How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that's suddenly unable to make phone calls, outgoing calls not working [Troubleshooting Guide]

Outgoing call problems on an iPhone are usually tied to account problems like unsettled bills or suspected fraudulent activities on the account. Other possible causing factors aside from account-related issues would include but not limited to network problems, invalid settings, bad updates, and hardware damage.

Any of these factors must therefore be regarded among the things to check when dealing with the same issue in which your new iPhone XS isn’t able to make phone calls. Read on for more detailed solutions.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you are looking for a solution to a different issue, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common problems reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

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How to troubleshoot iPhone XS that can’t make outgoing calls

Before troubleshooting, check your account status and make sure your account is in good standing and your outgoing services are all active. If the problem is attributed to a temporarily disabled account, all you have to do to restore outgoing services is to settle whatever problems you have on your account with your service provider. If your account is in good standing and all your outgoing services are active but for some reasons you still cannot make phone calls on your iPhone XS, try any of these given solutions.

First solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and then off again.

Random network problems that may be affecting the phone’s outgoing call functions are potentially remedied by toggling the Airplane mode feature on and off. It’s another way of restart wireless radios on the phone. It’s also an old trick used to deal with various types of network-related issues in early and later iOS devices. Here’s how it works:

  1. Navigate to Settings-> Airplane mode menu.
  2. Then toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn it ON (Green). Doing so will disable wireless features of your phone including Wi-Fi, Cellular Data, and Bluetooth connections.
  3. After about 30 seconds, toggle switch again to turn Airplane Mode OFF (Gray). Wireless features should then be re-enabled.

Allow your device to re-establish network connection and once the network signal is stable, try making a test phone call to see if it’s already working.

Second solution: Reboot your iPhone XS.

To rule out minor software errors from errant applications or system bugs that resulted to outgoing call failures, perform a soft reset or reboot your iPhone XS with these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone boots up.

A soft reset also dumps junk files that are stored among other cached files from the phone’s internal memory that might have caused the Phone app to act up and fail.

Third solution: Update software or carrier settings on your iPhone XS.

Updates also play a key role in resolving software-related issues on your phone. Software updates, app updates, or carrier settings updates generally offer fix patches to get rid of widespread iPhone issues. To check for new iOS updates that can be installed wirelessly or over-the-air (OTA), follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Software Update.

Aside from iOS updates, installing carrier settings update on your phone can also help rectify network-related errors that may be preventing your device from making phone calls. Carrier settings updates are comprised of small update files that are programmed to enhance network functions and clears out any errors causing network troubles. To check for pending carrier settings update, simply follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap About.
  4. Wait for a few seconds for the update notification shows up on the screen. You should see an option to update your carrier settings, if an update is available.

Reboot your iPhone XS after updating iOS or installing carrier settings update. Doing so will ensure all new changes are properly implement and likewise to prevent any apps from going rogue.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS.

Performing a network settings reset can also help fix network-related issues concerning Wi-Fi, Cellular Data, or Bluetooth connections. This will help clear out network settings errors on the phone. Saved Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth connections are deleted in the process, thus you can set them up as new after the reset. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset Network Settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode, when asked to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

The network setting reset then instigates. You will know when it’s done if your iPhone reboots by itself. As soon as it boots up, set up and reconnect to your Wi-Fi or Cellular data network. Then retry placing a phone call to see if the problem is gone. Otherwise, consider the next possible solution.

Fifth solution: Remove and reinstall your SIM card.

SIM-card related issues that might have caused calling functions to fail on your iPhone can easily be cleared out and remedied by removing and reinstalling the SIM card. Doing so likewise allows you to check your SIM card for any visible indications of physical or liquid damage. So here’s how to remove and reinstall SIM card on your iPhone XS:

  1. Turn off your device completely to prevent causing any sort of damage to the SIM card or device itself.
  2. While the phone is turned off, insert the SIM ejector tool into the small hole on the SIM tray.
  3. Gently push the tool to eject the tray.
  4. Then pull the tray out and remove the SIM card from the slot.
  5. Examine the card for any signs of physical or liquid damage.
  6. If everything looks good, place the SIM card back into the card slot. Make sure it’s properly seated and positioned in the same manner before you removed it. Secure the SIM card in place and then push the SIM card tray back into the phone. Once the tray is locked in place, you may turn the phone back on.

If you see any signs of damage on your SIM card, contact your carrier for further suggestions. You may need to have your SIM card replaced with a new one. Be sure to get a new SIM card replacement from your carrier alone, as it still needs to be provisioned with the same services you subscribed on your account.

Seek more help

If you still cannot make phone calls on your iPhone XS after exhausting all prior solutions, then you may resort to resetting and restoring factory settings. To prevent losing critical data in the process, be sure to create backups beforehand. You can reset and restore your iPhone XS through settings or using iTunes on a computer.

Alternatively, you may call your network service provider to escalate the problem for further assistance and suggestions. Also ask your network provider to check their system for temporary outages that may be affecting outgoing services in your location. Should there be any ongoing outages, all you have to do is to wait until it’s over. Affected services should resume and work properly by then.

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