Why Are My Outgoing Calls Not Ringing?

When calling someone on your cellphone, and the line on the other end isn’t ringing, it may or may not be your phone causing the problem.

The problem may actually be the distance the call receiver is from a cell tower. Outgoing calls create ringback tones, which is outgoing ringing received within the other network. Therefore, if the person you are calling does not pick up the call or the connection isn’t reached, it could be that your contact’s phone does not have enough coverage in a particular zone, and the ringback tone is unable to initiate.

There could be one of a number of reasons why outgoing calls are not ringing, and diagnosing potential technical problems can be time-consuming. If the caller is not experiencing an error and a ringback tone is not received, the problem is most likely not the phone that is sending the signal but with the network that is supposed to be receiving it. 

Reasons Your Phone Isn’t ringing when calling someone

Network coverage

The functionality of a cellphone is contingent upon the distance that cellphone is from a cell tower. Each cell tower contains a signal transmitter, the type and strength of which can help or hinder our calling. 

If you happen to know where the cell towers are, you might estimate that a caller can get reception about 45 miles distance away from these structures. However, cell phones frequently do not work at maximum distances because it might take the cellphone signal too long to reach its destination. This is often the case outside of urban areas, where a signal may have to travel several miles to reach the appropriate tower. 


In general, the land features and terrain of the environment, the type of technology connecting the call, and the size and capacity of the cellphone network will determine whether outgoing calls will ring. If the cell tower is close to the person you are attempting to call and there is no ring, there may be some type of land feature like a building or tree blocking the signal. Interference can make calls unreliable, which is also more of a problem in rural areas because of a total reliance on a single tower. This shouldn’t happen as much in urban areas, because when a signal is blocked, it can find reception at another nearby tower. 

Low power

An outgoing call that doesn’t ring may also be caused by a cell tower transmitter set to low power, which sometimes happens if the signals of similar frequencies have been interfering with other nearby cells. If the power is low, a receiver may need to be closer than normal, such as within several hundred yards of the tower.

Other possibilities

Overloaded Network – Cell phone towers and networks can become inundated with communications so that some of these calls will not ring. The cellphone network is similar to the internet in that way, as when making calls using wifi – the internet may be running too slow, preventing connection, which would silence ringback responses when called.

Busy Line – The person you called may be occupying the line, and your phone may not be showing that the line is active, which may block the outgoing ringing.

Errors – If the phone was improperly updated, it might cause outgoing calls not to ring.

Other short-term explanations for outgoing calls not ringing may have to do with the underlying infrastructure of modern telephones. For instance, a miscalibration within the exchange mechanism (also referred to as a telephone switch or the central office) that interconnects telephone subscriber lines could disrupt the establishment of virtual circuits between subscribers. Such instances often occur when calling long distances.

Outgoing calls not ringing – iPhone

The recommendation for iPhone users who do not hear the ringing of outgoing calls is to first check the settings on their phone. Next, iPhone callers should also make sure the phone software is up to date. If you have double-checked the phone functionality by calling someone else, perhaps from your contact list, there is a strong possibility there may be a problem with the network, such as a temporary service outage.

Other steps for iPhone:

Check Service

Check your account – make sure your phone is properly connected.

Take a look at your billing – ensure that recent payments were accepted.

Examine logs for call errors in the system – the call may not have gone through.


Make sure that you have the latest carrier settings update.

Check for the most recent ios software update.

Check phone settings

Airplane mode must be off.

Do not disturb should be turned off.

Check for blocked phone numbers.

Make sure call forwarding is off.

Check ‘the silence unknown callers’ settings.

Check ring settings.


Reset the network.

Try calling from a new location.

Outgoing calls not ringing Android

When experiencing problems with outgoing call signals on Android phones, users should:

-Check the sim card – make sure you are connected to a stable coverage signal and that the card is correctly installed.

-Disable Bluetooth and NFC.

-Try first turning on Aeroplane Mode and then disabling it.

– Try disabling VoLTE – in the case it hasn’t automatically switched to standard protocol.

-Check with your service provider to see if there are any network problems

-If none of these steps worked, you could always try later and/or reset the phone to factory settings if you suspect the problem may have to do with OEM update bugs or vendor partition issues.

If there still is no outgoing ring and also when you call a different contact, it’s always a good idea, with most phones, to restart your phone and reset network settings. On the other hand, if the call is connecting – only without the ring tone, you may find it interesting to research the technology of digital calling to better understand what is going on within the system.

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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