Pixel phones offer the best of Google — bugs and all. The flagship Pixel 5 is packed with a lot of good stuff, but it also occasionally seems to include a more frustrating feature: a bug that makes all system sounds play at maximum volume no matter how soft you try to set them.

For those affected, the issue affects all system sounds across the device, from touch sounds to dialer noises to camera clicks. Some claim it also impacts other sounds like the WhatsApp voice-recording button tone, but it does not affect ringtone or notification volume, despite system sounds supposedly being controlled by the same slider. That makes everyday things like snapping a photo or grabbing a screenshot stand out like a sore thumb — especially if you're around other people.

Setting the ring & notification volume to silent works fine, but even one tiny step up sets all system sounds to max.

Our own testing confirms the presence of this issue on the Pixel 5. Google's newest device doesn't seem to match its system sound levels with the ring and notification levels like other phones such as the Pixel 4 XL do.

Hopefully we'll see Google issue a fix in next monthly security patch. Until then, there are a few things you can do to lessen the annoyance, like silence camera sounds directly from the Camera app settings, or turn your entire phone to do-not-disturb before taking a screenshot — but it doesn't seem like there are any actual solutions just yet.

We're able to confirm on one of our Pixel 5s that the January 2021 patch does indeed fix the loud system sounds issue, as they're controlled by the slider once again.

  • Source:
  • Google Support Forum (1),
  • (2),
  • (3); Reddit (1),
  • (2)
  • Thanks:
  • Jeroen