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

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.

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Becky Rice
8 days ago

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

David Lynch
8 days ago
Reply to  Becky Rice

Glad we were able to help!

18 days 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?

Colin Boyd
16 days 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
1 month 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!

Colin Boyd
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

1 month 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
2 months ago

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

2 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.

2 months ago

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

Terri Allen
2 months ago
Reply to  Lyda

Me too.

Judy Baker
3 months ago

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

Maria E Sellitto
3 months ago

Great info, thanks

3 months ago

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

Michele Monique
2 months ago
Reply to  Marge

Did you have the iPhone 11?

1 month ago
Reply to  Marge

Problem resolved, thanks!

20 days 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
3 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
3 months ago

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

3 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.

3 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.

2 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!

4 months ago

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

5 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.

Colin Boyd
5 months ago
Reply to  Raiford

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

5 months ago

“Silence unknown callers” was the culprit — thanks!

7 months 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