How to navigate the many uses of the Volume and Side Switch buttons on the iPad

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All kidding aside, even though the volume and mute/orientation lock buttons on your iPad adjust and lock volume levels, they actually respond differently in different situations.  Think back to the last time you tried to silence a song or notification, or perhaps you wanted to adjust the volume of a podcast from the lock screen on your iPad.  Were you successful–or did you fumble around for a while before you achieved the desired outcome?  Turns out, the volume and mute/orientation lock buttons might not behave the way you’d anticipate in certain situations.  Here’s a short list of what to expect the next time you reach for those handy buttons on your iPad.

Note:  When Apple released the iPad Air 2 last fall they removed the side switch (mute/orientation lock) button.  To access the functionality that was lost with the removal of this button you now need to use Control Center.

Use the volume control buttons to

  • Adjust the volume of media (e.g. song, movie, podcast)
  • Adjust the volume of alerts and sound effects
  • Mute the sound by holding down until “mute” appears
  • Take a picture or record a video

Use the Side Switch (mute/orientation lock) button to

  • Mute audio alerts
  • Mute notifications
  • Mute sound effects
  • Switch between portrait and landscape views (in settings app–General–> Lock Rotation.)

Exceptions / Alternate methods

  • The Side Switch does not mute the audio from music, podcasts, movies, and TV shows.
  • Lock the ringer and alert volumes by opening Settings–> Sounds–> Turn off change wth buttons.
  • Limit the music and video volume by opening Settings–> Music–> Volume limit.
  • Swipe up from the bottom to Use Control Center to adjust the volume, and turn on Do Not Disturb.

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