What to do if your iPhone calls go straight to voicemail

The first thing to check if your iPhone calls go straight to voicemail is to check the Do Not Disturb option and ensure it’s disabled. You can access it directly through the control center and tap the crescent moon icon. You can also access Settings from the Home screen and tap Do Not Disturb.

Normally, your phone should ring for incoming calls unless it’s set to mute or silenced. But if for some reason all your calls are routed straight to voicemail even if you didn’t set your device to do so, it denotes that something is not right and that needs to be corrected. Read on to learn what to do if your iPhone goes straight to voicemail even when they’re not supposed to.

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 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 with yours and feel free to use our solutions.

Why your iPhone goes straight to voicemail?

Problems like this are often attributed to some software glitches including Phone app errors, minor firmware crashes, incorrect settings and complex system bugs. And since you’re dealing with a software-related problem, performing workarounds will likely solve it. Lined up below are recommended workarounds and potential solutions to voicemail errors on an iPhone. Feel free to refer to this troubleshooting guide whenever you need more help.

Don’t forget to place a test call to your iPhone to find out if the call still goes straight to voicemail or not anymore.

First solution: Restart the Phone app

In first instances, the problem could be just due to some random in-app glitches, particularly with the Phone app. To fix it, restarting the Phone app is recommended. So here’s what you should try doing first:

  1. Double-press the Home button to view your most recently opened or used apps.
  2. Swipe left or right to navigate through the apps previews.
  3. Then swipe up on an app’s preview to close individual app.

If you’re using an iPhone X or later iPhones, follow these steps to force close background apps:

  1. Go to the Home screen to get started.
  2. Then swipe up from the bottom of the screen and then pause slightly in the middle.
  3. To close the app, swipe up on the Phone app preview.

Also consider closing any other background apps so that none of them can cause conflict to the Phone app.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone XR that cannot send or receive SMS messages

Second solution: Soft reset/reboot your iPhone.

Often times, all you need is to reboot your device. This is likely what’s needed if the problem is due to random software glitches on your phone. So if you haven’t already, reboot/soft reset your iPhone next. The restart process vary depending on the model of your iPhone.

If you’re using an iPhone X, XS, XS Max, or XR, here’s how a soft reset or standard reboot is done:

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your iPhone completely.
  3. Then after 30 seconds, press the Side button again to turn your iPhone back on.

If you’re using an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or earlier versions, follow these steps to reboot or soft reset the device:

  1. Press and hold the Top or Side button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off the phone completely.
  3. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Top or Side button again to turn the phone back on.

Allow your phone to boot up completely then place a test call. If the call goes straight to voicemail, move on to the next solution.

Third solution: Disable Do Not Disturb feature on your iPhone.

Another possible reason why you may not hear incoming call alerts from your iPhone is because of the so-called Do Not Disturb While Driving feature. If this feature is enabled on your phone, chances are that it activated automatically when it sensed that you’re getting a phone call while driving. To rule this out, turn off this feature with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select Do Not Disturb.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Do Not Disturb While Driving.
  4. Tap Activate and then set the option to Manual.

You can also add a shortcut icon for Do Not Disturb While Driving on the control center of your iPhone. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Go to the Home screen then tap on Settings.
  2. Tap Control Center.
  3. Select the option to Customize Controls.
  4. Tap the green plus sign (+) before Do Not Disturb While Driving to add its toggle to your Control center.

Adding a Do Not Disturb shortcut to the Control Center allows you to promptly turn the feature off or on by tapping its icon on the Control Center. If the calls still go straight to voicemail after this, try the next procedure.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone XR that’s getting poor Wi-Fi reception, weak signal

Fourth solution: Turn Airplane mode on and off.

Different types of problems affecting wireless functions are also remedied by working on the Airplane mode toggle. The trick is to simultaneously stop and then restart the phone’s wireless radios and thereby refreshes the phone’s wireless features. Any errors affecting Wi-Fi functions will likewise be eliminated in the process. Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  2. Then toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn ON. Doing so disables the phone’s wireless radios.
  3. While Airplane Mode is turned ON, reboot/soft reset your iPhone.
  4. Then head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  5. Tap the Airplane Mode switch to turn it OFF again.

Allow your device to re-establish Wi-Fi connections and once it’s connected retry placing a test call.

Fifth solution: Enable Announce Calls feature on your iPhone.

There is a feature on your iPhone called Announce Calls, which is designed to help you not miss an important phone call. When enabled, it audibly announces calls by uttering the name of the caller or contact number for unknown or unsaved contacts. Enabling this feature has helped many iPhone owners who often failed to answer important phone calls. Here’s how to make it work:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap Phone.
  3. Scroll down to Calls section and then tap Announce Calls.
  4. Then select Always from the given options.

Doing so will prompt your iPhone to audibly announce all of your calls thus, helping you not to miss an important phone call.

Sixth solution: Install carrier updates on your iPhone.

Problems affecting network services can also be addressed by updating your iPhone’s carrier settings. If possible, try to check for new carrier updates on your device by heading to settings:

  1. Go to the Home screen then tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select About.

A notification will show up on the Carrier section if a new carrier update is available.

Seventh solution: Reset network settings.

Network settings that are not properly configured can also affect voicemail services and may be the underlying cause of the problem. And this is when performing a network reset is needed. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

All your recent network configurations will be removed and the default network values are restored. Reconnect your iPhone to Wi-Fi and then see if that fixes the problem.

Last resort: Erase your iPhone and restore its factory defaults.

Among the last options and possible solutions you can try is a factory reset or master reset. This wipes everything from your iPhone including all saved information and downloaded files. Complex system errors that caused stubborn symptoms are likewise cleared out during the reset. If you wish to proceed, back up all important data to iCloud or iTunes, then follow these steps whenever you’re all set to reset your iPhone to its factory defaults:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm full system settings reset.

The phone should restart itself when the reset is finished and then loads up the factory default settings. To use your iPhone again, you need to set it up like the first time you had it. Just refer to the start-up wizard to complete the initial setup process.

Seek more help

Contact your network service provider/carrier to report the problem if none of the given solutions is able to fix it. This could be due to some ongoing technical problems on your carrier’s end. If the problem started from an iOS update installation, then this could be among other stubborn post-update bugs that need a dedicated fix patch. In that case, you should contact Apple Support.

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