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Why iPhone Says “Call Failed” & How to Fix It

Call Failed on iPhone explained

You may occasionally find that your iPhone displays a message saying “Call Failed”, which is usually an indicator that there was a problem with your iPhone being able to establish a phone call. You can get the “Call Failed” iPhone error message on both inbound and outbound calls, and when you’re actively on a phone call, as well as making phone calls, and receiving phone calls.

Several factors can contribute to the problem with phone calls failing on iPhone, and the iPhone dropping calls as a result, as we’ll review. Fortunately, resolving call failures is usually an easy task, and we’ll cover solutions to the call failure problem as well.

Reasons iPhone May Show “Call Failed” Error Message

You may find that any of the following factors are contributing to the call failure issue:

Network Issues

If you have an unstable, weak, or flaky cellular signal, you may see the a “Call Failed” message.

Solution to Network Issues Causing “Call Failure”: Make sure that you have at least a moderately strong cellular signal before making/receiving phone calls, or relocate to an area or region with better cellular reception.

You can also try toggling AirPlane Mode on and off again through Settings > AirPlane Mode > ON, waiting a minute or two, then toggling it OFF again.

Network Outages

Sometimes, the cellular network itself can experience outages, whether due to accident, maintenance, or some other failure. You may see also see a message that says “No Service”, ““SOS Only”, or “Searching”, which indicates there is an issue connecting to the cellular network.

Solution to Network Outages Causing “Call Failure”: Contact your cellular provider for information on a longterm outage. Otherwise, wait for the cellular network issue to resolve itself, and try again after some time has passed.

iOS Software Issues

Sometimes, a software glitch, or even a software bug, can lead to iPhone call failures happening.

Fix for iOS Software Problems Causing “Call Failure”: The first thing you should do is restart your iPhone, then try making the phone call again. You can restart any modern iPhone from iPhone X or newer by pressing Volume Up, Volume Down, then pressing and holding Power/Lock until you see the  Apple logo appear on the screen.

You can also toggle AirPlane Mode on, wait a few minutes, then turn it off again.

You should also install any available system software updates to the iPhone. You can update iOS through Settings app > General > Software Update.

SIM Card Issues

Various problems with an iPhone SIM card can lead to calls dropping and calls failing. If the iPhone SIM card is not inserted properly, or is not seated properly in the tray, you may see “Call Failed” problems. Additionally, if there is damage to the iPhone SIM card, then you may experience “Call Failed” errors and calls dropping.

Fix for SIM Card “Call Failure” Issues: First, make sure that your iPhone SIM card is not damaged. Next, make sure the SIM card is inserted properly.

Wi-Fi Calling Failures

If you have Wi-Fi Calling enabled as a feature on your iPhone, and most people do, then you may experience a dropped call or “Call Failure” message if the wi-fi network is experiencing issues.

Solutions for Wi-Fi Calling Issues Causing “Call Failure”: Make sure the wi-fi network connection is working as expected, and that the iPhone has a decent wi-fi signal

Billing / Account Issues

If you have a billing or account issue with your iPhone cellular provider, like an unpaid past due bill, you may experience call failure problems and the iPhone may fail to make calls. Account issues can impact your ability to make and receive phone calls.

Solution to Account Issues Causing Call Failures: Contact your cellular providers customer support to resolve the account issue.

Cellular Plan Limitations

Some mobile phone plans and cellular plans, particularly pay-as-you-go plans, may have duration limits or limits to the number of calls that can be made or received.

Solution to plan limits causing failed calls: Check your specific cellular plan details to determine if you are exceeding any set limits on calls.

Hardware Problems

Rarely, a hardware issue can lead to call failures, or dropped calls. Perhaps the iPhone has been damaged, was dropped, or had sustained water contact leading to issues. This type of hardware issue would be separate from the more common hardware issue of SIM card problems leading to calls dropping.

Fixing Hardware Problems Causing Call Failures: Contact Apple Support or visit an Apple Support center or Apple Store to fix any hardware issues with the iPhone.

Now you have a better understanding of iPhone Call Failed issues, and how to troubleshoot these type of problems on the iPhone. If you are still experiencing call failed and call dropping issues, you likely will want to reach out to your cellular provider for further assistance, or optionally, contacting Apple Support for assistance.