Person On Mobile Phone

How Many Times Does A Phone Ring Before Voicemail?

Have you ever wondered how many times the phone rings before it ends up going to voicemail?

Whether you’re curious how long you can wait before accepting a call or you aren’t sure why it seems to be longer at times than others, we’ve got answers.

The truth is, there are a few different things that can affect the total amount of time the phone will ring. We’ll give you the quick answer, then talk more about these factors in detail.

Let’s get to it!

How Many Times Does A Phone Ring Before Going To Voicemail?

Person On Mobile Phone

Typically, phones will ring 4 to 5 times before being directed to voicemail, which is a total time of 25-30 seconds after the call is placed. This is true both for mobile phones (including iPhone and Android), as well as landline phones.

4 to 5 times is how many times the caller will hear the ringing tone after placing the call. However, depending on the ringtone you’re using, your ringtone may play more or less times than this depending on its length. Therefore, if you are the one receiving a call, it is best to think in terms of seconds rather than number of rings.

The exact number of rings can vary depending on your phone’s carrier. AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile may have slightly different periods of time in which the phone is allowed to ring before it goes to voicemail, for example.

This factor is determined by the person who is receiving the call, not the one who is placing it.

Note: If using another service that operates over the internet rather than your phone line (for example, FaceTime or Skype), the number of times the phone will ring can differ. Internet-based phone services typically will ring for much longer.

How Many Times Does The Phone Ring If The Phone Is On Airplane Mode / Turned Off?

If the phone is unable to take calls, it will immediately go to voicemail when you call.

This is true regardless of whether the phone is in airplane mode, it has no service, or it’s completely turned off.

You can tell whether or not a phone is able to receive calls by sending it a text message. If you attempt to send a text or iMessage and their phone is not able to receive calls or texts, the message will not be able to be marked as delivered.

So, this can help you determine what may be going on.

How Many Times Does The Phone Ring If You’re Blocked?

If you’re blocked, the phone will typically ring up to one time before being sent to voicemail.

However, the exact number can vary depending on whether or not you’ve been blocked or the phone or the carrier level. Additionally, Android phones allow people to install third-party apps that prevent blocked callers from leaving voicemails either.

Note that in some occasions, you may get a message upon calling that says something along the lines of, “This call may not be completed as dialed.” This may also indicate that you’ve been blocked.

How Do You Know If You’re Blocked?

Just because the phone doesn’t ring when you call, does not necessarily mean that you’re blocked. So is there any way to find out?

The easiest way to see if you’ve been blocked is to try calling from another phone. This will immediately tell you if you’ve been blocked or not – if the call goes through on another phone but not on yours, you can be almost certain that your number is blocked.

However, sending a text or even calling may not provide an indication. This is because calls can still go to voicemail and messages can still be reported as delivered even if you are in fact blocked.

Note however that if you call and receive an automated text back (which is common if the phone is on do not disturb), you can be sure that you are not blocked. This is due to the way the functionality works. Additionally, iPhones for example share the same block list both on iMessage as well as the phone.

Related Reading:

Can You Text Someone That You Blocked? – Answered!

How To Stop Calls On iPhone Without Blocking

If You Unblock A Number, Will You Receive Old Texts? (Answered + Details)

How Many Times Does The Phone Ring If A Call Is Declined?

If a call is declined, the exact number of rings can vary. The phone will continue ringing until the recipient has manually clicked on the declined button.

So, in reality it could be any of number of times before the phone has gone to voicemail.

Typically, you can assume a call has been declined if it rings between 1 and 3 times. This is because if you’re blocked or the phone is off, it won’t ring at all. If the phone call is left to go to voicemail, it will usually ring more than 3 times.

So, if you hit that sweet spot of 1-3 rings, this typically means that the receiver of the call pressed the decline button themselves. As soon as the decline button is pressed, your call will be sent to voicemail.

How Many Times Should You Let The Phone Ring?

How many times you should let the phone ring before answering can vary depending on the specific reason someone is calling.

We know now that phones will automatically go to voicemail around 5 rings. However, this doesn’t mean that you should necessarily wait that long before picking up.

Ultimately, this comes down to personal choice. Letting the phone ring a bit can indicate to someone that you might be busy, where as picking it up straight away can show that you’re eager and available to take their call.

When providing customer support as a business for example, it’s probably a good idea to pick up the phone quickly, as it can reflect on your company’s perceived service.

Letting the phone ring takes up more of the other person’s time, so picking up the phone quickly can be seen as respectful.


Typically, a phone will ring 4-5 times before it goes to voicemail. However, if you are blocked or the person’s phone is not available to take calls, you may be sent to voicemail straight away.

In the event that the phone rings 1-3 times, it’s possible the receiver of the call may have chose to decline it.

I hope that this article has answered all of your questions. If you have any other questions about phone calls, please ask them using the comment form below.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister


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