Android customization – Use Tasker to build automated sleep and silent modes

by: Jonathan FeistJune 26, 2014

Android Customization Tasker Sleep Mode June 26

With all of the things that Tasker is capable of, our work last week to ensure that you never miss an alarm was a pretty light-weight task. This week, we promised to show you how to create your own sleep mode by creating a Tasker Task and Profile that turns off your ringers at night and back on again in the morning.

The automated sleep mode is, again, a fairly light-weight use of Tasker, but I know people who have installed Tasker for this task, and no other. It is still amazing to most of us that Android does not have a built-in mechanism to handle sound profiles, let alone a simple automated sleep mode, but since it does not, Tasker is one of the best customizable app options out there to get you by.

Before we get started

Get it on Google Play ButtonYou will need Tasker installed on your Android device. Tasker is currently $2.99 in the Google Play Store.

You may be getting fairly familiar with the basics of how Tasker operates, we’ve shown it to you before when we built the alarm volume profile last week, and tied it in with Zooper Widget the two weeks prior. The basic steps remain the same today.

We’ll be building first a Tasker Task, this will be the set of actions that are performed on the device. After we have the Task built, we build the Profile that triggers the Tasks. Just in case you needed a different perspective, think of Tasks as the ‘what’ and Profiles as the ‘when.’

I also want to make clear that there are multiple ways to handle most of the Tasker Tasks and Profiles that we will be creating throughout our Android customization series. Please feel free to follow other directions, question and comment on my approach, or try your own settings. I have a specific reason for doing things the way I do, and would be glad to discuss why in the comments below. Now, let’s get started.

Tasker Silent Mode Task

Head into Tasker, navigate to the Tasks tab and tap the “+” symbol at the bottom to create a new Task.

Name the Task uniquely and concisely. I will call mine “NoCalls”.

Please note that I call it NoCalls because I re-use this task any time I need my device silent. Work, meetings, movies, afternoon naps…

Tap the “+” symbol to add an action.

Select Audio.

Select Silent Mode.

Change the Mode to On.

Tap the system back button to return to the Task Edit screen, then back again to the Tasks screen.

Important: If your device does not support Silent Mode, or you would prefer more refined controls, instead of selecting Silent Mode, you could select Audio -> Ringer Volume and set it to 0. Then repeat the steps for each Audio -> Notification Volume and Audio -> Media Volume as desired to silence your phone to your needs.

In theory, simply deactivating Silent Mode should return your Ringer and Notification volumes to the values they were before activation. Instead of working off of a theory and wondering at what level exactly those volumes were set, let’s just go ahead and manually set the daytime volumes.

Tasker Ringer Volume Task

Tap the “+” symbol at the bottom to create a new Task.

Name the Task uniquely and concisely. I will call mine “CallsAllowed”.

Tap the “+” symbol to add an action.

Select Audio.

Select Ringer Volume.

Set the value for your needs. I set mine to 4.

Tap the system back button to return to the Task Edit screen.

Within this same Task, we will add another action, using the same basic steps, to set the Notification Volume.

Tasker Notification Volume Task

Tap the “+” symbol to add an action.

Select Audio.

Select Notification Volume.

Set the value for your needs. I set mine to 3.

Tap the system back button to return to the Task Edit screen, then back again to the Tasks screen.

Now that we have two Tasks created, one to silence the device and one to turn the volumes back on, we can go ahead and create the Profile that controls when to run these Tasks.

Navigate over to the Profiles tab.

Tasker Silent Mode Profile

Tap the “+” button at the bottom to create a new Profile.

Select Time.

Set a From: time. This will be the time that you want your device to go silent at night. Might I suggest 10pm, or 22:00 on the 24 hour clock.

Set the To: time. This, as you guessed, is the time that you want volumes turned back on. Might I suggest 7am, or 07:00 on that 24 hour clock.

Tap the system back button.

You are presented with all of your created Tasks, choose your silent mode task, mine was called NoCalls.

We have set it up to silence the device, we need now trigger the wake up Task.

Tasker Silent Mode with Exit Task Profile

Still in the Profile, long press your NoCalls Task.

Select Add Exit Task.

You are presented with your Tasks again, choose your daytime volume task, mine was called CallsAllowed.

Congratulations, you no longer have to take any actions to silence your device at night, nor turn it back on in the morning.

What is next?

Now that you have a taste for changing system volumes, you may be inclined to go nuts building Profiles for all of your regular daily activities. I encourage this, but offer two snippets of advice. First, be careful that you do not overlap your Profiles – this will not cause any issues with Tasks that just change volumes, but will certainly produce unexpected results.

My second snippet of advice, and this goes for all of your Tasker designs, I recommend trying to arrange for Profiles to be in the off position during the day. The battery drain in the on position is negligible for our volume Profiles, but if you can get in the habit of only having active Profiles while you are typically at a charger, all the better.

Weekdays vs Weekends

Our sleep mode Profile above is set to run seven days per week. If you desire to use different times for different days of the week, you will need to long press the times on the Profile, select Add, select Day, then choose the days you would like. Afterward, you will need to repeat this entire tutorial for every separate day/time that you would like to operate. Create each new profile with the other days of the week. Just remember to ensure there is no overlapping times or dates.

Next week

Your device now goes silent at night, you need not think about it at all, but what if there is an emergency, how will anyone get through to you? Next week on our Android customization series we will show you how to bypass your new silent mode for certain calls and messages.

I hope that you are getting the hang of Tasker now. The basic procedure is pretty simple: create a Task, then create a Profile to run the Task. How did your sleep mode go?

  • Pradaman Shorey

    I had this profile on S3 & now on S5, but is there a way to keep the phone on vibration rather than totally silent. something more advanced like alarm volume 8, ringer volume 5, texts & everything else vibrate..

    • TDN

      Yes, You can set specific volumes individually, like ringer and alarm, then set the “Vibrate On Notify” on. It will vibrate for all, but only the alarm and ringer will make any sound.

      Try it like this:
      Alarm Volume – 7 (that is the max)
      Ringer Volume – 4
      Media Volume – 0
      Notification Volume – 0
      Vibrate On Notify – Set On

      and that should do what you are looking for.

    • TDN has you covered.

      Side note, I had an old LG that when I simply set Ringer Volume to 0 it automatically went into vibrate mode, instead of silent. Not the solution for your example, but something to keep in mind.

  • mikkelmus

    I have an extra condition on my sleep profile. It only goes active when the charger is plugged in. This way it activates exactly when i go to sleep every day, and goes inactive exactly when I wake up every day. I also want to suggest adding some actions to adjust the screen brightness and color temperature at night.

    • TDN

      That is a really good idea, I have mine set at a time like the example, but having it go active once I plug it in would be nice. I think I would have it deactivate at a certain time, though. It just works better for me.

      • I agree with you guys. Personally, in addition to the base timers, I use an NFC tag on the nightstand to manually activate silent mode. I then use ScreenFilter as a plugin to bring screen brightness way down. So many options.

  • Biztechmobi

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  • Sagar

    Is there any way to exactly restore volume levels to as they were before. Not custom ones. If I had notifications volume set to 6 before night I would like to restore it.

  • Uyi Asabor

    Great Job. Please can you create a task for me when there is an event on my Samsung “S Planner” alerting me when I have Birthday and Anniversary. If possible Birthday alert comes up at 07:00 AM while Anniversary comes up at 09:00 AM. Also note I want to attach songs to each notification, songs already on my phone. Thank You.
    My contact are:
    WHATSAPP: +2348155615116; +2348034539770
    BB Pin: 33127448

  • My silent mode options are off and vibrate. I don’t see “on” as an option. Why did Google screw this up so badly?

    • Matthew Brown

      I have the same issue. It used to be there for “on”. Now I HAVE to manually set the volumes to 0, which doesn’t work as well. Why did they remove “on” as an option?

  • Gavlar

    ok that is simple but how do i make tasker after picking up the “emergency” call to put the phone on silent again?