Can’t Call Out With The iPhone? How To Fix To The Call Failed Problem with iPhone

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I found out that my new iPhone has terrible reception, even in places with supposedly good coverage. It turns out that it’s because of certain settings that I didn’t configure properly. After I changed them, all was good again!

So if your iPhone is like mine and you see “Call Ended” and then “Call Failed” immediately after trying to dial out from your iPhone, even though there’s a good signal (i.e. you can see signal bars, so you are connected to your carrier). Then relax, because there probably is no problem with the phone — you PROBABLY just need to do these 2 steps:

1) Go to Settings > General > Date and Time. Switch off “Set Automatically” and manually select your hometown (the default is Cupertino). If you dont change it, you will not be able to make outgoing calls. But the wierd part is, you will still be able to receive incoming calls. Once done, manually set the date and time, and restart your iPhone. If you want, you can reset the 2 settings to “Set Automatically” again.

2) Next, go to Settings > Phone > Show My Caller ID > Switch this to “ON”. Usually with these steps, things should be okay already. If not, you have to turn off “Call Forwarding” and “Call Waiting” as well.

Hope that helps!

Update: For iPhone 3.0 and later, after unlocking you might get no service (in an area you know has good service). In these cases, try turning 3G off, or Push Notifications off.

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315 Responses

  1. Firstly Alvin, good site.
    I’ve got a iPhone 4 which is jailbroken with limera1n operating on 4.0.1 carrier7.0 and base band 1.59.00. I have a problem when I travel outside of Denmark to some countries. I can receive a provider and full signal but can’t receive or send SMS or calls. I can however use the emergency number. The sim is international and works if i put it back in my Nokia. Ive tried everything ón this site and others.

    1. Ahh…I’m afraid that’s not something that I’m familiar with, Jack. Apologies, and I hope you find a solution soon.

  2. Oops. Accidently send that early. I have also noticed I only get problems after I use flight mode, but maybe coincidence. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  3. Thanks so much for the advice! I have a 3G phone that randomly started having this outgoing call problem 4 days ago. (I only had this problem while in my apartment building, which was a little weird.) I restored my phone, got all new software updates, replaced my phone, and replaced my SIM card, and nothing worked. Luckily I came across your blog, and as soon as I turned 3G off–no problems! Thanks again!

  4. Thx Alvin tht worked just fine but i would like to ask tht do we have to do this every few days to ensure phones’s working? Actually earlier when i faced this prob i turned off 3g n it started working but again after 2 days it was bak to square one so i followed ur trick. i bought my phone from singapore as well. will this prob persist?????

  5. Had my iphone 4 unlocked and couldn’t make calls after that. Stumbled across your website and tried the instructions. Worked perfectly for mine. Thanks Alvin!

  6. thanks a lot for advice,
    Changed sim cards twice,
    called vodafone customer care 5 times,visited customer care center 3 times
    wasted 12 man hours but nobody helped.
    again thanks a lot.

  7. Thanks here from Brazil man!! You’re saving phones around the world!!
    almost a week without making calls were driving me crazy!

  8. Hi,
    I tried all these settings and couldnt work out for me. please help me. my Iphone is 3g with 4.2 jail broken and instaleed ultrasnow fron cydiea but no result.. and show my caller id is always off and disabled .. can get the incoming calls but cant make out going.. thanks in advance..


  9. nothing in this article or the comments worked for me. i’m about three seconds away from throwing my phone against a wall.

  10. Try this it worked for me…

    Originally Posted by Lanatus View Post
    I’m on 3GS IOS4.1 (JB). Encountered call failed problem as well.
    Caller ID switch was greyed out in iphone setting. Found one solution which allow me to toggle the “show my caller Id” switch again by installing “Caller ID SBSettings toggle” via Cydia.”

  11. guys i have iphone 4 and i have stupid problem…like i am not able to make calls via phone, it gives me message call failed..the same sim card i put into my E51 i am able to make calls. I also asked for help with docomo cust case..but they are unable to solve it and told me to change the handset…
    my iphone is factory unlocked and bought from canada…

    pls help…

  12. hi i have an iphone 16gb with the updated software version 4.3.2 my ihpone since yesterday has been acting weird every time i try to make a call it immediatly says call ended and when someone trys to ring me they get the engaged dialtone back and i recieve no missed calls from it. i can text and do everything else normal but cannot recieve or make any phone calls!! i brought it into my network providor and they cannot explain it can anyone figure this out!?

  13. Thank you sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much… you have no idea how grateful I am to you. Blogging really makes a difference to people’s lives

  14. Worked perfectly on jail broken 3GS iOS 4.3.1 – have been on edge for months- was about to spend hours doing a full restore from scratch – you are awesome!

  15. Dude,

    your solution did not work but put me on the right track. If anything of the above does not work, turn off your 3G(edge/gprs), location, go to your mail-settings and turn of ‘push'(tis is what did it for me!! ;-)) and basicly turn your iphone into a normal “old-school phone” and try to make a call. After that you can put your settings back…Whooooo,…Im back baby!

    PS I have a 4G Iphone. good luck!!
    THANX big time!!

  16. please answer me this! my iphone 4 white cant call but can receive phone calls from others. how to fix this? i tried to do what you said but i didn’t work. Please answer me!

  17. Thanks, this worked for me.
    I had the problem earlier and switched of Wi Fi. This worked for a while and then again the problem recurred. This is a problem Apple should address in their next software fix!

  18. I have the same (can’t call out) problem. The methods (as posted by Alvin) worked only for a short while, and the problem came back. I found a permanent solution, do a restore (connect iPhone with iTunes and click the restore button), and after the phone is restored to factory default, set it up as a new iPhone by giving it a different name. Don’t worry, all your original apps, data, etc. will still be transferred over to the iPhone under a new name. My phone has been working fine since.

  19. thank you very much. this worked on my phone and i just want to express my appreciation for you posting this fix.

  20. Thanks from me too – phone (3Gs) been working fine for well over a year & doing all of the above, just in case, has sorted it – got a flood of txt messages all in one go 🙂

  21. I have the same problems as yours, I always did as you wrote above whenever I got call failed message when I was making a call, but that problem back when I restart/shutdown the phone.

    It is only happens to my iPhone. My friend iPhone doesn’t have problem like this.

    at first I thought it was my SIM problem, but when I changed my SIM to another operator that problem still occurs (my iphone is FU).

    I have update my firmware to the latest one (at that time ios 4.3.3) but that’s not help.

    I decided to bring my iphone to operator to get the change. Because I believe this is not standard way to fix Call Failed problem by turn on/off hide number/call waiting/airplane mode. Any one of you have read how to fix that in apple website? I don’t think so.

    Now I got my new iphone without Call Failed problem.

  22. ohhh at last i found a way to fix it……….i spend hours before this issue ….cant believe the error had such a simple fix……………that Helped me a lot………..thanks friend…..

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