My iPhone Won't Ring

By Carol Finch

Learn how to troubleshoot an iPhone that doesn't ring using fixes that check settings and may fix glitches.

Things You'll Need

  • iPhone
  • Headphones
  • USB cable
  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • iTunes

When your iPhone doesn't ring for an incoming call, you may have a problem with the phone's settings, or a bug may be preventing your iPhone from working correctly. In some cases, the problem is due to your cellular connection or to an issue with the handset's speakers, in which case you may need help from your cellular provider or Apple. Before you ask for help, run troubleshooting fixes to try to solve the problem.

Check the Ring/Silent Switch and Volume Level

Look at the Ring/Silent switch at the side of your iPhone. It may be switched to Silent mode, which prevents the phone from ringing for incoming calls. When your iPhone is in Silent mode, you can see an orange bar by the switch. Toggle the switch to return it to Ring mode. Press one of the volume buttons under the switch to check the ringer volume level; press the top button to increase the volume if it is set low.

Tip

If you have a case on your iPhone, check it is not blocking the speaker and that it isn't pressing on the Ring/Silent switch.

Check Do Not Disturb, Airplane Mode and Bluetooth

Your iPhone has settings in iOS 8 that intentionally prevent calls from ringing. Do Not Disturb stops notifications on incoming calls; Airplane Mode blocks all cellular connections. Sometimes, a Bluetooth connection may also block call ringing.

Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center. Look at the circle icons containing an airplane for Airplane Mode, a crescent moon for Do Not Disturb and the Bluetooth symbol. If any of these icons is highlighted white, tap it to disable the mode and return the iPhone to regular call notification settings.

Tip

You can sometimes clear cellular connection glitches by turning Airplane Mode on and off again. This may be worth a try, even if your connection looks fine, as the mode forces the connection to refresh when you toggle it on and off. If a connection problem is preventing your iPhone from ringing, this may solve the problem.

Check Phone Settings

Your iPhone won't ring if call forwarding is turned on, and you won't receive calls from people whose number you've blocked. To check, open Settings on the iPhone Home screen and tap Phone. Tap Call Forwarding. If the button is on, tap to turn it off.

The button is green if the setting is turned on.

Go back to the Phone menu and tap Blocked. Look through the list of blocked numbers. If you have blocked someone whose incoming calls you now need to hear, tap Edit, the red Minus sign and then Unblock.

IPhones don't ring for blocked numbers.

Check for Headphone Problems

If you were using headphones or earbuds before the iPhone stopped ringing, the phone may be stuck in Headphone mode. Check the jack to see if it has dust or debris in it -- use a soft brush to clean it out, making sure not to push dust into the socket. Plug the headphones into the jack and take them out again a couple of times. This may force the iPhone out of the mode and restore sound to speakers if this was the problem.

Power Down Your iPhone

If you can't find the cause of the problem in Settings, turn the iPhone off and on again. If a bug is affecting sound, a restart may clear it. Press down the Sleep/Wake button and wait until you see the Slide to Power Off message. Swipe the slider, wait for the iPhone to shut down and restart it by holding down the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Apple logo.

If this doesn't fix the problem, try a soft reset. Press down both the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons. Wait a few seconds for the Apple logo to appear before releasing the buttons. Wait for the iPhone to restart.

Get Extra Help

If none of these fixes solves the problem, contact your cellular service provider or Apple for support. Before you do so, run a couple of final checks:

  1. Try to make an outgoing call.
  2. Open an app that plays sounds or play a music track or video.

If you can't make an outgoing call but can hear sounds when you use an app or play music, you may have a connection issue and should contact your cellular provider first. If your cell connection is fine, contact Apple for advice. If you can't hear any sounds at all from your iPhone, you may have a speaker problem.