Why you can’t turn the camera shutter sound off on your iPhone

January 22, 2018 10:43 AM

Letting people know you are taking a selfie in a public bathroom can be quite embarrassing, can’t it? Especially if there are a line of people who are in urgent need of that same stall. Well, there you are, making your shameful exit, as you stare at the floor to avoid the inquisitive looks of everyone and blame yourself for having neglected to mute the camera shutter.

It seems like a trivial error, but if you own an iPhone 5 (or a later version) chances are it is not your fault. Apparently, many people in possession of iPhones have reported the issue of being unable to silence the annoying clicking sound.

I happened to Google the topic a few days ago, after having received a few bad looks for taking pictures at the city library (the panorama from the last floor is amazing, yet no one seems to care when they’re absorbed by their homework). Since the mute switch was on, I figured there must be a non-traditional way of solving the issue. So I typed the question “how to turn off the camera sound on an iPhone 5?” and got redirected to an Apple Support Community online forum.

I was shocked when I read the answer “You can’t” had been marked as the correct one.

Other users claim you can’t do it only in countries such as Japan, where it is illegal to take “silent pictures” for safety reasons.

As one can imagine, the same Internet flourishes with camera apps and jailbreak guides especially designed to overcome the problem. However, I couldn’t be bothered to download the umpteenth app and I was looking for a less “nerdish” way of solving the matter. Finally, I found a source suggesting to play a song, turn its volume down to zero, and try to take a picture with the music player still running in the background.

It wouldn’t work on my lovely iPhone 5c. No matter how low I turned its volume, when I tried to take a picture the same loud, unequivocal sound of a camera shutter would come out. For a while I stared at it bewildered with incomprehension. Then I remembered I had bought my used iPhone from a South Korean re-seller, and the next step was figuring out if South Korea had adopted the same strict regulation as Japan. So if you are experiencing the same trouble, consider the country you are in, and from where you purchased your iPhone.

Although for the moment pressing a finger against the microphone works as a good alternative, I decided I’ll download one of these apps as soon as I clear out my iPhone.