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Why your iPhone isn't ringing and how to fix it

Picture this scenario: You’ve been waiting to hear from a friend, but your iPhone® doesn’t ring. Then you check your phone and see that you’ve missed several calls. Is your phone broken?

At Asurion, when tech breaks, we fix it—whether someone’s hacked your phone or you want to reset your Samsung Galaxy® tablet. Here’s what to do when your iPhone isn’t ringing.

Why your iPhone won’t ring

There are various reasons why your iPhone ringer isn’t working on incoming calls. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • The speaker port is clogged.
  • Your phone is physically damaged.
  • Your ringer volume is turned down.
  • Your phone is on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode.
  • Your phone is paired with Bluetooth®.
  • Your phone is infected with malware.

How to fix an iPhone that won’t ring

If your iPhone isn’t ringing when you receive a call, try these tips.

Check your iPhone for dust, dirt, and damage

Check your iPhone for any damage like dents or cracks—these could be a sign that you may need to replace it. Next, check the speaker port for any dust or dirt, which you can easily remove by blowing it off or cleaning it with a cotton swab dipped in a drop of rubbing alcohol.

Restart your iPhone

A simple restart may fix the problem of your phone not ringing.

To restart your iPhone X, 11, 12, or 13:

  1. Press and hold either Volume button and the side button (on the right side of your iPhone) until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for your device to turn off.
  3. To turn your device back on, press and hold the side button until you see the Apple® logo.

To restart your iPhone SE (2nd or 3rd generation), 6, 7, or 8:

  1. Press and hold the side button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for your device to turn off.
  3. To turn your device back on, press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.

To restart your iPhone SE (1st generation), 5, or earlier:

  1. Press and hold the top button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for your device to turn off. .
  3. To turn your device back on, press and hold the top button until you see the Apple logo.

When your iPhone is back on, ask a friend to call you and see if it rings.

Check the Ring/Silent switch

The most common reason an iPhone won’t ring is that the Ring/Silent switch (Silent Mode) is turned on.

  • When Silent Mode is on, you’ll see an orange band next to the Ring/Silent switch, which is located on the upper-left side of your device, just above the Volume buttons.
  • To turn it off, push the switch towards the face of your device. You’ll get a Silent Mode Off notification on your screen.

Check your volume settings

If Silent Mode is switched off and you’re not hearing your phone ring, your ringer volume may be turned down all the way. Here’s how to check and adjust your volume settings:

  • Push the Volume Up button, located just above the Volume Down button and just below the Ring/Silent button on the left side of your device. A bar graph will appear on screen to track your volume.
  • When your iPhone is locked or when you’re using an app, you can increase the volume by swiping up to open Control Center, then dragging the volume icon up.

Turn off Do Not Disturb

When Do Not Disturb mode is turned on, you’ll see a crescent moon icon in the status bar and on your Lock Screen and your phone won’t ring (On iPhone X, you’ll see the icon in Control Center only). Here’s how to turn it off:

For iOS 15 and later:

  1. Press and hold the Focus icon on your Lock Screen.
  2. Go to Control Center, then tap Focus.
  3. Tap the Focus that’s on to turn it off.

For iOS 14 and earlier:

Go to Control Center, and tap the crescent moon icon to turn it off.

Switch off Airplane Mode

Check that your phone isn’t in Airplane Mode. It won’t ring if it is. Go to Settings > Airplane Mode, and if it’s on, tap the switch to turn it off.

Turn off Silence Unknown Callers

Apple® added a feature in iOS® 13 that silences calls from unknown numbers to help avoid spam calls. But when Silence Unknown Callers is turned on, your phone won’t ring if the number isn’t in your contacts.

To turn this feature off, go to Settings > Phone, then turn off the Silence Unknown Callers switch.

Make sure the number isn’t blocked

If your iPhone isn’t ringing when someone calls, you may have blocked the number. Here’s how to unblock a number on your iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings > Phone > Blocked Contacts.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Tap the red circle beside the blocked number, and then tap Unblock.

Check your ringtones

If you’re still having a problem, check your default ringtone. You may need to reinstall it. Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone, then select a new ringtone.

If your phone doesn’t ring when only one or several people call, try checking custom ringtones you may have set up:

  1. Go to Phone > Contacts.
  2. Tap the name of the person whose calls aren’t ringing, then tap Edit.
  3. Tap Ringtone, then select a new ringtone for this contact.

Check whether Bluetooth devices are connected

If you’re not hearing a call, it’s possible your device is ringing during incoming calls but sending the audio to another source, like Bluetooth® headphones or another device.

To quickly disconnect from all Bluetooth devices without turning Bluetooth off, open Control Center and then tap the Bluetooth icon.

Complete a factory reset

If you’ve tried all the recommended fixes and your iPhone still doesn’t ring, try doing a factory reset on your phone—but only as a last resort. Your device may have been infected with malware (it’s rare) or there may be other performance issues.

A factory reset on your iPhone will erase nearly all the data on your device, so be sure to back up all your important information first.