How to use Android 5.0 Priority Mode (aka the new Silent Mode)

How to use Android 5.0 Priority Mode (aka the new Silent Mode)
There is a lot of odd coverage of Android 5.0 Lollipop and the supposed removal of Silent mode, right now. Some are even wondering if it is a bug in the system, but really it is just a change in how Android deals with notifications; and, in the usual spirit of Android, it is giving users more control over how and when those notifications come through. Now, admittedly, Google hasn't done a good job of explaining this change. This has been a historic fault with Google to not explain changes properly unless there is a big enough fuss made. Luckily, we're here to sort it out for you. 

So, it used to be that when you held down the volume rocker on your Android device, the volume would drop, then go to vibrate only, and finally to silent. With Android 5.0, that is no longer the case; but, that doesn't mean that Silent Mode has disappeared. As you will notice when you start lowering the volume on your device, there are new options on that volume settings pop-up for Priority and None. Frankly, this new way seems a bit better, because rather than having to go through lowering your phone volume, then hitting vibrate, then getting to Silent mode; now, you just tap once on Priority Mode, and you're good to go. The way it works now is that Priority is the new Silent Mode, and None is an absolute silence. 

Let's run through what you can do with the new options. 


That is Android 5.0 Priority Mode in a nutshell. It's a more powerful version of the standard Silent Mode in our opinion. It's certainly doesn't seem to be a "bug" that Silent Mode doesn't exist on Android phones, because Priority Mode can do the same things and more. We understand that some might find the new interaction methods odd at first, but things are bound to change when you jump from Android 4.x to 5.0, and that's why we're here to help you in learning the new system as fast as possible.

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18 Comments

1. redbaronk12

Posts: 99; Member since: Dec 14, 2013

Needs additional control over when to set Priority, like location, or charging AND after midnight, etc...

21. jesusnexo unregistered

on my moto G i still get sounds from whatsapp and clash of clans even with prority mode set to calls only

3. hypertonik

Posts: 27; Member since: Nov 17, 2014

What's all this with decreasing the volume to zero, then? I just use the menu which pops up after holding the power button for a second and select either normal, vibrate or silent mode. Works on Samsung Galaxy S2 and Asus Padfone Infinity. Don't other Android phones have it? Is it there in Lollipop?

16. god996

Posts: 34; Member since: Oct 27, 2013

Well that's the point: instead of holding a button and then clicking another one, you just hold volume down until sound turns off. Yes, most of the phones have your mentioned feature and no, it's not on Lollipop for some reason.

23. hypertonik

Posts: 27; Member since: Nov 17, 2014

But why would I want to spend the time on holding volume down and lose my original volume value in the process when I can simply use the power button menu? If Lollipop removes this feature I will be quite unhappy... though I'm not getting it for a few years, anyway.

4. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

I don't get why they're more concerned about what notifications/alerts get through and which get silenced. To me, if you want notifications silenced, then they should all be silenced. As for when, they're silenced and when they're not, how hard is it to simply put your phone on silent when wanted and not deal with the hassle of setting this up?

12. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Making exceptions to what alerts get through are useful. At night I don't want to be disturbed. But when my father calls, it might be urgent (he's 76) and I do want to be disturbed. As for scheduling, it might not be a hassle to put your phone to silent, but with a schedule, it's no hassle at all and you can't forget.

5. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Would be great if you could set a schedule for when the priority mode should automatically activate and deactivate. I currently use Tasker for this...

13. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

With Lollipop you can set a schedule per day and time. Btw Tasker can't handle Lollipop fully yet. You can choose an action to silence it (none/priority) but turning it back on doesn't work yet.

7. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

This advice sounds familiar.

11. Izoe

Posts: 149; Member since: Sep 02, 2010

9. ePoch270

Posts: 193; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

Good bye Shush.

15. ChapeL

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 17, 2014

Yes sure all sounds good but... LED notification doesn't work. I used to have my Nexus on silent, no vibration and had only LED setup with Light Manager to notify me of any mail, what's app, sms, hangout with alternating colors. Only time LED notifications work now is when phone is on vibrate :(

18. kiwison

Posts: 18; Member since: Sep 06, 2014

As a Sony user, I really find how to XXX in lollipop posts humiliation

22. appel

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 14, 2010

You can NOT do the same thing with priority mode as you could with silent mode. You cannot have the phone completely silent except for alarms any more. You cannot toggle between silent, vibrate and normal when playing any media like music or podcasts.

24. hypertonik

Posts: 27; Member since: Nov 17, 2014

Man, this sucks.

25. kearl1141

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 18, 2014

why would they take away the ability to silence my ringer with the volume switch? This is awful.

26. S40GTG

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 29, 2015

I hope i can help as my Moto g 2nd Gen had the volume problem and it's running ok for now...... You are going to need to plug your phone into a computer and on AUTO PLAY click "OPEN FOLDER TO VIEW FILES". 1) Go to Media folder > Audio > Ringtones 2) Copy all ringtones and go back 3 tabs to the main storage page of your phone 3) Open Ringtones folder and paste your ringtones 4) Close the window, unplug your phone and cross your fingers it has solved your problem. Worked for me so i hope this helps others. Good luck

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