Why does my iPhone 4S only vibrate, but not ring when called?

Rod Lunos January 24, 2013

The ring tones ring when you test them, but no ring when an actual call comes in. It just vibrates.

  1. Anish Parameshwaran
    February 7, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    This might sound basic, but check to see if your phone is set to vibrate. The switch is on the left side, above the volume buttons. Also, make sure you're phone's ringer volume is high.

    • Linda
      June 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      I had a Lifeproof Case on my phone and had to remove it because, once sealed, it kept putting the switch, above the volume buttons on the left side of the phone, in vibrate mode. Finally switched to another case so the ring tone would stay on. Does anyone know if the Otterbox Case works better, as I would like the waterproof, dustproof etc. protection on my phone but I also need it to ring??? Thank you.

    • jim galdal
      July 13, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Yup me too. Lifeproof case seems ro distract the vibrate/mute switch.

      Trick for young players i guess.

  2. Jagbir Sembhi
    January 29, 2013 at 3:25 am

    It is usually a software glitch so you can try restoring your phone and it should work.

  3. Ian Worthington
    January 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Go into "Sounds" and ensure that you have a ringtone selected. Also, check that your volume is turned up loud enough to hear a ringtone.

  4. Ben Stegner
    January 27, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Check the small switch above the volume buttons. If this is in silent mode, the phone won't make any noise. Try switching the position of the switch.

    • Bala
      July 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Thanks! I was having the same issue and no where could I find anything about the small switch above the volume button. I adjusted it and my phone finally "rings"

    • Debbie K
      July 9, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      That was it! Thanks so much for the fix!

    • Kris H.
      July 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      Thank you so much, Ben! I'm traveling abroad and couldn't figure out why I suddenly couldn't hear the phone ringing or text messages. One of our pets is sick at home and I was frantic worrying that if there was a call needing medical authorization I'd miss it. The switch must have gotten bumped over in my purse--I put it back and everything's fine now.

    • Gary
      July 17, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      Thanks! I wish I could kick my own butt for not figuring this out! I recently had learned about the switch...and being elderly and senile, I forgot all about it. LOL

    • BRANDY
      July 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm


    • Colin
      July 18, 2013 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks to Ben. It was as simple as switching the position of the switch on the side. I had just put on a new protective cover and may have moved the switch position in the process. Thank you!

    • Carla D
      July 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      Ben, Thank you! Now I know what that switch is for! Duh....

    • Karen
      July 22, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      Ben, YOU ARE THE MAN! thank you

    • Anonymous
      September 26, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      Thank you that worked for me! Got given this phone as replacement to one I had run over!!

  5. Rubis Song
    January 25, 2013 at 7:46 am

    You're probably in vibrate mode. Because on this mode you can also test a ring but still if your setting point to vibrate only it will not ring.

  6. ha14
    January 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    try to update firmware see if it helps

  7. Oron Joffe
    January 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Is the phone in "vibrate" mode? See http://ipod.about.com/od/phonefeatures/qt/turn_off_ringer.htm for how to change the setting.

  8. Safvan Vhora
    January 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    If you go to your settings then pull up sounds. It takes you to the your ringtones for everything. You can turn off all of your tones. It should show - vibrate,ringtone,text tone, new voice mail... ect... you can turn them off or change the tones.

  9. Logan Ingram
    January 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    It simply could be that your phone is set to vibrate but if thats not it than maybe could be that it is a software error and the phone needs to be reset.

    • Troy
      June 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      The problem is not the software. I had iPhone 3,4 and had that problem. Apple did not know what's wrong with it so each time I had the problem apple switch out the phone. Now I have the 4s and guess what the same problem. I been going threw this for few years now. Maybe iPhone no good for me. I keep it in case and take cafe of it and still having in convince problems no sound.
      The proble is the iPhone not the software.

    • Troy
      June 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      I'm answering this because I just fix mind. I have iphone 4s just vibrate no ring. But when you plug in head phone or external speaker it works.

      The problem you need to replace the speaker on bottom. Look at youtube on how to replace speaker. ebay speaker less than 5 dollars.
      I have good sound now.

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