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What Does Cancelled Call Mean On iPhone? A Useful Guide

With over 10 years of hands-on experience with Apple mobile technology, I have a deep understanding of what a canceled call is on iPhone.

Most of the time, a canceled call is created when you phone someone but you hang up before they answer, or before it diverts to voice mail.

However, there is more to this type of call status that you need to know. Once learned, it will help you to manage your iPhone call log properly and avoid embarrassing situations.

What Does Cancelled Call Mean On iPhone


Don’t worry if you are still a bit confused – read on and this guide will explain:

  • What canceled call means.
  • The difference between a canceled call and a missed call.
  • Did the recipients phone ring before it was aborted.
  • Was the call declined or did it fail?
  • And much more…

After reading this article you will have a much clearer idea about how your iPhone logs activity when you give someone a buzz and they don’t pick up.

What does it mean if it says canceled call on iPhone?

If you ring someone but decide to hang up before they answer, or the call goes to voice mail, then it is reported as a canceled call on your handset.

A canceled call does not indicate a problem with the connection or that the recipient didn’t get the call.

There are many reasons you may decide to terminate a call you made, such as:

  • Calling the wrong person.
  • Changing your mind.
  • Accidentally calling when looking at contact details.
  • The call was taking too long to be answered.

This status is one of several Apple logs on iPhone. The full list includes:

  • Canceled call
  • Incoming call
  • Outgoing call
  • Missed call

Each status indicates a different thing, and in my experience most user confusion is between missed and canceled calls.

Do canceled iPhone calls ever appear as missed calls?

If you call someone but hang up before they answer the recipient will see it listed as a missed call on their iPhone log. On your iPhone, it will appear as a canceled call.

This means that every call you abort generates a missed call in the call log of the recipient.

Find out more: iPhone Symbols And Icons On The Status Bar.

Can I ever cancel a call without the recipient knowing?


If you withhold your number, then the recipient will see a missed call but not see who the caller was.

Also, if you ring someone but hang up before you hear any ringing on the line, no missed call will be logged. This is because you haven’t been connected.

If you phone someone and you hear a ring tone, it is too late, your caller ID has been sent to the recipient and recorded on their call log.

Does a canceled call mean it was declined by the recipient?

Yes, it is possible that a cancelled call indicates that the recipient has hung up on you but it is not the only reason. Other possibilities include:

  • They are busy.
  • They are away from their phone.
  • They have run out of battery.
  • They have their phone on silent and they can’t hear it ring.
  • They are ignoring you.
  • They are unable to take calls due to their location, for example, the cinema.
  • They have their iPhone switched off.
  • They put their phone in airplane mode.
  • They didn’t recognize your number.

If the line only rings a couple of times when you call them before it goes to voicemail, then it is likely that the recipient hung up on you. This means they tapped the Decline button on their handset transferring the call to voicemail.

Here are some ways to tell if your calls are being declined:

  • The number of rings.
    If the call is redirected quickly, say in less than 5 rings, then it is likely the call has been manually declined and sent to voicemail. Most carriers switch to voicemail after about 25-30 seconds.
  • Repeated calls are unanswered.
    If you have called several times and all of the calls go to voicemail each time, the recipient is likely to be ignoring your calls.

Having said all this, you can’t be certain why your call is unanswered, so don’t assume you are being ignored. Try to be pleasant when you eventually manage to talk to them.

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What happens if the recipient rejects my call?

Normally, the call will go to voicemail if it is rejected or declined. This would happen after a couple of rings.

If the recipient doesn’t have voicemail it will ring until you give in and decide to hang up. You won’t be able to leave a message but the recipient will see the missed call on their call log.

If the call immediately goes to voicemail before any rings, the iPhone is switched off and the call has not been manually declined.

Why are some of my calls listed as canceled on my iPhone call log?

Outgoing calls

If you rung someone but hung up before it was answered, or it went to voicemail it will appear as canceled in your call log.

If there was a network or coverage issue when you made the call, it may fail resulting in a canceled call.

Incoming calls

If someone called you, and you didn’t pick up, or you sent the call manually to voicemail then it will be listed as a missed call.

However, if the caller ended the call before you had a chance to react, it will be listed as a canceled call.

Does a canceled call mean I am blocked?

Being blocked is just one possible reason for a cancelled call, but there are other causes:

  • They are busy and couldn’t answer.
  • Their phone is turned off.
  • They don’t have a decent signal.
  • Their phone is on airplane mode.

You can’t jump to conclusions and assume you are blocked, although it is possible that you are.

The only way to be sure is by asking the recipient.

How do I know someone blocked me?

If you call someone repeatedly at different times of day but the calls go unanswered it is likely you have been blocked.

If you send a text message and you get a notification saying “message not delivered” it’s a sign you may have been blocked.

If you have been blocked then your calls and text messages will not be seen by the recipient. They won’t even know you have attempted to contact them.

Blocked calls are different from declined calls because when your calls are blocked, they can never get through to the recipient. The blocking feature is built-in in iPhones that can be enabled by tapping on the “block this caller” option in their contact info. 

If any of the following is true, it may appear that you have been blocked but haven’t:

  1. They have put their phone on airplane mode, disconnecting it from the network services.
  2. Their phone has Do Not Disturb switched on. The Do Not Disturb mode allows one to enable communications for only selected contacts.
  3. Their phone is powered off.

Try calling them from a different phone number and if your call goes through, your number has been blocked.

If I call someone that blocked me does their phone ring ?

The recipient would not hear the phone ring or get any other kind of indication that you called if they blocked you.

If you call someone that has blocked you then you would only get a single ring before being sent to voicemail.

Can I call someone after I blocked them?

When you block a number, it is only blocked for them calling or texting you. You can still call them.

How do I view the detailed call status on my device?

You can see the status of a call by doing the following:

  1. On your iPhone, tap the phone icon
  2. On the bottom menu, tap Recent
  3. On the list of calls, tap the i opposite the caller you are interested in
  4. Details of the call made including date, time, and the call status are displayed.

What does a canceled call mean on WhatsApp?

If you get a cancelled call notification on WhatsApp it means you terminated the voice or video call before the recipient could answer.

The recipient may be unable to talk because they are on another call, and WhatsApp doesn’t offer call waiting. Or they may not have a good phone signal, or their handset may be switched off.

To find out more, see WhatsApp canceled call explained.

What does a canceled call mean on FaceTime?

If your phone status log shows a canceled FaceTime call it means that you hung up before the person you called had a chance to answer.

The next question is, why didn’t the person you call answer?

Well, there are a number of reasons.

It could be they are ignoring or blocking you, but in my experience that isn’t the most likely reason. It is more likely they are busy, out of range of a good WiFi or cellular signal, or their iPhone is turned off.

To find out more, see FaceTime canceled call explained.

What happens when I call someone that has no service?

Normally, a network error will result in a failed call. The caller would either get no dial tone, go straight to voicemail, or get a message saying “the person you have called is unavailable right now”.

For more information, see How to fix iPhone call failed error.

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