“My iPhone is Not Ringing or Making Sounds with Inbound Messages Suddenly, Help!”

This is your face when your iPhone stops getting calls and alert sounds out of the blue, what is going on?

Have you ever had the experience where an iPhone is suddenly not ringing on incoming calls, or making any sounds when a new message arrives? The mute button isn’t turned on, so what on earth is going on, right? This is surprisingly common experience for those who are more novice iPhone users, and after troubleshooting this a dozen or so times with relatives and friends (usually with young kids), it’s probably worth discussing here, if not for you personally than perhaps for the other people in your life.

“My iPhone Won’t Ring, Help!” Don’t Worry, Here’s Why

With almost certain guarantee, the reason an iPhone is not ringing or making alert sounds apparently out of the blue is because of the Do Not Disturb feature, or because the Mute switch has been toggled on.

First check your Mute button, it’s the hardware switch on the side of the iPhone. If it’s flipped, the iPhone won’t make any sounds, calls will be silent, and alerts won’t make noise either. If the Mute button is flipped down so that a little red / orange bar is visible behind it, that means the iPhone is on mute mode. Toggle it back with a flick.

Next up there is ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode to check for. Do Not Disturb is absolutely fantastic when you use it properly and set a schedule for it, but if you’re not versed in how it works, it can be accidentally toggled on and lead to all sorts of confusion and missed calls or seemingly ignored text messages.

The easiest way to determine if Do Not Disturb is causing your iPhone not to ring, and causing you to miss iPhone calls and alert sounds, is to look in the status bar of the device. Do you see a little moon icon?

The moon icon is why you're not getting phone calls on iPhone

If you see the moon icon in the status bar of iPhone, that’s Do Not Disturb, and when it’s on the iPhone is completely silent from all alerts, notifications, calls, everything. Do Not Disturb mode will stop your iPhone from ringing if it is enabled. If your iPhone won’t ring or make alerts sounds, this is probably why! So, we need to turn off Do Not Disturb mode!

All you need to do is to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to show Control Center, and tap the moon icon again so that it’s not highlighted, this turns off Do Not Disturb and you’ll be back to receiving call notifications, ringing, messages, and sound alerts again.

Fix iPhone not getting calls or alerts suddenly

As long as you turn off Do Not Disturb the iPhone will ring and get alerts again.

Another way to turn off Do Not Disturb mode is through the Settings app on iPhone, it doesn’t matter which way you choose to turn this off, but if you want the iPhone to ring again and to get alerts again, it must be turned off. Here’s how to disable Do Not Disturb in Settings app of iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app
    iOS Settings
  2. Choose “Do Not Disturb” (look for the moon icon!)
  3. Next to the “Manual” setting, turn the switch to the OFF position
    iPhone wont ring? Here is how to fix it

As long as Do Not Disturb is off, the iPhone will ring and the iPhone will get alerts, sounds, and messages. If Do Not Disturb is turned on, the iPhone will not ring, the iPhone won’t get alerts or sounds or messages. That’s why it’s called Do Not Disturb, it offers silence when it’s enabled.

I know what you’re thinking*, you’re thinking “Well I never enabled that!” well, because it’s fairly easy to toggle on unintentionally through Control Center, it often just becomes enabled. This is particularly true for users with toddlers and little ones who are playing around with a parents or relatives iPhone, and I find it not so coincidental that a majority of the “ahhh my iPhone is broken it’s not ringing or making any sounds ahhhh!” freak outs come from parents or grandparents with children around. The reality is it’s really easy to toggle this feature on without intending to, and if you don’t know what to look for (many don’t!) this can cause some serious grief. I had a relatively actually take their iPhone to their carrier store because of this… so yea, sometimes really simple things can cause a lot of frustration.

iPhone Is Not Ringing? Check Mute, Check Do Not Disturb, Check AirPlane

So, let’s summarize and recap so that you can remember what to do if your iPhone is suddenly not ringing, and you’re missing calls and text message alerts;

  • First check that Mute button, it’s the physical switch on the side of the iPhone, and if it is toggled then it will silence all calls, ringing, messages and notifications and alerts, everything will be muted
  • Next check Do Not Disturb, which also silences the iPhone
  • And finally, you can check Airplane Mode too (look for the little airplane icon in the status bar, when this is on all communications are turned off on the phone)

One of those is almost certainly the cause of your worries, and it’s extremely unlikely the iPhone itself has some sudden defect or issue – unless it took a bath, anyway.

* Or maybe you’re thinking “This is obvious to me because I am a genius”, well if that’s you, just focus on reading our advanced articles instead =-)


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