How to fix an Apple iPhone XS Max that cannot receive incoming calls

Having trouble getting incoming calls on your iPhone XS Max? Perhaps, there isn’t just a phone call for you or something hinders your device from receiving incoming calls. if you’ve landed into this page for this same reason, then this post might be able to help you. 

Mobile phones were originally invented for easier means of communication, particularly for texting and calling. And even on the latest highest-tiered smartphones, calling and texting are deemed among the most essential features that are commonly used by smartphone owners as part of their daily routines. Hence, it’s definitely a downer if any of these features aren’t working on your smartphone. But like any other smart features, basic texting and calling functions are also not exempted from encountering random interruptions. That said, there will be some instances when you just couldn’t make or receive calls and text on your phone. And this happens due to several factors. Minor software glitches, misconfigured settings and network connectivity issues, and account-related problems are the usual triggers for calling symptoms to manifest. In case you’re facing the same dilemma and your iPhone XS Max cannot receive incoming calls, this article will provide you with simple yet effective workarounds to try on. Read on and try resolving the problem on your end before calling your network provider for more help.

Before anything else, if you are looking for a solution to a different problem, then drop in on our iPhone XS Max Help Guides page for we have already solved some of the most common problems with this device. Try to find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use our workarounds and solutions. 

First solution: Reboot your iPhone XS Max (soft reset)

Minor software errors that cause your iPhone not to receive incoming calls can be ruled out by simply giving your phone a quick reboot. Cached files including any corrupt temporary  data affecting your phone’s calling feature or network system are likewise cleared out in this process. All these are made possible without deleting any saved information on the internal memory. With that said, you can go ahead and simply follow these steps to reboot or soft reset your iPhone XS Max:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. When the Slide to Power Off command appears, release both buttons.
  3. Then drag the power off slider to the right to turn off your iPhone.
  4. After about 30 seconds, please and hold the Side/Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

Wait until your phone completely boots up, then make a test call to check if you can receive incoming calls already.

ALSO READ: How to fix Messenger app that keeps crashing, won’t load properly on your Apple iPhone XS Max?

Second solution: Check and then toggle Airplane Mode on your iPhone XS Max.

Turning the Airplane Mode feature of your iPhone on and off can also do some wonders when it comes to resolving minor issues affecting wireless functions of your device. Your phone’s wireless radios and relevant features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular network are disabled when the Airplane Mode is turned on. To make sure that this is not causing your iPhone XS Max to not receive incoming calls, check the Airplane Mode settings by going to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu. If the feature is currently enabled, toggle the switch to turn it off.

If Airplane Mode is currently turned off, try to toggle the Airplane Mode switch from off to on for a few seconds and then turn off again. Doing so can help refresh the wireless network functions of your iPhone and eliminates random errors affecting wireless services. If you wish to give it a shot, then just follow these steps to carry out the Airplane Mode trick to fix incoming call reception problems on your iPhone XS Max:

  1. Go to Settings from the Home screen to get started.
  2. Select Airplane Mode menu.
  3. Toggle the Airplane Mode switch to enable the feature. While it’s ON, restart (soft reset) your iPhone XS Max.
  4. Then head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode and tap the switch again to disable the Airplane Mode.

Then try to call your iPhone from a different phone and see if incoming calls are already working. If the problem persists, move to the next option.

Third solution: Manage Do Not Disturb Settings and Call Forwarding feature on your iPhone XS Max.

Phone calls and notifications are turned to silence or muted when your phone is locked, if the Do Not Disturb feature is enabled. If you previously used this feature, then you better check and manage the DND settings on your phone to make sure that this is not causing your phone not to receive incoming calls. Just follow these steps to get to this settings menu:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select Do Not Disturb.
  3. If it is currently on, tap the Do Not Disturb switch to turn disable the feature. This will also disable the rest of the DND options that you have enabled before.

If turning DND off isn’t the best option for you, then you can just configure certain options or set some exceptions.

Another feature that you also need to check is the Call Forwarding feature on your iPhone XS Max. With this feature enabled, all incoming calls will be routed to the Call Forwarding number specified on your device. As a result, your iPhone won’t be able to receive phone calls as calls are routed or forwarded to a different number. To ensure that this isn’t barring your iPhone from receiving incoming calls, follow these steps to turn off Call Forwarding feature on your iPhone XS Max, if needed:

  1. Go to Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll down to and select Phone to launch the Phone app settings and options.
  3. Then select Call Forwarding.
  4. If it is currently enabled, toggle the Call Forwarding switch to disable the feature.

After making the necessary changes, restart (soft reset) your iPhone. Once it is back on, call your iPhone XS Max to see if the problem is already corrected.

ALSO READ: How to fix Apple iPhone XS Max that cannot send or receive Emails

Fourth solution: Check for and install carrier settings and latest iOS update.

Installing new carrier settings update can also rectify various network-related issues and provide enhancement and fix patches to get rid of bug-inflicted network problems on your iPhone. To check for available carrier settings update, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings from Home.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap About.

Whenever a new carrier settings update is available, a pop up message will appear. If this is the case, follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the update on your iPhone. Otherwise, go back to the main screen and then check for any iOS update available for your iPhone XS Max instead. 

  • To check for new iOS update, head back to Settings-> General->Software Update menu to check for new iOS wirelessly (over-the-air).

An update notification will show up on the screen when a new iOS version is available. Read and review the terms and conditions, and then follow the onscreen instructions to Download and Install the latest software update or iOS version.

Note that these updates will require your device to have a stable internet connection, at least 50% battery life and ample storage space to proceed. You also need to backup all important data on your phone’s memory beforehand, for safekeeping. 

After the update, check if your iPhone can now receive incoming calls by placing a test call.

You can also update your iPhone XS Max to the latest iOS version available through iTunes. This can be considered an alternative solution if over-the-air updates aren’t possible to implement.

Fifth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS Max.

Network settings error can also affect your phone’s calling functions. Thus, they must be ruled out too. To eliminate network settings errors that might have hindered your iPhone XS Max from receiving phone calls, reset its network settings. Any invalid or incorrect network configurations that caused your phone to have trouble getting incoming calls will be deleted in the process and then the default configurations will be restored If you haven’t done this yet, then simply refer to these steps:

  1. Go to Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset network settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode if prompted to continue.
  6. Then select Reset network settings again to confirm.

After the reset, your phone will reboot automatically. Once it’s completely back on, proceed to enabling all the necessary network features. Then place a test call to make sure that the issue has already been corrected.

Sixth solution: Reinstall SIM card to fix your iPhone XS Max that cannot receive incoming calls.

Calling issues can also be attributed to SIM card problems from a corrupt SIM card data to hardware issues such as a loose or damaged SIM card and other relevant components. To rule out software-related SIM card issues that might have halted your iPhone’s incoming call functions, reinstall the SIM card. This process mainly involves removing and re-inserting the SIM card on the phone. And here’s how it’s supposed to be done:

  1. Turn off your iPhone completely.
  2. While your iPhone is turned off, insert the SIM ejector tool into the small hole on the SIM tray located on the side of the phone.
  3. Gently push the ejector tool until the SIM tray ejects.
  4. Remove the SIM card from the tray and examine it for any visible signs of damage like scratches and liquid traces. 
  5. If everything looks good to you, place the SIM card back into the tray in the same orientation before you removed it.
  6. When the SIM card is secured in place, push the SIM tray back into the phone until it locks.

Make sure that the SIM tray is locked and if it is, you can turn your phone back on. Wait for your device to acquire cellular network signal and once the signal resumes, try to place a test call to check if your phone is now able to receive incoming calls. If the problem persists, then you may have to consider carrying out a factory reset.

Last resort: Erase your iPhone and restore factory default settings (factory reset/master reset).

A factory reset is usually considered as a last option when dealing with major software problems on a smartphone. You may have to consider resorting to a factory reset to eliminate complex system errors that caused your iPhone’s incoming call system to fail. The fact that  your iPhone XS Max still cannot receive incoming calls after exhausting all previous solutions makes it an augmented indication that the underlying cause isn’t rectifiable by the usual tweaks. Should you wish to proceed and do a factory reset, don’t forget to back up all critical data stored on your iPhone storage to iCloud or iTunes. Failure to do so will result in permanent data loss, so you will no longer be able to recover your files. After securing your iPhone backup, follow these steps to factory reset your iPhone through settings:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm factory reset on your iPhone.

Allow your iPhone to finish erasing system data and then restores its factory default settings. After the reset, you can use the start-up wizard to set up your device as new. Once everything is set up, place a test call to your own number and see if that goes through.

Still cannot receive incoming calls on your iPhone XS Max?

If none of the given solutions worked and your iPhone XS Max still cannot receive incoming calls, contact your network service provider/carrier to escalate the problem. There might be some problems on your network’s end like a temporary outage or technical problems affecting cellular network services in your place. In that case, there’s not much can be done on your end but to wait until the network outage or technical problem is fixed. You can also take your device to an Apple-authorized service center, so that you can have it scrutinized by an iPhone technician. Doing so will help rule out hardware damage from the underlying cause. 

If you suspect that the problem is attributed to a damaged or defective SIM card, you can ask your carrier for a new SIM card replacement. Don’t forget to have your new SIM card activated by your carrier too. You can also subscribe to an eSIM (virtual SIM card) if your carrier already supports it.

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We are committed to helping our readers fix the problems with their phones as well as learn how to properly use their devices. So, if you have other issues, you may visit our Help Guides page so you can check by yourself the articles we’ve already published that contain solutions to common problems. Also, we do create videos to demonstrate how things are done on your phone. Visit our Youtube Channel and please subscribe to it. Thanks.

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