 for those who need me, without worrying about the pests.

I’ve created an entry on my phone called “Worthless” and now I just add all the phone numbers that I never want to hear from to this entry and set them to silent.

Works like a charm.

Bless you – saves me from having to make my own! Someone above asked about making your own ringtones – it’s very easy with Ringtone Expressions. It’s super cheap and is designed to work with iTunes/iPhone. All about the iLife…
thank you! it was simple, but someone’s had to think of it!
I nearly jailbroken my I phone to get this kind of app at cyndia, but your idea is simple and genial
great simple solution to a big problem with the phone. quick question: My employer uses a “blocked” number. while usually I want them silenced, there are times I need to take their call. if there a way to silence everyone but “blocked” numbers.
Greeaaaatttt. Thank you sooooo much.. This has helped me to get a better nights sleep. Now if only it would work with “UNKNOWN” AND “WITHHELD” NUMBRS that would be outstanding!!!!!!!!!
But still great as is….
Awesome! With other phones I’ve owned I would use ‘silent’ ringtone for calls I didn’t want to disturb me but the iPhone didn’t come with a ‘silent’ ringtone. Was looking around for one, didn’t want to go thru the hassle of making my own and your website was the first to pop up. Bye bye telemarketers! Thanks Richard!
ths is great, I have been wanting this for a while for Student Loans Companies. But I have been to lazy to make one. and I am glad to see that I won’t have to convert it or rename it =)

MP3s won’t work as ringtones on a iPhone, it has to be .m4r which is just an .m4a renamed. and if it is too long it won’t work either. (but considering a “ring” is about 30 seconds you don’t need any more)

Thank you SOOOOO much for this simple, yet VERY effective ringtone!! ๐Ÿ™‚ The amount of times I have been at work and have had to have my phone on silent only to have somehow knocked the tiny ‘silence’ switch on the side of the iPhone (which is way too easy to knock and make your phone become active to call ring tones). Now I can just turn it to ‘Silent ringtone’ and not worry about that silly switch!! ๐Ÿ™‚ THANK YOU!!!!
Thank you so much for the slient ring tone. No more crazy drunken calls from ex at 4 am!!!! A lady needs her sleep:)
Just amazing the iphone doesn’t already have one of those…thank you! I was getting frustrated and found your web site, I searched google: find silent ringer for iphone…
Great. I exactly thought of the same stuff for the same reason, and just before starting to create my own “void” mp3 and looking for an mp3 to ringtone converter I said to myself, “may be someone else has already created one”. I searched for one on Google, got here, and 5 minutes after that, everything was set. Then I could switch of the light and go to sleep in peace, with my family being able to call me, and only them, in case of need. Great. I hope Apple will include something like iBlacklist (wonderful) in the OS 4.0.
This method/ringtone is also useful if you want to set a vibrate-only alarm. Using Apple’s iphone Clock app, if you set the alarm sound to “no sound”, then it also turns off the vibration when the alarm goes off. So, there’s apparently no way to set a vibrate-only alarm.

With this ringtone: turn on Vibrate in the sounds settings, and choose this as the sound when setting the alarm, and you have a vibrate-only alarm. E.g. put your iphone under your pillow. Good if you need to use earplugs, or don’t want to disturb your neighbors.

will try this soon, thanks!
only problem for me is that i have some contacts with a different ringtone than the main one. any ideas on this?
Thanks found on google str8 away extactly what i was looking for great for getting rid of the people i dont want contacting me
Thank you. You should tell Apple Support and At&T about this or make an App for the i phone you could be Filthy Rich. I own my own business and i have to go to bed at 6pm and get up at 1am. How ever i do have a shift running, and if an employee has a question or some emergency etc. I miss their call. The telemarketers do not respect the “National do not call list” especially for a business number. Thank you so very much now I can get some rest and be available for my employees and family. May God Continue to Bless you!
How do I do this if I haven’t purchased any ringtones yet? I don’t see a ‘Ringtone’ section on my iTunes, and when I add the mp3 to iTunes and right click to ‘create ringtone’ it tells me I can only create ringtones from stuff I buy off of iTunes. Help!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I’ve been trying to do this for hours following other websites instructions about how to create a silent ringtone using itunes and similar post, but could not manage to convert a file to a ringtone properly following their instructions. With your post, it was not only very easy to follow but you ere kind enough to create a โ€œSilenceโ€ ringtone for us. THANK YOU SO MUCH, YOU’RE A STAR!!!!
Wow! Richard… not to take the credit away from you, but I thought of this exact solution yesterday and discussed with my wife. I was pretty excited at my ‘originality’ and then when I searched the web this morning, I found your post ๐Ÿ™

You got to it before I did… I must say… so Kudos! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hi, this looks just what I am looking for but when I try to download it i get this message ‘safari can not download this file” Can you help me with this problem too?

Thanks in advance

Thank you so much, Richard! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Now I can successfully ignore the callers that have been harassing me lately!
wow, I am a phone and computer dummy and I was able to do this with your instruction, thanks , thanks no more ring on for trouble calls!
Hey Richard thanks for the silent.m4r. It works perfect! Any suggestions on how to make my own? I used a mp3 splitter and split a song into a 20second length then went into DOS and renamed the test.mp3 to test.m4r and iTunes wonโ€™t let me drag it over. It doesnโ€™t give me an error, it just ignores me.
Richard, next time I see you, I’m checking to see if I’ve been relegated to one of your “silent” callers!
I’ve thought about this from time-to-time. I’ve even just debating turning off the phone when I sleep. Problem I keep encountering in my head, is what if it’s an emergency? The one time I decide to turn off my phone, is the one time my dad calls telling me mom is in the hospital with moments to live. Maybe I’m overly paranoid.
Richard, I tried to download the silent ringer but my phone gives me the error message: Safari cannot download this. Any suggestions? The silent ringer app is so great, I’d love to have it. Best wishes. Donna

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