How to change the notification sound volume on BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry 10 Notifications
By Adam Zeis on 7 Feb 2013 01:33 pm EST

Notifications on previous BlackBerry OS' worked off of the profile settings. You could easily tweak each alert to your liking by choosing the volume on a 1-10 scale (or silent) so that each alert was different. Maybe a quiet alert for BBM (3) and a much louder alert for SMS (9). Whatever you wanted to do it could handle - but with BlackBerry 10 it's more of an all or nothing approach. 

The notification volume on BlackBerry is now a "one size fits all" slider. Unfortunately you won't be able to choose the volume for each alert separately, rather you have one universal control that covers them all. Keep reading and we'll show you how to change the notification sound volume on BlackBerry 10.

How to change the notification sound volume on BlackBerry 10

  • Tap the Settings icon
  • Tap Notifications
  • Drag the volume slider right or left to increase or decrease the alert volume. You'll hear a short preview tone after you move the slider so you can get a feel for the actual volume

Nothing more, nothing less. While you can't change the settings per alert, at least you have some control over the volume for notifications that's separate from the system volume. Also note here that the volume buttons control the overall system volume for media/games and not the notification volume for alerts and ringtones.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

How to change the notification sound volume on BlackBerry 10


Even though I figured out how to do this on my own, these are all great how to articles guys!

I also hope they do tweak the settings to allow for each notification to be different like the older OS's

No individual volume settings anymore for each separate alert!
..Not again! It feels like the deja-vu of 9900 not having the auto-focus camera which was standard in 9700 & 9780.
When will they ever learn? Is there anyone out there who listens to the 79 million subscribers, or is this organization run by VIKI (I, Robot). Who the hell authorized the removal of this awesome setting? Alicia Keys?

You still have such a huge number of subscribers still under your fold cause you offer so many unique features which other OS don't. If one by one you start doing away with those unique features, guess what: you'll start losing those 79 million subscribers quickly.
Die-hard BB fans have still stayed with BB because they abso-bloody-lutely love the ability to tweak these small but soo important things. If we want a phone that emulates iOS, we can and will buy an iPhone5.
BLOODY DISAPPOINTED! Just give me 2 or 3 more bad news like this and I am ditching BB for good. All the best with your Hub n Apps n Time Shift!!

I was going to post a comment, but I think Kishore said everything that was on my mind.

If I wanted a "dumb smartphone" I would get an iPhone :)

This feedback has been heard by BlackBerry, and notifications will be revised in 10.1. This will co-incide with the Q10 release. Hang in there folks, it's coming! Remember, updates will come faster with BB10 since they don't have to recode from scratch like Java OS devices. The radio code is different as well, and updates don't have to go through the carrier. You will see updates (10.1, 10.2) for new features and feature enhancements, and maintenance releases between to fix known issues, and optimize performance, battery, etc.

So, I decided to give up my Android and take a huge chance by returning to blackberry with its OS 10 - which is impressive, I appreciate all the hard work by everyone at RIM to build a new OS from the ground up but: It doesn't matter how well a house's foundation is built, if the counter-tops are crooked and the fridge door opens the wrong way - it's a problem.

I have 3 email accounts, is it too much to assign a unique notification for each, like I did - oh so 4 years ago?
And speaking of notifications, it is a crime that the classic BB notifications were not included in OS 10, or OS 7 for that matter. At least, why not include them in BB World, I will gladly roll my eyes and pay a buck or two for them.

I would also love to send group email - again.
I would also love to send group texts - like before.

And if I don't have to copy and paste a highlighted number in visual voice mail to send a text, that would be awesome.

And let's hope most of the bugs are addressed with a quick update.

I commented on your post because it was at the top. I know for a 100% fact that you can change the notifications for each individual person. To do this you go into your contacts, go to the person you want to edit, hit edit at the bottom of the screen, scroll to the bottom, under phone ring tone and messages notification tone you have 24 (I think) different notifications to choose from. I am going to repost this in the forum if it is not there already. Sorry but there is no volume control yet.

Thanks for pointing this out. Sadly they didn't even think this small amount of tweaking thru, as I have an SD card full of 100's of songs, and the tones get listed as (Active profile) (every mp3 you have) (default tones) so you have to scroll way the hell to the bottom to find the normal ones.

I shows as having that ability, I have my fiancé set up as a different tone for text like I did on my Bold, but it comes through as the default text tone. Hopefully the update will fix it.

BB really need to re-introduce all the features from BBOS that made it the communication king (don't forget the full suite bedside mode) onto BB10.

The dumbed down features are NOT acceptable.

I am still mystified as to why a supposed upgrade in OS has resulted in the loss of so many different points of functionality.

It is a completely new OS developed by a different team (Playbook had the same issues too remember, and there wasn't even a bedside mode available), but it almost seems like they never used any of the BBOS devices and understood what made them so great for people who consider communication and the various utility features so important.

I'm sure these features will be added back in soon, but let's not wait too long now BB!

I heard you can't do individual ringtones for different contacts..
But, can you still load custom ringtones?

Yes, you can change the ringtones for individual contacts.

The is the only way that I could figure out how to determine "unknown number" calls and calls from certain callers that I don't want to answer.

On my Bold I used to be able to set the unwanted callers to Silent.


You didn't actually answer his question and it's something I'm wondering too. Can you load CUSTOM ringtones, meaning set your own mp3's as a ringtone.

Also, can you set each notification to a different custom ringtone? Right now my SMS and my emails make different sounds, and all of my sounds are custom. I hate having to pick from a list of generic tones...

Oh yes you can. When trying to set a ringtone for a contact, my whole music selection was available as a ringtone! Makes finding the right one tedious...

Seems like they've removed all the cool things I liked about the old OS. Hopefully it was just a matter of too much to integrate for launch and they plan on reintroducing them through updates

Again, this is one of the features from bbos that should have NEVER been eliminated. This was used in business as well as personal. I can't believe that it was should have been there from the start. When are they ever going to go to the public and ask "what do you want?"
For me, it's functionality, not apps. This was a function I used DAILY.


When people ask me why I can't wait to switch back from the iPhone, the lack of granularity in controlling sounds is one of my top reasons.

Another one they removed is the auto bedside mode when you plug the phone between certain hours of the day. Now I have to lock the screen and 'pull the curtain'. Was fun to do the... first time, but now annoying.

This is one of the main reasons that I have stuck with Blackberry so long. I get my emails faster than my IOS counterparts and since I have a special ringtone for this one email I know when to run and log on. This helps me to make money every day. I think I will be sticking with my 9810 for now. BB10 so far from what I have read is a let down to BB core customers.

What's this?? an iphone o a brand new bb10?? i want to switch from ios to bb10 but with these limitations i'll have to get an android instead

Unfortunately, nobody does this well, except for looks like they hired an ios engineer to create this mess. Doesn't it? And android isn't any better. This is one function that I could always say, can your phone do this? The answer was no.

On my 9850 I have different sounds for emails and sms...........will I still be able to do that? As well as different ringtones for different contacts?

You can set different Ringtones for each contact as well as choose a different message notification sound for each contact. You can choose sounds for Text, BBM, Phone, email, etc......the only thing you can't do is set the volume different for each type of message or change the Vibe/LED for individual contacts.....hopefully 3rd party app will bring that customization.


You have a Z10? If so, I want to expand on the question you answered. You just said you can set different sounds for each type of notification, like SMS will have a different sound from BBM, and that will be different from email, etc. Which is GREAT news, I love that about my BB, but can you load custom sounds like your own mp3's or are you forced to pick from a list of generic sounds??

You definitely can use your own MP3's as alerts/ringtones. I have a folder of 30 second sound clicks from music I like. Loaded them onto my new Z10 using BB Link desktop software. From your phone, simply open Notifications, and select the clip you want for Phone, BBM, Messages, etc. Even lets you set alerts for Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin.

From your contacts, you have the further option of setting Contact specific ringtones (wife, kids etc). What you DON'T have the option of is setting different volume levels for phone vs. BBM.


AWESOME, thanks for the answer! That makes me feel so much better. I was getting worried when they did this crap with the volume. At least they didn't screw this other feature up...

This must get addressed. BB is marketing for (correctly) power users. Work users. WE NEED MORE OCNTROL and flexibility. We also need reimnders available for notifications (Bebuzz)

i was really disappointed with this on my Z10. I couldnt believe how gimped out the notifications system and sounds are on the new operating system. They take a few steps forward and then another one back. Hopefully they fix this very soon!

This will disappoint me as well when I finally get my Z10 (I am in the US). But, Blackberry is famous for taking things that work perfectly well and disabling or changing them up in the next OS!

Yes, I completely agree with the comments above... Not having customizable notifications is HUGE for me!! The notifications were one of the biggest reasons I remained a BlackBerry user for so long despite its many shortcomings, even when EVERYONE ELSE had moved long ago to different platforms. Is there anyway to communicate this to BlackBerry?? I think it's important they know how serious these issues are along with any others that may come up.

I get where you guys are all coming from, and I'm not being a RIM/BBRY apologist, but one thing you're forgetting is that this is an entirely new OS. Meaning that, unlike when they went from OS5 to 6 or 7, it is no longer simply a matter of modifying existing code to work on the updated OS. BlackBerry has stated repeatedly that they didn't use a single line of code from the legacy OS on the QNX OS, and to me that makes sense. They don't function the same way.

So although I'm going to keep a healthy skepticism about the reasons behind this, I'll just say that we should at least wait and see what they release with the first OS update. I mean, they'd have to introduce something anyway, why not "reward" the BlackBerry faithful with all of their favorite features from the old OS? (On top of new features, of course.)

I agree with no using a single line of code from old OS, but in BB10 they said we can make calls and send text msg, now, these two features came from the old OS too, why did they exclude this function? Like you, i hope it come back any time soon. Greetings!

I used to have my daughters alert always set. That way I could have my phone on silent,but if she messaged me I would always hear it

Same here, when I'm on vibrate or silent my 9900 is set to allow a certain 3 people that will audible alert.

The more reviews I read on the Z10 the more I want to stockpile a few 9900's.
Hopefully this setting will be tweaked by the time the Q10 is released.

Hey guys, I know it sucks to not be able to change the volume for each notification sound, but let me ask, can you still set any custom sound as your notifications? Like right now my phone will make the "coin" sound from Mario when I get a Facebook notification, the "1UP" sound for emails, and "The Unit" ringtone for my SMS. All of which are custom sounds I loaded onto the phone myself. Can this still be done with the new OS?? PLEEEAAASSSEEEE be yes... If it's no, I'll be SUPER disappointed...

Also, if you're able to set your own custom sounds, then in theory you can load softer and louder versions of sounds for the different notifications. I know this is like a "ghetto" way of doing what we cannot do now, but that would work...

Generally not pleased with the lack of individual sounds. I text/BBM a lot & get sick of any actual noise very quickly, so I altered my Normal & Loud profiles to vibrate for texts, emails & BBMs, and ring for phone calls.

That said, I can deal with it.

Wow, people are so riled up over sound/volume control! Get a life! j/k I can understand why it would be a bummer to lose a functionality from a previous OS/device. Old BBs used to have 2 convenience keys, then it went down to 1, and now none. Personally, I found the CK on my Bold 9900 to be more of a nuisance than of utility. But to each his own. Can't please everyone. I guess if it's important enough for BlackBerry to re-implement any pre-BB10 OS elements, they'll do it.

Kevin, since you have internal contacts within BlackBerry, can you plea for us to get this feature BACK into our BlackBerry? BB needed this more than a frigging compass app.

BlackBerry really need to bring back the notification customizations like they had before. They need to beef this up big time. This was a huge miss.

There should be an "Advanced" sub menu for those that wish to customize each type of notification, but keeps the main notifications menu simple for the average person.

things the most i like is i can manage my notifications sound for each message, sms, bbm, and email. i like when bbm is quite silent, low sound for sms, and loud sound for email. i think blackberry should make an update for the notifications

Can you people stop complaining? If you don't have volume for each alert the product becomes sub-par, really??!! I am tired of all this complaining... The phone and OS is amazing overall, end of story!

I really hope that this is something that they can bring back with an OS update! This is also one of the features of blackberry that most attracts me! Mine is mostly on vibrate, but even then I know what kind of message I am getting bc it will vibrate 1x for email, 2x for facebook, 3 medium for sms and 3 short for bbm. I would be highly disappointed without this function!

I'm having a problem with my bbm alerts - hope someone can help me! For some reason I'm not getting an alert when someone in one of my groups posts a picture or comments on a picture.. All other alerts work fine, it's just the pictures. And with this new blanket approach to notifications, I can't go in and change it specifically.
Anyone know what I can do?? Thanks in advance!

I'm not anal about sound profiles. If I have to accept change, I'm cool with it. I'll use vibrate on bedside mode.

I the phone, love the is great, but I need custom notifications back! I am on call and want to be able to turn all emails, facebook, phonce calls off except for one number....

Pleassse...bring it back!

I can't believe they've put out this new Z10 and a lot of the apps that were available on the 9800 aren't there. WTH, don't they want to make this transition as seamless as possible. How long do I have to wait for my drivesafe application? I also would prefer to give each email mailbox a different sound but NO they didn't provide that. Come on BB get with it, list to your customers.

I'm unable to change the visual voice mail notification from Essential. I can actually change it but it still plays the Essential tone. Z10 with 10.2