• After 15+ years, we've made a big change: Android Forums is now Early Bird Club. Learn more here.

Disable silent mode completly


Mar 17, 2016
Hi experts,

I have a question for you. My son is unfortunately suffering from Diabetes Type 1, and he has a monitoring sensor on his body to measure his glucose levels. If it drops too low, we get an alarm. It's an app which is installed on my phone, my wife's phone and his. This works rather well.

However, he is a very stubborn teenager... He refuses to put his phone on loud or on 'do not disturb', he always puts it on "silent/vibrate" mode. So if he gets an alarm at night, my phone gives me a very loud alert, so I can wake him up and give him his needed medicine... But he doesn't get the alert, which is already quite annoying. HOWEVER, when he is at school, we also get those alerts, but there is NO WAY WE CAN REACH HIM! You would think it is as simple as simply putting on the "do not disturb" mode, but he keeps on refusing to do so, because he is ashamed. It seems like he would rather go into a coma... One day he will understand the urgency, but for now he keeps on being stubborn.

So, my question for you guys, is there a way (perhaps in rooting?) that I can make the alerts from this specific app keep coming through, even though he puts his phone on silent mode? Or, alternatively, can I disable the silent mode on his phone, so that he is forced to use the do-not-disturb mode? I have no experience in rooting, but I do have some IT experience. So I'm not looking for answers like "it's his own problem" or "just use do-not-disturb".. :)

Thank you guys for your help!
You know the one thing that will allow you to make one notification come through when others won't, but you've already said he won't use that. The problem with trying to make the particular alert bypass silent mode is that silent mode isn't blocking specific sounds but setting the ring and notification volumes for the phone to zero, and the app can't override that - it could if the app had the ability to change the volume settings and an option to do this, but the authors would have to include that in the app (and you'd have to stop him turning this off!).

So can another app do that instead? Maybe you can use an "automation" app like Tasker or Macrodroid: set the condition to be "when this particular app is active" or "when there is a notification from this app" and the action to be "turn notification volume up full". I don't know that this will work, but there's a decent chance, and it's something you could test and experiment with on your own phone.

The biggest catch is that if he's actively working against you on this it will only work until he works out what's going on. There are apps out there that can "lock" another app so that the user can't open it without a password, so you'd probably need to add one of those as well (can't recommend one as I've never used any of them).

As for root, that's probably not the answer. For one thing we don't know whether the phone is rootable (not all are, e.g. North American Samsungs mostly are not). And if you can root it, the first step is unlocking the bootloader, which will factory reset the phone and delete everything off it (a security measure to stop thieves rooting phones and accessing sensitive data). This is not a recipe for family harmony! ;) Once you are past those hurdles you hit the technical challenges of what you are trying to do: if vibrate mode were a separate app you could just remove then that would be one thing, but more likely it would involve modifying the manufacturer's (closed source) user interface to remove the option (from the control toggles and the Sound settings) - and any mistake there and the phone will crash when it tries to boot up. And even if you managed that it would take him no time at all to work out that he can just use the volume controls instead (unless you disable them as well, which has other drawbacks). And any of this might have unintended consequences for other apps or system functions. So overall this isn't an approach I'd recommend (for info I used to root and modify phones, though not for some years, but never tried something like this - which is why I'm just thinking in very general terms rather than details).

So overall I think that an automation app, assuming it can be set up the way you want, plus an app to lock him from changing it, is the best suggestion I have. The biggest problem is that you'll probably have to lock him out of his system settings as well, and probably the Play Store, in order to stop him deleting the app. So if you do this his phone will feel significantly locked-off, and things he would legitimately want to do would also become inaccessible.

Perhaps calling the school when there is an alert and having the teacher have to call him out to address it will be so much more embarrassing than having the phone beep that he'll accept DND mode as the lesser evil?
  • Like
Reactions: ocnbrze
Upvote 0
I'd also suggest you avoid rooting as a solution to this issue. It often gets touted as some kind of magic fix for everything but it's not an actual reality for most people. Rooting does give you the ability to change system-level services that are otherwise protected and restricted, but it doesn't necessarily give you the knowledge to successfully make those changes.
Experimenting how to do root-required tasks on his phone greatly increases the chance you'll soft-brick it. Unless you've made a full backup of his entire user account on his phone and are comfortable flashing the stock firmware to restore his phone back to working condition, and then fully restore his files and things, stop considering rooting as a fix for this issue.
Or in other words, root his phone expecting a significant failure the first time you try to do so, and are prepared before-hand to start over from scratch.

But getting back to your son, if he really doesn't want his peers to be aware of his ailment that does complicate things. It might also be a disruptive matter for his phone to start beeping in the middle of class. A lot of teachers aren't fans of this occurring.
You refer to the haptic vibration notification at night when he's in bed to be an issue, which makes sense if the phone is just sitting on his desk/nightstand/whatever, but when he's at school is the phone in his pocket or belt holster so he is able to feel the vibration notification? Or does he leave it in his locker or a backpack?
  • Like
Reactions: ocnbrze
Upvote 0
How will your son react if you do alter the basic functionality of his own phone, and lock it down so he is only able to use it in limited ways? It may be best for him but given he is a teenager this sounds to be a bit of a drastic measure. Peer pressure and image can be a pretty big motivator in a school so he is likely to view his diabetes as secondary to a need to just fit in with the students. Having his phone reconfigured in ways he doesn't want and cannot change could be viewed more as a punishment than a benefit for his own health status.
Instead of finagling with his phone against his own wishes on this matter, any chance there's a school councilor you can sit down with to discuss this issue with? Between you, your wife, and a school staffer, If your son can be convinced how vital it is for him to take his ailment seriously, maybe this will motivate him to make the appropriate measures on his phone on his own.
  • Like
Reactions: ocnbrze and Hadron
Upvote 0


We've been tracking upcoming products and ranking the best tech since 2007. Thanks for trusting our opinion: we get rewarded through affiliate links that earn us a commission and we invite you to learn more about us.