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Managing General Settings

A great many of the iPad settings are tucked into the General category. These include sounds, network, security, and settings for things like date and time, keyboard, and accessibility.

Here's a rundown of settings you'll find tucked under the General category in Settings.


In this category, you can do two things: Adjust the volume level for all apps on your iPad, and modify whether system sounds play for events such as new e-mail, calendar alerts, and keyboard clicks.

Adjusting the volume

Though individual applications such as iPod and Videos have their own volume settings, you can set your iPad system volume as well to control the level of system sounds and sounds in apps that don't have their own volume control. This system setting is the max against which iPod volume settings work; if you set volume to 80% here, for example, iPod's 100% volume setting will actually be the maximum system volume, or 80%.

To adjust the system volume from the Settings dialog, in General settings, tap Sounds. In the Sounds dialog that appears, tap and drag the slider to the right to increase the volume, or to the left to lower it.

You can use General settings to set the side switch on your iPad to mute all sounds. If you prefer to use that switch to lock screen rotation, another way to mute your iPad is to hold down the volume switch (below the side switch on the top-right corner of the device) until the sound is effectively off. This method assumes you have set this switch to control volume.

Turning system sounds on and off

In my experience, people are either big fans or big haters of system sounds on computers. You know, that annoying bleep you get when a new e-mail arrives or whatever? iPad also makes sounds when certain events occur, if you want it to. You can turn on and off the following system sounds:

  • New Mail
  • Sent Mail
  • Calendar Alerts
  • Lock Sounds
  • Keyboard Clicks

To turn any of these off or on, from the Settings dialog, tap General, and then tap Sounds and use the On/Off feature for any of these sounds.

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