How to fix Apple iPhone XS that can’t receive incoming calls

One of the basic key features of a smartphone is its calling feature. A smartphone won’t be deemed “smart” if it’s unable to render basic services like texting and calling. Nonetheless, bumping into calling issues is bound to happen given that several factors could trigger them. This denotes that you could end up having trouble making and receiving phone calls on your phone at any time. Addressed in this post is the problem about incoming calls on the iPhone XS. If you can’t receive incoming calls on your iPhone, then you can use the outlined solutions below. Read on for more information.

Among the common reasons as to why you can’t receive incoming calls on your iPhone is due to unavailable network. This is when your device isn’t acquiring cellular network signal because of unexpected network problems and temporary outages affecting network services. The same thing could happen when the network settings on your phone aren’t properly configured. SIM card issues as well as account-related problems are also among the underlying causes. These are the factors that you should consider looking into when resolving calling issues on your phone. 

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you happen to find this post while looking for a solution to a different problem, then visit our iPhone XS Help Guides page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. We may have already published articles that could help you fix your problem. Find issues that are similar to yours and feel free to use our solutions.

Troubleshooting iPhone XS that can’t receive incoming calls

The following solutions are generally used to eliminate common software-related calling issues on an iPhone. After performing each method, place a test call to find out if the problem is resolved. 

First solution: Soft Reset or Force Restart your iPhone XS.

Incoming call issues that suddenly occur are usually due to minor software glitches. Your iPhone’s network system is likely experiencing such random glitches and so it suddenly failed to process/receive incoming calls. If you have successfully received phone calls on your iPhone XS before, then a minor system error is probably the underlying cause. To fix minor errors like this, performing a soft reset or forced restart on your iPhone will likely be able to fix them. Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either of the Volume Button at the side of your phone for a few seconds.
  2. When the Slide to Power Off appears on your screen, release both buttons.
  3. Slide the Power Off command to the right to turn off the phone. 
  4. Wait for about 30 seconds then press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo on your screen. 

After the reboot process, try to make a test phone call to check if the issue has been resolved. If the call is still unsuccessful, then try to do a forced restart to refresh your phone’s wireless network functions. Doing so will likewise clear out corrupted network data that are stored among other cached files on your phone system. Here are the steps:

  1. Press and release the Volume Up button quickly.
  2. Press and release the Volume Down button quickly. 
  3. Lastly, press and hold the Side button for a few seconds until you see the Apple logo. 

If none of these initial procedures is able to fix the problem and your iPhone XS still can’t receive incoming calls, try the next solutions to rule out other factors.

ALSO READ: How to Fix Missing Personal Hotspot on iPhone XS

Second solution: Enable/Disable Airplane mode. 

Another simple old trick that’s been proven effective in resolving various wireless issues on an iPhone is the so-called Airplane Mode toggle. It works by simultaneously restarting the phone’s wireless functions. If you wish to give it a shot, then simply follow these simple steps:

  • Access Settings from the Home screen. 
  • Tap the toggle switch to turn on Airplane mode. 
  • Perform a soft reset while Airplane mode is enabled.
  • After it reboots, go to Settings  > Airplane mode then tap the toggle to turn off Airplane mode. 

Enabling Airplane Mode turns off all radio transmission on your phone including cellular network and Wi-Fi while disabling it turns them back on. This process might help remove glitches on your carrier’s signal and fix the issue. 

ALSO READ: How to fix unresponsive voicemail button on your iPhone XS

Third solution: Turn off Call Forwarding and Do Not Disturb (DND) features. 

If you’ve previously used Bedtime mode to avoid getting disturbed with any phone calls while sleeping and you forgot to turn it off, then it must be the main reason why your iPhone cannot receive incoming calls. Do Not Disturb (DND), if turned on will silence calls and notifications while  your device is locked or during a specific schedule. To make sure this isn’t causing you trouble, follow these steps to check and manage DND settings on your iPhone XS:

  1. Access Settings from Home screen.
  2. Select Do Not Disturb.
  3. Toggle the Do Not Disturb switch to turn it off. 

That should lift any incoming call restrictions on your phone.

Aside from Do Not Disturb, also care to check your iPhone XS Call Forwarding feature. If Call Forwarding is enabled, calls for your phone will be routed to the other phone number you’ve specified on the settings. This therefore prevents you from receiving phone calls. In that case, follow these steps to check and manage call forwarding settings on your iPhone XS:

  1. Access Settings from Home screen.
  2. Scroll down and select Phone
  3. Select Call forwarding
  4. If enabled, tap the toggle to turn it off.

After making necessary changes, reboot your phone then check if that solves the problem on incoming calls.

Fourth solution: Install new iOS updates and carrier settings. 

Updating your iPhone to the latest iOS version can also be considered among the potential solutions as software updates usually provide fixes for bugs and major system glitches. You can install new iOS updates wirelessly (OTA) or manually via iTunes. The easier way to update your iPhone is via over-the-air (OTA). Just make sure that your phone has at least 50% battery life, stable internet connection and enough space for memory storage. Here’s what you should do then:

  1. From your Home screen, access Settings.
  2. Scroll down to General.
  3. Select Software update
  4. If there is an available update, read the information then tap Download and install

Follow the on-screen prompts to finish the download and installation process. When your iPhone is finished installing the update, perform a soft reset to save and apply the recent system changes and fix patches.

In addition to iOS updates, installing the latest update for your carrier settings is also essential. Like Apple, carriers also roll out carrier updates regularly to enhance and optimize network services on every device. To check for these updates, your device must have a stable connection to the Internet, sufficient storage space and battery life. Just follow these steps to check for new carrier updates on your iPhone XS:

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll down to General.
  3. Tap About

Wait for a few seconds to see if there is an available update for your carrier settings. If so, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. If you did not see an update notification, it means there’s no available update for your carrier settings. 

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone XS that cannot connect to WiFi

Fifth solution: Reset Network settings on your iPhone XS.

Performing a reset on the phone’s network settings is also a potential solution as it will clear out any invalid network configurations that might have caused your iPhone XS to be unable to receive incoming calls. This reset is also necessary if your network is corrupted. Before you proceed, take note of your Wi-Fi network passwords because they will also be deleted in the process. Just follow these steps whenever you’re all set to reset network settings on your iPhone XS:

  1. From the Home screen, access Settings
  2. Scroll down to and select General.
  3. Scroll down then select Reset
  4. Tap Reset network settings option. 
  5. Enter your device passcode if prompted. 
  6. Finally, select the option to confirm network settings reset. 

Your phone will automatically restart once the reset of network settings is completed. After it reboots, enable network features and options then try placing a test call to your iPhone XS and see if it’s already successful.

Still can’t receive incoming calls on your iPhone XS?

Another option that might help is to remove and re-insert the SIM card on your iPhone XS. as mentioned earlier, SIM card issues is also a factor to consider ruling on when dealing with network-related issues like incoming call problems. Hence, this must be considered among the last options before setting up a service appointment at the nearest Apple Genius bar. Before removing the SIM card, be sure to turn off your iPhone completely to prevent causing damage to the SIM card and other SIM components on your device. Just follow these steps to ensure that you’re doing it the right way:

  1. Turn off your iPhone completely.
  2. Get the SIM ejector tool then insert it into the small hole on the SIM tray. The SIM tray is found on the side of your iPhone.
  3. Gently push the ejector tool until the tray pops out.
  4. Remove the SIM card from the tray and inspect it for any signs of damage like liquid traces and scratches. If there’s none, place the SIM card back into the tray in the same position and orientation before it was removed.
  5. Push the SIM card tray back into the phone until it’s locked.

Then turn the phone on and see if that solves the problem.

Seek more help

If none of the given solutions is able to resolve the issue and your iPhone XS still can’t receive incoming calls, you should now escalate the problem to your network service provider for further assistance. You can also ask your service provider to check the current status of network services and if there’s any temporary network outages that may be affecting network-related services. If this happens to a post-update issue and that it persisted, reporting the problem to Apple Support would be necessary. Otherwise, take your device to the nearest Apple-authorized service center to rule out hardware damage from the underlying causes.

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