Google aware of Android Auto issue that mutes phone's ringtone

Feeling baffled about those missed incoming calls on your Android phone? Well, if you have been using Android Auto (or even connected your phone once to the in-car infotainment system through USB) then it may be the culprit here.

A couple of days back, a user reported on Android Auto’s official help forum that once they connect their phone to the car’s head unit through a USB cable, the phone’s ringer volume somehow gets mute. Consequently, they end up missing all incoming calls as the phone doesn’t ring.

The affected user also mentioned that on checking the phone’s ‘Sound and Notification’ settings, the ring volume notifies ‘Muted by Android Auto’ (as can be seen in the following image, which was shared by some other affected user):

muted-by-android-auto

Happily, the complainant got a quick reply from a member of Android Auto team, who acknowledged the issue saying:

Our team is aware of this issue, and we’re working on it. Currently, there are two workarounds:

  • Restarting the phone, which you discovered
  • When encountering the issue again, you can try to force stop Android Auto by doing this:
  • Open phone settings > Apps > Android Auto > Force Stop

android-auto-ringtone-mute

Being reported for months

In a look out for more information, we found that the problem is being reported (1,2) for months now. If you take a look at these reports, you’ll see varied use cases describing this auto-mute issue.

A quick look at the following user comments will give you an idea about what we’re talking about:

In addition to the routine problems with android auto, every time i plug my phone (galaxy s6, ATT) into my car and run android auto through my cars screen (ford explorer 2017 sync3), once i get out, the ringer is muted and i routinely miss phone calls.

the ringer will say that it is at full volume if you use the buttons on the side, but if you got through settings/device/sounds and notifications/volume… it will say that the ringtone is “muted by android auto” even though android auto is no longer running therefore “un-killable” through hitting the button to the left of the home button. the only way to close it, is by going through the settings screen again to the apps, finding android auto and force stopping it.

this is extremely frustrating and a complete deal breaker for even using android auto… i routinely miss calls and the process to even check to see if the ringtone is on or not is a pain in the ass. android auto works well, but i need help to use this.

I’m having the same issue. Pixel 2 with my 2016 VW Sportwagen. Use to work fine on my first generation Pixel.
If I go into settings while connected and check sounds, ring volume shows “Muted by Android Auto” and I can’t figure out how to turn it off.

Coming back to the official acknowledgement, while it’s appeasing that the matter is being looked into, we can’t comment on how long will the company take to fix the problem. We just hope Google fixes this and rest of the problems plaguing their in-car infotainment sooner than later.

Meanwhile, until the issue gets resolved, you can try hands on the official workarounds (mentioned in the expert’s comment).

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Dr. Aparajita Sharma

A budding entrepreneur by profession, and a psychologist by education. As a founding member of PiunikaWeb, I am nurturing this firstborn with my sharp-eyed expertise and even journalistic writing when needed.