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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Shelby Zimmermann
6 years ago

I can’t believe it ,I have been going crazy for a month or two .Going to setting playing with volume and Then I do what you said ! Awesome !!!! I saw the moon at top of Arden .That was happening with it !thank you !

Susan Martens
6 years ago

That’s exactly what my problem was. This has been ongoing for a week now. I just thought I’d google my problem tonight…and MAGIC, you, David P., wrote a simply stated CURE for my problem. I will no longer be looking for “The Man in the Moon.”

Jenny Christian
6 years ago

Have done and checked all of the above but my iphone 5s still doesn’t ring in the afternoon! It’s fine in the morning, but come the afternoon. doesn’t ring. Unless I switch it off and then back on again. Really frustrating. Does anyone else have this problem??

Linda Kennedy
6 years ago

Thank you!! I actually WAS missing calls from my boss! It seems that little moon icon got in the way of my finger! 🙂

Raymond Nadeau
6 years ago

Thanks so much.

Abigail Jones
6 years ago

Thank you SOOO much this fixed everything!

Renee Le Page
6 years ago

Thanks so much. This was extremely helpful. Thank you for explaining it in simple terms as well,

Vanda Mikoloski
7 years ago
Reply to  Renee Le Page

I had crappy service there as well with Verizon and an iPhone 6

Neal Modlin
6 years ago

iPhone 4S still not ringing

Natalia Bat
6 years ago

Thank you. And most of all for pointing out so nicely “the obvious” because stupid me completely forget to check the switch. Your a Gem

Cathy Studer
6 years ago

On the iPhone 6 there is a “silence” button. It’s above the volume buttons. When it’s pushed towards the back of the phone, the phone is silenced. When pushed toward the front it will ring. I went 2 days with no ringer, no notification noise because this button was set on silence. Must have happened when I took the phone out of the Otter cover. Easy fix and the guy at the AT&T store found it straight off.

Cathy Page
6 years ago

Thank you for the comments. That is what got mine working again. I reset the phone and wha – laa it started working again. Thank you

Charles Ⓢ Assaf
6 years ago

I tried all of these to no avail. Finally found a solution that did work. Open Sounds (& Haptics if you have an iPhone 7). Manually turn your Ringer volume to nothing by sliding with your finger (it’s probably already at full, or you wouldn’t be reading this). Then slide it back to full (or whatever your preference is). Call you phone and listen to it ring..

Brandy Taylor
6 years ago

Thank you so much!!! I have had SO many friends and family extremely angry with me because they thought I was deliberately not answering their calls! When I tried to tell them the phone didn’t ring, I kept hearing, “it’s a brand new phone; how can it already be broken ????!!!!!” I am new to iOS devices and did not even know about the orange switch on the side of the phone. Thank you again!

Virginia Markewych
6 years ago

thanks for the help for a friend YOU ROCK

Tamara Marshall
6 years ago

Thank you for helpful post.

Kathy Evans
6 years ago

OMG, Thank you so much. My phone has been driving me to distraction for over a week. Couldn’t understand why when it was in my hand it rang but I was missing all my calls! I didn’t even know it had the Do not disturb feature. I am very grateful.

Mike Noggle
6 years ago

My wife’s phone stopped ringing. I called her while she was sitting next to me and it went straight to VM. We did all of the above and it made no difference. i did a hard reset of the phone and it suddenly began ringing again. Today, the same thing happened to my iPhone 7 plus. I have missed several calls when I was close to my phone. I think this may be an endemic problem.

TomMary Anderson
6 years ago

OMG The orange switch was hit. Than you for the help

David E Masche
6 years ago

I bought an iPhone 7 two weeks ago and my phone was not ringing most of the time! My DO NOT DISTURB was turned on.I suredid not do that on purpose. now my phone works . Thank You David P. 🙂

Dick Walsh
6 years ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Kelvin Vino
6 years ago

Thank you sir! It worked! I can now hear the tone of my phone everytime someone calls! You saved my day!

Shirley Stout
6 years ago

Thank u it was the slide button on the side of my phone. You are great happy New Years

Parks Harrell Nancy
8 years ago

Thank you so much for your help

India Leona Kirk
8 years ago

try plugging in then taking out the headphones worked for me when nothing else did!

Cassie Japos
8 years ago

Omg thank you soooo much! The switch helped a lot!!! You’re the best!

Paul Higby
7 years ago

Just to be clear, Apple Genius Bar repairs can be expensive, but they’re being repaired by Apple-certified techs, and they carry a 90-day warranty, even if your iPhone’s original warranty has expired. If your iPhone is less than a year old (or under two years old and you’ve purchased AppleCare ), your repairs may be free or cost a small deductible. The visit to the Genius Bar is ALWAYS free; warranty repairs are free for manufacturer’s defects and carry a deductible cost for damage. You will always receive a written estimate of cost before Apple accepts your iPhone (or any… Read more »

Simon Morgan
7 years ago

Thanks for this – your scenario was exactly what happened to me. Boy, you do learn something every day with Apple products, don’t you?

7 years ago

Thanks, David, for the great info. My husband’s iPhone 4 wouldn’t ring and he did miss lots of calls. Mostly mine! It is working fine now thanks to you!

Colonel Sanders
7 years ago

Wow! Thank you so much!
My phone stopped ringing about 3 weeks ago, and it’s been a real pain!
I did NOT know about that little switch on the side!
I’m not much of a phone person……
Thanks again.

Ton Bil
7 years ago

Great article and at the end of it I’m left with this question: do I need “bicycle repair man”, since it seems there’s no hardware problem… Testing by calling my iPhone from my landline. (Volume high, DoNotDisturb off, Xylophone ringtone on.) 1. When I put headphone cable in, and I call myself, I get the ringtone on my headphone 2. Phone speaker does function: when I set “xylophone” it will sound like it, just to show me what sound I get. So software and iPhone speaker DO function. 3. I cleaned the headphone plug-in (with a brush, not an anti-static… Read more »

7 years ago

Thanks David, really appreciate your instructions on turning off the “do not disturb” function. Was ready to throw my iphone in the lake I was so frustrated with missing calls and texts.

Just Dee
7 years ago

My iphoe6 still doesn’t work. I’ve tried everything except to reset it! Very frustrating. It’s on ring, the button on the left side was not muted, my do not disturb was not on, I have no new updates that need to be installed, & I restarted the phone. Still nothing, only vibrates on text as well as calls. I also tried switching ring tones – nothing!

JC Jones
7 years ago

When my daughter texts or emails me on her iPhone, my iPhone doesn’t make a sound and I never know she called unless I happen to look at my phone. I’ve checked her assigned ringtone, etc. and everything seems normal.

Niya Raytcheva
7 years ago

I have the Iphone 6s. I have one contact in my phone that will not show up when it calls me. It doesn’t ring, doesn’t go to voicemail, doesn’t even show up as a missed call; she said on her end, it just keeps ringing, but nothing is happening on my end. She is not blocked and do not disturb is not on. She is listed in my favorites, so even if it were on DND it would still ring. She can text me, I can call her, and all other incoming calls ring and show up, just not my… Read more »

Tabitha-Rose Freeman
7 years ago

Thanks u so much. I got my iPhone 6s 5 days ago and haven’t been able to receive calls or texts, it would only vibrate (the same with my sons iPhone 6). We both have a lifeproof cases and I think when the phone is put in the case it slides the switch to the off position.
If it wasn’t for your article I would have never tried to troubleshoot with the cases off, I was only looking in settings.
Thanks again 🙂

Drawing Butts
7 years ago

This article is useless

Emmy Johnson Fearn
7 years ago

Thank you! I had turned off the “do not disturb” feature when my husband was in the hospital. When I turned it back on, the scheduled button (10 PM-8 AM) was NOT turned back on. So, I was missing calls. Thanks to your post, I checked that feature again and found the problem. (Might be good to mention that wrinkle in your post.)

Sue Wagenschwanz
7 years ago

Thanks for the help. However when I go to settings do not disturb I did unable the manual button – don’t know how I even turned it on. However, when I scrowl down to Silence: “Only while Iphone is locked” and there is a check mark next to it. How do I get rid of that?

I tried to touch it but nothing happens. How do I clear that?

Thanks so much for your help.

Leigh Duffy
7 years ago

oh my god, I feel like a complete IDIOT for not realizing I had done just exactly this sooner. I’ve been missing calls and texts for weeks. Thanks for the simple fix!

Beth Ellen
7 years ago


bob r
7 years ago

David, thank you for the great info here. My iPhone 5s would only vibrate and not ring. I went to the apple support site. Too hard to get the info, then I googled the problem and you were at the top. After reading your first suggestion, the ringer was turned off since I put the phone in a new otter box defender, I tripped the switch. You are the best, thanks….I have signed up for your newsletter!

7 years ago

Thank you! Fixed the problem in 1.2 secs!!! Was driving me crazy for the past few days.

7 years ago

very useful! thank you

7 years ago

Thanks that worked. The issue was that the DND Icon wasn’t showing! So Thanks again!

7 years ago

I did all that and then saw the airplane mode was on….dang!

Sharon Cates Oddy
7 years ago

My phone vibrates when I receive messages except for one contact. I have that contact set to my defaults. I deleted the contact and put the contact back in. I shut didn the phone and put it back on. I tried changing the defaults to something different. Nothing worked. Can you help?

Dan Janal
7 years ago

Thank you VERY much. I was missing calls for a long time and couldn’t figure out why until I found your answer. Works perfectly!

7 years ago

Yep, I’m over the moon with this fix!

I’m glad I found it, as there were some outdated solutions in the Apple Support groups that wouldn’t have fixed it and would only have been a hassle.

Likely our 2-year-old grandson did the switch when he was playing around with the phone.

Thanks David!

David Payette
7 years ago
Reply to  barstew

That’s so awesome to hear! I’m glad you found what you were looking for – and yes, 2-year-olds love playing with iPhones.

By the way, I love your “over the moon” comment. I appreciate your sense of humor – for better or worse, it runs in my family too. 🙂

Thanks for reading and happy grandparenting, David

7 years ago

Thank you David it worked its a great help, I just followed what you said. You are a Heavent sent!

Dan Harvell
7 years ago

Unfortunately, this article does not address the real problem: the iPhone is crap. My ringer is “on”, the ringer volume is turned up to full, Do Not Disturb is off, my phone is set to ring AND vibrate… but I am still missing calls, as my phone will not ring, nor vibrate when I receive a call. I look at the screen and lo and behold, missed calls without so much as a twitch from my phone. I’m not missing the calls due to bad signal, as I have full signal strength, at my house (where I am most of… Read more »