Sometimes we can almost forget smartphones are for making and receiving calls. Sure, speaking to someone via a telephone no longer represents state-of-the-art technology, particularly with the advent of social media, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), 5G, the Internet of Things, and everything else you can do with a phone nowadays. However, when your iPhone can’t receive calls, you really notice the absence. This is especially the case if you’re expecting an important call from someone or if you need your phone for work.
If this has happened to you, we’ve put together an outline of things you can try when your iPhone 12 Pro Max is not receiving calls. This spans everything from the simple to the more involved. Regardless of why your iPhone is acting up, it should get you back up and running again.
Why is my iPhone 12 Pro Max not receiving calls?
Check for signal
Assuming your iPhone is indeed switched on, you should check if it’s receiving a signal. This can be done easily on on an iPhone by looking in the corner of your phone at the signal indicator.
The signal indicator can be found in the top-right corner of the screen. Even a single bar should indicate enough of a signal to make and receive calls. However, if the signal occasionally drops out so that you see “No Service”, you may find that calls don’t work.
If this is the case, you should try moving to an area or location with a stronger signal. Note that certain locations and premises — such as tunnels and underground car parks — will prevent you from receiving any signal. As such, look for places on or above ground that aren’t too remote (i.e., that aren’t out in the middle of nowhere).
Turn off Airplane Mode
When checking the signal bar, you may instead find a symbol indicating Airplane Mode (this will usually look like a plane). If you do, this means Airplane Mode is activated and that you can’t receive any kind of communications signal. It also means you’ll have to switch it off if you want to make or receive calls. You can do this on an iPhone by taking the following steps:
Step 1: Swipe down from the top-right of the display. Step 2: If the Airplane Mode symbol is orange, this means it’s on. Turn it off by tapping it so that it turns clear.
Step 3: Unselect Airplane Mode.
Check your phone contract/contact your carrier
One reason why your iPhone 12 Pro Max can’t receive calls may be that there’s a problem with your carrier. For example, there could be a network outages. Alternatively, you can check sites such as Downdetector for third-party updates on network statuses.
Check for blocked numbers
If you’re expecting a call from a particular number, but it never comes (even when the other person tells you they’re trying to phone), you may want to check if you’ve previously blocked it. Blocking a number prevents that person from calling you, so if you want to receive calls from the number, it’s time to unblock.
You can unblock numbers by going to Settings > Phone > Blocked Contacts. Next, tap Edit in the top-right corner and tap the red Minus icon next to the number you want to block before tapping Unblock.
Turn off Do Not Disturb mode
As with Airplane Mode, it’s also a good idea to check whether you have Do Not Disturb mode on. This shouldn’t stop you from making calls, but it generally stops you from receiving them. Or, at least, it will stop you from hearing an incoming call since the Do Not Disturb mode feature only silence calls rather than disabling them completely.
You can turn off Do Not Disturb mode by swiping down from the top-right corner of the screen. Next, tap the Do Not Disturb Mode icon (it looks like a crescent moon) so that it turns clear.
Remove and reactivate SIM card
Similar to the perennial reboot advice you get from IT departments, it’s usually worth removing your SIM card and reinserting it again. Doing this effectively de- and reactivates the card, hopefully removing any issues that were preventing your iPhone 12 Pro Max from receiving calls.
Reset network settings
As with your SIM card, you can try resetting your network settings if you still can’t receive calls on your iPhone 12 Pro Max. This clears your phone of any stored data that might potentially interfere with its functioning.
Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
Yes, we’re starting to get a little desperate now, but updating to the latest available version of your iOS can often help in cases where your iPhone 12 Pro Max won’t receive calls.
Go to Settings > General > Software Update. Your phone will then tell you if an update is available.
Factory resets and Apple fixes
If you’ve tried all of the above steps and you still can’t receive calls on iPhone 12 Pro Max, you may want to consider a factory reset. This is basically the nuclear option as far as any problem or bug is concerned, but it can resolve issues in certain cases.
Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
Needless to say, you should always backup your device before performing a factory reset. However, if this and every other option fails, it may be time to contact Apple support and inquire into a potential repair or replacement.