9 Fixes for When You Can’t Make Phone Calls on Your iPhone

Did you try to make a call from your iPhone but it’s not going through? You probably find that you can’t hear the outgoing dial tone or the call attempt ends abruptly. Your screen may also show an error message, saying Call Failed. Whatever the cause, here are all the different ways to fix your iPhone when it won’t let you make phone calls.

1. Toggle Airplane Mode

When Airplane mode is enabled on your iPhone, the feature disables both incoming and outgoing texts and calls. This is important to prevent interference if you’re on a plane. But if you don’t need to use Airplane mode right now, make sure it is turned off by accessing your iPhone’s Control Center and tapping the Airplane Mode icon.

Toggling Airplane Mode on and off can also fix seemingly unrelated calling issues.

2. Check Your Mobile Plan

To make a call using your iPhone’s Phone app, you need an active mobile plan with sufficient credit or minutes. Check with your network to see if your mobile plan has expired or if there’s insufficient credit left. If this is the case, simply reload your account and you should be able to start making calls again.

3. Check Your Phone Signal

If you’re at a remote outdoor location, or if it’s raining or snowing in your area, you may experience poor cell reception. Check the cell signal icon in your iPhone’s status bar to find out. If there’s only one vertical bar filled in, you can try moving to another location to get a stronger signal in order to make a call. For example, if you’re in your bedroom, simply going to other areas in your house such as the kitchen or garden may get you the signal you need.


If there are no bars at all, or if you see No Service in the status bar, visit your network provider’s website and look for a coverage map to find out if you’re supposed to get any signal in your current location.

4. Check for a Carrier Settings Update

To check if your carrier provider has network-related updates, first connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi or enable cellular data. Then, go to the Settings app. Select General and tap About. If an update is available, you’ll see a Carrier Settings Update prompt. Tap Update to begin the installation.

5. Restart Your iPhone

A common but effective fix for most tech issues is to simply restart your device. Different iPhone models often have different restart methods. If you’re not sure exactly what to do, you can read our guide on how to restart your iPhone.

6. Remove and Reinsert Your iPhone’s SIM Card

The SIM card tray is located on the side of your iPhone. To eject the tray, you can use the SIM-eject tool that is included in your iPhone box (or a straightened paperclip). To avoid causing damage to your device in the process, you can refer to our detailed tutorial on how to safely remove the SIM card from your iPhone.

After removing the SIM card, gently wipe it with a soft, lint-free cloth. Then, place the SIM card back into the tray and slide it carefully into your iPhone.

7. Update Your iPhone’s iOS

Updates to iOS often come with bug fixes and the like. Sometimes, you can resolve your iPhone’s call issues by simply keeping your device’s iOS up to date. Check out our guide on how to update your iPhone or just go to Settings > General > Software Update to look for new updates.

8. Reset Network Settings

You might not be able to make calls from your iPhone if there are network-related problems. So, the next solution is to reset network settings on your iPhone.

Rest assured that this is not a factory reset. It simply deletes network data, such as Wi-Fi passwords and Bluetooth device connections—all of which can be easily set up again later on. All the content on your iPhone should be totally fine—like your apps, photos, and music.

9. Reset All Settings

The last solution you can attempt is to reset all the settings on your iPhone. As long as you follow the guided steps correctly, you still won’t lose any data from resetting your iPhone. Just make sure you don’t choose the option to Erase All Content and Settings.

However, this process can take a long time if you have a lot of data on your device. Before trying this solution, remember to consider whether the problem could actually be with the person you’re trying to call. You may want to find another way to reach out to them to ensure their phone is working before spending more time resetting settings on your own device.

Your iPhone May Not Be the Problem

There are a few reasons why your target recipient’s device may be unable to receive your call. For example, they may have poor signal, even if you don’t. Or perhaps they put their phone into Do Not Disturb mode to block all calls.

There’s a quick way to confirm whether the problem lies with your iPhone’s functionality. You can try calling someone in the same room as you, or someone else whom you know is available to pick up your test call. If the call goes through successfully, this shows that your iPhone can make an outgoing call without issues, so the problem must be with the other person you’re trying to call.

Alternative Ways to Call Someone

If you suspect the problem is with your device, the Phone app isn’t your only option when you need to call someone. Here are some alternatives you can use to make a call from your iPhone.

Use FaceTime

Try using the FaceTime app to call your contact instead of the Phone app. Whether you enable video or not, this will force your iPhone to make a call over your internet connection—instead of your cell network—which may allow it to go through.

Use Third-Party Apps

If you can connect to a Wi-Fi network, you can make a call using third-party apps, such as WhatsApp and Messenger instead. These apps enable you to make free calls over an internet connection. However, the limitation is that your contact must be a user of that app as well. Also, they need to have Wi-Fi or cellular data enabled on their device to receive the incoming call notification.

Use Another Phone

Another option is to simply borrow another person’s phone to make a call. If they’re using a different carrier, they may have a stronger cell signal than you do. Be mindful of your call length and the potential cost of the call, though. You don’t want to end up with your friend receiving high call charges after they let you use their phone!

Put the Phone Back Into iPhone Again

We hope this list of fixes and suggestions has helped you to fix any phone call problems you were experiencing with your iPhone. If the issues persist, it’s better to contact your mobile carrier or Apple Support for further assistance. In the meantime, make sure that your iPhone can receive calls. This way, you can still speak to people on the phone if they call you instead.

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