Stop Other Devices Ringing When You Get an iPhone Call

Stop Other Devices Ringing During iPhone Call
image credit: Carl Swahn/E+/Getty Images

If you've got an iPhone and a Mac or iPad, you may have had the odd experience of your other devices ringing when you get an iPhone call. It's strange to see a notification of the phone call on your Mac, or your iPad, or both while it also appears on your phone.

This can be useful: you can answer calls from your Mac if your iPhone isn't nearby. But it can also be annoying: you may not want the interruption on your other devices.

If you want to stop your devices ringing when you get these calls, read on for an explanation of what's happening and how to stop it.

The Culprit: Continuity 

Your incoming calls show up on multiple devices due to a feature called Continuity. Apple introduced Continuity with iOS 8 and Mac OS X 10.10, and continues to support it in later versions.

While it may be a little annoying in this case, it's actually a great feature. It allows all of your devices to be aware of, and interact with, each other. The idea here is that you should be able to access all your data and do all the same things on any device. One well-known example of this is Handoff, the Apple feature that lets you start writing an email on your Mac, leave the house, and continue writing the same email on your iPhone while you're out and about (for instance; it does other things, too).

As mentioned earlier, Continuity only works on iOS 8 and up and Mac OS X 10.10 and up, and requires that the all of the devices be nearby each other, connected to Wi-Fi, and signed into iCloud.

If you're running these OSes, follow the instructions below to turn off the Continuity feature that causes your incoming calls to ring elsewhere.

Change Your iPhone Settings

The first and best step to preventing this is to change the settings on your iPhone:

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Tap Phone
  3. Tap Calls on Other Devices
  1. On this screen, you can disable calls from ringing on all other devices by moving the Allow Calls on Other Devices slider to off/white. If you want to allow calls on some devices, but not others, go to the Allow Calls On section and move the slider to off/white for any devices you don't want calls on.

Stop Other iOS Devices From Ringing

Changing the setting on your iPhone should take care of things, but if you want to be really sure, do the following on your other iOS devices:

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Tap FaceTime
  3. Move the Calls from iPhone slider to off/white.

Stop Macs From Ringing

The change of the iPhone setting should have done the job, but you can be double sure by doing the following on your Mac:

  1. Launch the FaceTime program
  2. Click the FaceTime menu
  3. Click Preferences 
  4. Uncheck the Calls From iPhone box.

Stop Apple Watch From Ringing

The whole point of the Apple Watch is to have it notify you of things like phone calls, but if for some reason you want to turn off the ability for the Watch to ring when calls come in:

  1. Launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone
  2. Tap Phone
  3. Tap Custom
  4. In the Ringtone section, move both sliders to off/white (if you only want to turn off the ringtone, but still want vibrations when calls come in leave the Haptic slider on).
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