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How To Fix iPhone Call Failed Error: A Useful Guide

You have a full-strength signal and all the features of your iPhone appear to work properly – SMS, email, wi-fi.

However, you find that you simply can’t call anyone on your iPhone without getting a message that says “Call Failed”.

What the hell is going on and how do you sort it out?

It is so annoying…

…you spend a fortune on an iPhone and it fails to do the most basic job it is designed to do…

…make a call!

You are in luck, I have put together a list of things to try so your phone can make calls again.

iPhone Call Failed Error


iPhone ‘Call Failed’ troubleshooting list

There are 7 things you can try to fix the ‘call failed’ iPhone error. I suggest you do them in the order listed below:

  • Shut down running Apps
  • Hard reboot your iPhone
  • Update your software
  • Disable Calling Line ID Restrictions
  • Toggle airplane mode
  • Toggle Caller ID
  • Reset network settings

For more information on calls, see What does canceled call mean?

Step 1: shut down running apps

Your iPhone may have an App running that has crashed and is not allowing calls to be made.

Closing all the Apps down will ensure that they are not interfering with the calling process.

On iPhone models with Face ID

  • Unlock your device.
  • Sweep up from the bottom of the screen and continue to hold your finger on the screen for a second or so.
  • The open Apps will appear on the screen.
  • Sweep them up and off the screen to shut them down one at a time.
  • Once all the Apps are shut the iPhone will automatically go back to the home screen.

On iPhone models with a home button

  • Unlock your iPhone
  • Double click the home button
  • The open Apps will appear on the screen.
  • Sweep them up and off the screen to shut them down one at a time.
  • Click the home button to return to the home screen.

Step 2: hard reboot iPhone

This is a more extreme reboot method than the normal iPhone reboot.

A hard reboot cuts the power to the internal logic board for a fraction of a second causing all the background processes to stop running completely. This ensures everything is restarted from scratch.

A normal reboot does not stop these background processes, so if the issue is with a background process the only way to fix it is with a hard reboot.

You should only hard reset your iPhone if it is really necessary. Don’t do it too often as it can cause issues such as data corruption, although this is very rare.

In this case, I think it is a good thing to try especially if shutting down Apps or a normal reboot hasn’t helped.

How to hard reset iPhone 6S and earlier models


Press and hold down the Home button and the power button together until your iPhone screen turns black and the Apple logo reappears on the screen. This may take some time so keep holding the buttons down for longer than you think.

How to hard reset iPhone 7 series

Press and hold down the power button and the volume down button together until your iPhone screen turns black and the Apple logo reappears on the screen. This may take up to 20 seconds, so don’t give up too early!

How to hard reset iPhone models with Face ID

Press the volume up button, then the volume down button, then press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen. You need to be quick when pressing the buttons to make sure it works. And don’t forget to keep holding the side button.

Step 3: Update software

You may have out of date carrier settings, or there may be an iOS software update for your iPhone issued.

Make sure you have everything up-to-date to minimise any chance that a software bug is causing the issue.

It is also worth updating all your Apps too, just in case.

Update carrier settings

Updates let your carrier provider update carrier network and related settings to improve cellular network connectivity and performance.

  • Tap Settings > General > About.
  • If an update is available, you’ll see an option to update your carrier settings.

Update iOS software

You can update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to the latest version of iOS wirelessly.

  • Tap Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Tap Download and Install.
  • Tap Install to begin the installation.
  • If requested, enter your passcode.

Update apps

You can check to see if the developer of an iPhone app has released an update. These often contain bug fixes that improve the stability and reliability of the App.

If the problem has been caused by an App then updating it should hopefully resolve it.

  • Open the App Store on your iPhone by clicking the App Store icon.
  • In the bottom right click the Updates button.
  • If there are pending updates click the Update All link at the top left of the screen.

Step 4: Disable Calling Line ID Restrictions

Make a phone call and dial *#31#. You will get a grey screen pop-up that says ‘Setting Interrogation Succeeded Calling Line ID Restriction Disabled’.

Step 5: Toggle airplane mode

Go to Settings and turn on Airplane Mode. Wait 5 seconds, then turn it off again.

Step 6: Toggle Caller ID

1. Press the Home button and choose Settings.


2. Scroll down and click Phone.

iphone menu option

3. Scroll down and click Show My Caller ID.

show caller ID

4. Switch this off and on again.

show caller ID off

5. Make sure that show caller ID is switched ON then go and make a call. It should work.

Step 7: Reset network settings

If all else fails you can try resetting your network settings.

This will erase all current saved network settings, including Wi-Fi passwords, preferred networks, and VPN settings – so only use this as a last resort.

After you have done this you will need to add all your Wi-Fi passwords to your iPhone again.

  • Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
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