What to do if you cannot receive phone calls on your Apple iPhone XS [Troubleshooting Guide]

New smartphones offer a lot of new features but calling and texting remains among the core functions. Thus if all of a sudden you won’t be able to make or receive phone calls and text messages, you’ve got some problems to resolved.

Highlighted in this post are simple solutions and workarounds to deal with a relevant issue on the new iPhone XS that cannot receive phone calls. It could be due to some network issues or software problems on the phone. To figure out both the underlying cause and ultimate solutions, scroll down and read on.

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 receive phone calls?

Before performing any of the following workarounds, check and ensure that your iPhone XS is getting strong and stable network signal. Having poor or weak network signal on your device is usually one of the underlying causes of calling and texting problems. In that case, you will need to deal with signal issues first, else troubleshoot software problems that may have caused incoming calls to fail on your iPhone XS.

First workaround: Soft reset or Force Restart your iPhone XS.

If you were able to make and receive phone calls on your new iPhone until this time, then it could be just a random glitch affecting the Phone application. A simple solution to this would be a soft reset. So here’s what you should try doing then:

  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 button or Side button again until the Apple logo appears.

Try to make a test call as soon as your phone boots up and see if the problem is solved. If you still cannot place a call, do a force restart on your iPhone XS instead. This will force the phone app or any other corrupted background apps to quit and the iOS to shutdown then reboot. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press the quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Finally, press and hold the Power button on the side of the phone until the phone reboots.

Place a test call again and see if it’s working now. If it’s still not, then move and try other possible solutions.

Second workaround: Toggle Airplane Mode on and off.

This simple trick has been known to deal with various types of wireless connectivity issues on different iPhone variants. It works by giving a quick restart to the phone’s wireless network functions.

  1. To do this, go to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu, then tap the switch to enable the feature. With Airplane mode enabled, restart or soft reset your iPhone.
  2. As soon as it’s finished rebooting, head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode, then toggle the switch to turn Airplane mode off again.

When Airplane mode is enabled, network functions on your iPhone are automatically disabled. And disabling Airplane mode re-enables them. So it’s like refreshing the phone’s network functions. Surprisingly, it yields to a positive outcome.

Third workaround: Turn Do Not Disturb (DND) and Call Forwarding features off.

You may have forgotten that you previously set your iPhone to use Bedtime Mode so as not to be disturbed by any phone calls during the night. Enabling this DND option will silence calls and notifications while your device is locked. To make sure this isn’t the reason why you’re not receiving any incoming call or perhaps you did but haven’t heard your phone sound call alerts, check and turn this option off. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Do Not Disturb.
  3. Then toggle the Do Not Disturb switch to turn the feature off.

Doing so will likewise disable other DND options you previously enabled on your phone.

Another feature that you may have to consider turning off to ensure that all your calls are routed to your device and number in use is Call Forwarding. With this featured enabled on your phone, all your calls will be routed to the number specified in the call forwarding section. Hence, you won’t be receiving any phone calls on your iPhone. To check and change this setting, refer to these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll down to and then tap Phone. Doing so will launch the Phone app settings and options.
  3. Scroll to and select Call Forwarding.
  4. If it’s enabled, tap the Call Forwarding switch to turn the feature off.

Reboot your iPhone after making these settings changes and then place a test call to your own number and see if you’re now able to receive the call.

Fourth workaround: Install new updates for iOS and carrier settings.

Some network problems can also be remedied by installing new carrier settings update on the phone. These updates are pushed by your carrier to maintain and enhance network-related functions of the phone.

  • To check for new carrier settings update on your iPhone XS, go to Settings-> General-> About menu.

Wait for a few seconds until a new screen to pop up. If a new carrier settings update is available, you should see this screen prompting the instructions to download and install it on your device. Just follow the given instructions to proceed. If you don’t see any screen popping up from the About section, then that denotes that your carrier settings are up-to-date.

At this point, you can proceed and check for new iOS update to get. These are other separate updates pushed by Apple for selected iOS devices to add new features and enhanced functionalities as well as fix patches to random bugs that caused different software issues on certain iOS devices.

  • To check for new iOS update via over-the-air, go to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu.

If an update is available, you will see an update notification on the following screen. Read and review the update details and system requirements. If you wish to continue installing the new update, back up your important data for safekeeping and then follow the onscreen instruction to Download and Install the update wirelessly.

Your iPhone must be connected to a stable Wi-Fi network, has ample of storage space and battery life to prevent having any possible interruptions while updating. Interrupted or incomplete updates usually lead to data corruption that would cause the phone to act up.

Fifth workaround: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS.

To rule out network settings errors from the underlying cause, performing a network settings reset on the iPhone XS can help. You may still not be able to make a phone call due to some invalid settings or incorrect network configurations on the phone. To eliminate these errors, try reverting the network settings back to the default or original configuration. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset network settings from the given options.
  5. When asked, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

Your iPhone will restart by itself when the reset is finished. By then you can start enabling network features and options. Then try making a test call to see if it works.

Other options

Removing and reinstalling the SIM card can also help. Some calling problems are attributed to a bad SIM card. To rule this out, try removing and reinstalling the SIM card on your iPhone XS. To do so, turn off your device. When it’s completely turned off, insert the SIM eject tool to the tiny hole provided on the SIM card tray. Gently push it in until the tray pops out. Remove the SIM card from the tray and then place it back in the same position before you removed it. Make sure the SIM card tray is properly seated. Then push the card tray back into the phone. Lock and secure the tray then turn your iPhone back on. Wait until your iPhone re-establish network signal and connects to your cellular network. When it’s connected, try to place a test call and see if the problem is gone.

If you still cannot make a phone call to your iPhone XS, contact your network service provider/carrier to escalate the problem for further assistance and other recommendations. You can also ask them to check the current network status from their end to ensure that there isn’t any ongoing outage that may be affecting network services in your place.

For more advanced troubleshooting and workarounds, you may contact Apple Support as well.

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