Why Won’t My iPhone 5 Ring?

Ya know, some days you just feel like a duffus. There is not much you can do about it but go with the flow. Yesterday was my turn. Learn from my day and get a free pass on your own.

My iPhone 5 would not ring. It was set to ring in the system preferences. It would vibrate just fine, but the ring sound (in this case, the opening bars of Willie Nelson’s song Texas) would not sound. I fiddled around with the settings, etc. because when it comes to the iPhone fiddling around is about the limit of my skill set. The sound worked perfectly on any game that offered sound. I could dictate with no problem and have it read back to me. So I gave in and asked one of my kids what I was doing wrong. I hate it when that happens.

It took all of, I don’t know, 2 seconds to solve it. I had to move a control indicator.

Volume On/Off

Volume On/Off

That little lever above the two volume control buttons also controls the ring volume. If it looks like the image above then your ringer sound is on. If you see orange in that area, your ring volume is turned off. This allows you to quickly turn off your ringer when you are somewhere where it is not appropriate for your phone to ring.

Since I frequently switch out phone cases as I am reviewing them for The Mac Observer, it is easy for me to push this lever without knowing it. (Official Excuse for Duffus Act)

This entry was posted in iOS Tips, iPhone Tips and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

97 Responses to Why Won’t My iPhone 5 Ring?

  1. Percy says:

    Bravo for identifying this for all of us. I realized today, months after getting the phone, that I was never getting a ring on the phone — only contact through Bluetooth in my car. No wonder my wife was annoyed! Now, having diddled the little “secret” switch, voila! Thanks!

  2. janita says:

    OMG!!!!! i have been trying to figure this out for a week, never even knew that was a real button! you so rock!!!!!!!

  3. CP says:

    Thank you so much, was driving me crazy!!!!!

  4. SPL says:

    Gosh, thanks! I dropped my phone and just figured the ringer broke and was content to live with it on vibrate until I found your helpful information. You made my day.

  5. JanelleW says:

    OMG!! the same thing was happening to me, so I googled it and found your blog. Thank you!! lol

  6. Mattyvals says:

    I can build a house from go to whoa…yet I struggled with this for a week. Thank you so much 🙂

    I feel like a goose. Fixed in two seconds.

  7. Robin Guyer says:

    Thank you for making my day! I guess it helps to read the instructions on how to operate the phone. Thanks Again!

  8. Melanie says:

    Thank you! I’ve been trying to figure this out all day. I even called the phone store and they couldn’t help me. Very simple fix — thanks for sharing!!

  9. Erita says:

    Thank you – easy fix I could not see this control with my Otterbox iPhone 5 case. Mystery solved!!!!!

  10. Debra Henning says:

    Thanks from MacDuffus

  11. Jenmax says:

    Thank you so much…took me 4 days of internet searches to realize there are tons of folks who are having the same problem and none of the forums bother pointing out this little button. Mine was covered by a protective TANK case…appreciate your help.

  12. Rob says:

    As stated above…you truly rock! Fixed it in 2 seconds after a week of frustration!

  13. Rrrita says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This was driving me crazy!

  14. petlady says:

    Yet another grateful Googler here. My engineer husband was worthless, and we have no kids! Bless you.

  15. Laura says:

    all I can say is Ditto! thank god someone new the answer, it’s been driving me crazy since I got my phone!

  16. Bruce V. says:

    Crap, I feel like a moron. Thank you for this solution!

  17. NM says:

    wow thanks! so simple and indeed had felt so crazy trying to figure it out…. woo hoo!!

  18. Thank you. I too was having trouble and I still am because that switch gets moved all the time in purse and I miss so many calls! Something to be aware of if you are looking to purchase iphone 5.

    • jobeth says:

      I got a “military tough” case that has a little flap over the little button. But if you don’t want to get a new case…try a little piece of clear “package tape”..the kind in the red spool…See if that would protect the button from moving. Might have to keep replacing the tape…I’d look for a new case.

  19. Steph says:

    Thank you! I was dreading the long wait at Verizon tomorrow to try to figure out why my phone wouldn’t ring. Thanks for saving me that trip!

  20. pam says:

    thank you

  21. Mary says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! This happened to me yesterday when I was changing the cover on my phone–I must have slid the button to show red. I thought I broke the phone somehow.

  22. anne says:

    ah ha!

  23. Robin says:

    OMG – so easy THANKS!

  24. Torrie says:

    Thanks my husband just got this phone today and was really getting frustrated with no ring. I found the instructions about a button the side but I could not figure out how to move it… I tired pushing it down and up, but not side to side. Thanks again for saving our sanity!

  25. jobeth says:

    And to think I manage life support machines! (ventilators) Such a tiny piece of plastic can drive us completely nuts…thanks!!!

  26. Gatorgrad96 says:

    Many thanks! I, too, only ‘heard’ calls when in the car with Bluetooth. Was tired of getting yelled at for ‘missed calls’ that I swore never rang. Guess my Lifeproof case is not idiot proof! Thanks so much!

  27. tim says:

    thank you thank you & thank you!!

  28. Steve says:

    Thanks for posting this! It was driving me crazy!

  29. Thank you!!! Don’t know how that switch got moved, but that was definitely the problem!!

  30. Gail Mynatt says:

    Thank you!!!! You are so smart ( :

  31. Cindy says:


  32. Debbie says:

    I was trying to figure out why my phone hasn’t been ringing, and that was the problem!! Thanks so much!!

  33. Holly says:

    I got this phone from work with no instruction manual. I’ve spent two days trying to figure out what is going on. The Otter Box was covering this switch. I’d touched every setting and have Googled why this might happen. Google answers run the gamut, including downloading ‘patches’ and that it’s an iPhone 5 bug. I cannot thank you enough for this simple fix.

  34. Merissa says:

    Thank you! I’d rather not be a dufus at the apple store!

  35. Rachel Jesnen says:

    I was ready to march into the Verizon store and tell them this phone was defective. In my defence, my teenage son’s phone was defective and we made a trip in last week to fix his phone. Something was wrong with the speakers. He could hear us when we called, but we couldn’t hear him. They gave us a new phone. Anyway, I saw that switch a week after having the phone and remember playing with it, thinking “I wonder what this is for.” That was the extent of my interest. I realized the last 2 days that I will be holding my phone and not hearing it ring. Thank goodness for people like you! I googled it and LAUGHED OUT LOUD at myself!

  36. Brilliance is finding the simplest solution. Brilliant!

  37. gay3b says:

    Thank you so much! Feel so dumb!:(
    To think I program trading systems and didn’t know about this simple switch-I am pathetic and you are a lifesaver! 🙂

  38. Karen S. says:

    So simple! Thanks 🙂 I was pressing that little button when all I had to do was move it up or down.

  39. jon says:

    thanks mate, that has been driving me insane.

  40. Ted Stockton says:

    Thank you from another satisfied and sheepish oldie. I justified not knowing about this by telling myself I had more to do with my life than obsess about details of how a new phone worked!

  41. Ann says:

    I have missed calls for the past week. Thank you. I had to put my phone back into my new case three times before I got it in without hitting that toggle switch!

  42. Cheryl Ann says:

    I missed a few calls for a day . I wondered why my phone was not ringing and believed that it was faulty. I went into settings to solve the problem but to no avail. I had a good laugh when I realise that I just had to move the switch above the volume switches.SOOOOOOOO Simple. THANK YOU!

  43. Pat says:

    Exactly what I needed!!

  44. Melinda Fowler says:

    Thank you for saving me from a major public duffus moment at the Apple store!

  45. thank you thank you thank you….I kept playing in sounds and setting and couldn’t figure it out, now I know what that switch is too 🙂

  46. Barb says:

    I am the proud owner of an iPhone5s – my first iphone!! Most helpful – Who knew!

  47. Ted says:

    Thank you for this post!!!!! You saved me hours of frustration and having to go to the Apple store! Who would have thought?

    • macnancy says:

      You are most welcome.

      • Jean Joseph says:

        I called apple, they even set up an appointment date for me to go. I guess that is plain and simple for them to make money with me., I think the know exactly what the problem was, but they want a visit so that they could offer me something. Thanks so much!

  48. Ihavethedumb says:

    Thank you! I’ve had this iPhone 5c for a month and it’s my first apple product,ever. I used to be an android girl. Anyway, I felt so dumb because my phone stopped ringing for “no reason”.

    You fixed it! Thanks :0)

  49. Mikemanx says:

    Brilliant!!! Searched for hours…Thank you very much.

  50. Chris says:

    Wow something so simple. I’ve only had my phone a few days so luckily I didn’t miss any important calls. Even the wife couldn’t work it out – thank you so much

  51. Lake says:

    Thanks so much.

  52. Robert Wille says:

    Finally! A clear, easily understood explanation. Thank you!

  53. Diane says:

    Priceless info!!!! you are a lifesaver…..THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!

  54. Shan says:

    Thank you for sharing. It saved me lot time. I always believed that I screwed some thing wrong not the Apple.

  55. Doma says:

    I cant’ beleive it was so simple . I spent hours resetting my phone, upgrading etc. Thank you so much!

  56. Georgia says:

    Thank you from another duffus.

  57. asima says:

    What an outstanding blog..!!!sony mobiles

  58. Andrea says:

    Thank you SO much!!!!!
    I was so excited about getting the phone and then just felt beyond frustrated when this was happening to me. I spent over an hour fiddling with all the settings , turning things on and off and on and off. Once again thank you so much. You have a special place in heaven. Thank you!

  59. evelyn canady says:

    Thanks so much, I’ve had my iphone5 since the release date and didn’t realize it didn’t ring .I have it connected to the bluetooth in the car, take it with me on my daily walk and FaceTime with my grandson. It did vibrate but I used it so infrequently that I didn’t even question the ringing issue. Yesterday I almost missed a loaner from Lexus because they tried to reach me on my cell . Today I decided to inquire as to why my phone wasn’t ringing but couldn’t figure it out, my grandson in NC whom I usually rely on to help me with this type issue is in school, so I accidentally came across your website. Thanks again!!!!

  60. Debbie says:

    Oh yay! Thank you so much! I was going nuts trying to figure out why my phone wasn’t ringing!

  61. iqrazahra says:

    u rock u solved my problem in a second..

    • Karen S. says:

      I came looking for this solution a while ago, found it here and it worked! A few days ago, my DH had the same problem and I showed him that little button on the side that gets turned off so easily and without realizing it. Problem solved – and I looked like a genius 😉

  62. macnancy says:

    Then my work here is done. LOL

  63. Johnc970 says:

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. Ill bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I’m quite certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next! ebkbbdbaacce

  64. Renee says:

    Great help. Thank you

  65. Marilyn says:

    After looking at a million different help sites and doing everything suggested – nothing worked. Then I stumbled upon this. So simple, no one bothered to mention it. Some of us are riding mules on the information highway, not Teslas. THANK YOU!!!!!!

  66. Joe says:

    Oh my God thank you so much! I’ve been trying to figure this out and I even bought a special ring tone for it and now it was totally worth the buy haha! You’re a life saver!

  67. Chris says:

    Thank you so much!

  68. Ellie says:

    Thank you !!! This nailed the fix!

  69. Wako says:

    Thank you !!! Thank you !!! Thank you !!! Thought my phone was broken 🙂

  70. Great worked like a charm. Thanks for the info.

  71. Jan says:

    Thank you sooo much. I had reset my ring tone so many times. Thanks for the post and the info. Is there a tutorial on the I-phone 5c for us beginners?

    • macnancy says:

      Hi Jan, you are very welcome. I have noticed that many of the cases that are coming for the iPhone 6 and 6+ are recessing the phone ring button. That should solve a bunch of problems for people. There are tutorials all over the internet that cover the iPhone 5c. The problem for a new user is you don’t always know what to ask for. There is a book that I have recommended in the past that is a big help for beginners. It is iPad and iPhone Kung Fu by Keir Thomas and I have always Keir’s books to be well written and researched. You can get it on Amazon for less than $16.00. http://cfprod.zagg.com/product-images/I47IF-GLIT-PRP.png Enjoy your new phone.

  72. Marsha says:

    Oh my gosh, thank you!!! I will actually finally be able to sleep. I feel as though the salesman should have explained this though!! You are amazing!!

  73. Thanks. I had tried every setting imaginable but never thought of that!!

  74. I really appreciate this info because I was getting fed up until I google it.

  75. Angela Marshall says:

    When I’m playing games I miss all of my phone calls they go straight to voice mail and I have checked all the settings. Please let me know if you have a solution.

    • macnancy says:

      Hi Angela,

      What operating system are you using with your phone? iOS 7 or iOS 8? I think I found an answer to your question, but need that info.

  76. John says:

    ThankThankss thanks I have been seriously pissed for days . Was preparing to send this phone to trash can.

  77. Kevin says:

    Thanks a lot, I could not get the phone to ring until now!

  78. Brian says:

    Thank you so much for leading me to this solution, I had no idea that this switch was there. Guess reading the instruction manual would be in order 😉

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