iPhone Automatically Lowering Volume: How to Stop?

Here’s how to stop an iPhone from automatically lowering the volume:

A wide range of things can cause this issue, from hardware issues to software glitches to overzealous user protection features.

Sometimes restarting your iPhone will be enough to fix the problem. 

But if that’s not enough, you may need to disable features like “change with buttons” or the “attention aware” feature.

So if you want to learn all about why your iPhone is automatically lowering the volume and how to fix it, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get started!

Woman holding iPhone who needs to learn what it means to optimize iphone storage to fix her phone.

How to Stop an iPhone From Automatically Lowering the Volume?

If you’ve ever had a smartphone that automatically lowers the volume, you know how annoying it can be. 

While it’s never happened to me personally, I once watched a friend slump in his chair subconsciously trying to get away from background noise without realizing the volume on his phone was going down. 

Thinking back on it, his head was actually serving as a volume indicator from where I was sitting. 

Admittedly, it’s rare for phone volume to go down during a call in such a dramatic fashion as this. 

Still, many people experience this annoying effect due to a number of software glitches, weird settings, wonky configurations, and hardware failures. 

It comes, in part, from the efforts of software engineers to protect users from blowing out their eardrums by playing music too loudly on headphones.

But it can also result from a wide range of malfunctions.

The good news is that there are known fixes for this issue, particularly on popular iPhone and Android models.

How Do You Fix Your iPhone Lowering the Volume Automatically? (4 Ways)

Unfortunately, a wide range of things can cause this program, from hardware issues to software glitches to overzealous user protection features that try to hold your hand.

But the most common causes of this problem can be remedied on the iPhone using the tips discussed here.

Step one for iPhone users will be to use the following tips.

If that doesn’t work, there’s about an 80% chance that it’s a hardware issue, in which case you’ll need to send it to an Apple service center, and may God help you.

#1 Restart the iPhone

Girl worried while waiting on her mobile phone.

Just as with many computing devices, sometimes restarting your iPhone will be enough to fix the problem. 

Contrary to popular belief, software does not function exactly the same way each and every time it runs, especially when you have multiple startup programs trying to activate simultaneously. 

Sometimes one script will block another or trigger some contingency for seemingly mysterious reasons.

Restarting it gives it a chance to turn off things running in the background that might be causing the problem as well.

This, basically, should be the first thing you try with any mysterious software behavior problem, no matter what device you’re using.

To restart most iPhones, press and hold both the up and down volume buttons at the same time. 

After the power off slider appears, slide it to the “off” position and wait for at least one minute. 

Then press and hold the slide button once again until the Macintosh logo appears on your screen. 

Use the same procedure if you’re using an older phone like the iPhone 8 or earlier, except you will be pressing and holding a top button instead of the side volume buttons.

Volume buttons should be on the left side of the phone as you face the screen. 

The side button should be on the right side, and the top button should be… well, I think you’ll find it.

If this method doesn’t work the first time, try it again.

As stated, not all software behaves exactly the same every time you activate it, and this is especially true for persnickety Apple machines.

So try this at least three times before moving on to the next method.

#2 Disable the “Change With Buttons” Feature

Disappointed and upset girl reading messages on her smartphone.

If you tried the first method two or more times with no success, you have my condolences on the two or three minutes of your life, which you will never get back. 

Now, it’s time to try something a little more aggressive.

No, I don’t mean throwing your phone through a window. That comes later.

If you’ve gotten this far, you might have a faulty volume button.

You can use a simple workaround that will move the function of the volume button to another means of controlling volume.

This will also help you if you’re having problems with adjusting the volume while the phone is ringing.

Go to the setting menu on your phone and tap “Sounds & Haptics” or “sounds.”

Then tap the toggle to put it in the “off” position.

This should fix the problem if a faulty external volume control button causes the problem. 

Try increasing the volume using the Ringer and Alerts slider near the right side of the screen.

Unlike the first step, this solution should work the first time you try it.

If not, it’s time to swear a bit and try the next method.

Just for fun, try turning your phone off and on again.

If it works this time, you’re in luck… if not, well, you’re already frustrated, so what’s the harm?

#3 Deactivate Attention Aware Features 

Woman concentrating while using her cellphone.

If you are the lucky owner of an iPhone X or later, you have yet another chance to fix the problem before your choices are reduced to sending it to the factory where they are likely to use it as a paperweight for a week before getting around to it and using the analog version of Windows to uninstall the phone from your life.

There is a new feature on these newer apple phones that are equipped with even newer “TrueDepth” cameras.

When active, the TrueDepth camera will attempt to utilize face recognition technology to activate all manner of features. Lovely.

For some strange reason, this feature has been programmed with a tendency to turn the volume down when it believes you are looking at your phone.

This is either Tim Cook’s idea of a twisted joke, or the designers don’t use these phones themselves and don’t know how annoying it is.

One solution might be to avoid looking at your phone.

If the TrueDepth face-sensing software is taking your mug as a trigger to turn the volume down, and you’re not willing to stop looking at it, you’ll need to disable it.

Fortunately, this can be done fairly easily… usually.

Go to the Settings menu. Open the “Face ID & Passcode” menu. Find “Attention-Aware Features.”

There should be a little horizontal toggle slider in green and white just to the right of that text.

Tap or slide it to the “off” position.

Now, if you have the patience, turn your phone off and on again.

Check the settings to see that the slider for Attention-Aware Features is still in the off position.

If it is, try using your phone the way you used it when detecting the problem.

If the problem persists while the button is set off, you may need to use the Mark Zuckerberg privacy method of putting a piece of tape over your camera.

At this point, you may want to press your face into a pillow and scream. It’s a good way to blow off steam, and if done right, the neighbors won’t call 911 on their fully functional iPhones.

#4 Bonus Method

Pensive guy in red shirt using his phone.

If your sanity, phone, and volume problem have survived the above techniques, you have my sympathy.

The good news is that the Universe has intervened and enabled me to dig up yet one more possibly plausible solution to your volume problem.

Aren’t you lucky?

First, check for software updates.

Allowing your phone to update regularly is an important way to benefit from any new security measures against the latest exploits used by evil, twisted computer hackers looking to filch off your user data.

That stuff is more valuable than gold, you know.

Go to settings, then to “general,” and tap “Software Update.”

Your precious little baby Hal 9000 will then begin studiously checking for available updates. 

If any are available, you will be given the option to approve their download.

Tap “Download” and wait while all the new security measures and possibly a backdoor for the FBA to look through your text messages will be installed. Joy.

If you have put off doing this for some time, the download might take a while. 

I implore you, do not glare at the screen angrily waiting for the download and installation of God knows how many software updates to complete.

Instead, consider doing a software update of your own. 

Take this opportunity to walk around the block via the most nature-laden path you can find.

Focus on breathing deeply with your abdomen, not with your chest.

Breathe slowly and deeply, in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Gaze at the clouds and consider buying a Samsung Galaxy.

Those things are rock solid. After all, Sam sings for a reason.

Once you feel better, return to your phone, and you should find that the software update is complete.

If your phone has been suffering from any other annoying quirks, you may find that the update will have fixed them- or not.

More likely still is that the Attention-Aware Features derived problem with the volume will be fixed.

If not, all that’s left is to take it in for repairs.

Alternatively, you can still open the window and send your iPhone to its final destination.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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