Why Does My iPhone Go Straight To Voicemail? Here’s The Fix!

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.

make sure airplane mode is off

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.

do not disturb off vs on in iphone control center

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 scheduled ios 15

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.

driving focus on ios 15

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.

focus phone call settings

Announce Calls

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.

always announce calls on iphone

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.

turn up ringer and alerts 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.

update carrier settings on iphone

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 silence unknown callers on iphone

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.

update to ios 14.4

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!

About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.

Subscribe
Notify of
252 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
bonnevil666
30 days ago

Tried all you suggestions – now waiting for an unknown caller to phone me!

Thanks for the advice. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Kathy
1 month ago

Thank you for the post. My Dad also had this same issue and we found his problem was also “Silence Unknown Callers” was on.

Dennis
1 month ago

Thanks soo much – Excellent information! Important calls I was waiting for went straight to VM. My wife’s calls were fine. My problem was “Silence Unknown Callers” were on!

gina
1 month ago
Reply to  Dennis

can you please share how you fixed this issue

Steve A
1 month ago

Just left my AT&T store. After a complete review and sim card change they found that my AT&T “Call Protect” app had “unknown callers” set on Block.

Pam D
1 month ago

Thank you so much!!

Admin
David Lynch
1 month ago
Reply to  Pam D

You’re welcome!

fantasia sanchez
2 months ago

THANK U SOOOOO MUCH💕

Dottie
3 months ago

This helped me out. First time with Ipad and not familiar with much. This article helped me out, and I appreciate how simple it was. I was getting frustrated on all callls going directly into voice.

Jeff E
3 months ago

Great info – my carrier doesn’t know half of what is on here. HUGE help to me. Thanks

Marva G
3 months ago

This is a wonderful article, but I found my fix in someone’s reply. You should add it to your article: CHECK your Apple Watch! Somehow mine had gotten into theater mode, which silences your calls! of course I figured this out after trying everything in this article.

Diane Gibbs
3 months ago

I’ve done every single thing on my Iphone 11pro..going straight to voicemail as of today..🤷‍♀️

Admin
David Lynch
3 months ago
Reply to  Diane Gibbs

I suggest contacting your wireless carrier. You’ll usually get the fastest help when you reach out to their Support account on Twitter.

Diane Gibbs
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lynch

I don’t use twitter..but I’ll reach out to Verizon. Thx!
This 11pro is the worst iPhone I’ve ever had. Nothing but trouble: dropped calls, fading voices, volume issues, & 41/2 hrs in their store recently hasn’t helped..

Zoe
1 month ago
Reply to  Diane Gibbs

My iWatch was on DNDisturb. There ya go!

Lozza
3 months ago

Thank you, it was in Do Not Disturb mode.

Rechell Hisle
3 months ago

My phone is going straight to voicemail after one ring and does not even let me pick up I have tried all the fixes

Admin
David Lynch
3 months ago
Reply to  Rechell Hisle

I suggest reaching out to your wireless carrier if none of the steps in this article fixed the problem.

Crow Mtn
3 months ago

I have a iPhone XR and it is updated to the lastest version and when I get a call, it rings once and goes straight to my vocie mail. Also my Mac mini that is updated to Monterey version 12.2.1 just started showing me that FaceTime quit unexpectedly and now I can’t open fact time folder or the app on my Mac mini.

Trudy
4 months ago

Fantastic information. Call forwarding was my problem. Thanks for the assistance!

Paco
4 months ago

If you have an Apple Watch, make sure these same setting are the same on your Watch.

Aaron
4 months ago

All Calls directly to voicemail. Tried everything and the only thing that worked for my brand new iPhone 13 was another new SIM card that was put in by tech support at my carrier store. Hopefully this helps others with a very frustrating problem

Maria Di Dino
4 months ago

Thank you so much for helping me fix my iPhone XR which was going straight to voicemail, I am not tech savvy at 73. But I fixed it. Thanks again!

Richard Dover
4 months ago

You should also try Settings – Phone – Call forwarding. Make sure this is switched off.

Sam Hussey
4 months ago

David, unbeknownst to me Silence Unknown Callers” was enabled . Have disabled the setting so I am now getting all calls. Many thanks!

tony diorio
4 months ago

thank you, big help

Ethel Weltman
5 months ago

When someone from my healthcare system calls, they are sent straight to voicemail. But I don’t see or hear the call come in. They are sent straight to voicemail and leave a message, but it never appears on my phone. All the phones in their system have the same area code and first three numbers. This doesn’t happen with any other callers, and doesn’t happen on my husband’s iphone. I’ve checked and rechecked the settings you name. This is not a new problem—it has persisted through a new phone and several updates. Any ideas?

Admin
David Lynch
4 months ago
Reply to  Ethel Weltman

Could be automatic spam detection included with your cell phone plan. Sometimes those features get filter out calls you actually want or need to receive. Try contacting your wireless carrier about it.

sandra
5 months ago

I’ve had my my iphone Xr over 2 years. In recent months at my work location my calls always go to VM. it only seems to be in this location. fine in other locations. I’ve been through all the steps, rang my carrier, had a new sim delivered today (they said it may be a faulty sim) and still the same. It may be my imagination but it seems to go to VM more in the morning and ok in the afternoon,

Connie Galpin
5 months ago

All of my calls are going directly to voice mail. All of my contacts were blocked so I changed that. I have tried all suggestions and nothing is working.

Admin
David Lynch
4 months ago
Reply to  Connie Galpin

Try contacting your wireless carrier. Could be an issue where a call screening feature is sending calls you actually want to receive straight to voicemail.

Becky Rice
5 months ago

Thank you, David. My phone was set to never announce calls. I believe this has resolved my issue. Thank you so much.

Admin
David Lynch
5 months ago
Reply to  Becky Rice

Glad we were able to help!

MARK C NEMESKAL
5 months ago

We’ve tried everything and my wife’s phone still goes right to voicemail.
This is an 8. Does she need to upgrade her phone?

Editor
Colin Boyd
5 months ago

Hi Mark! Is your wife’s iPhone running the latest version of iOS? You can check by going to Settings -> General -> Software Update. If you see that an update’s available, I’d suggest installing it and seeing if that helps. Thanks for reading, and best of luck!

Lucio DiLoreto
6 months ago

My iPhone 13 Pro Max with iOS 15.1 was going directly to voicemail. I tried all of the suggestions listed above and none worked. Then I did a reboot. Takes almost no time and it worked!

Editor
Colin Boyd
6 months ago
Reply to  Lucio DiLoreto

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective! Glad to hear your Pro Max is back to normal, Lucio!

Joanie Wilmot
6 months ago

My iPhone goes directly to voicemail and a red dot appears next to the battery icon. If the caller calls me right back, my phone will ring as normal. What’s up with this?

Annie Cosmides
6 months ago

Thank you! It worked!!! I had ‘Silence Unknown Callers’ turned on! ??

Jimbo
7 months ago

Silence Unknown Callers worked for me. I never turned this on, but I believe I clicked on limit spam callers from my carrier a while ago. It must have automatically turned this on. I can get calls again from new people. Thanks so much!

Ty Ly
7 months ago

Thank you. The update helped me with my “Straight to Voicemail” issue.

Charli
7 months ago

I am so frustrated. I have tried everything and I mean everything to fix my silenced incoming calls but it still goes straight to voicemail. I’m desperate at this point.

Lyda
8 months ago

Turn Off Silence Unknown Callers This worked for me. Thanks so much!

Terri Allen
7 months ago
Reply to  Lyda

Me too.

Judy Baker
8 months ago

Thank you. I adjusted my settings and now I can get the calls I want to receive.

Maria E Sellitto
8 months ago

Great info, thanks

Marge
8 months ago

None of the suggested fixes worked on my iPhone. What finally worked was choosing Settings -> General -> reset -> Reset Network Settings.

Michele Monique
8 months ago
Reply to  Marge

Did you have the iPhone 11?

George
6 months ago
Reply to  Marge

Problem resolved, thanks!

Pat
6 months ago
Reply to  Marge

Marge, thank you very much for your post! This has been the only “fix” that worked for me, and I have tried everything and anything! Again, thank you so much!

Nancy Ballard
9 months ago

I had the same issue and found that “Allow Calls From” somehow changed to Favorites, once I set it to everyone the issue was fixed. This is under Do Not Disturb in settings.

Eric Murphy
9 months ago

Hi, thanks for this. The announce>always worked for me. iPhone 7 Plus.

Pamela
9 months ago

Hi, David. I have an iPhone that sends a call from one of my contacts straight to voicemail. I was sitting by the phone and heard the alert for voicemail but didn’t hear the ring. I’ve gone through the steps you listed and also checked blocked calls. I did find I could update from IOS 14.7.1 to 14.8 which I’m doing. I’ve checked everything and believe this is the only contact that isn’t ringing. It’s an important contact. Do you have any other suggestions or what am I missing? BTW, love you site and YouTube channel.

Curtis
8 months ago
Reply to  Pamela

The exact same thing. I can send texts and voicemail to my wife but the phone rolls straight to voicemail. This does not affect other callers.

Chrystle
8 months ago
Reply to  Pamela

Pamela – I have this exact same issue, but when this one person rings, I can’t open any of my apps or do anything so I have to hard reset my phone. I can ring this person no issue – eagerly awaiting a reply to this comment!

Kathy
9 months ago

I tried this, turning airplane mode on of 5 seconds and then off. Fixed the problem!

Raiford
11 months ago

I had my iPad connected to receive calls along with the iPhone. For some time that worked fine but since the last update to 14.6 the phone (which included the announce calls option) it just defaulted to voicemail for inward calls. That update must be recent because my wife’s iPhone hasn’t yet received the announce calls option. You may know more about it all.

Editor
Colin Boyd
11 months ago
Reply to  Raiford

Hi Raiford, does your iPhone send every call straight to voicemail or just calls from unknown numbers?

Daniel
11 months ago

“Silence unknown callers” was the culprit — thanks!

SLC
1 year ago

Thank you, I needed to call cause the issues where on their side. All is good because the information provided from this article help me get help fast