WhatsApp Call Not Ringing When iPhone is Locked [Full Guide]

Have you ever experienced an issue where WhatsApp calls don’t ring when your iPhone is locked? It can be frustrating to miss important calls just because your phone’s screen was off. Don’t worry – with a few simple tweaks to your iPhone’s settings, you can ensure you never miss a WhatsApp call again, even when your phone is locked.

In this detailed guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process to fix WhatsApp calls not ringing on a locked iPhone. Whether you have an iPhone 6, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, or newer models like iPhone X, iPhone XS/XR, or iPhone 11/12, the solutions outlined here will apply to you.

Quick Answers:

Here are quick answers to the common question “Why is my WhatsApp call not ringing when my iPhone is locked?”:

  • Double-check your WhatsApp notification settings – make sure sounds and ringtone are enabled.
  • Disable any notification-blocking modes like Do Not Disturb, Silent Mode, or Low Power Mode.
  • Enable Background App Refresh for WhatsApp so calls come through when app is in the background.
  • Force quit and restart the WhatsApp app after changing settings.
  • Update to the latest version of WhatsApp from the App Store.
  • If issues persist, reset all settings under iPhone Settings > General > Reset.
  • As a last resort, uninstall and reinstall WhatsApp to clear out any glitches.
  • Check if the problem is isolated to WhatsApp or if calls/notifications don’t come through from other apps either.
  • Try toggling Airplane mode on and off to refresh connections.
  • Make sure your iPhone software is updated to the latest iOS version.

Step 1: Check WhatsApp Notification Settings

The first thing to check is your WhatsApp notification settings. Here’s how:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down and tap on Notifications.
  • Find the WhatsApp app in the list and tap on it.
  • Make sure Allow Notifications is enabled.
  • Also ensure that Sounds is turned on and the desired New Ringtone is selected.
  • Tap on Show Preview to test the ringtone.
  • Tap on Always to enable banner notifications.

This allows WhatsApp notifications to come through even when your iPhone is locked. Now also check the notification settings within WhatsApp:

  • Open WhatsApp and go to Settings.
  • Tap on Notifications and enable all the notification options.
  • You can also tap on Notification Settings and enable all alerts.

This ensures all WhatsApp notifications and calls can come through when your iPhone is locked.

Step 2: Disable Notification Blocking Modes

Your iPhone has a few different modes that can block or mute notifications:

  • Do Not Disturb: Disable this mode under Settings > Do Not Disturb.
  • Silent Mode: Make sure the ringer switch on the side of your iPhone is not set to silent.
  • Low Power Mode: Turn off Low Power Mode in Settings > Battery.

With these modes disabled, your WhatsApp calls will be allowed to ring when your iPhone is locked.

Step 3: Enable WhatsApp Background App Refresh

For apps to update content in the background, you need to enable the Background App Refresh setting:

  • Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh.
  • Find WhatsApp in the list and toggle on Background App Refresh.

This will allow WhatsApp calls to come through even when the app is running in the background.

After adjusting these settings, restart your iPhone for the changes to take effect. This should resolve the issue of WhatsApp calls not ringing when your iPhone is locked.


Below are some common questions about fixing missing WhatsApp calls on a locked iPhone:

Why do WhatsApp calls not ring when my iPhone is locked?

The main reasons are incorrect notification settings, Do Not Disturb/Silent mode enabled, Low Power mode on, or background app refresh disabled. Adjusting these iPhone settings can fix the issue.

Do I need to keep WhatsApp open for calls to ring when locked?

No, you do not need to keep the WhatsApp app open. As long as background app refresh is enabled, calls will come through even when the app is closed.

How do I make sure WhatsApp calls don’t go to voicemail when locked?

Make sure all notification and ringtone settings are properly configured in both iOS Settings and WhatsApp Settings. This will allow calls to ring through rather than go to voicemail.

What if my iPhone only vibrates for WhatsApp calls when locked?

Check that sounds and ringtones are enabled for WhatsApp notifications in Settings. Also make sure your ringer switch is not set to silent.

I enabled all settings but WhatsApp calls still don’t ring when locked – what now?

Try force closing and restarting the WhatsApp app after adjusting iOS settings. Also update WhatsApp to the latest version from the App Store.


Missing WhatsApp calls when your iPhone is locked can be inconvenient. Thankfully, with the right notification settings, blocking out interruptions, and enabling background app activity, you can make sure WhatsApp calls always ring even when your phone is locked. Follow the step-by-step guide outlined here to check your settings. Enabling notifications, disabling mute modes, and allowing background app refresh should resolve the issue for good. With these fixes in place, you’ll never miss an important WhatsApp call again even when your iPhone screen is off.

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