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I'm Missing Calls Because My iPhone Isn't Ringing


It can be a puzzling situation: you’re getting voicemails and missing calls, but your iPhone doesn’t ring. It may seem mysterious, or like your iPhone is broken, but it’s probably not. The missing sound of your phone ringing probably is caused by mis-assigned ringtones (either that or your friends and family are mad at you. I can only help with the technology side the equation, though).

NOTE: Before reading any further, make sure that you haven’t just silenced your iPhone and forgotten to turn the ringer back on. Assuming that’s not the case, press on.

This situation is most often caused when you’ve had a custom ringtone on your phone and assigned it to contacts so that that ringtone plays when they call. If the ringtone gets deleted or corrupted, though, it can’t play and when a call comes in from someone who has that ringtone assigned to them, the iPhone doesn’t play anything. This also happens if you’ve made a custom ringtone your default tone and then deleted it.

Here’s how to determine if ringtone mis-assignment is causing your problem and how to fix it.

  • If you’ve never had custom ringtones on you iPhone – either made with iTunes or any of the other ringtone-creation programs – this probably doesn’t apply to you.
  • Check the contact of the person who called when the phone didn’t ring. In their Info card, there’s a Ringtone line. It may read “Default” or the name of the ringtone you previously used.
  • Tap the Ringtone line to see the list of ringtones on your iPhone. If the ringtone listed on that person’s Info card isn’t on your phone anymore, you’ll need to change it to something else on that list.
  • If that was the case, you’ll also need to assign a new default ringtone to the phone.

If this has happened to you, you’ll need to find all the contacts that had the old ringtone assigned to them and select a new one if you want to hear a ringer when they call you. Annoying, but necessary if you want to hear those calls as they come in.

Got a tech support question? Ask it in the discussion forums.

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