Ask LH: Can I Disable My Camera Phone Click Sound?

Hey Lifehacker, I recently bought the new HTC One through Telstra. Obviously I love it but one annoyance is I can't turn the camera shutter sound off when taking a photo. Is there something I can do to disable it? Thanks, I'm Not A Creep

Dear INAC,

Annoyingly, many phone manufacturers hardcode the camera sound into the phone, presumably because they think we all secretly want to take photos up women's skirts.

There are guidelines in place for phones that are made specifically for the Australian market, which explains why the Telstra version of the HTC One has no camera sound settings, but other versions of the same phone do. According to Telstra, the shutter sound toggle was disabled due to "privacy issues".

Thankfully, there are a few ways to get around this, including dedicated shutter-muting apps like Camera Sound Off! and Silent Camera.

Note that some of these apps require you to root the phone first, at which point you should be able to go into the settings and remove the specific sound file yourself. Click here for our complete guide to rooting your Android phone.

Another option is to install a third-party camera app with its own dedicated sound options. Some good examples include Camera MX and ProCapture. When you need to take a photo silently, simply use one of these instead of the phone's inbuilt camera app.

If anyone has a solution of their own or a camera-silencing app they'd like to recommend, let INAC know in the comments section below.

See also: Just How Effective Is The HTC One’s “UltraPixel” Camera? | Phone Camera Shootout: Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One vs. iPhone 5 vs. Lumia 920

Cheers Lifehacker

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    Interesting how it is a requirement of phones in the Aus market to block access to disabling the shutter sound - though from what I've noticed this doesn't seem to be the case for WP8 devices.

    Speaking as an owner of an unbranded Aus-stock Lumia 920, I was able to turn off the camera sound as soon as I bought it. I have family members with Telstra-branded 920s, and can check with them if they are able to as well, but taking an educated guess I'd say they're able to as well.

      Yep - I can disable the shutter sound on my Telstra Lumia 920

      It's not any legal requirement anywhere except Japan (that I know of anyway)

        Considering the odd things that those guys are into I'm surprised they even allow phones on trains. Just kiddin.

      My (WP7, Telstra branded) Mozart doesn't even have an option to turn shutter sounds on. It's good.

      Last edited 20/06/13 4:51 pm

    All I did was use the rocker on the side to turn the sounds off.

      Out of curiosity I also just looked at the settings. You have to scroll down a fair way but eventually you reach a setting to turn off the shutter sound. My HTC One isn't a Telstra issued one, so maybe this is actually a Telstra mandated setting. Just another reason never to get a carrier branded phone I guess.

        It's a Telstra thing. I have a Telstra HTC One, bf has one not from Telstra. He can turn off the camera sounds, I can't.

        I don't see how that is the carrier's decision. The shutter and camera focusing sounds are incredibly loud and obtrusive. I'm wishing I hadn't updated the software : (

    My wifes Galaxy Nexus, you just mute the device and no more shutter sound.
    My Xperia Z you just turn shutter sound off in the camera app.

    I just hacked the rear rear speaker out with a small pocket knife, which is fine, as I use a different phone for taking creepy kindergarten photos.

    My HTC One is unlocked and has the option to turn the shutter sound on or off. Telstra trying to tell you what you can and can't do once again...

    My iPhone 4S mutes the camera sound when on silent mode.

    Just blabber loudly when taking (upskirt) snaps I say!!

    Seems likely to be something carriers enforce to avoid getting sued in the event some weirdo takes weird pictures with a phone. If the phone is modded in any way they can claim it's not their fault. Telstra and the rest would not want that kind of bad publicity. I doubt it has anything at all to do with social responsibility or a 'Big Brother' agenda. Just avoiding bad press and the possibility of a lengthy court hearing.

    My canon ixus is a fair bit smaller than my phone and can be held just that little bit more discreetly. I slips into my pocket easily and often tags long with me, it takes better photos IMO. I have full control over sounds and lights. I've always found the supposed legal requirements on a phones shutter a bit weird.

      Having just tested before i get the 'yeah but the shutter clicks' comment, its extremely silent. I'd compare it to dropping a lead refill for a pacer pencil on a desk in a very quiet room. In a normal environment you'd be hard pushed to hear it at all.

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