If you can’t hear the ringer when there’s an incoming call to your Apple iPhone, there are a few things that can cause the issue. Here’s a list of the troubleshooting methods to try.
The most common sign that the iPhone not ringing is many missed calls on the Recents section of the Phone app. When the iPhone doesn’t ring for incoming calls, there could be many reasons starting from simple Ring/Silent switch position to severe hardware problems. However, before you go to the Apple Store or send out the device for repair, you can try a few things to fix the mobile phone. Read on to learn these troubleshooting methods below.
iPhone Not Ringing: Common Reasons
Find below the common causes for the iPhone ringer isn’t working on incoming phone calls or Facetime calls:
- The phone is in silent mode.
- Someone activated the Airplane mode.
- You activated Do Not Disturb from an iPad or MacBook linked to the same Apple ID.
- There’s a wired headphone connected to the iPhone.
- You connected a Bluetooth hands-free device like Apple AirPods.
- The hardware responsible for ringing upon receiving incoming calls is broken.
Now that you know the most popular reasons behind the iPhone ringer not working problem, find below some quick fixes you must try before contacting Apple Support:
Also read: How to Fix FaceTime Static
How to Fix iPhone Doesn’t Ring Problem
I researched various iPhone ringing issues for incoming calls and found some debugging methods that you can try at home without any apps or hardware tools. Try these troubleshooting methods in the order they appear. I’ve put the easiest methods first so that you can proceed with implementing the resolutions in an incremental complexity. Let’s get started!
1. Ring/Silent Switch
You may have overlooked whether or not the Ring/Silent switch is set to silence the ringer. The Ring/Silent switch is above the volume up button on the side of the device. If you can see an orange sticker on this switch, it’s set to vibrate or silent mode. Switch it to ring and you should be all good. Usually, you need to pull the switch up to set the device to ringing mode.
Also read: Fix: Microsoft Teams Secondary Ringer Not Working
2. Check the Cellular Service Plan Status
iPhone doesn’t ring when it has no active cellular services. Most mobile network carrier companies disallow your iPhone to connect to their networks if you didn’t renew the monthly or yearly subscription plan. Thus, you need to check with the mobile carrier before performing any troubleshooting.
If the cellular service provider confirms that the mobile service is active, check if the SIM card is in the right position. Eject the SIM slot, place the SIM card appropriately on the SIM tray, and put it into the SIM slot again. Now, when you see that network bars appear on the top of the device screen, ask your friends or family members to call you.
3. Turn Up the Ringing Volume
Be sure not to overlook that the volume buttons on the side of the iPhone control the ringer. From the Home Screen, press the Volume Up button on the side of the iPhone and ensure the volume is set to an appropriate level. If you don’t see the Ringer volume bar increasing with each tap of the Volume Up button, then it must have been disabled all along. By default, iOS disables the Change with Buttons feature for the device volume. Find below the steps to enable the Volume Up and Volume Down button functions:
- Open the Settings app and touch the Sounds & Haptics option.
- Under the Ringtone and Alert Volume bar find the Change with Buttons feature.
- Tap the toggle button to activate the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons.
- Now, try again to increase the volume of the device using the Volume Up button.
4. Disable the Focus Mode
The iOS 15 and later operating systems come with the Focus mode. The salient feature of this mode is that you can stop all incoming notifications for calls, texts, and emails by activating the custom Focus modes for work, sleep, meditation, etc. If you activated the Focus mode a while back but didn’t deactivate it, then the iPhone doesn’t ring on incoming calls. Here’s how you can disable Focus mode on your iPhone:
- Scroll down the Control Center from the top right corner of the iPhone screen.
- If any Focus Mode is active, you’ll see it below the Portrait Orientation Lock button.
- For example, you might see Do Not Disturb On.
- Tap on that button to access the list of Focus Modes.
- The active Focus Mode will show a white shade on it.
- Touch the Focus item Do Not Disturb to disable it.
5. Deactivate Airplane Mode
Airplane mode disables all the networking systems of the iPhone. If you intentionally or unintentionally activated this feature, iPhone doesn’t ring on incoming cellular or Facetime calls. However, when you disengage the Airplane mode, you see a lot of missed calls if someone really called you. Here’s how you can disable the Airplane mode on your iPhone:
- Pull down the Control Center on your iPhone.
- If the Airplane mode is in the On status, you should see an orange background around the airplane icon above the Wi-Fi icon.
- All the networking elements like Wi-Fi, Mobile Network, Bluetooth, NFC, etc., will also show a grey background, meaning these are in Off status.
- Just touch the Airplane icon to disengage the Airplane mode.
- You’ll see that all the above networking elements show a blue background.
- Also, the SIM network bar will reappear.
6. Unpair Bluetooth Headsets
If you’ve connected the iPhone with a Bluetooth headset, then the device won’t ring when you receive incoming calls. Instead, iPhone will route the ringing to the Bluetooth headset. Thus, when not using the Bluetooth headset, like Apple AirPods, disable the Bluetooth headsets. Also, you can try disengaging the Bluetooth from your iPhone by scrolling down the Control Center and tapping the Bluetooth icon. Active Bluetooth shows a blue icon whereas a deactivated one shows a grey icon.
7. Disable Silence Unknown Callers
Your iPhone comes with the Silence Unknown Callers feature to help you avoid potential spam and marketing calls from unknown people and businesses. When this feature is active, iPhone will automatically route all incoming calls from unknown callers to your voicemail. Also, iPhone doesn’t ring for unknown callers when the feature is active. Now, if you want to allow unknown callers or you’re expecting a call from an unknown business number, do the following:
- Open the Settings app and scroll down to the Phone app within Settings.
- Tap the Phone app icon to open its settings.
- Touch the Silence Unknown Callers feature and toggle off the button next to it.
- From now on, the iPhone will ring on incoming unknown callers.
8. Force Restart the iPhone if it Doesn’t Ring
If you’ve tried all the above troubleshooting so far to fix the iPhone doesn’t ring on incoming calls issue and are still unsuccessful, then you might want to restart the device. Here’s what you need to do:
- For iPhone 6 and earlier: Press and hold both the Home button and Sleep/Wake button. Wait for the Apple logo to appear. When it does, let go of the buttons.
- For iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Press both the Volume Down and the Sleep/Wake buttons simultaneously until you see the Apple logo. Let go of the buttons when the logo pops up.
- For iPhone 8 and later: First, tap and release the Volume Up key. Then, press and release the Volume Down key. Quickly press and hold the Sleep/Wake button. Before the Apple logo, you might see the Slide to power off slider. Keep pressing till you see the Apple logo and let go of the button when it shows up.
A Force Restart can resolve various minor and major software issues and bugs that may be preventing the iPhone from ringing during incoming calls or Facetime calls.
9. Change Contact Ringtone
When you add a new contact in your Phone app, you can set a custom ringtone for that contact on your iPhone. Now, if you accidentally choose an Alert Tone instead of a Ringtone, the device will sound the brief notification instead of a regular ring tone. Here’s how you can undo this:
- Open the Phone app and find the contact from the Contacts section.
- If you see a Ringtone on the contact card, tap on it.
- Set a tone from the Ringtones section.
- Tap Done to confirm.
10. Disable Call Forwarding
If you enabled Call Forwarding on your iPhone, the cellular network will automatically route all calls to another phone number. Hence, disable Call Forwarding by following these steps:
- Launch the Settings app and scroll down until you see the Phone app.
- Touch the Phone app icon and select Call Forwarding.
- Tap the toggle button to disengage Call Forwarding.
11. Fix: It’s Stuck in Headphones Mode
Another common issue with iPhone users who have ringer issues is that the device is stuck in the Headphones Mode. This happens when the iPhone seems to detect headphones plugged into the device. Read our post, iPhone or iPad Stuck with No Sound for tips on how to fix this issue.
12. Force Reset the iPhone
Sometimes you might need to reset the iPhone to get it working correctly again. You can do this by pressing and holding the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously (Power and Home on older devices) for about five seconds. After holding the buttons, the iPhone should shut off. From there, simply power it back on and give the ringer another try.
iPhone Doesn’t Ring: Final Words
Hopefully, at least one set of steps above has helped you fix your ringer sound issue. Please share your experience with this problem in the comments section below. If you also know any other cool way to fix the iPhone not ringing problem, don’t forget to mention that in your comment. Also, share this article from your social media handles to help your colleagues, friends, and fans resolve the iPhone ringer not working issue.
Next up, learn if iPhone 11 can merge phone calls.
Thank you for the help, switching it off back on again solved the problem
Lev Cooper says
I just want to share an app that I used to fix my iPhone sound problem before. I used AceThinker Fone Keeper and I would recommend other users here to try it too.
Rex Doty says
Did not even know about ti silent switch!! Thank you! Tried other helpers and it was not even mentioned!!
God bless you I had the ringer on silent. Thankyou!
Brilliant, your suggestions worked. By resetting the phone all is now good. Thank you for your assistance.
Thank you very much for sharing, I tried reset my iPhone, and it works! This article helped me a lot!
By the way, I also saw some people introducing other fixes such as restoring iPhone via iTunes, using professional iOS system repair tools such as Joyoshare iOS System Recovery. Are they really works? Overall, your article is useful and I will share with other people in need.
I didn’t know about the little switch above the volume switch🤦🏻♀️ Thank you!
Nita Patel says
When i ring out my phone sound button not highlighted can not hear ring. Any incoming calls cannot hear sound or someone talking. Tried all switch power off on etc nothing
Many thanks. I finally have a phone that rings!
P Anuradha says
My I phone incoming call ringtone not audible
I have checked volume buttons and all
My I phone is still silent! Have tried all but seems not to be assisting! It’s new I didn’t drop it,nothing has happened to it! It’s just silent
I have a new IPhone XR I upgraded from IPhone 5se
Never had an issue until now. I can receive calls from everyone but wife. When she calls it goes straight to voice mail. It seems to be only her.
Thank you, thank you!
I tried everything that I know of to bring back the ringer on incoming calls. Finally, the orange switch flip above the volume buttons has fixed it. Until now, I never noticed this button was there and for what it is :-)
Barry Graham says
Thank you. Why on earth they NEED such a button is beyond me.
Lynn Simmons says
My Dad’s phone wasn’t ringing. I went through everything and ended up fixing it by going to settings, sounds & Haptics, under ringer and alerts I turned off change with buttons. He had the volume all the way up above that but maybe he had the volume buttons down? I was helping him over the phone.. He said he had the volume button all the way up but I’m not sure either way, it worked.
Beatriz M says
Solved with nbr 1. Very helpful. Thank you!
No my phone does sound when someone calls no sound at for a while please help
Rasika kurupitage says
Tnx to u. No.1 solved the problem.
No.1 worked thank you.
New to iPhones. Therefore was unaware of this switch. Apparently so are Apple as there was no mention of this as a possible solution upon contacting their technical support line!
Thanks for providing the solution Apple Support couldn’t.
SStuart morrison says
Glad I’m not the only one who forgot about the mute button
Thanks for the suggestion thought I was going mad.
Maybe I am.
Number 1 worked. Thank you
Diana Jacobs says
Thank you so much , I also forgot about that silent side button , a great help thank you
Solved with number 1.
All of a sudden my iPhone isn’t ringing ONLY when unknown numbers are calling. I haven’t changed any settings and I.have answered phone calls from people in my contacts. Not sure why this is happening. Any insight is appreciated.
Dave Jordan says
Incoming calls will make the phone ring only once. The call is live when responding to it. How can I make the phone ring repeatedly until answered?
James McFarland says
Thanks I had forgot about the switch on the side. I had just replaced the case and must have moved the switch. That was the cause. it works fine now.
Debbie Nelson says
Thank you so much had no clue about the silent switch. Put a new case on and then wouldn’t work. Thanks again!!
Jessie Ong says
Thank you so much Mitch. No. 3 works for me!
Grace Pereira says
Thank you. Your suggestions helped. What will I do without your help. You are a legend.
Dolly Hines says
Thank you Number one worked for me
Claudette Arseneau says
Thanks for the info. That small switch above the
Volume buttons was in the wrong position due to the new cell phone case I just purchased. When snapped together the case moved the switch.
Simon Clark says
Thanks, that worked straight away. I suppose l should of read the booklet first as l didn’t even know the phone had that option of a silent switch. Also it’s so easy to be taken in by other websites that predict doom and gloom
???thank u very muchhhhhh
Thanks! #1 did it. Coming from the Pixel world, all these buttons feel really out of place!
thanks, for my wife´s phone it was 1, too. drove me crazy that no alarm worked!
Thanks for the info. That small switch above the
Volume buttons was in the wrong position due to the new cell phone case I just purchased. When snapped together the case moved the switch.
Reset my phone and it is now fine, thank you.
Susanne Kimo says
All these steps failed for my phone but a total factory reset (Erase All Content and Settings) did the trick!
Patricia Goffin says
Brilliant! I had no idea that existed. Problem solved.?
Leona Kabir says
Thank you!! It was number 1!
Yes, thanks for that. Totally had the switch flipped.
Thank you so much I did not know what to do thank you
Thank you so very much. ?
Very helpful. Fixed the problem on my wife’s iphone 7+.
Got my ringtone back! You showed, and explained it so much more plainly than even Apple’s own tech geebos did! Thanks!
Thank you! I saw the orange above the volume switch and moved it away and then I got the ringer back! I don’t know how it got to be orange but it’s back on ringer now!
Jonathan Williams says
Solved my wife’s iphone issue. Ringer was accidentally switched.
T. Papciak says
Couldn`t hear ringer tone. Tried the silent to normal switch….BINGO. Outstanding.
The reset worked perfectly! Thank you!
Thank you, very simple remedy’s but I was missing it and with your page I could fix it
Really helpful thank you
Thank you I would have never thought about that little switch
I’ve done everything that I can to have my sounds come thru on my iPhone 8+ brand new and Idk but can’t hear rings but I have it all up and on it only vibrates
Marlene Brace says
Thanks so much, I didn’t know the switch on the side silenced the ringer, I obviously touched it when adjusting the volume. Superb advice, bless you!
Robert Skillin says
all i had to do was turn power off, then on. thx
Thank you so much. II couldn’t understand why my phone didn’t ring. Checked everything and then you showed the little switch on side to switch from silent to normal.
brilliant, many thanks!!
Tried all three steps.I do not hear my phone ring. However, if I go to sounds I can hear the ring tones fine.
Clear and simple = fixed. Thanks
Thank you so much.
Michael Andre says
I have an iphone 4s. I have checked all what was said to be done and did them but yet, I am not hearing the ringer for Watts App calls only. I hear it for other calls. I only hear the ringing when I plug in a headphone/earbud, I just reset my iphone completely tonight and it is the same. What can I do to resolve this issue?
Thank you very much, the ringer switch was off, this was extremely helpful and quick!
Phone would vibrate but not have sound. Reset did the trick. Thanks
Sheila Smith says
Can’t change the phone to answer when it rings after two times. I need it to ring at lease four times before Phone answers. How do you set this for I phone X?
Desiree de Grandi says
When I am at home or work, my iphone 5s does not ring with incoming calls. I received a loan phone whilst mine went back to the store. The same is happening with the loan phone. If the caller rings for long enough, then I will only receive a sms stating “you missed a call from….”
I do not receive a missed call notification.
I can receive whatsapp calls.
I have checked all the settings.
I received a new phone as I was still under warranty. 10 days later the same thing happens to the new phone.
When I am away from the work or home, I have no problem with receiving incoming calls.
The cellular company has tested the signal and strength in both my home and work areas.
So simple when you know how, I had the button above the volume control switched to off!
Thank You, saved the day??
DU DO says
Apple Support didnt even get this simple little fix right, thx guys!
I’ve had my 5C for almost five years and never knew about the little switch. I have it in an otter case, took it apart to clean it and somehow shut that off.
apple support didnt even get this simple little fix right, thx guys!
Clifford E says
Please in the future remember to note that the mute switch is not a simple push-on push-off like many others, but a slide-toward-face, slide-toward-gack switch. It took me a long time to figure this out. Thank you.
Thank you a million times. Solution 3 worked-‘ Reset’
Thank you. Solution 1 sorted the problem in seconds!
Thank you sooooo much!!! It was the ring/silent switch!!! I never even knew it was there!!
Thank you ….solution 3 worked for me
THANK YOU SO MUCH! I haven’t had tones for months and I’ve visited apple community, various sites, etc. VERY frustrated. YOU just solved my problem. It’s my first iPhone so hopefully I may be forgiven. ;)
Thanks so much. Solution #1 problem sorted.
Jaya singh says
I have iPhone 5s iOS 10.3.3 ringer sound is not coming. I have cleaned earplug jack, reset my cell. Nothing works. Please help me with this
Thanks so much – suggestion 1 worked!!
Had no idea that button did anything.
GREAT site by the way x
John Kernot says
My iphone 4 sometimes has the ring tone muted. Can be restored using the volume button, but this is a problem if i haven’t noticed. Sometimes appears to happen after i have been in the car and bluetooth has connected to the car speakers. Any suggestions?
My iphone is ringing for network call
But not ringing in whatsapp call?