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Cordless phones may not be as ever-present as before our modern cell phones, but some households still use them in 2022. If you still have a landline, a cordless telephone provides a convenient backup option if there is anything wrong with your cell service. Otherwise, perhaps you have a simple cell phone you prefer to use when you go out. 

Indeed, having a cordless phone might help you with reception area issues in certain parts of the house. You might also be able to use this kind of phone to make a call when your smartphone has no bars. Whatever your reason is, cordless phones have their uses. However, they have some issues from time to time.

Some owners wonder how they can solve the error messages from their cordless phones. That will be our topic in this article. As we deal with these issues, we will also give you some troubleshooting tips for problems related to signal loss and other common issues.

AdobeStock_293577640 Cordless phone with cradle on white background

Why Does My Cordless Phone Say Busy?

In most cases, you can pick up or turn on your cordless phone whenever you want to make a call. You should hear the regular dial tone of active phone service when you do so. However, there are cases where some bugs in the system prevent you from either making or receiving calls using your cordless handset. Sometimes, the phone displays or gives out a ‘busy’ message, even when the phone is not in use. 

There are a few reasons why this happens, but one of the most straightforward solutions is to turn the whole apparatus off

Do this for at least 30 seconds. Then, turn the unit on to see if the issue has been resolved. During this process, completely unplug the phone from the wall. If this step does not fix the problem, a fault on your line prevents you from using the phone as you usually would.

Take a couple of extra steps if you suspect a fault somewhere. First, if you have a spare handset, try to plug it in and test it with the base unit. This step can help you figure out if there is a fault. When you test the new unit, listen for a dial tone. Make one outgoing call to see if it goes through. 

Additionally, try using another line or cell phone to call this number to see if it will receive the signal. Should you find that things now seem to work normally, the fault is probably with your device itselfReplacing the unit should solve the problem.

If the above tip does not work, report the problem. Again, contacting your phone service provider is best. They can send qualified technicians out to run some tests for you. In addition to faults, there may be some level of physical corrosion on the line. It could also show your phone as busy when it is not.

Why Is My Cordless Phone Saying that ‘Line in Use’?

A line-in-use message can be similar to a busy one. The cause might be the same as or different from the previous problem. For example, the phone might have difficulty making or receiving calls with a ‘line in use’ error message. 

The first thing to do here is to check to see if the relevant indicator is on or blinking. Most cordless phone handsets should have lights on the dock that can tell you the different states of the device. Next, check to see if the line is active at that time. If the light is not on, there’s something wrong with how the phone processes some of its data.

If your phone service comes through a modem, check this unit to see if the light is on. If the light is blinking, unplug your phone line from the modem itself. The light becomes a solid color after you unplug the phone. If it does, wait a bit before plugging the cable back in and checking the reception on your phone.

If the light fails to turn solid, contact a technician to let them check the modem. Most providers will give you the modem they would like you to use, and this kind of error indicates a problem with your servicer’s modem.

Some households use multiple devices that go to the landline. If this is the case for you, any of those units could be holding the line off the hook. Go throughout the home and check every device to see if they are active. 

Unplugging or resetting them should fix this issue for you. If that isn’t the case, it means that, once again, you have a fault or are short on the line somewhere. You may need the services of a technician to get this problem to go away.

AdobeStock_374859373 Wireless Telephone on a Wooden Desk

What Does It Mean When Your Cordless Phone Beeps?

Cordless phones can beep from time to time, but your particular model may have several kinds of beeps that mean different things. To discover which beeping scenario your phone is trying to convey, it is a good idea to consult the manual for the particular model you own. 

However, there are some common reasons why handsets might beep at you, and we can talk about some of these possibilities here.

1. The phone’s rechargeable battery pack is low on power. In this case, many devices will send periodic beeping noises to alert you to their power needs. It would help if you let the unit charge back up as soon as possible to avoid a dropped call.

2. Should your phone beep while it is in the cradle, it could tell you that it is having a problem charging itself.

3. A beep may indicate that the cordless handset is losing the signal from the base. It may be because you’ve strayed too far from the phone’s dock.

4. Some cordless phones will beep when you receive a new message from another number.

Why Does My Cordless Phone Keep Cutting Out?

If you have frequent problems with phone calls cutting out, you should ensure that your handset has a proper charge. If the batteries do not charge, they may have faults. You’ll need to address it with replacements. 

Additionally, you can unplug the unit to see if it fixes the issue. Lastly, calls cutting out could be a reception issue, and you may need to check for bad lines that could negatively impact your device.

However, some cordless phones that run on modems could also receive interference from other nearby devices. In these cases, the phone may not be able to hold a call with strong reception, and it cuts in and out as it tries to maintain the connection. Ensure your phone dock or modem are not near any other hardware units that could interfere with them.

How Come My Cordless Phone Rings, but I Can’t Answer?

If your cordless phone doesn’t let you receive calls even when it rings, there are a couple of things you can try. First, you may need to unregister the unit and reregister it to solve the problem. 

If this doesn’t work, you should consider the possibility that a recent surge of power might have caused damage to the phone. Even though many of the phone’s functions still work, a sudden voltage surge can cause its hardware to behave strangely. You can test this by seeing if a different telephone still works. If so, you should get a new cordless unit.


Cordless phones are helpful for households who don’t need to make many calls unless they are at home. The landlines have a pretty stable reception level and user experience. However, like any technology, they can face their issues. So if your cordless phone displays confusing messages or is not working correctly, you can try some of our fixes here.