My iPhone Won’t Ring! Here’s The Real Reason Why.

Picture this: You’re waiting for an important phone call. You’ve double-checked your iPhone to make sure the ringer is on and you’ve turned the volume all the way up. When the phone rings, you’re going to hear it. 5 minutes go by and you glance at your iPhone, only to find out you’ve missed the important call! Don’t throw your phone at the cat. In this article, I’ll explain why your iPhone won’t ring and I’ll show you exactly how to fix it.

Martha Aron inspired me to write this article when she asked, “My iPhone does not ring on all calls, I miss lots of calls and texts because of this. Can you help me?” Martha, I’m here to help you and everyone else that has missed incoming calls and texts because their iPhone isn’t ringing.

You Probably Know This, But Check Anyway…

If you’re reading this article, you probably already know that for your iPhone to ring, the Ring / Silent switch on the side of your iPhone has to be set to ring.

If the switch is pulled toward the screen, your iPhone’s ringer is turned on. If the switch is pushed toward the back of the iPhone, your iPhone is on silent and you’ll see a small orange stripe next to the switch. You’ll also see the speaker icon on the iPhone display when you flip the switch.

Once you’re sure the Ring / Silent switch is set to ring, make sure your iPhone ringer is turned up so you can hear your iPhone ring when you get a call. You can turn up the ringer volume by pressing the volume up button on the side of your iPhone.

You can also turn up the ringer volume by opening Settings -> Sounds & Haptics. Drag the slider under Ringer And Alerts to the right to turn up the ringer volume on your iPhone. The further you drag the slider to right, the louder the ringer will be.

change iphone volume with buttons

If your iPhone isn’t making any sound at all, my article about what to do when an iPhone speaker stops working will show you how to fix that problem. If you’ve already done all this, here’s why your iPhone isn’t ringing:

Here’s The Fix: Turn Off Focus Or Do Not Disturb!

Most of the time, the reason an iPhone isn’t ringing for incoming calls is that the user has accidentally turned on Focus (iOS 15 and newer) or Do Not Disturb (iOS 14 and older) feature in Settings. Focus and Do Not Disturb silence calls, alerts, and notifications on your iPhone.

How Do I Know If A Focus Or Do Not Disturb Is Turned On?

The easiest way to tell if a Focus or Do Not Disturb is turned on is to open Control Center and look in the upper right-hand corner of your iPhone, just to the left of the battery icon. If a Focus is enabled, you’ll see the corresponding Focus icon there. If Do Not Disturb is enabled, you’ll see a small moon icon there.

moon icon on iphone

You can schedule a Focus to automatically turn on by opening Settings and tapping Focus. Tap the Focus you’d like to schedule, then tap Add Schedule or Automation.

If you’d like to dive deeper into Do Not Disturb and set up an automatic schedule, instance, head to Settings -> Do Not Disturb to see all the options available to you.

How Do I Turn Off A Focus?

Open Control Center by swiping up from the very bottom of the screen (iPhones without Face ID) or down from the upper right-hand corner of the screen (iPhones with Face ID). Tap on the Focus icon to turn it off.

How Do I Turn Off Do Not Disturb?

Ever since Apple released iOS 7, it’s been easy to turn Do Not Disturb on and off. Open Control Center and tap the moon icon to turn Do Not Disturb on or off.

do not disturb off vs on in iphone control center

You can also turn off Do Not Disturb or Focus by going to Settings -> Do Not Disturb and turning off the switch next to Do Not Disturb. You’ll know Do Not Disturb is off when the switch is white.

If your iPhone is running iOS 15 or newer, open Settings and tap Focus -> Do Not Disturb and turn off the switch at the top of the screen.

turn off do not disturb ios 15

Turn Off “Silence Unknown Callers”

One reason why you have an iPhone ringing problem may be because your block unknown callers feature is turned on. This feature is great for stopping telemarketers and robocalls in their tracks, but unfortunately it also filters out some people that you actually do want to talk to.

To turn this off, head over to Settings -> Phone and turn off the switch next to Silence Unknown Callers. Once you’ve done that, your phone should be able to ring again when someone who isn’t in your contacts tries to call you.

turn off silence unknown callers on iphone

What If My iPhone Still Won’t Ring?

I’ve received a couple of comments from readers who have taken all of the suggestions and whose iPhones still aren’t ringing. If you’ve made it this far and your iPhone isn’t ringing, there’s a good chance you may have a hardware problem.

Often times, when gunk or liquid gets into one of the ports (like the headphone jack or lightning / dock connector), your iPhone thinks there’s something plugged into it, when in fact there isn’t. My article about how to fix an iPhone that’s stuck in headphone mode explains why that happens and how to fix the problem.

It’s a long shot, but you can take an antistatic brush (or toothbrush you’ve never used before) and try to brush out the gunk from your headphone jack or lightning / dock connector port. Antistatic brushes are helpful for cleaning all sorts of electronics, and you can pick up a 3-pack on Amazon for less than $5.

If you’re successful, the issue should resolve itself. Unfortunately, most of the time the damage has already been done. Something has shorted out on the inside of your iPhone, so the only solution is to visit your local Apple Store or use the mail-in options at Apple’s support website to have your iPhone repaired.

Now might also be a good time to upgrade your iPhone. Repairs can be expensive, especially if more than one thing is wrong with your iPhone. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a repair, you could use that money to purchase a new phone. Check out UpPhone’s cell phone comparison tool to find a great deal on a new iPhone!

Wrapping It Up

Do Not Disturb is one of those great features that comes in handy if you know how to use it, but it can be really frustrating if you don’t. To Martha and everyone else who has missed important calls or yelled “My iPhone won’t ring!” at an innocent bystander, I hope this article has you to solve your silent iPhone problem. If you have follow-up questions or other experiences to share, post them in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you!

About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.

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Missy
14 days ago

Omg! I feel like a big dummy. So I’ve been a faithful Android user ever since there have been cell phones. This is my first iPhone – I had no idea that the side “ click to the side / visible orange button “ had anything to do with volume/sound function. Thank u so much. I’ve been going thru every single possible setting to no avail. Glad to know it was something so simple and in the future will know how to fix- I obviously will tell no one else about this. Lol

Denise
25 days ago

I tried everything, then clicked on contact’s picture. My “Hide Alerts” was checked. Unchecked it and it solved the problem!

Battery Man
1 month ago

Our two sons, wife and myself have a family plan with AT&T, all of us with iPhone XR’s. Software is up to date (15.6.1) About half the time our calls from each other are automatically forwarded to voice mail. This also happens with calls not on our contact lists. Sometimes it takes up to 6 tries to get the other to ring. Tried everything on Payette’s list plus turning phone off and on. No joy. ??

Kift
1 month ago

I missed three important calls in the last two days and could not figure out why. Checked all my settings and everything checked okay. For the last two days I have been off and on online for help for any pointers in settings. Did not give up and ran into this article and followed it all the way down to Turn Off “Silence Unknown Callers”, and BAM…that was it, did not know about that setting. Changed it and getting calls from callers that are not in my contacts now.

Susan
1 month ago

After going through all the steps. I finally thought I’ll just turn the phone off and back on!. Voila! Phone is ringing again. Should have thought to do that in the first place. LOL!

JCR
1 month ago

Thank you. Problem solved which was the ‘Silence unknown callers’ bit

Anita Sawyer
1 month ago

Thank you so much eternally greatf

KSci
1 month ago

Just had to fix this issue and solution was not listed here. Verify if phone is paired with home phone/landline via bluetooth pairing and unpair it. Verify ringing and then reset. Cheers!

Kitty
1 month ago

I am having issues with only certain phone calls not ringing. Mainly that of my son who lives in another state. He is on Verizon & I’m on AT & T. I’ve checked every single suggestion in this article & none was the problem. Any other suggestions. Thank you. Hate missing his calls all of the time if I’m not holding my phone in my hand. My phone doesn’t even vibrate when he calls. Nothing except the banner showing who is calling.

KSci
1 month ago
Reply to  Kitty

See my comment above?

Great site for quick information and fix this. Tha
3 months ago

Great site for quick information and fixes. Thanks so much for the excellent/clear list. Awesome

Linda Lee
3 months ago

How can I tell if my phone will ring now that I have hopefully turned off the
‘silence unknown callers’?

Admin
David Lynch
3 months ago
Reply to  Linda Lee

Silence Unknown Callers will silence calls that aren’t from your Contacts, numbers in your Recent Outgoing Calls, or numbers from Siri Suggestions. If you’re concerned about missing a call from someone, add them to your Contacts.

C. McGhee
3 months ago

Thanks! I have no idea how I turned on Silence Unknown Callers. But it was definitely making me miss business calls
left and right this week.

Ray
4 months ago

Does iphone 13 video camera silence calls when in use — or did my tripod clamp turn the ringer off?

Admin
David Lynch
3 months ago
Reply to  Ray

I think it’s more likely the tripod clamped down on the volume down button on your iPhone, which would silence the call.

Jeanine
4 months ago

I notice one person said only her sister’s calls don’t ring. Another said only his brother’s calls don’t ring. Only my step daughter’s calls don’t ring. Several years ago my husband’s calls didn’t ring. He got a new phone and all is fine with him. My husband and step daughter both have Trac Phones. I’m wondering if Trac Phone is the issue. I had both Trac Phone and the Geek Squad examine our phones and we were never able to come to a fix until my husband got rid of his phone.

Marc
4 months ago

My turn! : Duh! The switch on the side was off… I’m a fairly new Iphone user, I don’t know how I turned it off… found the switch! Thanks so much!

Vincent
3 months ago
Reply to  Marc

Your comment saved me! My side switch was flipped too.

Reina
2 months ago
Reply to  Marc

YOU LITERALLY SAVED MY LIFE holy crap thanks

Anne
5 months ago

Thank you ! I didn’t even know there was a ring/silent switch. I had already checked all the other things you listed since my phone has not rung for several months. Such a sweet and simple fix.

Linna Richardson
5 months ago

I love you guys 😊
not sure if I could deal with the iPhone hurdles without you!
thanks

Wendy
5 months ago

Thank-you David! I went through your list of possible solutions and my phone still did not ring, I was checking from my home phone. I went into blocked callers and for some reason my emails and phone numbers were blocked from my own phone???? Who knows why this happened. It could have been my teenage kids blocking me on family sharing. Just thought I’d let you know of one more possibility.

Jeanne
6 months ago

D’uh! First sentence!

Colin
6 months ago

I fixed mine by going into settings – phone,
The announce calls was set to never, I changed to always.

Jason
5 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Thanks – this was me too. The DND and Focus were scheduled overnight to AM and were not the issue.

Margaret
6 months ago

Thank you … unknown caller switched on … doh!!

Ilda
6 months ago

My problem was solved when I enabled Allow Wi-Fi Calling. After that my iPhone started ringing again, even when not connected to Wi-Fi.

Chip
6 months ago

My IPhone 13 max won’t ring any time I have an update pending. It’s very annoying and I don’t get a notice that an update is pending.. and no missed calls, straight to voicemail. That’s the only way I know, I start getting voicemails with no call. So I go to update and sure enough, I update and my phone starts ringing.

Last edited 6 months ago by Chip
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Chip

Thanks, I have the same phone and noticed I have an update pending minutes before I found your comment. I’m going to try now and how it helps!

Oscar
6 months ago

You’re a lifesaver; my problem was the mute button (on the side of the phone). Thank you very much!

Chris
6 months ago
Reply to  Oscar

Thank you! You solved my problem

Nan Whyte
6 months ago

Switching to Vibrate on Ring fixed the problem! 🤗 Thank you!

Manoj
6 months ago

I have an old iphone 5s which has had this issue – ie phone calls dont ring, whether on cellular or whatsapp calls. interestingly Facetime video calls seemed to ring.
My fix was to power off of the phone and power it back up. When i did that, the phone calls started ringing..ie the good old power off/power on solution to the rescue.

Kim
7 months ago

Im assuming my issue came with an update and I want to change it back. The phone rings, unless im in something like a browser session or facebook app or even emails. Then it pops up the banner at the top that a call is imcoming, but makes no sound. Even my contacts. So if I set the phone down and whatever app is still open, I miss the call.

Sherry Phares
7 months ago

My iPhone 13 doesn’t ring for all calls. Went through your article & checked out everything you said. Turned off my Bluetooth & thought that fixed it-until last night & another call did not ring. It’s not all calls, just some. I’ve been reading on my phone when this happens so I’m seeing the banner notification I have a call of I wouldn’t have known. Any other suggestions? Have only had this phone since Feb 1st!

Admin
David Lynch
7 months ago
Reply to  Sherry Phares

I’d reach out to Apple support, it could be a hardware defect.

Andi
7 months ago
Reply to  Sherry Phares

Same thing is happening to me. I’ve come to the conclusion that the phone knows when I’m looking at it so it just puts a banner up.

Dave Berry
7 months ago

Hi. Would you have a fix for my iPhone 12 ringer stopping after 1.5 seconds. I’ve tried all the obvious fixes including a full reset (twice). I’m at a loss?

Admin
David Lynch
7 months ago
Reply to  Dave Berry

That’s interesting. I suppose it’s possible the volume down button on your iPhone is slightly jammed, muting calls when they come in? I’d reach out to Apple support, especially if you’ve ruled out a software problem.

Colin P.
7 months ago

OMFG you are a lifesaver. I missed a call this morning when my phone was like two feet away from my head and was seriously confused as to why. Turns out the disable switch on the side of the phone was set to disable the ringer.

JMCC
7 months ago

Thanks – I think it was the “silence unknown caller” feature. I’ve turned it off so we will wait and see.

Tee
8 months ago

Thank you for your article. My husband was having difficulty with his iphone because it wasn’t ringing and he was missing a lot of important calls. I googled “Why my iphone isn’t ringing” and i came upon your article, i truly Thank you, all this due to a switch on the side of his iphone. When i told my husband what to do he was so happy and excited his phone was ringing again, he also wanted to Thank you for your informative article.

Monique B
8 months ago

Focus is off, everything is as it should be, but the phone still will NOT be audible when the screen is UNlocked. I’ve sat here and watched it, pressing the ringer button even, and nothing. It’s only since iOS 15. They’re known callers, own ring tones (yes I’ve checked those). It is audible while locked however.

Debby
5 months ago
Reply to  Monique B

Same for me when I did the update I’m having issues with only ringing sometimes not all…. Checked all the above all seems to be in three correct positions.

Steve
5 months ago
Reply to  Monique B

I have the same issue when the phone is unlocked, the phone rings and you do not hear the ring

C T
4 months ago
Reply to  Monique B

Same here and it’s driving me nuts!! I’ve poked thru every setting and disabled DND/Focus. If I’m on my phone with Springboard active, sometimes it rings, sometimes not. Ridiculous!

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