My iPhone Isn't Sounding When Ringing

by Amanda Gronot ; Updated September 28, 2017

If your iPhone doesn't make a sound when you receive a call, you may miss something important. A number of reasons can cause your iPhone not to ring, from software glitches and faulty hardware to simple oversight. To troubleshoot this problem, you should start by ruling out human error and potential software malfunctions. If you can rule these options out, your iPhone's hardware will need to be repaired by a professional.

Mute and Update

It may seem obvious, but in a surprising number of circumstances, people conclude that their iPhones are malfunctioning before realizing that there is a perfectly logical explanation. Before you assume something is wrong, make sure that the mute button isn't on and the volume is turned up. Flip the switch above the volume toggle buttons so that the orange button is not showing. With your phone on the home screen, press the upper volume button.

Updating your iPhone's software and your apps can also help prevent malfunctions like this. Check for updates for all of your software; if any are available, download and install them. If you notice that this problem began after you downloaded a certain app, uninstall it.

Test Your Sounds

To determine if you have a problem with your iPhone's entire sound system or just the ringing sounds, try playing a song in your iPod app. If you have keyboard clicks on, try typing in the Notes app. Place a call to a contact to see if you can hear his voice. If you have sound in all other places, make sure that you have not accidentally set your ringtone to play silence. Go to "Sounds" in the Settings app and tap "Ringtone" to set or reset it. If you are using a custom ringtone, try using a standard ringtone, as the custom ringer may not be compatible. Also make sure that "Vibrate" is off under "Silent," and make sure that your volume is not turned down under "Ringer and Alerts."

Restart and Reset

If you still experience no sound when you receive a call, restarting or resetting your iPhone may solve the problem. Like a computer that's not working right, sometimes the phone simply needs to reboot. Turn off the phone by pressing the "Sleep/Wake" button for about 10 seconds. When the power bar appears, slide the red button across the bar. Wait a few seconds, then press the "Sleep/Wake" button again for about four seconds to turn the phone back on. If the problem persists, reset the phone by pressing the "Sleep/Wake" button and the "Home" button simultaneously for about 10 seconds, or until the Apple logo appears.

Restore

As a final resort, you can restore the iPhone to its factory settings. This erases all of your data, and although you can reload your media, information and apps from iTunes, you will lose things like text messages and settings. To restore, connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes. Click your iPhone's name in the left column, then click the "Restore" button in the center of the iTunes window. Follow the prompts to complete the restore and to set up your iPhone when the restore is finished. If this does not fix the problem, something is wrong with your iPhone's hardware and you will have to take it to a professional to fix it.

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About the Author

In 2008 Amanda Gronot began her professional career as a writer for a research company. She helped ghostwrite a book for a prominent CEO and has had essays and translations published in the prestigious classics journal "Helicon." Gronot graduated with a four-year Master of Arts/Bachelor of Arts in classics from Yale University.

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