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 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.

The 7 Reasons Why iPhones Go Straight To Voicemail

There are three main reasons why iPhones go straight to voicemail, and almost everyone already knows the first one. I’m willing to bet your calls are going straight to voicemail because of reason #2 or #3.

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.

airplane mode icon in control center

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.

do not disturb icon in control center

How Do I Know If Do Not Disturb Is Turned On?

Look in the upper right-hand corner of your iPhone, just to the left of the battery icon. If you see a crescent moon, Do Not Disturb is turned on.
crescent moon icon do not disturb on

How Do I Turn Off Do Not Disturb?

The fastest way to turn off Do Not Disturb is found in Control Center. To open Control Center, use your finger to swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone’s display. Look for the crescent moon icon, and tap it with your finger to turn off Do Not Disturb.

Do Not Disturb Control Center Screenshot

You can also turn off Do Not Disturb in the Settings app by going to Settings -> Do Not Disturb. Tap the switch to the right of Do Not Disturb to turn off Do Not Disturb.

How Did Do Not Disturb Get Turned On In The First Place?

Open the Settings app and tap on 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

Do Not Disturb While Driving

A new feature introduced with iOS 11 called Do Not Disturb While Driving may turn on automatically when your iPhone detects when you’re riding a car.

To turn off Do Not Disturb While Driving, first you’ll need to add Do Not Disturb While Driving to Control Center by going to Settings -> Control Center -> Customize Controls and tap the green plus sign on the left side of Do Not Disturb While Driving.

add dnd while driving to control center

Next, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center and tap the Do Not Disturb While Driving icon.

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 your iphone

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.

Carrier Settings Update 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

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.

Wireless Carrier Support Contact Numbers

  • Verizon: 1-800-922-0204
  • Sprint: 1-888-211-4727
  • AT&T: 1-800-331-0500
  • T-Mobile: 1-877-746-0909

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!

Thanks for reading, and remember to pay it forward,
David P.

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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StaCee M.
7 days ago

OMG Silence unknown callers that was it!!!!!! Thank you thank you!!!!!

12 days ago

Please help me have tryed everything still goes to voice mail ty Carol

1 month ago

Thank you! Hopefully, changing the Announce Call setting from never to always will do the trick. Fingers crossed because I don’t see anything else that it could be. Appreciate you, David, for posting this article!

1 month ago


1 month ago

My phone was on “Never” for announce calls! No wonder I was missing so many calls!!! I wish this article was at the top of my search for the problem!!! I had to go through a ton of “your ‘do not disturb’ is on” …duh that’s turned off, so it was so annoying to see that so many times in my search. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!

2 months ago

iphone wont take call or go wireless internet

John M
2 months ago

My phone was on “Silence Unknown Callers”.

2 months ago
Reply to  John M

Mine also. This really helped.

3 months ago

Tried all the above and none worked and then I disconnected wifi calling as a commenter suggested and voila. Everything works perfectly.

Charles Wallace
3 months ago

Thank you. I’ve never even heard of “silence unknown callers”, and certainly never turned it on. I did notice that, after a recent software update, calls not in my contact list would go straight to voicemail without giving me a chance to answer. Thanks to you, I can now get callbacks from help lines again!

3 months ago

I tried everything to no avail. Apparently it was as easy as turning off my lte and power cycling my phone.

4 months ago

If these dont work go into your call forwarding settings and make sure it is turned off!

4 months ago

Thanks so much. It seems that many of us had same issues with “silence unknown callers “ being “on”. It must’ve been an automatic setting because I wouldn’t have wanted to turn that on.

4 months ago

The Silence Unknown Callers fixed mine!! You are incredible and thank you! Must have switched on when I changed carriers and boy was I getting frustrated. Thank you!!

5 months ago

Thank you very much this was excellently composed and very helpful. Cheers!

7 months ago

Oh my Gosh you have saved me with this!!! Thank you so much. I have been missing important calls from my doctor office and I couldn’t figure out why because my favorites could get through but not others. I also had silence unknown calls on too. Thank you sooooooo much

7 months ago

Also check to make sure you haven’t blocked the number by mistake!

7 months ago

thank you for the information – it was very valuable – I had no idea there were so many potential root causes – mine was near the bottom of the list – Turn Off Silence Unknown Callers – lol

7 months ago

Make sure that numbers are not blocked on your phone. I had a user thinking he was not getting any calls, but it ended up that he just accidentally blocked the number here at the office on his iPhone.

8 months ago

I have an iPhone 6S plus and about a month ago calls started going directly to VoiceMail and then even worse, my Voicemail stopped working altogether, never even had any indication of missed calls. A few days ago I spent an aggregate of almost 7 hours over 2 days with Tracfone trying to resolve the problem. Nothing they suggested fixed my Voicemail. Nothing I found on Google helped. Yesterday I got brave and started to play around with the phone myself and found the solution. It is to reset the whole dang thing. Not rjust eset Network connections but reset… Read more »

8 months ago
Reply to  Annie

Just a PS to what I just wrote; rebooting the phone is not the same as resetting it, Merely turning if off and back on does nothing.

8 months ago

Thank you. The “announce calls” was the issue for me. Weird! My calls have always come through. I don’t want a setting automatically set saying I never want the call announced.

8 months ago

My issue was I had the “Silence Unknown Callers” setting turned on in phone settings

8 months ago

My issue was not on this list but I discovered it trying the others. Mine would ring for contacts but not others. I had silenced unknown callers.

David Lynch
8 months ago
Reply to  DevSmith

Thanks for the tip!

8 months ago

The wi-fi calling was the issue – I turned it off and that did the trick.

S Paylor
8 months ago

I just spoke to Verizon: Try this and see if this works: SETTINGS – PHONE – Silence Unknown Callers (TURN OFF: Slide to the left) This is only for those that are NOT in your contact list***

Paul Crocker
8 months ago

I finally resolved this issue on my iphone X after finding a setting called silence unknown callers, now i receive all calls instead of them being sent to my network Three Voicemail Box 🙂

Joseph Belflower
9 months ago

Make sure “Silence Unknown Callers” is disabled as well, as the iPhone will block ANY contact not in your contact list from getting through. I just turned this off and was able to call my phone from my desk phone, turned it back on and it would send it straight to voicemail.

Gay G
9 months ago

Fixed!!! Went to Settings, then phone, found the “silence unknown callers” was turned on. Reset it to off. Thanks!

9 months ago

Check the new setting “Silence Unknown Callers”: Settings -> Phone -> Silence Unknown Callers. Change it to “Never”

9 months ago

reboot your phone

9 months ago

Ok, so my phone was doing this and NOTHING helped. I checked everything…DND, etccc…FINALLY, I went to settings, phone, and found a setting called “Silence Unknown Callers” and for whatever reason, this was turned ON. I turned it off, and the phone now rings. I have an iphone 10 xr. Hope this will help someone!

1 year ago

yeah no… this didn’t help AT ALL… still silenced while in the car… driving me batty, I am always on the go and on call..if I am not paying attention to my screen I miss calls in the car

1 year ago

It only happens when my husband tries to call. He can text me but if he tries to call, goes straight to voicemail. Checked all settings and all is good

1 year ago

I had the same issues as everyone else. I have an iPhone XR. I could not receive phone calls from my husband and daughter. Their calls would go directly to VM. Tried everything below. I did see where someone said to remove Hiya. As soon as I deleted the app I was able to receive calls from them.