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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3 years ago

Thank you so much, David. I had painstakingly tried every step in settings, with no idea that there was a button on the side of the phone. Mine are always clad in Otter boxes or equally inpenetrable cases, but no excuses.
What would we mere mortals do without Apple experts such as yourself.
Love the name ‘Payette Forward’. I shall! 😀

3 years ago

Great info and clearly stated. (it was the side switch, which had moved) Thanks much!

William Richardson
3 years ago

Thanks! It was my switch.
It moved when I removed my case to change the Sim card to port to another carrier.

Blair Irvine
3 years ago

On iPhone 7, at least, there is also “Silent Mode Off/On” switch just above the volume buttons on the side of the phone. It’s just as deafening as Do Not Disturb, and is more easily set to kill any rings.

3 years ago

When my number is rung I get a message at the top but no ring, it goes straight to message

3 years ago

Thanks so much – I’ve been wading though so many suggestions in settings all to no avail. And then you stated the absolutely obvious – about the ringer button on the side of the phone! I had never noticed or consciously used it before!!! Embarrassing, but I’m so grateful that you considered the possibility that someone might actually not know what that slider was for.
A great service you’re providing here – especially in offering the simplest answer that no other site thought wirth mentioning!
Many thanks,

John Knox
3 years ago

Thanks Man, The damn thing had been off since I bought the phone two months age. I wondered why I wasn’t getting any calls. Very undesirable for a phone. After working on Unix I thought Apple would be easy.

3 years ago

Thanks for the info but im still having issues, My landline is on spectrum and when i go out i transfer call to my iPhone but they go straight to missed call no ringing
Im on iPhone 10+ which dent have a headphone jack port

Last edited 3 years ago by Marisa
3 years ago
Reply to  Marisa

Somehow during an update the Silence Unknown Callers button was switched on. This is found under settings and Phone. That took care of the problem for me.

3 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

You have saved my life with this one. Exact scenario. No idea how it got turned on, but I really needed to get that call. You are awesome for taking the time to point it out. David, thanks for having this forum

3 years ago

Thanks for the red line switch thing on the side of the phone. It fixed it!!

3 years ago

Thank you was some fluff in headphone socket now working

3 years ago

Thank you so much, I found the switch

4 years ago

My iPhone XS will not ring when locked and the caller is not in my contact list. When and why did this happen? The phone is NOT in mute, nor DO NOT DISTURB, nor any other setting to keep it from ringing…..only callers not in my contact list!

3 years ago
Reply to  Cal

I have this exact issue. No one can figure that issue. Holding the phone waiting for the call. Missed call header and a voicemail. Uggg

3 years ago
Reply to  KDKman

I have an iPhone 11 and while trying to figure out why my phone won’t ring I saw: Silence Unknown Callers: The path was >Settings (scroll down about halfway) >Phone (scroll almost to the bottom) and you should see >Silence Unknown Callers But I’m no expert. This is my first phone and I’ve only had it a month. Computers are easier. Mostly because you can see the screen! Hope this helps.

3 years ago
Reply to  Bobbie

Silence unknown callers fixed mine too… I had/have no idea what was wrong… I also learned that the phones idea of “unknown callers” is completely different than mine. My phone silenced several callers that were NOT unknown.
thanks for helping, KDKman!

Ira Slotnick
4 years ago

Make sure the ringer toggle switch on the side of your phone is switched to ring… If you see the switch has a red line, it is set to not ring!

3 years ago
Reply to  Ira Slotnick

YAY !! Thanks that solved my problem 🙂

4 years ago

Went through everything. Nothing, then turned phone off then on then it worked.

3 years ago
Reply to  Pete

Same happened to me!

4 years ago

I found the culprit causing my iphone 7 not to ring or alert to texts. Yesterday, when I returned from my walk, I forgot to put my wireless earbuds back into their charger. My phone was still connected to the buds, which is like having a charging cord or wired earbuds connected.

Charlotte Moore
4 years ago

My IPhone11 doesn’t ring and I am missing calls

4 years ago

Did everything you mentioned. No ringing on out going calls or incoming.

4 years ago

Thanks for posting this helpful solution!! Yes I knew about the button but it didn’t occur to me to try that. Instead I tried this and that all the way to resetting my phone and then came across your help and now my phone is ringing again!!!

Pam Taylor
4 years ago
Reply to  Patti

I just came across your helpful advice about the side button and eureka my phone is ringing again. Thank you

4 years ago

I found this very handy, am really grateful for ur post I forgot I turned the side button down, and this has been a pain on my neck, I pushed it up and that was all my phone started ringing.
Thank you in advance.cuz I thought my phone was faulty.

Brian Nichols
4 years ago

I did all you said and nothing improved. So I reverted to the old IT trick of switching the device off and on again. That worked!

4 years ago

If your phone in sending calls to voicemail then stop the voicemail and you can call your phone service provider to help you

4 years ago

Went through all your suggestions to no avail, but a reboot seems to have corrected the problem, at least for now. iPhone 8, IOS 11.1.2. I’ve chosen not to upgrade to IOS 13 because of problems I’m having on my iPad Gen6.

4 years ago

Hi, your article is really great, however, it hasn’t solved my problem. I have an iPhone X and it is sending all my calls directly to voicemail. I get other notifications and sounds fir text messages, etc. I also gave it set to vibrate on ring and vibrate on silent. It is not vibrating when I get a call either. Any suggestions? I’m sure I e missed something glaringly obvious…. lol! Thanks in advance if you can help!

4 years ago

Thank you sooo much-fixed!!!

4 years ago

My phone will not ring when it is from someone not in my contacts.
I everything Is switched on, the toggle switch is good , do not disturb is off.
Under the do not disturb there is silence part in settings should it be on always or everyone?

William Richardson
3 years ago
Reply to  Don

Reboot your phone. Another words turn it off and then wait five minutes and turn it back on. Double check the switch on the side above the volume adjustment. Make sure it is pulled forward towards the screen.

shirley ford
4 years ago

If you phone is switch to silence unknown caller your phone will not ring

3 years ago
Reply to  shirley ford

Thank you. This was the problem! And not mentioned in other “try these things first” responses..

4 years ago

Thanks a lot. The setting- haptics -ringer was the problem. Once I dragged problem solved.

4 years ago

Some calls ring but, of course, the important one I’ve been waiting for does not ring in or vibrate. I’ve checked all of the settings you’ve mentioned, in addition to the setting of what calls can ring in; i.e. favorites, everyone, contacts.

Any suggestions?

David Lynch
4 years ago
Reply to  Bibage

Was the call you’ve been waiting for someone who is not a contact? You might have “Silence Unknown Callers” turned on in Settings -> Phone.

Joseph Madden
5 years ago

That’s awesome – the ‘Do Not Disturb’ was the culprit – thanks

Ralph Rich
5 years ago

Yup it was the side switch. Thanks I had forgotten all about it.

Vernita Green
5 years ago

Thank you! The switch thing worked perfectly

John Pearce
5 years ago

thanks David — it’s the dumb stuff like this that can be our downfall! Very helpful article.

Fran Sneed
5 years ago

Wow! An easy fix by finding out about the switch on the side. My husband was so frustrated. Your tip fixed it. We hadn’t even noticed it was there! THANK YOU!!!!

Yam Ordnajela
5 years ago

I have check all your advices still doesn’t make sound..

Richard Parr
5 years ago

Thanks. It was the side switch…

Kurt Gruen
5 years ago

Thank you very much (I think, because now my wife can reach me, lol). So simple, but I tried to get it sorted out in the settings and could not, until you wrote about the switch. Great info

Chris Lennon
5 years ago

Brilliant thank you so helpful

Jayne Ash
5 years ago

FINALLY! Ended up taking my weatherproof phone cover OFF. NOW am soooo
HAPPY my phone is ringing!!! Yayyy

Marvin Julson
5 years ago

Unbelievable. I can’t believe I forgot to check the switch! I had tried EVERYTHING else. Thanks for stating the obvious. That’s what it takes sometimes.

Phoebe Hodgson
5 years ago

Thank you so much!!!! the switch was the wrong way and now it rings!

Linda M Wilson
5 years ago

I have tried all that this article suggested but, still at times my phone wont ring and times it rings fine ?! Still dont understand!! Even went to store where purchased , the said they did a soft reset ??! Worked for awhile, now it still occasionally wont ring ?! Very frustrating for a new iPhone not even a month old !!

O Sydney Rankins
5 years ago


Elizabeth Marie Maxwell
5 years ago

David P. you soooooo “ROCK!!!”
My family and friends love, love you!!!

Randy Dillehay
5 years ago

Thant you problem solved!

Ades Amplit
5 years ago

thank u so much, youre the best..may godbless you

Cecil Brown
5 years ago

Thanks for your article, David. After checking the Do not disturb setting and still unable to get the ringtone to work, I went a step further and discovered the mute button had accidentally been switched on. Thanks again, to everyone out there, I hope your problem is as simple as mine was.

Margaret Carter
5 years ago

In settings on the phone I turned on to receive calls from other devices, eg my iPad. When at home with the iPad and it is turned off people trying to ring will get a recorded message saying the phone is turned off.
Best to disconnect this service or always keep your iPad turned on when the phone and iPad are in the same space.

George Karen
5 years ago

grrrrr, that stupid button above the ringer volume must have accidently gotten bumped, how annoying

Kristen Palmer
5 years ago

Thank you David was the ringer switch which is covered by my otterbox!

Maritza Alvarez
5 years ago

Thank you for this information. It fixed my issue in a second.

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