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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finjap1982
8 years ago

Tried all the suggestions and finally did what you said. I turned it off and back on again, and now it rings. it is sort of scary, though.

Jomb
8 years ago

This did the trick! Thank you

Collsutt57
8 years ago

Hiya can anybody help my daughters iPhone 5c kept freezing so she turned it off now I can’t see the screen but when I ring from another phone it says ringing but the iPhone worn turn on? Help! X

Gabrielle Carmel Hardman
8 years ago

Thank you so much for solving my problem with silent iphone!

Douglas Bath
8 years ago

….

Susan Yerkes
8 years ago

Dear David, YOU ROCK!!!
I have been struggling with every single setting on my first iPhone ever…and I never found the do not disturb,
I thought SIRI must be gaslighting me, since no matter what settings I tried my phone would not ring (well,, occasionally. VERY occasionally).
Friends tried to help but once they went through the silent switch on the side and all the standard sound settings they were also mystified. And then I discovered you via Google!
Yay! Thank you so much for being there to help folks like me move forward with my modern conveniences!

Constantly Missing iPhone Calls? – Bearded Broker
8 years ago

[…] icon at the top of the Lock Screen?  That means do not disturb is on.  A google search led me to this page on Payetteforward.com where I learned about this feature and how to turn it off.  I had no […]

iPhone Speaker Not Working? Here's The Real Fix!
8 years ago

[…] and flipping the silent switch to the “Ring” position. Check out my article called My iPhone Won’t Ring if your speaker is making some sounds but doesn’t ring when you receive a phone […]

Nadz
8 years ago

Hi can anyone help basically I can’t receive calls on my iPhone 5s when someone calls they get a busy tone but I can make calls out?

bhavya prakash
8 years ago

I have iPhone 6, from my iPhone I can make call out of it but I cannot receive when anyone other is call it always says switched off, even if it is not switched off neither its on do not disturb mode.
I have been facing this problem since i have updated my phone.
Please help me with it, as I am unable to get any call.

bhavya prakash
8 years ago

I have a iPhone 6 , there is a problem with my is that is says switched off every time in the morning even if it is on and not even on switched off mode.
Its been happening since i have updated my phone.
Please help me with this its really a problem as whenever anybody call my phones says switched off.

Betty Warren
8 years ago

can anyone help I have an Iphone 6 that has been updated each time updates come out and my hubby and Iphone 4s and again fully updated each time updates come out and neither of our phones will go to answer phone when we don’t answer them. It is all set up but for some reason callers say it does not go to answer phone just says we are unavailable

Joanne Kaminski Kraklow
8 years ago

You really are a great help – the solutions are so simple and mind easing. Thanks a million for being so assessable! JVK

Joanne Kaminski Kraklow
8 years ago

For me, it was the little moon thing!

Guy Hodgson
8 years ago

Thanks for the info. That stupid little switch on the side is just where a key or coin can press it in your pocket. Why not have it on the screen with everything else?

Sarah Enloe
8 years ago

Thank you! It worked!

Dory Camren
8 years ago

hi, so my phone stopped making sound last night around 9pm. i was making my bed & i didnt notice when i took my blanket off that my phone was on it. at that time i was mad so i kind of flung it off and i heard a thump against the wall. when i checked back, my sound didnt work. do i need to go to the apple store? thanks.

Nathan T Metcalf
8 years ago

great info, but if none of this worked, try the switch just above the volume control 😉
peace & love
n8)

Barney Chan
8 years ago

Thank you, David. Your information is great. My problem is that I can’t get the text notification to ring. The phone rings fine. I had a problem with the battery draining quickly, but thanks to your suggestions, I’ve been able to fix my 4s and the battery is working fine again.

Do you have any suggestions for when the phone is ringing, but the text notifications are not sounding? Thanks.

Michael Tsai - Blog - My iPhone 6s and iOS 9 Experience
8 years ago

[…] had lots of problems with the phone not ringing. At first I thought this was because I had misconfigured Do Not Disturb. But then it failed to ring when I asked someone in my “Disturb” […]

Kathy
8 years ago

Thank you so very much! This has been driving me crazy, and you just saved me from wasting an afternoon at the Apple Store!

Cameron McKenzie
8 years ago

My phone has been on DND for the past two years, apparently. I wondered why I missed all of those calls. Props to you!

Victor Wilson
8 years ago

Correction of my horrible typing ability, (of my phone to turn on the ringer, or you got it wrong.)

Victor Wilson
8 years ago

my iPhone 5 switch has to be pushed to the back o my phone to turn on the ringer????? FYI, unless when I got it repaired the tech may have reversed the switch by accident or you got wrong. Anyways, thanks, I didn’t quite understand or knew that there was a switch or what it is for now it do. It’s usually something simple.

tamalynk
8 years ago

Well, what a doofus I am! Thanks so much. I was missing calls left and right. Thank you.

BaTnT
8 years ago

I also had this kind of problem for some couple of days. and i when i already realized this i also started worrying about it.

But, after reading this, i blew my phone earphone jack hoping that (if) something inside will be removed.
and very fortunately it did work out.
my iPhone’s now working normally.

Thanks

baz
8 years ago

fine – except what is the command centre? can’t find one on my iphone

David Payette
8 years ago
Reply to  baz

Hi Baz,

The command center appears when you swipe up with one finger from the very bottom of your iPhone. It looks like the image below:

Thanks for asking!
David P.

Margaret
8 years ago

Thanks – it’s so simple when you know how 🙂

Donna
8 years ago

OMG, mine wasn’t ringing or notifying for texts. My do not disturb was not activated. BUT there is a setting called “allow calls” that was set on “favorites only.” Since I hadn’t designated any favorites, I wasn’t getting notifications or rings! The location of this setting is below the do not disturb on the iPhone 6 which, to me, implied it was only activated when do not disturb was activated. Not true! You may want to check this out as well!

rexcat3
8 years ago

Argh! I’ve been cursing Apple and my iPhone all day because I could not get an audible ring-tone. Lo and behold, it was turned off. All is well now, thanks you!

gregmn
8 years ago

Go to Settings and reset network connections… Worked twice now on my Fk iPhone 6. Once more and it becomes a deep-6!

Sue
8 years ago

Thank you. I love you.

Randy Rice
8 years ago

Thank you I must have accidently hit the do not disturb it has been driving me nuts for 2 days I missed every call even with the phone laying on my desk beside me. Thanks Again

st8kout1 .
8 years ago

So THAT’S why it won’t ring. I was wondering what that moon symbol was for. They made it too easy to accidentally activate Do Not Disturb with the upswipe screen. I hit that all the time putting in and pulling my phone out of my back pocket.

Ann Werner
8 years ago

Thank you! I was ready to take my phone to my service provider where I purchased the phone. You saved me a trip!

Laura Lynd
8 years ago

I have an iphone 5c and it normally does ring when I get calls and stuff but I was waiting for my grandma to call me the other day and I cant remember if I called her or she called me but I was talking to my mom a little later and she told me that my grandma had tried to call me earlier but I didn’t answer but my phone never rang or told me I had any missed calls or voicemails. I had to call my voicemail and then it did say I had a voicemail from my… Read more »

Richard Steven Middleditch
8 years ago

THANKYOU! I feel like a total newb that it was so simple, but thanks none the less. Not being an apple user i feel this wont be the last time i have a facepalm moment

Billie Carn
8 years ago

Thank you David, phone ringing now. Love you’re called Payette Forward a play on your name and ? Pay It Forward Foundation. Billie x ?

Frank Pacey
9 years ago

Thank you David. Simple flick of the switch and now my iphone rings (or rather sings) when I am called. But i needed to know what to do.

Charis Ahrens
9 years ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

jenn
9 years ago

I have tried everything suggested above and my texts go straight to the message box without any notification. I keep missing all my texts unless I actually keep checking my messages. No little red alert icon , no ding. any ideas?

HeidiHoNeighbor
9 years ago

The F’ing switch. Your first paragraph solved all my problems. Thanks. You forget about this stuff under a case of plastic and rubber.

Evelyn Saks
9 years ago

YAAAAY!! problem fixed!!! I’ll watch out for that pesky half moon in future 🙂

Luke
9 years ago

My i5s wouldnt get any alerts. Really bugged me. I am a heavy headphone user so i thought i just messed up the port and now would have to live w the consequences. However after trying everything youve listed, it seemed to work when the charge was over 40%. There may be something internal that shuts off all clicks, alerts n such when running on a low charge. Keep that in mind ifamily! Happy again!

Excuse me
9 years ago

I love my 6 . I amaze my friends with it. They can’t get over how big it is, but they all are using a 5S. I tell them, yeah, I need an extra seat on the airline when I travel with it. Every week or so I learn something new about it. I had, like many others, been plagued with a silent vibration and no ring tone, kind of “out of the blue”. I kept going back into Sounds and checking the settings…then I read about the switch on the side that I had forgot all about. Fixed the… Read more »

jbperez808
9 years ago

I have the same problem and can’t figure out why.

I shouldn’t have bought this peesashit iPhone 6 and gone for a Samsung instead.

I’m already on latest 8.0.x and iOS 8 is still full of the same annoying bugs and don’t tell me the solution is to upgrade to a higher 8 version.

jbperez808
9 years ago
Reply to  jbperez808

Turns out it was the stupid, useless side switch. I adjust the ringer volume and the volume indicator still shows a volume bar even if the switch is in the off position. Apple UX fail. It’s bad enough that Apple keeps moving the switches around, now you have inconsistencies between the Air 2 (and Air?) where there is no more side switch and then they remove the option to make the side switch do a rotation lock, making this easily accidentally toggleable side switch WORSE THAN USELESS. Where’s Steve Jobs when you need him to castrate the twit/s over at… Read more »

Sunshine Saddler
9 years ago

Why do I get terrible reception on my new iphone 6 at home in Altadena, Ca. I have an updated ATT 2wire router there. I only get 1 bar/dot at home. I work at USC and get excellent
reception there – 3 or 4 bars? My cell provider is Sprint. Who is at fault? What can I do to boost my signal strength at home? Thanks

Neal99
9 years ago

Where pray tell is the switch located on the 5s? There isn’t one. So are these solutions only for one phone? And if so which one?

curly2
9 years ago

The easiest way to disable the do not disturb feature is to ask Siri to turn it off.

George
9 years ago

Thank you so much it was in fact the do not disturb that was on! Thank you again!!!!!

UT-rabble-rouser
9 years ago

Thank you!! Now I know.