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Incoming Calls Not Showing on the Screen but Phone Is Ringing

Do you know why phones were invented? It’s not for texting, as you can’t even type on a primitive phone. It’s also totally not to browse the internet either, as the internet didn’t even exist then.

If you still don’t know yet, I can help you: phones were invented to make calls! It is quite funny that in recent years, most phone functionalities have gravitated away from calls and more to secondary functions like texting or internet browsing.

It is more so that if you receive a call on your phone sometimes, you only hear it ring. The notification won’t show on your screen or wake up your phone.

Now, this is a problem. How do you answer a call when your phone won’t even wake up? In this article, you’ll learn why this problem exists in the first place and how you can solve it, both on an Android phone and an iPhone.

Incoming Calls Not Showing on the Screen but Phone Is Ringing Android

If incoming calls don’t show on your Android phone’s screen or your display doesn’t wake up when there is an incoming call, you need to solve the problem.

The problem’s description is simple. When you start receiving a call, you only hear a ring. Then, you’ll have to unlock your phone, tap on the call from the notification before you get an option to receive the call.

And that’s the perfect definition of an unintuitive process. This doesn’t only apply to Android phones. iPhones too suffer from a similar problem, but this section will focus on solving the problem for Android devices.

Here are some of the fixes you can try to solve this issue.

  • Turn on all notifications for your Phone app.

If you started noticing this problem after changing your default dialer app, this should certainly fix the problem.

This problem happens as a result of the new dialer app being unable to interrupt you to put the call across. This is a result of a lack of the required permissions, which you can change.

If you think this might be the problem, here are the steps to confirm and hopefully correct it.

  1. Go to your app’s management settings.
    1. On most Android phones, you’ll have to open your settings app and tap on Apps and Notifications.
  2. Now, select ‘Notifications‘ and tap on App Notifications from the resulting screen. This should bring up a list of all your apps and their notification preferences.
  3. Find the phone app that you currently use. On most Android phones, you can’t disable app notifications for your default dialer app, but if you have this problem, that means you can.

To solve this problem, enable all notifications in all sections.

Now, make a call to your phone (with the phone asleep, of course), and see if the phone rings out and wakes up your phone. If it doesn’t, you may have some more work to do.

Incoming Calls Not Showing on the Screen but Phone Is Ringing iPhone

If you’re having the same problem on your iPhone, the fix may be somewhat different. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot fix the problem.

Here are a couple of things to try if you can’t get incoming calls to wake your phone on an iPhone.

  • Enable Phone app notifications

While iOS is known for being particularly restrictive, it is quite surprising that it gives you total control over most of your app notifications, including the Phone app.

If incoming calls won’t show on your iPhone screen, try the steps below to attempt to fix this issue.

  1. From the Settings app on your iPhone, tap Notifications.
    1. This should bring up a list of all the apps on your iPhone.
  2. Select Phone from this list.
    1. This should bring you to the Notifications management page for the Phone app. Here, you can either enable or disable the notification. You can also set how you want the notifications to appear on your screen.
  3. Turn on all notifications to make sure you always get all calls and call-related notifications.

Note: You should receive incoming calls, even if you turn off all notifications for your Phone app. However, turning it on keeps you on the safe side, and keeps you sure that you don’t miss any notifications or alerts from your Phone app.

  • Change your incoming call settings

If you’re using your iPhone, it should automatically display incoming calls as a banner to avoid interrupting your experience.

If you don’t like this behavior, you can always change it from your incoming call settings. Follow the steps below to make all calls appear in a full-screen window, even if your phone is unlocked and in use.

  • Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down to Phone and select the option.
  • You should get plenty of options relating to your calling experience. From here, tap on Incoming Call, and you’ll have the option to choose between Banner and Full Screen.

While the default option is Banner, you can also choose Full Screen to ensure that you don’t miss any calls absent-mindedly.

Now, restart your iPhone and try calling it to see if there are any changes. If calls still won’t wake your iPhone, I’m afraid you have to wait for Apple to release a software update to fix the bug.


We want our phones to be optimized for the best possible calling experience; yes, we exist.

While great cameras and 5G internet are all excellent on a smartphone, you know what’s even more excellent? A good calling experience.

So, it’s unthinkable that something as simple as incoming calls not showing on the screen but the phone is ringing should be plaguing anyone’s phone, but it’s the sad reality.

If you’re also experiencing similar problems, I have a couple of fixes up there to help you solve the problem. What’s more, there are fixes for both Android and iOS smartphones.

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