Solved: iPhone Goes Straight to Voicemail

What To Know

  • There are several reasons for your phone calls going straight to voicemail.
  • Some fixes are simple, including an iOS update and rebooting your iPhone.
  • Sometimes the problem can be resolved through the Control Center by checking Airplane Mode, Do Not Disturb, and Focus Modes.

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Why is your phone going straight to voicemail? The culprit may be a feature that blocks unknown callers and unsaved numbers. Settings like Do Not Disturb or Silence Unknown Callers are problematic, but there are several more things to check if those two settings aren't to blame. Here's how to keep calls from going straight to voicemail on your iPhone.

    How to Fix Phone Goes Straight to Voicemail

    Why does your phone go straight to voicemail? The problem of calls going straight to voicemail on your iPhone can have many different causes. Before you get started, make sure your iPhone ringer is on and that the volume is turned up high enough to hear, and check to see if your iPhone is connected to headphones or another Bluetooth device. Now that you've done that, let's go through all the other reasons this might be happening, and how to get your iPhone ringing again! Check out our free Tip of the Day for more great phone and voicemail tutorials.

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    1. Update iOS

    Doing an iOS update is a quick way to fix bugs and glitches, and is also great for security patches and new features! If your iPhone is sending callers to voicemail, this may be a solution.

    2. Reboot Your iPhone

    Another way to fix bugs and glitches is to reboot your iPhone. This might be the step that stops your iPhone from sending calls straight to voicemail.

    3. Make Sure Airplane Mode Is Off

    This one is easy to fix! If Airplane Mode is turned on, you won't hear calls ring. But the person calling you will hear your phone ring, and they'll be able to leave a voicemail. To see if Airplane mode is off:

    1. Open the Control Center by swiping down from the upper-right corner of your screen for an iPhone X or later, or by swiping up from the bottom if your iPhone is older. 
    2. If the Airplane Mode icon is orange, it means Airplane mode is turned on. Tap the icon to change it back to gray and turn Airplane mode off. Even if Airplane mode isn't on, it's worth your time to turn it on, then off again to reset your wireless features.

      airplane mode in control center iphone

    4. Turn Off Do Not Disturb & Check Focus Modes

    While you have the Control Center open, you can check to see if Do Not Disturb or Focus Modes are turned on. It sounds simple, but it's easy to forget that Do Not Disturb directs all your calls to voicemail, and Focus Modes can stop calls from coming through as well. A crescent moon icon on the top of your iPhone's screen indicates that your iPhone is in Do Not Disturb mode. Here's how to quickly disengage the Do Not Disturb feature and make sure your iPhone's Focus status isn't interfering with your phone calls. 

    1. Open the Control Center
    2. If the Do Not Disturb icon has a purple moon with a white background, tap it to turn off Do Not Disturb on your iPhone.

      tap iphone do not disturb to turn off
    3. Now that Do Not Disturb is turned off, you may find that a Focus Mode is also on; if this is the case, tap it.

      tap the focus mode
    4. Tap the three dots in the highlighted Focus Mode.

      tap the three dots next to the highlighted iphone focus mode

    5. Tap Settings.

      tap the iphone focus settings

    6. If you see the Phone icon under apps, tap Apps

      tap apps in the focus status iphone

    7. Tap the minus sign on the Phone icon to remove Phone from apps that are silenced. Alternately, tap Allow Notifications From > Add Apps > Phone

      tap the minus by phone to let phone calls ring even in iphone focus mode

    If you want to leave Do Not Disturb and/or Focus Modes on but want to allow phone calls from favorite contacts to go through, you can!

    5. Turn Off Silence Unknown Callers

    If your iPhone is sending unknown calls to voicemail, the culprit is often the Silence Unknown Callers setting. It's great to silence unknown callers when you want to stop spam calls, but it can also lead to missing important calls. If you want to stop calls from unsaved numbers going straight to voicemail, here's how.

    1. Open the Settings app, then scroll down and tap Phone.

      tap phone in iphone settings
    2. Tap Silence Unknown Callers.

      tap silence unknown callers
    3. Toggle Silence Unknown Callers to the left; the toggle will turn from green to gray. 

      toggle silence unknown callers to the left to gray

    If you want to keep Silence Unknown Callers on on your iPhone, you can add a contact for each number you want to hear from, so they don't go straight to voicemail. 

    6. Check Announce Call Settings

    If your calls go to voicemail without ringing, there's one more setting to check; the Announce Calls setting. You can have Siri announce your calls always, when you're using headphones or in your car, only when using headphones, or never. I have my Announce Calls feature set to Headphones & Car, because those are my most likely times and locations to miss calls. 

    7. Check Your Blocked Numbers

    When you block someone on your iPhone, they'll hear your phone ring, then be sent to voicemail. You won't hear your phone ring at all, and can only access their blocked voicemail by navigating to Phone then Voicemail then Blocked Messages

    Here's how to see blocked numbers on your iPhone, so you can make sure you didn't accidentally block a contact. If you find that you blocked someone you didn't mean to, it's easy to unblock them.

    8. Reset Network Settings

    When you reset your network settings on your iPhone, you can solve internet connectivity issues. Resetting network settings can also remove VPN settings and previously used networks that weren't installed by a configuration profile or mobile device management, which may solve the issue of calls going straight to voicemail on your iPhone. 

    9. Contact Your Cellular Service Provider

    It's possible that the reason your iPhone is sending calls to voicemail is a cell service outage. Call your network provider to see if there are outages in your area, and when service will resume.

    10. Test Your SIM Card

    If you have an iPhone 13 or older model, it's possible that the issue of calls going straight to voicemail is being caused by a faulty SIM card (the iPhone 14 series does not have a physical SIM card.). To test if this is the case, remove the SIM card from your iPhone, and insert it into another iPhone. Now, do a few test calls with the iPhone that your SIM is currently in to see if the calls go straight to voicemail. If they do, it's probable that the issue is a faulty SIM card. Contact your cellular service provider to get a replacement SIM card. 

    11. Still Need Help? Contact Apple Support

    If your phone calls are still going straight to voicemail, it's time to contact your cellular service provider to see if there's an outage. If that isn't the case, contact Apple Support to see if your iPhone has a hardware issue that needs to be repaired. 

    Now that you've gone through all these troubleshooting steps, you should receive all incoming calls. Let us know in the comments if there are any other fixes to the problem of phone calls going straight to voicemail that we didn't cover! 


    • Can a call go straight to voicemail without ringing? Yes, if certain settings are enabled, such as Do Not Disturb, your iPhone can send calls straight to voicemail without ringing.
    • Can you purposely go straight to voicemail? If you are calling someone, you cannot choose to go straight to voicemail. However, you can change your own settings so some or all calls go straight to voicemail.
    • Am I blocked if I call and it goes straight to voicemail? Not necessarily. Learn how to tell if someone blocked you to learn how to know for sure.
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    Author Details

    Tamlin Day's picture

    Author Details

    Tamlin Day

    Tamlin Day is a feature web writer for iPhone Life and a regular contributor to iPhone Life magazine. A prolific writer of tips, reviews, and in-depth guides, Tamlin has written hundreds of articles for iPhone Life. From iPhone settings to recommendations for the best iPhone-compatible gear to the latest Apple news, Tamlin's expertise covers a broad spectrum. 

    Before joining iPhone Life, Tamlin received his BFA in Media & Communications as well as a BA in Graphic Design from Maharishi International University (MIU), where he edited MIU's literary journal, Meta-fore. With a passion for teaching, Tamlin has instructed young adults, college students, and adult learners on topics ranging from spoken word poetry to taking the perfect group selfie. Tamlin's first computer, a Radioshack Color Computer III, was given to him by his father. At 13, Tamlin built his first PC from spare parts. He is proud to put his passion for teaching and tech into practice as a writer and educator at iPhone Life.