How to Fix the iPhone Not Ringing Problem

Use these tips to get your iPhone ringing again

There are many reasons why an iPhone won't ring, but most of these problems are easy to fix. If your iPhone isn't ringing when someone calls you, try these tips before concluding that your iPhone needs an expensive repair.

The tips in this article apply to all supported iPhone models and recent iOS versions, including iOS 13, 12, and 11.

A person who's missed 15 calls on their iPhone
Lifewire / Theresa Chiechi

Causes of the iPhone Not Ringing Problem

If your iPhone isn't ringing, there are several possible culprits:

  • A broken speaker.
  • Mute is turned on.
  • Do Not Disturb (DND) is turned on.
  • You blocked the phone number.
  • You silenced all unknown callers.
  • There's a problem with a ringtone.
  • You're stuck in headphone mode.

How to Fix an iPhone That Won't Ring

Try these common fixes in the order that we present them:

  1. Restart the iPhone. The first step in troubleshooting any device is to restart it. A restart can fix many glitches.

  2. Clean the iPhone speaker. Every sound your iPhone makes—playing music, watching movies, or the ringer from incoming calls—comes from the speaker at the bottom of the device. If you don't hear the ringer for incoming calls, the speaker may be dirty or broken.

    Test the speaker by playing music or a video. Turn up the volume. If you can hear audio, but the volume is too low, or the sound is distorted, clean the speaker.

    If you hear no sound, even with the volume turned all the way up, the iPhone speakers may be broken. Learn how to fix iPhone speakers.

  3. Turn off mute. Make sure you haven't silenced your iPhone and forgotten to turn the ringer back on.

  4. Turn off DND. DND is a useful feature that enables you to silence sounds from calls, texts, and notifications when you don't want to be bothered. You can turn on DND manually or schedule it, so be sure to check both options.

    You can check for DND at a glance. If a moon icon appears in the upper-right corner of the home screen, DND is on. (On iPhone X, the moon icon appears only in Control Center.)

    If you schedule DND, you may need to adjust the settings.

  5. Unblock a blocked number. If someone says they called you, but there's no sign of the call on your iPhone, you may have blocked that person's number. Apple introduced the ability to block voice calls, FaceTime calls, and text messages in iOS 7. To unblock a blocked number, complete these steps:

    1. Tap Settings > Phone > Blocked Contacts.
    2. Tap Edit.
    3. Tap the red circle beside the blocked number, and then tap Unblock.
    An iPhone with the Phone settings, Blocked Contacts heading, and Unblock button highlighted
  6. Disable Silence Unknown Callers. To help users avoid spam calls and robocalls, Apple added a feature in iOS 13 that automatically silences all calls from unknown numbers. If this feature is turned on, you won't hear calls from numbers that aren't in the Contacts app. Instead, the iPhone sends them right to voicemail. To disable this feature, select Settings > Phone, and then turn off the Silence Unknown Callers switch.

    If you want to keep Silence Unknown Callers turned on but still get calls from certain numbers, add those callers to Contacts.

    iPhone showing the Phone settings and Silence Unknown Callers switch
  7. Change a custom ringtone. If your iPhone still doesn't ring for incoming calls, check your ringtone. If you assigned a custom ringtone to certain people in your Contacts list or changed the default ringtone, a deleted or corrupted ringtone can prevent the phone from ringing when someone calls.

    To check the default ringtone, tap Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Ringtone, and then select a new ringtone.

    If you miss calls from only certain people, open the Phone app, and then complete these steps:

    1. Tap Contacts.
    2. Tap the name of the person whose calls you're missing, and then tap Edit.
    3. Tap Ringtone, and then assign the contact a new ringtone.
    Three iOS screens showing Contacts, Edit button and Ringtone area in Phone settings app

    If the unique ringtone is the source of the problem, find all the contacts to whom you assigned that ringtone and select a new ringtone for each.

  8. Make sure the phone isn't stuck in Headphone mode. It could be that your iPhone is ringing but sending the audio to the wrong place. In this situation, the iPhone thinks that another audio source is attached to it—like headphones or a Bluetooth device—and tries to ring there instead of through your iPhone speaker.

If None of These Tips Fixed the Problem

If you tried all these tips and still don't hear your incoming calls, it's time to consult the experts. Make a Genius Bar appointment at your local Apple Store or contact an Apple-authorized service provider, and bring in your iPhone for inspection and repair.