How to Stop iPhone Calls Ringing a Mac

Oct 17, 2014 - 55 Comments

Stop a Mac ringing from iPhone calls

“Why are my iPhone calls ringing on on my Mac?” Perhaps you have asked yourself this question after noticing that since updating your Mac to a modern version of MacOS or Mac (including MacOS Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, OS X El Capitan, Yosemite), that when your iPhone gets an incoming phone call, so does your Mac. In fact, all of your Macs running the latest Mac 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.

How to Disable iPhone Calling in Mac OS X

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 Mac 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 in FaceTime, uncheck the box for “Calls from iPhone” or “iPhone Cellular Calls” depending on your MacOS version
  4. Disable iPhone cellular calls from ringing on the Mac

  5. Close Preferences and quit FaceTime to no longer get iPhone calls on the Mac

This will prevent the Mac from ringing when an iPhone gets a phone call, 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 will persist.

For many Mac users this feature is very useful and quite nice to have, but for some it may be best used on a limited basis. For example, maintaining the feature on your primary iPhone and primary Mac, but disabling it on other devices, so that an entire office or house of Macs does not start ringing with an inbound phone call. Of course that situation may only apply to users with a lot of different computers, but there are certainly many Mac users who would fit into that category.

Many users have noticed that after they’ve updated their Mac to the latest version of Mac 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, including stopping iPad from ringing when iPhone gets a phone call too.

Like all other settings, you can always change this back to the default if you want to receive phone calls on the Mac again. It’s all a matter of personal preference.


Related articles:

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


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  1. Jim Anderson says:

    Realistically-aiala=alally ??

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ;)

  4. 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

  5. ori says:

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

  6. 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.

  7. Stein says:

    Thank you!!!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. Simon says:

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

  13. drexel says:

    Holy jesus…THANK YOU.

  14. SOS says:

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

  15. Jim says:

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

  16. josqi says:

    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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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. “)

  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. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. Lianna Mills says:

    Thanks! Worked perfectly.

  23. Dawn says:

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

  24. Will says:

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

  25. 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?

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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?

  29. 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.

  30. 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

  31. EPC Newport says:

    Ah brilliant thanks for the information

  32. 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…

  33. 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.

  34. kerlu says:

    Is the SMS feature disabled too ?

  35. 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!

  36. 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!!! :)

  37. Christian says:

    Nice to know how to disable… thank you.

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