How to Mute Boot and Camera Sounds with Tasker

Posted: September 3, 2014

How To Turn Off Annoying Sounds With Tasker

Mute Camera and Boot Sounds with Tasker

Sometimes there are sounds that a smartphone or tablet makes that cannot be turned off with a specific setting and in order for a specific app or action to not make noise the phone has to be in silent/vibrate mode. That is annoying! If my phone makes noise it should be for a reason, like a notification, or because someone is calling me, not because a carrier wants me to hear their jingle or because someone thinks its a good idea to have the shutter sound of the camera super loud all the time. This is typically not the case with stock Android, but skinned versions of Android often have these annoyances added by the manufacture of the phone or the carrier.

I have helped people deal with these annoyances before by rooting their devices. If you really want ultimate control that is still the best way to go, but understandably, not everyone is technically inclined, or simply doesn't want to deal with the "hassle" of rooting their device. Also, things have improved somewhat with versions of Android 4.4 KitKat: devices like the Sprint Galaxy S3 that prior to KitKat made a loud shutter sound when using the camera (no matter what the volume settings were) no longer do so if the phone is in silent or vibrate mode. However, there are still annoying sounds like the boot and shutdown sounds that I literally never want to hear again, but are difficult to remember to silence every time. The following method of dealing with these sounds does not require root access, but does require the Tasker app. Tasker is an expensive app, but if you are in to customizing and automating your device, it is a good buy and can do almost anything you can think of. There is a 7 day free trail so you can try it out before you buy.

Tasker is a great automation app and handles tasks like muting your device in specific apps or at boot and shutdown with ease. In this tutorial I will teach you how to create Tasker profiles and tasks to mute any sounds on your device. The sounds that I mute on my Sprint Ting Galaxy S4 are all camera sounds and the boot and shutdown jingles, so these are the ones I will show you how to mute, but the same principals apply for any other sounds.

Before we start you will need to turn off beginner mode. In the Tasker app, tap the menu button → Preferences → and uncheck "Beginner Mode." This will show additional Tasker features and allow projects.
Tasker beginner mode

Tasker beginner mode off

Download project:

If you want to download the Tasker project and modify it to your preferences, you can do that here.

Download Tasker Project* This is set up to mute boot and shutdown sounds
as well as the default (Samsung) camera app.

*Please do not upload this project to other sites. If you want to link to this project please link to this page, rather than the download link. For personal use only. Thank you.

To import the Tasker project you downloaded, simply open the notifications panel, tap the file you downloaded, "Mute_Sounds.prj.xml" and then choose Tasker to open it. After doing that, you should see the a notification near the bottom of your screen that states, "File Import. The import is now accessible from my UI. Long-click on the relevant top-tab." Occasionally this auto-import function fails. If that happens to you either move or copy and paste the Mute_Sounds.prj.xml file from the /Downloads folder on your device to the /Tasker/Projects folder with a file manager app or a computer.
Import to tasker
Tasker import sucessful
Now open Tasker, long-press on the home icon in the lower-left corner, select "Import" and then select "Mute_Sounds" as shown below. Now all the necessary profiles and tasks should be loaded on your device.
import tasker project

This Project's Profiles and Tasks

First of all, some Tasker basics for those who are new to this app (you can also checkout the Tasker website for more information or this extensive beginner's guide on Pocketables). Tasks are mini programs that do whatever task they were programmed to do each time they run. Profiles are essentially situations that you define in order to trigger a task.

Let's look at the profiles and tasks in this project. There are three simple profiles: device boot, device shutdown, and camera. To prevent the shutdown and boot sounds, the device shutdown profile activates the mute task. When the device is turned back on, the unmute task turns the sound back on after the boot process is complete. You will notice that the camera profile has two tasks associated with it: an enter task (mute) and an exit task (unmute) which occur when opening and closing the app, respectively.
Tasker sound profiles
You can change the name of any of these profiles without affecting their functionality. If you would like to add more apps to be silenced simply tap the camera icon in the "Camera" profile to open a list of your current applications and then select which application(s) you want to be silenced (multiple selections are allowed). You can even add your own profiles to trigger the mute and unmute tasks if you want your device on silent mode in other situations - anything from specific locations, to physical orientation (face-down for example), to certain dates or times, just to name a few.

The mute and unmute tasks are as lean as possible but are probably slightly more complicated than you might first assume. That is because the mute task needs to know whether or not the device was in silent or vibrate mode prior to being triggered and remember that information for the exit task (unmute) even after a reboot. Otherwise, if you had your phone on vibrate but then opened the camera app, it would switch from vibrate to silent mode while the camera app was running, but would then turn the sound back on afterwards, overriding your original preference of having the device on vibrate. We don't want that, as it could be more annoying than the original sounds you are trying to silence. To get around that issue, a global variable is created, "%Wassilent" to keep track of whether or not the device was originally in silent or vibrate mode when the mute task was triggered. It then informs both the mute and unmute tasks what they should do depending on its value, in this case, "yes", or empty (cleared).
Mute and unmute tasks

Tasks Explained Line-by-Line

The Mute task:
1. If the device is in silent or vibrate mode
2. Set global variable %Wassilent to "yes"
3. And then stop (don't change the sound settings)
4. Else (in other words the sound is on - the device is not on vibrate or silent)
5. Clear the global variable %Wassilent
6. Turn silent mode on
7. And then stop.

The Unmute task:
1. If the variable %Wassilent is set to "yes"
2. Then stop (this ensures that if the device was previously in silent or vibrate mode it will stay that way)
3. Else (the device sound was previously on)
4. Turn silent mode back off
5. And then stop

If you found this tutorial helpful, please let me know by sharing it or by clicking the 1+ button below. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments section.


channeledbymodem said...

I have never used Tasker before and hoped your project could solve a specific problem. I have a Motorola/Droid Ultra running KitKat 4.4.4 that cannot be rooted so I was hoping this would help me disable the boot sound. I downloaded the trial version and followed your instructions carefully. All appears to be as you have illustrated but the phone still makes noise. Any thoughts?

Cam Medlin said...

Does manually muting the phone before turning it off stop the boot sound until you turn the volume back up? To make sure go to Settings > Sounds and turn the volume on everything (media/alarm/ring) to zero. If it still makes the sound after doing that you are probably out of luck as your ROM is ignoring everything and just turning the sound on during boot anyway.

If muting everything does work, but this project doesn't mute it automatically, you probably just need to find which setting actually mutes the boot up sound and replace that setting in #6 of the mute task and #4 of the unmute task.

channeledbymodem said...

Manually muting the ringtone (which also mutes notifications automatically) disables the startup sound. I replaced silent mode in #6 of the mute task with "Ringer Volume" "Level 0" and replaced silent mode in #4 of the unmute task. with "Ringer Volume" "Level 5." Not working. Thanks.

Cam Medlin said...

If you can manually mute it then Tasker can as well, you just need to find the right setting.

I probably should have said this first, but are you sure Tasker is running and the profiles are being triggered? To make sure Tasker is enabled check to see if the icon appears in notification tray. If not open Tasker and long press on the icon in the upper left to enable it. To see if the profiles are being triggered correctly open the notification tray as soon as the phone boots up to see if the unmute task is triggered. You can do the same by changing the camera profile (tap the camera profile then the camera icon to choose any app you want) and check the notification tray while you are in that app.

Try replacing #6 just like you have but use "System Volume" instead. If that doesn't work try some of the other audio actions like "Media Volume", "Notification Volume", or "Sound Effects" to find which one is actually turning off that boot sound.

channeledbymodem said...

Tasker's persistent notification indicates "no active profile." Is that a problem?

Cam Medlin said...

That is what it should say until a profile is triggered. In this case a profile should be triggered on shutdown, boot, and opening the camera app (you will need to change it to your actual camera or another app as indicated above).

To troubleshoot I would do this:
1. Create a testing task and then add the different audio mute options as mentioned before and run it manually (click the play arrow in the lower left) to see which audio task works to mute the sound.

2. Add that audio option to #6 of the mute task and #4 of the unmute task. Test see if it works.

3. If it still doesn't it must be having difficulty figuring out when you are shutting down your phone... re-select or delete and re-add the device boot and device shutdown profile events.