How Many Times Does a Phone Ring Before It Goes to Voicemail?


You might have noticed that sometimes you call someone and it rings once before you reach their voicemail. At other times, it rings four times. So, how long should it take for a phone to be directed to voicemail? 

Depending on your cell carrier, calls are directed to voicemail after four or five rings, or after 25-30 seconds. There are going to be other factors that can affect how many times the phone rings, but assuming the phone is on and the person is just unavailable, four or five rings is what to expect. 

If you are on the receiving end of calls that are going to voicemail faster than you would like, you need to contact your service provider to change the number of rings.  

If you are trying to call someone and repeatedly getting sent to voicemail, there are going to be signs to help you figure out the reason it keeps happening. You need to think about how many rings you hear, how many times you’ve called, and whether you have texted, among other options.  

How Many Times Does a Phone Ring if You Are Blocked? 

There is no definitive way to tell if you are blocked other than asking the person directly, but if your number is blocked you will usually hear one ring before the voicemail. To find out if you are blocked, try these things first: 

Try Calling a Few Times 

Okay, this one seems obvious. But don’t just call a few times back-to-back, give it a few hours. Or even a few days. You never know if someone is somewhere out of town with little or no cell service.  

Send a Text (from an iPhone) 

You can send a text and see if you get a delivered message, which might indicate whether you were blocked or not. This is more likely going to help you know if you are not blocked, in which case you will get a message saying the text was delivered. 

If the text is not delivered, it could mean you are blocked but it could mean several other things as well, like the person has no cell service.  

Texting to see if the message is delivered will work on an iPhone, but on an Android, there is no way to find out through texting alone. 

Delete the Contact (from an Android) 

A suggestion to find out if you’re blocked on an android phone is to go to your contacts and delete the person’s name who you suspect has blocked to you. Then go to add a contact, and if their name appears as a suggestion, you have probably not been blocked. Just remember to add their information again if you want to keep them as a contact. 

If these things don’t give you an answer, and you have tried calling the person several times, you can try calling the person with a different number.  

How Do You Know if Someone Declines Your Call? 

On an iPhone, if you are redirected to voicemail after just one or two rings there is a possibility the person has declined your call.  

Knowing if someone has blocked you or declined your call is tricky, because there are a variety of other reasons that you might go straight to voicemail or only hear one ring before getting the voicemail. 

Other reasons to consider: 

  • The person is in an area with poor cell phone service. 
  • Their phone is turned off. 
  • Their phone is on airplane mode. 
  • They have turned on the “Do Not Disturb” function. 
  • Their phone has a dead battery. 
  • Someone else is trying to call them at the same time. 

Is There a Way to Hide Your Number When You Make a Phone Call? 

If you don’t want the person on the receiving end of your call to see who is calling, there are ways that you can prevent your number from being displayed on their phone.  

You can dial *67 before dialing the number, and it will show up as “Private” or “Blocked” on the other end. This method must be done each time you call the number. 

If you want to block your number for every phone call you make, there is a permanent way of doing this on both iPhone and Androids. 

On an iPhone: 

  1. Go to your settings. 
  1. Click on “Phone”. 
  1. Click on “Show My Caller Id”. 
  1. Switch the function to off mode. 

On an Android: 

  1. Open the menu on your phone app. 
  1. Click on “Settings”. 
  1. Click on “Call Settings”. 
  1. Choose “Additional Settings”. 
  1. Click on “Caller ID”. 
  1. Select “Hide Number”. 

Will the Caller Know if I Declined or Blocked Them? 

If you are the person declining or blocking a number, the caller will have the aforementioned possibilities to consider rather than knowing immediately you are ignoring or have blocked them.  

Maybe you are just busy when someone calls, and don’t want them to think you are ignoring them. If you have an iPhone and it rings while you are occupied, hit the lock button and it will stop the phone from ringing or buzzing. The caller will still hear a few rings before voicemail.  

When you can’t answer your iPhone can also set up your “Do Not Disturb” function. This will let all callers know you are busy and will get back to them. Additionally, when a call comes in on an iPhone you have the option to send the message “Sorry, I can’t talk right now” automatically through text. 

If you want to block a number on an iPhone rather than just declining it repeatedly, go to your list of recent calls. Click on the “i” with a circle around it, and then click on “Block this Caller”. You can also change your settings to silence unknown callers so you won’t be disturbed by telemarketers.  

What Does it Mean When the Phone Rings and Never Goes to Voicemail? 

If a phone rings without going to voicemail, it can be an issue with the phone owner’s service provider. It also can mean that a person has a new phone and has not set up their voicemail. Sometimes you will hear message saying a voicemail has not been set up or is full.  

How Many Times Should You Let Your Phone Ring Before Answering? 

While there is no correct answer for how many times to let your phone ring before you pick up, there are some things to consider. If you don’t want someone to know you are eager to talk with them, you should not let it ring more than three times because the voicemail might pick up before you can answer. 

If you are taking business calls on your phone, you don’t want to let it ring more than two times. Customers and colleagues will like to know you are available and accessible to them.  

Does a Phone Ring When It’s Turned Off? 

Obviously, you won’t know for sure if the phone is off, the do not disturb message is on, or the person has poor cell coverage unless you Other reasons a phone might go straight to voicemail or if it is in airplane mode or if the battery is dead. 

Text messages sent to a dead phone are stored and will appear when the phone is turned back on. 

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