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.
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.
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.
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 “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.
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!
Thank you!! I was so irritated about all the calls I was missing because my iPhone didn’t ring! I keep forgetting about the tiny switch that turns on/off the ringer! Maybe NOW I’ll remember!
None of the above worked, so I may need a new phone. Thanks for the summary of possible causes. It’s weird, because I changed nothing between a call that rang earlier today and a call that just vibrated just now. I don’t even have a headphone jack, and my silence side button is protected inside an Otter Box. It was off (not orange). I toggled it once more to be sure.
Upgrading to 14.4.6 from 14.4.2. Don’t know how I missed .3, .4, and .5. See what that does.
There is also the physical button on the side above the volume that needs to be on!
I dont know if mine is a hardware problem, I have Do Not Disturb on and phone is on ring but my alarm only SOMETIMES doesnt go off. It goes off most of the time but sometimes it doesnt go off, it shows its going off but it doesnt make noise. Help?
Hi Clarence! Have you tried updating your iPhone recently? This might be a software bug Apple’s developers are aware of. If that’s the case, they might have resolved it in one of the more recent iOS updates. Hope this helps!
My iPhone won’t ring I have checked all the thing that says check – it works if I go into sounds the tone works but nothing
Try looking above the up key on side of phone. A case may be covering the stupid small switch if you see red switch it and see ringer off icon go to ringer on!
Is the phone on silence when moon is blue or white? Also mine [2020SE] in Do not disturb has a Silence category with 2 options and I have to choose one. -Always or While iPhone is Locked. Please excuse my ignorance, but it appears as if I tick Always is it always on Silence!!
I only had to read to the “You Probably Know This, But … ” section to find the error of my ways. (?) I actually knew (intellectually) that the phone had such a switch but apparently had never clicked it in many months of owning the phone and did a day or two ago accidentally. Oh well, the silence was nice and ignorance is bliss and all that but I have to be able to hear my daffy sister when she calls or the calls get twice as long. Funny how that works.
Great web site!
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one to have this issue! Thanks for visiting, and I’m glad we could help!
I’ve been to my settings and the… do not ring when phone is locked is ticked and I can’t seem to un tick it therefore I’m missing calls
I’ve just connected a pay ad you go sun into an apple iPhone 7. The text messages are working but I can dial and receive calls- but I can’t hear anything? No dialling tone- on outgoing or incoming calls
This was sooo helpful thanks soo much !
Thanks for the above info it resolved my problem straight away. Didn’t realize that small button on the side of phone was the ringer. How it got turned off have no knowledge. Saying the orange strip shows when turned off was the business. A spin was put on it as being iPhone latest software update there being a bug causing it. I tried various option recommend to put it right to no avail. So thanks again as I stumbled upon your write upend so pleased as I had missed many important calls.
My iPhone SE acts as though it’s been hacked. The biggest problem is that my most important calls don’t come through at all. The person calling gets a message that my phone is out of service. This is happening constantly to one of my doctors yet her secretary can usually get through. This has happened a few times when my Mom has called and also happened to me when I tried to call Mom on her land line, “this phone is not in service”. Also, my phone gets way to hot, sometimes, the camera light is on a lot as… Read more »
You might want to try a DFU restore for good measure!
Many thanks. I was puzzled when looking for the silent switch until I realized it was tucked under my Otter protection case. I popped open the rubber tab and found the switch.
I don’t see it mentioned on here but there’s another reason why it might decide not to make any sound when receiving a phone call. My girlfriends grandma had the “Announce Calls” option set to “Always”. As far as I can tell, this option blocks the actual ringtone in order to announce the name of the caller. However, if her phone screen was locked it would only vibrate quietly, no announcement. Possibly due to other settings, truth be told I’m not positive. However, after turning off the announce calls option, the ringtone came through perfectly. Just another thing to check.
I will try putting it on another setting (headphones and car). Thank you. That may very well be my problem.
Thank you SO much. The Silence unknown callers feature was on. It’s off now!
Thank you, turns out sounds & haptics volume was too low. But under “Do Not Disturb”, there has to be a check under “when iphone is locked”, or “always”. That is confusing!
Thank you, David. It is really kind to offer us all help.
Thanks David P. Your article on why my iPhone won’t ring. Was thorough & detailed. My issue was the ringer/silencer switch & the silence to unknown callers. Unfortunately, my battery health is at 77% and am currently hunting for a used iPhone(10s?). Can’t afford to spend much $. But, appreciate your help.
I read through your article: it wasn’t the side switch (although I was happy to learn that it told me if I was switching it on or off); it wasn’t the Do Not Disturb; it WAS the Silence Unknown Callers. I had no idea!
Yeah! Silence unknown callers was on . Hopefully no more problems. I kept missing doctor phone calls. Hopefully this will take care if this. Thanks so much. Your article was the only one that mentioned this setting.
Glad we could help! ?
Silence unknown caller button! Who knew? Thanks so much for this!
One thing to check is if you’ve set up your provider to send all unknown calls to voicemail. AT&T allows you to set this in their “Call Protect” app. You phone will never ring and the call will go directly to voicemail. It’s done in the cloud.
Unbelievable. My phone wouldn’t ring. I called tech support and two technicians had me do all sorts of things including a Reset. NO ONE asked me to check if I accidentally turned my ringer off. I may be stupid, but some folks might be stupider than me. Thanks for your advice.
Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.
I’m glad you were able to get it fixed! ?
Thank you my phone is ringing now .i have listened to your advice
My phone want ring also.also tried side switch and under setting. Still want work also do not disturb is not on. Help
Thank you- my phone wasn’t ringing for weeks and I couldn’t figure it out. Didn’t know about side switch!
Amazing, like Tracey had no idea about the silence toggle on the side of phone!!! I appreciate your easy instructions very much. Thank you!!
Thank you so much – problem solved in a flash!! I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know about the silence toggle on the side of the phone!
Had got a blocker for spam and it took all calls so phone didn’t ring
spent hrs with phone and carrier so now it goes to my voicemail but still doesn’t ring
you saved me from having to ask my kids! Did not know about the switch on the side.
I’m a new Iphone 11 user.
Thank You For the Help !! Really Did not know about the ringer switch felt pretty stupid but see im not the only one THX
my i phone wont ring and when i call facetime or wotsup the call will end in under a min
Many thanks for this article. There was a water main break and our basement was flooded. I was getting important calls that didn’t ring…I just happened to notice them. This article enabled me to figure out what to do (ie turn off silence unknown callers). This was a huge help!!
Thank you so much. Really helped.
omg – me too! no I did not realize there was a hard on/off button, not just the volume toggle! I always just used volume toggle but along the way accidentally hit the button.
“You Probably Know This, But…”
Turns out I didn’t!
Thank you for teaching me how to fix my ringer. It seems APPLE should outsource information to companies such as yours!
If there’s anything I can do to increase your presence on social media or another media let me know.
I am going to tell my folks to check out your articles.
Live Long and PROSPER!!!
Hey, Sheila! Thank you for the kind words ? I’m glad we were able to help you out. Honestly, sharing our articles that you find helpful is the best thing you can do for us! You can follow us on Twitter and Instagram @payetteforward, and we also have a Facebook page. Live long and prosper! ?
I have done all these but still sometimes my iPhone is not ringing.
turn off your bluetooth. My phone started working after that. The bluetooth was still trying to connect to my head phones or MacBook etc which stops my phone from ringing out loud.
Thank you. The ring/silence switch (I didn’t even know what that was for) had somehow been switched off.
THANK YOU FOR THIS! I’ve been going buggy nuts trying to figure this out. ??♀️
Thank you so much for this ! Its been driving me crazy.
Thank you my phone would not ring and it was just the switch on the side.I bought the phone recently but there was no manual.I wasn’t aware that it did that.
Thanks for this tutorial. I’ve tried all that’s been recommended and when I go to Settings see that there is an option under Silence: either Always or While iPhone is locked. That latter one is checked and I can’t get it to turn off; there is no option to turn it off. When I select it, nothing changes. It remains checked.
Did you ever figure this out?
I sincerely appreciate this Tutorial information that was available. I had gotten physically ill,thinking that ai would have to go get a new part,however when I read the info that there is a little “orange” piece,I looked & saw it & pushed to the right on the part that was all the way left. I thank you SO much,& I hope this comment will help other senior citizens.
the only way to get my iphone to ring is to keep it unlocked which us NOT a good solution
My phone now rings thanks so much great article big help.
Hello there! I’m embarrassed to admit this but, I didn’t know about the Ring / Silent switch. Additionally, none of the people I’ve asked to help me, who were able to turn the ringer on or off, have bothered to tell me either! Thank you for your help!
Thanks very much, now my phone rings
TYVM……..Silence Unknown Callers worked…… You saved me a lot of $$
Thank you so much. That silence unknown callers option was on thus I was not getting many important calls. Yes. Working now.
OMG…that was too easy. Just flip that little button on the side of the phone above the volume buttons
and you’re in business. Thank you much!
thank you Jill, that fixed the problem, clear explanation, didn’t know I had one.
Thank you Pat. I tried everything and then read your message. I forgot all about that switch. It rings now.
Hi, my first time to comment. I tried ALL the convevtional solutions! None worked! I have finally found a solution to make my iphone6s ring and vibrate on messages again! Go to messages, touch the first contacts name, then touch that contacts name at the top, then touch thr info button at the top, then check Hide Alerts. If it’s on, or green, shut it off. Do this for each contact in messages