How to get your ringtone sound back in Lollipop

If your Lollipop-powered Android smartphone has found its ringtones silenced, Jack Wallen has the fix for you.


I've received so many requests asking for help with a rather interesting issue... one that I've experienced on a number of occasions. Let me set the stage. You've been waiting for an extremely important phone call, but the call never comes. At the end of the day, you glance down at your phone to see you've missed it! But how? Your smartphone has been at your side all day, but you didn't hear a peep.

With the upgrade to Lollipop, Google changed how we interact with sound. Although I do find this change to be welcome, it has some unwelcome side effects. One such effect is silencing your ringtone, even when you think it should be calling out for you to answer the phone.

With your phone unlocked, press either the volume up or down button, and you'll see the Priorities notification bar (Figure A).

Figure A

Image: Jack Wallen
The Priorities notification bar on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.

Tap the Priority button until you see the Indefinitely drop-down menu. Tap that to reveal the options and make sure that Indefinitely is selected (Figure B).

Figure B

Image: Jack Wallen
Setting interruptions for an indefinite length of time.

This happens to be the problem. In some cases, the priority gets set for a specified period and doesn't get unset, even upon rebooting. If you tap the Indefinite option, for whatever reason, this should resolve your silenced ringtone issue.

I've tested this fix on a couple of different Lollipop-powered devices and found it to solve the problem in each case. Give this a go and see if it doesn't fix your lack of sound when that crucial call comes in.

Have you found an Android issue that has stumped you? If so, send it to me, and we'll see about getting it resolved.

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By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....