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!
Changing the “receiving calls to always” worked for me!
Thank you this was very helpfull it was my do not disturb that was on.
Got an ANDROID SAMSUNG GALAXY 4. IT RINGS from my CUZ IN ALASKA. Got a friend that lives 1 mile from me. Phone WILL NOTRING when he calls. It goes straight to voice mail. Have settings WIDE OPEN. WITH RINGER WIDE OPEN. HELP !
Thank you!!!! My family and friends of been complaining that when I call it goes straight to voicemail. Ive cleared my phone out multiple times but keeps happening. My BFF called tonight and said the first time it went to voicemail the second time it answered.
Your article helped immensely! Shared it immediately to Pinterest
Thank you David, you helped me to fix my phone.
Done Thanks for your assistance
Thank you! Worked perfectly!
It was the “announce calls'” setting for me! Where the heck did that come from? Thanks for the help!
My “son” is a genius. He put me on to this. How my phone got in the Do Not Disturb mode I don’t know.
Thanks a bunch Brian “James” Swiatowy……….
Before going through all the steps to discover the 6 reasons, first do a hard reboot. I had this problem, none of the above cases applied, but it was back to normal after a rebood.
I have tired most of this remedies for my phone going to VM that have been mentioned , did a reset last night ! But my phone only goes to VM in am and after I turn the phone off and on works until the next morning! Today I turned the cellular phone button off and on and called my phone and it worked !! I’m going to try the announce calls/always , but won’t know until morning if it works. I went to Apple Store and he said it almost sounded like do not disturb is on but it… Read more »
The only soft wear on a iPhone is 10.3.3, where us 11.0. My iPhone is up to date. You must have a special phone.
Nope. Didn’t fix
THANK YOU!!!! You saved me a trip to the Apple Store!
Added suggestion: Re-burn the number to another sim card is another option.. One of my staff members had just received new sim card w/service number and intermittent issues every since… confirmed incoming calls went straight to voicemail each time.. never rang when issue was present.. Only when she attempted to make a phone call would it let her know that she had pending messages etc. Some days or times it would work and receive calls normally. . Signal strength was typically 3 – 4 bars.. happened regardless of location. Re-burned the sim and suddenly calls from long lost relatives and… Read more »
Hi you are wealth info about why a phone doesn’t ring you ideas are all good so I’ve turned off my “do not disturb”. I’m hoping it will allow the calls through because I was thinking it sent calls from switch boards to voicemail without ringing. You have saved my sanity and my phone thank you!
Try removing any “call blocking” numbers. Only thing that worked for me. Tried them all. Very convoluted.
Reboot your phone….it worked for me.
Tried all these options and still calls go straight to voicemail. I’ve got full signal (and can dial out fine), Do Not Disturb turned off (no moon), Announce Calls set to Always and Voicemail set to normal service. IOS fully up to date and have rebooted many times. I’m at a loss 😐
Thanks! Great help, I had no idea how to fix the problem.
Guide for dummies
I fixed my Nannys phone that had this issue. Her daughter had set it up and it only was taking calls from “favorites” If this is the issue you have to select “everyone”
Calls Started going to phone mail after installing 10.3.2. DND not on.
Omg thank you thank you thank you. Liked and shared
Check your voicemail settings. Some how I had activated ‘send straight to voice mail’. Hope this helps someone
Thank you so much. Been trying to figure this out for ages! All fixed now thanks to you. Brilliant
FYI I had this problem with a port over from another carrier. The port did not complete all the way and half the services were on one carrier and half on another (My new carrier’s description). Basically this was a port from ATT to Verizon and only Verizon could fix it.
Also the weekend support through Verizon was not helpful so you may have to call a few times to get the right person. If this sounds like it may be your issue go to the Port department and make sure the port was successfull.
It only worked for me when I put my phone’s cellular on. It’s mainly on WiFi. Does anyone know if cellular is on, does that count as billable hours and if it still works on WiFi?
it worked for me, I opened dnd and there was a green light on Manual, turned off green light and icon on top of phone went off and problem solved, thanks,
Nope that isn’t the issue…everything is set right…it’s a glitch..and I don’t want Siri to announce my calls…it needs to work properly.
that did it thanks
Excellent, thanks, somehow, do not accept calls from anyone was on!!
Awesome, thanks David!
Thanks, David! The DND setting was on! Paying forward allows us to share kindness abundantly!
didn’t help airplane mode is not on, either is do not disturb
this didn’t heip
apple is really s*** when it comes to caring about iphone owners. mine is still going to voicemail
AGREE 100% APPLE is “S” for everything
can’t find a solution…some calls go straight to the voicemail, some actually ring…MISTERY
Same problem, and Do-not-disturb not on. Then tried phoning out, and turns out the SIM card was locked, and needed the PIN code input.
it’s worked for me.
Do Not Disturb is NOT on and this keeps happening
This didn’t help at all —
Airplane mode is not on. DND is not on. I’ve rebooted twice. The only thing that has changed is that I downloaded an “upgrade”.
I had the same issue — calls going to voicemail even though DND was not turned off. I corrected the problem by rebooting the phone.
Did not help. D N D is not turned on. Help!!!
this didn’t help me either
Um yeah… this didn’t help as dnd wasn’t on
Hello, In the do not disturb section of my iPhone all the way at the bottom it has a section called Silence. It doesn’t give me the option to uncheck always or only when I phone is locked. I check the toggle ringer, volume is up, manual button is not on, scheduled is not set and repeated calls is on. I have even tried adding a scheduled time and the phone won’t ring unless the phone is unlocked. Thanks for the help!