How to fix an iPhone XS Max that cannot make phone calls in iOS 13

So you just got the iOS 13 installed on your iPhone XS Max but for some reason, you cannot make any more phone calls. Find out what’s halting your iPhone from making a phone call in iOS 13.

Usual factors that could affect phone call services would include but are not limited to a weak cellular signal, no network coverage, network-related settings errors and temporary network outages. In some cases, phone call problems like unable to make phone calls are due to account-related issues such as temporary service disconnection or soft disconnection. This is usually what happens if you’ve missed to settle your bills. Typically in this case, only the outgoing services are affected or temporarily become unavailable, so you’d still be able to receive phone calls on your device. To resume outgoing call services, you need to settle whatever account issues there is to deal with your network service provider/carrier. Tackled in this post is a relevant issue on the iPhone Xs Max that cannot make phone calls after the iOS 13 update implementation. Find out what to do in order to deal with this post-update phone call issue on your iPhone.

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Troubleshooting an iPhone XS Max that cannot make phone calls in iOS 13

The following are generic solutions to post-update phone call issues, particularly with outgoing calls that are not working on an iPhone XS Max following the iOS 13 update installation. Any of these methods can help eliminate common software bugs and/or update glitches that ruined your phone’s outgoing call functions. Don’t forget to place a test call after carrying out each solution to determine whether or not the problem is resolved.

Before you proceed, check your phone’s cellular signal indicator and make sure it has at least 2 signal bars. Your phone won’t be able to make or receive phone calls if the signal strength is unstable. The same thing if it doesn’t acquire any signal from your cellular network at all. If there’s no problem with the network signal, then you can go ahead and start ruling out software-related factors that prevent your iPhone from making phone calls in iOS 13.

First solution: Toggle Airplane mode on and off. 

Minor problems affecting wireless features and services in iOS devices are usually dealt with by a system restart. Wireless features/services on your iPhone can be restarted individually or simultaneously. However, performing a simultaneous restart on your phone’s wireless functions would be a better option. This is when performing the Airplane mode trick plays its role. Enabling Airplane mode on your iPhone XS Max will disable all radio connections simultaneously while disabling it resumes them all. What this trick does is more than just turning wireless features off and on. In fact, this simple trick has already been proven effective in resolving various types of wireless connectivity issues in different iOS devices. And this may be the only thing your iPhone needs to be able to make phone calls in iOS 13 again. Just follow these steps if you wish to try this trick in resolving minor post-update errors affecting your phone’s calling features:

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen. 
  2. Check Airplane mode. If toggle is currently turned on, tap on it to switch it off. If not, tap the toggle to turn it on.
  3. While the Airplane mode is enabled, perform a soft reset on your device. 
  4. Wait for your phone to go back online after the reset then access Settings > Airplane mode. Tap the switch to disable the feature. 

Allow your phone to re-establish wireless network connections and then try placing a test call to find out if it’s working already. If it still doesn’t, then you need to try other means to eliminate other factors.

ALSO READ: How to fix iPhone X iOS 13 No service error, cannot send/receive text messages


Second solution: Update carrier settings to fix your iPhone that cannot make phone calls in iOS 13. 

One of the many reasons why your iPhone cannot make phone calls following an iOS update is due to some outdated carrier settings. Carriers or network service providers also release their own updates to enhance and optimize network services. With that said, it is important and recommended to keep carrier settings up to date. Otherwise, some network inconsistencies may transpire. Most carrier updates are automatically implemented or installed automatically on a device while others require manual installation. To view and check if there’s any available carrier update for your iPhone XS Max, simply follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone XS to a Wi-Fi network, if necessary. 
  2. Access Settings from the Home Screen. 
  3. Tap on General
  4. Tap About

If there’s an available update from your carrier, you’ll see the Update option. However, if the carrier update is mandatory, you’ll see the OK option instead of Update. Just follow the on-screen instructions to finish the update. 


Third solution: Reboot your iPhone XS Max.

To eliminate minor bugs that affect your phone’s calling functions, performing a soft reset or restarting the phone would be necessary. This will also refresh your apps and system functions, speeding up the implementation of recent system changes on your device. If you haven’t already, follow these steps to soft reset your iPhone XS Max: 

  1. Press and hold the Power/Side button and either of the Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds. 
  2. Release both buttons once you see the Slide to Power off message on your screen.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right to turn off your phone. 
  4. Wait for at least 30 seconds then press and hold the Power/Side button again until the Apple logo appears. 

Another way to reboot your phone is through a force restart. This works the same as a soft reset and is usually carried out to forcibly end all erratic apps and system services that caused your device to stop working and get stuck from an update. Just refer to these steps if needed:

  1. Press and release the Volume Up button quickly.
  2. Press and release the Volume Down button quickly.
  3. Lastly, press and hold the Power/Side button until the Apple logo appears.

Wait for your iPhone to complete the reboot process and then perform a test call to see if it is already working this time.

ALSO READ: How to fix your iPhone 8 that cannot make or receive calls in iOS 13, phone bug


Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS Max. 

The fact that users configure their devices based on their own preferences makes it possible for some updates not work properly on some devices due to settings conflicts. Your phone’s network settings might have been overridden by the recent update and that eventually resulted in some errors. Incorrect or invalid network settings could directly affect your phone’s calling functions and thus could be the reason why you cannot make phone calls on your iPhone XS Max. Since it is hard to determine which settings have been altered by the update, resetting the phone’s network settings is recommended. This will delete all customized network settings and revert them to the default values and options. All saved Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth connections and other relevant information will also be removed, so better take note of your Wi-Fi passwords beforehand. You will need to re-enter them later to reconnect to Wi-Fi and get back online. Once you’re all set, just follow these steps to reset network settings on your iPhone:

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen. 
  2. Scroll down to and select General
  3. Tap Reset then select Reset network settings option.
  4. Enter your device passcode if prompted. 
  5. Tap Reset network settings again to confirm. 

Your iPhone should restart automatically after the network settings reset is complete. Allow your phone to load up all the default network settings then re-enable necessary features including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Once everything is set, try to place a test call to see if the issue has been resolved. 


Fifth solution: Remove then re-insert your SIM card. 

This is the simplest but most neglected troubleshooting method by most users when dealing with device issues affecting cellular services. The SIM card is one of the key components that allows your device to make and receive phone calls, unless you’re using Wi-Fi to process calls online. If the SIM card is corrupted, dislodged from the tray, or worst, totally damaged, then that’s the main reason why your iPhone XS Max cannot make phone calls in iOS 13. Should this be just a random error with the SIM card system, then removing and re-inserting the card on your phone will likely fix it. Doing so will also give your phone a quick hardware (SIM) calibration and refresh its connection. Just follow these steps to ensure that you’re doing it the right way:

  1. Turn off your iPhone completely.
  2. Get the SIM ejector tool then insert it into the small hole on the SIM tray. The SIM tray is found on the side of your iPhone.
  3. Gently push the ejector tool until the tray pops out.
  4. Remove the SIM card from the tray and inspect it for any signs of damage like liquid traces and scratches. If there’s none, place the SIM card back into the tray in the same position and orientation before it was removed.
  5. Push the SIM tray back into the phone until it’s locked.

After securing the SIM tray in place, turn the phone on and see if that solves the problem on your iPhone XS Max that cannot make phone calls.

ALSO READ: How to fix iPhone XS Max iOS 13 cellular data that’s not working


Still cannot make phone calls in iOS 13?

If all the given procedures did not fix the problem, then there might be some more complex system errors that ruined your phone’s outgoing call functions. Major system bugs usually require more advanced solutions. Should you wish to troubleshoot further, then you may opt-in for a factory reset, recovery mode restore or DFU mode restore, if needed. These procedures offer a higher chance of resolving complex system problems including those inflicted by major iOS bugs. But the main downside is that all of them result in permanent data loss as they erase everything from your iPhone system including all saved data on the internal memory. If you wish to continue, be sure to create backups via iTunes or iCloud beforehand. 

A factory reset can be done straight through your iPhone settings while iOS restore through recovery mode or DFU mode requires the use of iTunes on a computer. 

For more advanced network problem troubleshooting, you can seek help from your network service provider/carrier. Also care to check your account status and services and make sure they’re all good. 

Reporting the problem to Apple Support is also recommended given that it occurs from an update. This could be a widespread problem in iOS 13 that requires a dedicated fix patch.

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