How to Stop iPhone Calls Ringing a Mac in OS X Yosemite

Oct 17, 2014 - 53 Comments

Stop a Mac ringing from iPhone calls

Perhaps you have noticed that since updating your Mac to OS X Yosemite, when your iPhone gets an incoming phone call, so does your Mac. In fact, all of your Macs running the latest OS X and using the same Apple ID will get a phone call, creating a whole chorus of ringing, just from a single iPhone call. While many users will enjoy this feature, which lets you both make and receive phone calls from an iPhone through the Mac by using the computers microphone and speakers, it can also be a nuisance if you’d rather just use your iPhone as a phone. Fortunately, this setting is easily to adjust to suit your preferences.


Do note that by stopping the Mac from ringing with an iPhone phone call, you’ll also prevent the Mac from being able to make outbound calls using the iPhone. There’s not much of a way to get around that, aside from adjusting the notification preferences for FaceTime, which we’re not going to cover specifically here.

Disable iPhone Calling in OS X Yosemite

To disable calls to your iPhone from ringing on your Mac, you need to visit the FaceTime preferences. That may sound a little strange at first, but recall that FaceTime in OS X also has VOIP voice calling ability, making it a reasonable location for the setting.

  1. Open the “FaceTime” application on the Mac
  2. Pull down the FaceTime menu and choose “Preferences”
  3. Under the primary Settings tab, uncheck the box for “iPhone Cellular Calls”
  4. Disable iPhone cellular calls from ringing on the Mac

  5. Close Preferences and quit FaceTime

This will prevent the Mac from ringing and any notifications from coming to the Mac that the iPhone has a phone call. It will not impact other FaceTime features and the ability to make FaceTime audio or video calls.

Realistically-aiala=alally, this feature is very useful and quite nice to have, but it’s best used on a limited basis. For example, maintaining the feature on your primary iPhone and primary Mac, but disabling it on other devices.

Many users have noticed that after they’ve updated their Mac to the latest version of OS X, and their iPad and other iDevices to the latest versions of iOS, suddenly they have an entire symphony of ringing when just their iPhone gets a call. If you’re annoyed by this on your other devices, you can also stop other iOS devices from ringing too when the iPhone gets a call.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

53 Comments

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  1. Christian says:

    Nice to know how to disable… thank you.

  2. Prabhjeet Singh says:

    That’s for a particular device. If you want to stop it on all device then you have to disable it through mobile.
    Settings -> FaceTime -> iPhone Mobile Calls
    off it and enjoy :)

    • Beth says:

      THANK YOU!!! My calls and text messages started coming through my computer and I couldn’t figure out HOW to make it stop. It’s been driving me nuts! I never would have thought it would be a Facetime setting. THANK YOU!!! :)

  3. Graeme says:

    Great tip and I have already experienced this problem firsthand – my iMac also keeps ringing for a couple of rings, even though I’ve already picked up the call on my iPhone, so this tip is very helpful indeed. Thanks!

  4. kerlu says:

    Is the SMS feature disabled too ?

  5. Paulo Abreu says:

    Is possible just to mute the call’s?

    because what annoys me is the out of sync music :x but is nice to pick the call on the mac..

    • Arnaud Nelissen says:

      Yep, just press one of the volumes keys on your keyboard, as you would do on your iPhone !

      • Paulo Abreu says:

        but then I have to do it evry single time I recive a call..

        i was nice to recive the notification in all, but only ring in one device!!

        • AJ says:

          This is exactly what I want to know. I want to have the option of using the computer for calls, but it’s VERY disturbing to receive a noisy call on my computer (while phone is already muted), especially while in a business meeting or a Skype call.

  6. forkboy1965 says:

    I still remember the first time my iPhone and iPad rang at the same time. I didn’t realize the iOS 8 update on my iPad would automatically turn on this feature.

    I thought I was losing my mind…

  7. EPC Newport says:

    Ah brilliant thanks for the information

  8. The Jimmy James says:

    I have no idea why you would want to disable this.

    • Rdaniell says:

      I have no idea why you would want it, especially when the call on the mac rings after I have put down the phone and ended the call. Plus it ties you to the mac whereas the phone you can take around the house/office.

    • dejanekerr says:

      I teach webinars on my Macbook Pro and the ringing during a webinar is VERY disruptive to myself and all my students. I am happy to find this solution. I had simply been turning my phone to “Do Not Disturb” during my webinars until I could look up a real solution.

    • Jen says:

      It’s mostly been okay / slightly annoying for me… but when I’m interviewing someone by phone and recording it to my Mac, and I take their call only for my mac to ring a few seconds later and completely distract me from setting up the recording software/greeting the interviewee like a normal undistracted human…

      Yep, I’m really happy for this tip. :D

  9. Claus says:

    Any way to disable the sound when ringing on my Macbook? I like the feature of the phone ringing and being able to answer it but I would rather just see a pop-up than having my Macbook ring loudly.

  10. Brendon says:

    Yes I want to know this too. I just want the audible ring to cease (not to disable the function entirely) on my mac. There must be a way of stopping the ringing but just having the visual notification of incoming call?

  11. Another annoyed user says:

    I was expecting the above to be the answer, but found that setting was already turned off. There were still notifications for the phone. This ability is much more bug than feature.
    I’m trying disabling some more things on the phone, but it sure seems I should be able to control what my Mac does rather that it being controlled by the phone or iCloud. The removal, or hiding of this control is troubling.

    • Aria says:

      AGREED. I have tried turning this feature off in tree different places with no luck: the Facetime settings as explained in this article, the notifications settings on the Mac and on my iPhone. Tried now to reboot my phone too see if that does it, but with no luck. Will have too wait until tomorrow before I can reboot the Mac, I am at work after all.
      This is incredibly annoying.

  12. Carl says:

    One solution…If you are receiving calls from specific persons, go to Address Book in Yosemite and change the notification sound for each person to “none.” I think your iPhone will still ring as before, but your Mac will only receive a notification (sans sound). It worked for me.

  13. Alan says:

    I’ve found that even when my phone stops ringing the alert and ringing persists on my mac. Any way to limit how long the alert sound plays for when a call comes in?

  14. Will says:

    Thank you! This was an extremely annoying feature they added.

  15. Dawn says:

    I can’t even find the FaceTime Preferences. I have no drop down menu? Where do I look?

  16. Lianna Mills says:

    Thanks! Worked perfectly.

  17. Virginia says:

    Thank you so much – having my computer start ringing when i am trying to ignore a call is possibly the most annoying thing I’ve ever dealt with!

  18. Aimee T says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! While it seemed a cool feature at first with my new Christmas gift Mac, it has quickly become annoying.

  19. Tavbrigina says:

    I can’t find the facetime preferences. There is no menu when I open the facetime application on my mac.

    • Aria says:

      Search it up on Spotlight, upper right hand corner. Hope this works for you. It didn’t work for me at all.

  20. Dan says:

    Thank you very much for this.

    Now, please repeat after me: “I will not say ‘impacted’ when I mean ‘affected'”.

    (“It will not impact other FaceTime features and the ability to make FaceTime audio or video calls. “)

  21. James says:

    Just another stupid assumption the techno-weenie geeks at Apple make that everyone wants these idiotic features. Why isn’t the default in the ‘off’ mode, so that you have to turn it on if you want it, instead of wasting their customers’ time trying to find out how to turn the damned thing off? Very tempted after being with Apple since ’94 to just dump them completely. They’re not the only kids on the block to play with after all.

  22. josqi says:

    OFF!
    damn unstable!
    already pick up on phone. but still ringing.
    halfway talking on the phone and the call cut off as if no one picking up! damn! i was receiving call from company interview!
    WTF

  23. Jim says:

    This article was simple and easy to execute. Very well written.

  24. SOS says:

    Absolutely stupid, IMHO. Apple fail on this one (and a bunch of other non-innovations).

  25. drexel says:

    Holy jesus…THANK YOU.

  26. Simon says:

    Thank you! Upgrading to El Capitan conveniently re-enabled this ‘feature’.

  27. Whealie says:

    This does not work any more. I had it unticked and it remains unticked but in 10.10.5 it rings on the mac anyway.

  28. Molly says:

    Thank you all for the info on how to disable this app. iMessage is the most annoying thing that came with my upgrade. I have the sound turned off but the icon still appears when I get a call. Any way to make that stop happening?

  29. Laura says:

    When I go into Preferences there IS NO button to disable the calls for my computer. I’ve unchecked the phone box and put it for email only, the phone is still ringing on my computer.

  30. sharon says:

    These are not the right answers.

    Pick up your iPhone. Select settings. Select iPhone (not facetime), deselect (turn off) “Calls on other devices”.

    Apple fail on this feature. Jobs is gone and still no culture of user testing.

  31. Stein says:

    Thank you!!!

  32. Shane says:

    Pisses me off when they assume we are all gagging for these new features.

    Not all of us want to be interruped when working especially by a video call.

  33. ori says:

    thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Joe Momma says:

    One of the stupidest things that was “on” by default. Had to spend time to find this, so thank you. No wonder Apple stock is going SOUTH. Little sh…t like that drives me nuts

  35. Manie says:

    Thanks a ton for the Tip !!!

    I was trying to figure out how to stop incoming calls ringing through my KRK Speakers which is always connected with Mac. Now I can do my production with peace of mind ;)

  36. Max Glitz says:

    I just spent 15 minutes trying to find my iPhone around my computer to answer it. After an outside call came in and I couldn’t find my phone to answer it, I tried calling my iPhone with the house’s hardline. Drove me nuts hearing it ringing and not being able to find it. Then realized my MAC was ringing with the same tone as my phone does. I’m too annoyed right now to want to embrace this new feature. More and more Apple springs changes on us without proper notification as if we ALL have time to research everything every day. My phone was no where near the computer. I just turned off the feature with Facetime. Sometimes I just WANT to escape my phone. I’ve been on Macs since the late 80s, so I’m no novice. Just worn out by the constant change for changes sake.

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