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8 ways to fix a call failed message on your iPhone


  • A call failed message could be a problem with your cellular provider or your iPhone.
  • You should toggle Airplane mode, restart your phone, and reset your SIM card.
  • You can also reset your iPhone’s network settings, but that will erase passwords.

There was a time when it was relatively common for calls to fail on your iPhone, but the “Call Failed” message is a somewhat more rare sight these days. Even so, calls still fail, and it isn’t always obvious why.

The fault can lie with your cellular network or the iPhone itself. If you’re trying unsuccessfully to place a call, here are the most common ways to fix a call failed message if, in fact, the problem lies with your iPhone.

Try your call again

Of course, the first thing you should do is to try making the call again. Often, a call will fail thanks to an intermittent network glitch, and the call will work just fine a minute later. Before you do anything else, tap the dial button to redial your last number.

Toggle Airplane mode

One of the most common reasons a call fails is because of a glitch with your cellular connection. You can generally fix this by toggling it off and then back on again. To do this, enable Airplane Mode.

1. Swipe down from the top right of the screen to see the Control Center.

2. Tap the Airplane mode icon at the top left, and then wait about 30 seconds.

3. Tap the Airplane mode icon again to re-enable your cellular network.

Control Center with the airplane mode toggle highlighted by a hot pink arrow.

Try resetting your cellular connection by turning Airplane mode on and off again.

Dave Johnson/Insider



After it reconnects, try your call again.

Try moving your location

It’s possible that you’re in a location that has poor service — good enough that your phone thinks it has cellular service, and you’ll see a bar or two of signal strength at the top of your phone — but bad enough that it can’t actually complete a connection. If you’re indoors, go outside, or otherwise try to change your location and dial again.

Make sure the number isn’t blocked

Make sure that the number you’re calling isn’t blocked. If it is, you will need to unblock it in order to make the call from this phone.

Restart your iPhone

Sometimes, the problem is related to a software problem on your iPhone, but toggling Airplane mode didn’t do the trick. 

In a situation like this, try turning your iPhone off, wait a minute, and then turn it back on again. Restarting the phone can flush out any misbehaving software or corrupted data and restore it to full operation. As a reminder, here is how to restart any iPhone.

iPhone with the shutdown options visible on the display.

Restart your iPhone to see if that solves your cellular connection problem.

Dave Johnson/Insider



Reset your SIM card

It’s possible that there’s a problem with the way your iPhone’s SIM card is seated in its tray, and the phone can have trouble reading all the contacts on the card. 

As long as you are careful, it’s not hard to remove the SIM card from your iPhone — pop it out, gently dust it off, and then place it back on its tray and re-insert it in your iPhone.

Reset your network settings

If you’ve tried everything else and you can’t complete any phone calls due to the Call Failed error, you might need to reset your iPhone’s network settings

Save this as a last resort, because this troubleshooting step will erase all your network settings, including saved Wi-Fi network passwords and paired Bluetooth devices, so in some ways it’ll be like you have a new iPhone again. 

1. Start the Settings app and tap General.

2. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.

3. Tap Reset.

4. In the pop-up menu, tap Reset Network Settings and then confirm this is what you want to do.

iPhone reset options with the Reset Network Settings option highlighted by a hot pink box and arrow.

As a last resort, you can reset your network connections, but that entails losing all your Wi-Fi passwords and paired Bluetooth devices.

Dave Johnson/Insider



Contact your carrier

You might need to contact your service provider for assistance; this can typically be done by calling 611 or *611 on your iPhone. In the event that you are unable to call them using your iPhone, you might need to visit the provider’s store.



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