Your friends are trying to call you, but they can’t get through. Their iPhones ring when you call them, so why doesn’t yours? In this article, I’ll explain why your iPhone goes straight to voicemail when someone calls and how to fix the problem for good.
Why Does My iPhone Go Straight To Voicemail When Someone Calls?
Your iPhone typically goes straight to voicemail because your iPhone has no service, Do Not Disturb is turned on, or a Carrier Settings update is available. We’ll help you identify and fix the real problem below.
No Service / Airplane Mode
When your iPhone is too far away to connect to cell towers, or when it’s cut off from the outside world with Airplane Mode, all calls go straight to voicemail because your iPhone isn’t connected to the cellular network.
Open Settings and look at the switch next to Airplane Mode. If Airplane Mode is on, turn it off. If Airplane Mode is off, tap the switch to turn it on. Wait a few seconds, then tap the switch again to turn off Airplane Mode.
Do Not Disturb
When your iPhone is locked (the screen is off), Do Not Disturb silences all incoming calls, text message notifications, and alerts on your iPhone. Unlike silent mode, Do Not Disturb sends incoming calls straight to voicemail.
To turn off Do Not Disturb, open Control Center by swiping down from the upper right-hand corner of the screen (iPhones with Face ID) or up from the very bottom of the screen (iPhones without Face ID). Look for the Moon icon. If it’s white and purple, Do Not Disturb is on. Tap the icon to turn if off.
How Did Do Not Disturb Get Turned On In The First Place?
Open Settings and tap Focus -> Do Not Disturb. If your iPhone is running iOS 14 or older, open Settings and tap Do Not Disturb. Is Scheduled turned on? If so, your iPhone will automatically turn Do Not Disturb on and off when you go to sleep.
Do Not Disturb While Driving & Other Focuses
Do Not Disturb While Driving was introduced with iOS 11. With iOS 15, Apple introduced Focus, which houses Do Not Disturb, Do Not Disturb While Driving, and more. When Do Not Disturb While Driving or another Focus is on, your iPhone may go straight to voicemail.
If your iPhone is running iOS 15, swipe down from the upper right-hand corner of the screen (iPhones with Face ID) or up from the very bottom of the screen (iPhones without Face ID) to open Control Center. Look for the Focus button in Control Center. If a Focus is on, tap on the icon to turn it off.
If your iPhone is running iOS 14 or older, open Settings and tap Do Not Disturb. Tap Activate under Do Not Disturb While Driving to see when the feature turns on. When set to Automatically, Do Not Disturb While Driving will turn on any time your iPhone thinks you’re driving. You can turn off Do Not Disturb While Driving by unlocking your iPhone and tapping I’m Not Driving.
Customizing Call Settings For Focus
iOS 15 allows you to customize Focus settings so calls don’t go directly to voicemail when a Focus is turned on. Open Settings and tap Focus -> Phone Calls. Here, you have a few options.
First, if you’d like calls from the same person within three minutes to not be silenced, leave the switch at the top of the screen on. Then, select if you’d like to receive calls from Everyone, No One, or your Favorites when a Focus is on.
Some readers have reported a new solution that appeared in a recent version of iOS: Change Announce Calls to Always. Go to Settings -> Phone -> Announce Calls, tap Always, and give it a try.
Turn The Ringer Volume All The Way Up
It’s possible your iPhone ringer is silent, making you think that calls are going straight to voicemail since you can’t hear them when they come in. Try turning your ringer volume all the way up to see if that’s the issue you’re experiencing.
Open Settings and tap Sounds & Haptics. Drag the slider under Ringers and Alerts all the way to the right. You’ll be able to hear how loudly your iPhone will ring when you finishing adjusting the slider.
Have someone call your iPhone after trying this to see if the problem is resolved. If the call goes straight to voicemail, move onto the next step.
Check For A Carrier Settings Update
If your calls go straight to voicemail, you may need to update the carrier settings on your iPhone. Carrier settings are what allows your iPhone to connect to your carrier’s wireless network.
If your iPhone’s carrier settings are out of date, it may have trouble connecting to your carrier’s network, which could cause incoming phone calls to go straight to your voicemail.
To check for a Carrier Settings Update, open the Settings app and tap General -> About. If a carrier settings update is available, an alert will appear on your iPhone’s display that says “Carrier Settings Update“. If this alert appears on your iPhone, tap Update.
Turn Off Silence Unknown Callers
Silence Unknown Callers will send phone calls from from unknown numbers directly to voicemail. The call will show up in the Recents tab in Phone even though it goes straight to voicemail.
Open Settings and tap Phone. Turn off the switch next to Silence Unknown Callers to turn this setting off.
Turn Off Call Forwarding
Call Forwarding forwards your calls to a different phone number if you don’t or can’t answer them. There’s also call forwarding unconditional, which will forward your calls without allowing your iPhone to ring or give you the opportunity to answer it. It’s possible your iPhone is going straight to voicemail because of Call Forwarding.
Open Settings and tap Phone -> Call Forwarding. Turn off the switch next to Call Forwarding.
Note: You may not see this setting on your iPhone if your carrier does not support call forwarding.
Update Your iPhone
Updating your iPhone can sometimes fix software bugs, especially if a modem update is included with the iOS update. Open Settings and tap General -> Software Update. Tap Download and Install or Install Now if an iOS update is available.
Uninstall Spam Blocking Apps
Spam blocking apps like RoboKiller can be extremely useful. However, they’ll sometimes block calls you actually want to receive. Try uninstalling any spam blocking apps on your iPhone to see if that fixes the problem.
Press and hold on the app icon until the quick action menu opens. Then, tap Remove App -> Delete App -> Delete.
If this fixed the problem for you, check out our video about other ways to block spam calls on your iPhone.
Contact Your Carrier
There is a chance that you may need to contact your cell carrier about an issue with service for missed or dropped calls. If it becomes a regular occurrence that isn’t fixed by any of the troubleshooting steps in this article, you may need to contact your provider to see if there is any known issues or if there is a tower update that needs to be done on their end.
Is It Time To Switch Wireless Carriers?
If you’re fed up with the constant problems with your wireless carrier, you may want to consider switching. You’ll often save a lot of money when you do! Check UpPhone’s tool to compare cell phone plans from every wireless carrier in the United States.
You’re Back On The Grid
Your iPhone is ringing again and your calls aren’t going straight to voicemail. Do Not Disturb is a feature that comes in handy when you’re asleep, but it can cause some serious headaches if you don’t know how to use it. Save your friends and family similar headaches by sharing this article on social media so they can also learn why their iPhone goes straight to voicemail!