How to fix an Apple iPhone XR that cannot make phone calls, call failed error

Making phone calls is one of the basic and core functions of your phone. That’s why you’ll be in big trouble if you cannot make phone calls on your device. Nonetheless, calling problems are inevitable given the fact that it’s a network-related service and network downtimes are unpredictable.

This post highlights some simple yet effective solutions and workarounds when dealing with calling problems on the new iPhone XR, particularly with outgoing calls. Read on to figure out what options to try whenever you won’t be able to make phone calls and prompted with a call failed error on your new iPhone XR handset.

Before we go to our troubleshooting, if you have other issues with your device, visit our iPhone XR Help Guides for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this new phone. We may already have published articles that provide solutions to your problem.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XR that can’t make phone calls?

Before troubleshooting software problems that may be halting you from making phone calls, check and ensure that your iPhone has network signal. Check that signal indicators on the status bar and make sure signal bars are shown. If there’s none, then you will need to deal with signal issues first so you can make calls on your iPhone XR again. Another thing to check is the cellular data option. Make sure it’s enabled on your device. More importantly, ensure that your account is in good standing. Outgoing services are usually affected whenever you’ve got any unsettled problems on your account including unpaid bills. So make sure you take care of that too.

If everything is good with your iPhone signal and account status but still couldn’t make phone calls on your iPhone XR for some reasons, then try any of these subsequent solutions.

First solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

Enabling Airplane mode is a quick alternative way to turn off wireless features of your phone. This feature is often used for battery saving purposes and for privacy as well. It turns out that toggling the Airplane mode switch on and off can fix network-related issues on the phone too. If you wish to try it right now, then here’s how it’s done:

  • Go to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu, then tap the switch to turn Airplane mode on. While Airplane mode is enabled, soft reset/restart your iPhone XR. Doing so will help dump errant cache that may have affected outgoing call functions.

After restarting go back to Settings-> Airplane mode menu and then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode off again.

Second solution: Update carrier settings on your iPhone XR.

Installing any available carrier settings update for your phone can also be a possible solution to consider. Carriers usually push updates to deal with existing network problems including those affecting the calling functions of the phone. Some carrier settings updates are automatically installed without you even knowing while others require manual procedure.

  • To check for and manually install new carrier settings update, go to Settings-> General-> About section.

Wait for the new screen to show up containing the update details and then follow the given instructions to download and install carrier settings update on your iPhone XR.

Third solution: Install new iOS update available for your iPhone XR.

Installing the latest software update on your phone may also be the key to fixing the problem if it is attributed to system errors or software bugs. Updates also offer fix patches to get rid of errors from random bugs including those that triggered occurrence of call failed error.

  • To manually check for and download iOS update on your iPhone, go to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu.

An update notification will show up if a new iOS version is available for your iPhone XR. If you wish to get the update now, back up your important data for safekeeping and then follow the onscreen instructions to Download and Install new update to iOS via over-the-air. Be sure to keep your iPhone connected to Wi-Fi internet until the update is completely installed.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XR.

This could help if the problem is caused by invalid network configurations on the phone that needs to be corrected. But before you reset network settings on your device, take note of your Wi-Fi network passwords as you will need to re-enter them later to reconnect to Wi-Fi. Here’s how a network settings reset is done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Go to General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset network settings from the given options. Doing so will erase all current network settings you saved including Wi-Fi passwords, preferred networks and VPN settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

After the reset allow your iPhone to reboot automatically and then try making phone calls. If it still failed, try to make a phone call in another location or switch to a different network band.

  • To do the latter, go to Settings-> Cellular-> Cellular Data Options-> Enable LTE. Then tap to switch to other available network bands like 4G or 3G network.

Available options may vary depending on your carrier and iPhone model.

Fifth solution: Remove and reinstall your SIM card.

SIM card issues like when the SIM card is lose or dislodged from the SIM card may also be the underlying cause of calling issues. And likewise, you won’t be able to make phone and receive phone calls if the SIM card is corrupted or damaged. To rule this out, follow these steps to safely remove and reinstall the SIM card on your iPhone XR:

  1. Turn off your iPhone completely.
  2. While the phone is powered off, insert the SIM eject tool or small paperclip into the provided slot on the SIM card tray.
  3. Gently push until the tray unlocks and pops out.
  4. Remove the SIM card from the card tray then check for any visible signs of damage. If there’s nothing wrong with the SIM card, place the SIM card back into the SIM card tray with the carrier logo and SIM card number on top. Gold contacts must be facing downwards.
  5. Insert the SIM card tray and press in on it to lock it into place.

Turn your iPhone back on and then try to make a test call to see if it works now. Make sure your iPhone is getting good signal too. If you see No service or No signal errors on the status bar, then that’s what caused your trouble making phone calls. Thus, you need to deal with these errors first for you to make outgoing calls on your iPhone XR again.

Should you wish to further troubleshoot a persistent call failed error, then performing a factory reset or master reset can be deemed among the last possible solutions to try on. This can help rid of more complex system issues that may have caused troubles on your phone’s outgoing phone call functions. Just don’t forget to back up critical data beforehand to avoid losing significant files and personal information.

Seek more help

If none of the previous solutions is able to fix the problem and you still cannot make phone calls on your iPhone XR, contact your carrier to check your account status and services are all good. Also ensure that your calls don’t have errors on the carrier system.

If you suspect that the problem is due to a damaged SIM card, ask your carrier about how to avail for a new SIM card replacement that is provisioned with the correct same service plan for your account.

I hope that this how-to post has helped you one way or another. Please help us spread the word by sharing this post to your friends or people who may also have similar problems. Thanks for reading!