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
  • Virgin Mobile: 1-888-322-1122

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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Anonymous
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Anonymous

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.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

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

DevSmith
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DevSmith

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
Admin

Thanks for the tip!

Suresh
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Suresh

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

S Paylor
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S Paylor

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
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Paul Crocker

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
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Joseph Belflower

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
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Gay G

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

Sean
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Sean

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

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