Are you trying to figure out if someone’s phone is turned off, or their battery has died completely?
This can be useful to find out if someone’s simply ignoring you, they’ve blocked you, or they have a legitimate reason for not returning your calls or texts.
So, how can you find out if someone’s phone is turned off? In this article, I’ll be covering 8 different methods! Note that in order to know for sure, you may need to utilize multiple of them to verify that their phone is indeed powered off.
Let’s get started!
1. Try Calling The Phone
The first – and perhaps the most straightforward way to know if somebody’s phone is turned off, is to simply try calling it.
If the phone is powered off, the carrier will not be able to make any sort of contact with the phone. This means that the phone will not ring at all – it will go straight to voicemail.
If the phone rings – even if it’s just one ring before being sent to voicemail, this means that the phone is currently powered on.
So, if you’ve tried calling the number and it rang, there is no need to try any of the other methods – you know that the phone was powered on when you called.
Further reading: How Many Times Does A Phone Ring Before Voicemail?
2. Send Them An iMessage / Google Message
Another way you can find out if someone’s phone is turned off – even without calling them, is to try sending them a message.
However, this strategy only works if the messaging service you use supports read receipts. Although the other person does not have to have read receipts turned on, it will not work for traditional SMS messages.
For example, iPhones use a service called iMessage when sending text messages to other iPhones. When an iMessage is sent, you will see a blue bubble indicating that the message was sent via iMessage, and not via SMS.
More importantly, you can also see a message stating that the message was actually delivered.
Android phones have similar functionality, via Google Messages. However, like iMessage, this will only work when sending messages to other Android phones utilizing Google Messages.
If a text message is shown as being delivered, this means it was successfully received and downloaded by the other person’s phone – meaning that it is powered on. It may still be in Do Not Disturb mode, but it is indeed on and connected to their cellular network.
If the phone is powered off, the message may say ‘Sent’, but not ‘Delivered.’ For iPhone users, the message bubble may also turn green, where it would normally be blue.
3. Try Calling Them From A Different Number
If you’ve been blocked, this can mimic their phone being off.
For example, your calls may go straight to voicemail, and your text messages may not be delivered.
So, how do you make sure that you’re not blocked?
The easiest way is to try calling them from a different phone number, that they wouldn’t have blocked!
If your call goes through normally with the new number but fails to go through with your original number, then it’s likely that your phone number has been blocked.
Of course, if you suspect that you are blocked, please do not bother someone who does not wish to be contacted by you.
4. Utilize The *67 Trick
If you believe that something may be blocking your number from going through or allowing the phone to ring, you can also try utilizing the *67 trick.
The *67 trick works on both Android and iPhone, and essentially masks your caller ID from the other person.
So, they won’t know that it’s you that’s calling them, even if they have you added in their contacts.
To use it, simply type *67 before typing out their phone number. Note that you will need to manually type the number out to use *67, rather than calling them from your Contacts app.
Then, place the call!
5. See How Long It Takes For A Text To Send
This method isn’t that reliable, but it can be useful in some situations.
If someone’s phone is powered off, it may take slightly longer for your phone to show a text message as being sent.
This is because your carrier is still attempting to send it for a longer period of time. So, if it takes longer than usual, it may be because the other person’s phone is off.
Note that text messages will still show as sent, even if the other person does not have their phone on, or is otherwise unable to receive it.
Their carrier will regularly attempt to deliver the message, which won’t be possible until their phone is turned back on.
For more information, click here to learn what happens to a text message when someone’s phone is turned off.
6. Check If They’ve Recently Been Active On Social Media
Another thing you can try is to see if they’ve recently been active on social media – such as Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.
The idea is that if they’ve recently been online or they’re currently online, chances are their phone is turned on.
After all, most people use their phones to access social media these days, rather than using their computer.
So, consider checking their profiles out to see if you can find out more information. Facebook will show you when they’ve last been active for up to 48 hours for example, so this can be really useful to find out when they were last on their phone!
Of course, it’s possible that they’ve recently used social media on their computer as well, so this method isn’t 100% accurate.
7. Utilize Find My iPhone / Location Sharing (If Applicable)
Next, try looking up their location if they’ve previously shared it with you.
This won’t be applicable for all people, but can be useful if they’ve shared their location. Chances are, it will show not only where their phone most recently was at, but also the last time the location was updated.
So, if their location hasn’t updated for a while, it’s likely that their phone is turned off.
This is particularly true if you know that they’re in a location where they’d normally have cell phone service, such as most towns or cities.
8. Ask Them Directly
Finally, the last thing you can do is to try asking them directly.
It’s possible you may still be able to contact them via social media, and they’ll be able to respond to you on their computer. It may simply be possible that their phone is dead at the moment, and they’re waiting for it to charge before turning it back on.
Getting a direct confirmation from them may ease your concerns, so it’s worth giving it a try.
Of course, if you can’t reach them, you could also try reaching out to a family member, roommate, or anybody else that would normally be with them.
They’ll be able to ask them on your behalf, and let you know if their phone is turned off – or why they’re not responding to you right now.
Is There A Way To Tell If A Phone Is Off, Vs In Airplane Mode, Or Out Of Service?
So far, we’ve covered 8 different ways to know if someone’s phone might be off.
Unfortunately however, even with the above methods, it can be hard to know for sure unless they tell you directly.
This is because ultimately, there’s no difference (from the carrier’s perspective) whether a phone is powered off, in airplane mode, or is simply in an area without any service.
In either case, they will be unable to reach the phone. Hence, phone calls will go to voicemail without ringing, and texts will not be delivered.
While the above methods may be able to tell you whether or not you’ve been blocked, finding out if a phone is truly off (or simply doesn’t have service) can be difficult.
Therefore, you should also consider the possibility that the person may not have service, either because they are out of range of a cell tower, or because they’ve turned airplane mode on.
In this article, I’ve covered 8 different ways to know whether someone’s phone might be dead or powered off.
While some methods are more reliable than others, trying out all of them should let you know for sure.
I hope that you’ve found this article to be helpful, and you’ll manage to get in touch with the person you’re trying to reach soon.
If you have any other questions, ask them below and I’ll be happy to get back to you.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister