by Anthony 

July 27, 2021

By default, your iPhone will block calls from unknown numbers. I imagine the setting was introduced to discourage telemarketers and scammers. When enabled, it will silence calls from unknown numbers and divert them straight to voicemail.

To stop your iPhone from silencing calls, open Settings, scroll down, and click on Phone. Near the bottom of the screen is the option to Silence Unknown Callers. Disabling this setting will allow these calls to ring as per any other call. If this doesn't work there are other options you can try.


What is the problem?

Example of Silent Call on iPhone

Apparently, lots of people have an issue where their iPhone is silencing incoming calls and diverting them straight to voicemail. Now your immediate thought is probably that the phone is set to Do Not Disturb. And using the Do Not Disturb setting is the correct way to silence your phone. However, if you’re having this problem and you’re confident all your Do Not Disturb settings are disabled, then there are few other options you can try. 

Disable Call Forwarding and Silence Unknown Callers

The first is to make sure you don’t have Call Forwarding enabled and that ‘Silence Unknown Callers’ is also disabled. You can find both of these options by opening Settings and scrolling down to Phone. Call Forwarding is there in the middle of the list, and near the bottom of the page is the option to ‘Silence Unknown Callers’. When this setting is enabled, any call from an unknown number will be diverted straight to voicemail and I imagine it was introduced to discourage telemarketers and scammers. However, if you think you might receive legitimate unknown number calls then it’s probably worth keeping this option disabled.

Silence Unknown Callers setting on iPhone

Check Screen Time Settings

If that doesn’t solve the issue another place to look is in Screen Time settings. Back in Settings, click on Screen Time and choose Communication Limits. If you have Screen Time enabled, it’s possible to block some phone calls both during Screen Time and outside of it. To be sure you don’t miss a call, you want to set both these to ‘Everyone’.

Screen Time settings on iPhone

Check Do Not Disturb and Volume

So those are the less obvious places to look which might be causing incoming calls not to ring. If you’re still having trouble then, of course, the most obvious place to check is that Do Not Disturb is set to off, as well as the Scheduled option. And it’s maybe worth just double-checking that you don’t have your volume turned down to zero.

Do Not Disturb settings on iPhone

Contact Apple

If none of these things work then you’re getting to the point where you might need to call Apple, which you can do by browsing to Apples support pages and clicking on ‘Get Phone Support’.


So there you have it. To prevent your iPhone from silencing Calls check the following settings:

  • Check Call Forwarding is disabled.

  • Check Silence Unknown Callers is disabled.

  • Check your Screen Time Settings.

  • Check Do Not Disturb is disabled and no schedule is set.

  • Check your volume is not set to mute.

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