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Will an iPhone Ring If Turned Off?

As an iPhone user, I was recently plagued with a burning question: will my iPhone ring if it’s turned off? After hours of research, testing, and scouring through forums, I have come to understand the answer to this question.

Typically, an iPhone won’t ring if its owner turned it off. Instead, it’ll go straight to voicemail. Yet, in some cases, you’ll hear one ring before that happens, which might be confusing.

To understand how that works, stick around to find out more and learn how to tell if someone’s phone is off.

Key Takeaways
An iPhone won’t ring if turned off; calls go straight to voicemail
There are instances when you’ll hear one ring before going to voicemail, but it’s not always the case
Clipped ringing happens when calling a phone that has gone off/dead
The Home Location Register (HLR) is the mobile network’s database containing permanent subscriber information
Sometimes, a few cellular providers might configure all calls to ring regardless of whether the phone is on or off
Ways to tell if someone’s iPhone is turned off include using iMessage or SMS, checking their social media activity, calling from a different number, and *67 masking your phone number
Going straight to voicemail can also mean your number is blocked, there’s poor network service, the phone is on Do Not Disturb or airplane mode, or the mobile number is no longer active

Will an iPhone Ring If Turned Off?

Naturally, you’ll know the call is connecting when you hear a ringtone on your phone. 

Other times, you’ll get the familiar recordings of circuits being busy and numbers being out of coverage. 

However, in most cases, if you call a person while their iPhone is turned off, the call won’t ring and you’ll go straight to voicemail.

Less Common Scenario

There are some instances when you’ll hear a ring once before going to voicemail. You’ll assume that if you hear a ring, then the phone is ringing at the other end of the line, too.

Well, that’s not always the case.

How Is This Possible?

Typically, this clipped ringing happens when you’re trying to call a phone that has gone off/dead. Sometimes you’ll get a half-ring, sometimes you won’t. 

It depends on how long the phone has been dead when you call. 

If a phone is turned off, there will be a window of time when the phone will still be active on the Home Location Register (HLR). This is the mobile network’s database containing permanent subscriber information and some location data.  

The mobile phone periodically sends location updates to the network so that the network can find you and route your calls. Sometimes, the last update before the phone dies hasn’t yet expired when you call. 

This is why you can hear a ring, only to be cut off to voicemail.

Least Common Scenario

In other cases, a few cellular providers might configure all calls to ring, regardless if their phone is on or off. 

From the caller’s end, you’ll hear the familiar ring-back tone. However, the receiver won’t hear anything at all from their location.

How to Tell If Someone Else’s iPhone Is Turned Off

You can explore these ways to detect if someone’s phone is switched off when your call won’t get through.

Use iMessage

If you’re also an iPhone user, this is a fairly simple trick.

Send the person an iMessage, with a heart emoji for a nice little touch, and wait for the delivery receipt. 

If you see the delivery confirmation beneath the message, then there’s a chance you’re getting ignored. 

The phone needs to be turned on so that an iMessage can be successfully delivered. 

However, if they’re signed in with their other Apple devices, iMessage will still show the Delivered status.

Send an SMS

SMS messaging is another quick way to tell if someone’s phone might have been turned off. 

Send a regular text message and wait for the delivery status. 

If your SMS doesn’t get through, your message will be marked Message Not Delivered. A red badge will also appear on the Messages app icon on your screen. 

This could mean that the person’s phone is off. 

Spy on Their Social Media Activity

This method will take up some sleuthing

Comb through the person’s social media accounts for signs of activity during the time you can’t get to them on the phone. 

If they haven’t been active during those times, chances are their phone is off.

Call From A Different Mobile Number

This is a surefire way to tell whether someone’s phone is off or they’re flat-out ignoring you. 

Try to ring them using your phone. If you’re sent to voicemail, call the person again using a different phone. 

If you hear a ring and the call goes through, need we say more?

*67 Your Number

If your call won’t get through, it’s either their phone is off or they’ve blocked you.

To rule out that you’re not on a person’s list of blocked numbers, call them a few times to confirm that you’re still forwarded to voicemail.

Now, place another call, but type in *67 before their phone number. 

If the phone rings, or better yet, the receiver picks up using this masked number, then it’s clear as day you’ve been blocked.

What It Means When Someone’s iPhone Goes Straight to Voicemail

Here are the reasons someone’s iPhone diverts to voicemail.

  • The phone is turned off.
  • Your number is blocked.
  • There’s poor or no network service at the receiver’s end.
  • The phone is set to Do Not Disturb mode.
  • The phone is in airplane mode.
  • The mobile number is no longer active.

Final Thoughts

Read more: Why does my phone keep buffering?

When you call an iPhone that’s been turned off, the phone won’t ring and you’ll be forwarded to voicemail almost all the time.

However, going straight to voicemail when calling an iPhone could mean other scenarios than the phone being off. 

Luckily, there are ways to tell whether an iPhone is turned off. You can try them yourself if faced with the dilemma of calling someone who won’t pick up their phone.

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