Software override for iPhone stuck on SILENT?
May 19, 2009 12:01 AM   Subscribe

My iPhone silent switch is stuck on SILENT (silly idiot me) - is there a software override? HELLLPPP!

As I very rarely need my phone to be silent and keep missing important calls when the switch flips over (pretty poor design for Apple) I had the smart idea to glue it in the RING position with superglue. Worked a treat except - you guessed it - I got the position wrong. OUCHHH! Is there a way in software to override this? My phone is brand new, so don't dare "lose" it for a while yet. I really need help here - is it a lost cause?
posted by kairab to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not in the default software. I don't know enough about a jailbroken phone to say on that score though.
posted by fearnothing at 12:04 AM on May 19, 2009

why don't you try removing the superglue? you just need some acetone. don't soak the iphone in it -- just lightly brush using a q-tip.

use nitril gloves and do it in a well-ventilated area as acetone vapours are toxic and highly inflammable.
posted by randomstriker at 12:08 AM on May 19, 2009

If you try acetone be awfully careful, it'll attack most plastics. It's not going to ruin it or anything, but if you get some on the phone it might make the surface rough and lose its gloss.
posted by TungstenChef at 12:31 AM on May 19, 2009

Acetone is only going to work with cyanoacrylate glue. Make sure that's what you really have, although "super glue" suggests that.
posted by floam at 12:51 AM on May 19, 2009

Careful, the glue may have run inside and stuck all sorts of nasty things together that you didn't intend. If so, dissolving the glue on the surface won't help much. I'd go at it with a pointy razor blade first, to try to crack the still solid glue.

If you insist on using this technique again post-repair, don't use superglue to hold the switch in place. Use a clay or one of those two-part epoxies that dry hard, like plastic. Sculpt a 'plug' that fills the open half of the sliding switch, so that even though it's unbound, there's no space for the switch to move into.

(Then at least you can remove it anytime later with a hot needle.)

Or, like, consider getting a case that blocks the switch a bit. The one I like leaves the vibrate switch and volume control exposed, but adds a small lip around them, so they're difficult/impossible to bump accidentally.
posted by rokusan at 2:31 AM on May 19, 2009

No, there is not a setting in the default software to override someone's decision to physically modify a switch using superglue. TungstenChef notes that the acetone will be tough on the plastic case, but I'd say putting superglue on an expensive electronic device indicates you're not that concerned about damage, so go for it. And then invest in a case as rokusan suggests!
posted by impluvium at 4:12 AM on May 19, 2009

Can you see the glue?
You could just take it to the Apple genius bar and swap it out. If you mention the glue, you will have to pay. If you do not, they will look a bit puzzled, than replace it. It is up to you.
posted by StUdIoGeEk at 4:18 AM on May 19, 2009

As long as you didn't put too much glue in, you may be able to scrape at the edges of the switch with a needle or similar to try and "cut" the glue line. If you put in enough that it penetrated far, you are probably out of luck. The problem is that superglue is a solvent glue and more or less "welds" the two surfaces together. can you take the case off the phone to gain better access?

There are specialised superglue removal compounds available that may be kinder to the body of the phone than acetone, which will definitely melt the plastic of the phone body wherever it touches. They may also melt the phone, though.

I'm not sure which is worse - your problem or mine - I dropped the phone and snapped that switch off :-(
posted by dg at 5:07 AM on May 19, 2009


That switch broke off in my pocket. I took it to the genius bar and was handed a new phone, no questions asked.
posted by mollymayhem at 6:22 AM on May 19, 2009

Interesting answers. A D'OH upon a D'OH: Found out I had actually done exactly as planned - glued it in the RING position; and I had originally used a matchstick cut-off as a bulk provider, with just a drop of glue to fasten it to the switch pit. Upon panicking, I was able to remove the wood no problem, but enough of the cyanoacrylate had leaked through the switch sides to ensure nothing was moving anymore, even when some solid acrylate had been scraped off. On my first trial call (home landline to mobile) I seem to not have waited long enough for the - slightly delayed - ring tone to come on!! So actually there is no problem at all. I got my phone in the UK through O2 as a service provider, rather than in the Apple shop, but I note your comments on their relatively easygoing ways re. replacements with interest. My partner suggested acetone, too, but I was wary of dissolving the device's internal organs...
posted by kairab at 8:22 AM on May 19, 2009

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