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It can be frustrating when someone tries to call you and can’t get in touch, especially if you have an older phone without email or smart technology features. So why does your flip phone go straight to voicemail?

Your flip phone is going to voicemail because you have configured it to do so or you’re in an area without cellphone reception. Changing some phone settings in regards to “Call Forwarding,” “Airplane Mode,” and “Do Not Disturb” can send calls to voicemails.

AdobeStock_23411315 flip phone opened up on white background

What Makes Flip Phones Go To Voicemail?

There can be a lot of reasons why incoming calls on flip phones can go straight to voicemail without even ringing once.

Some things that make flip phones go to voicemail include recently made changes to the voicemail configurations or a few related phone call settings that can cause this issue. Also, physical damage to your cellular unit or your location might prevent it from receiving phone calls.

Here’s a list of the primary reasons why your flip phone is sending all incoming calls straight to voicemail:

  • You programmed calls to go directly to voicemail.
  • Your phone doesn’t have good cellular coverage.
  • Call forwarding is enabled and active.
  • You have airplane mode turned on.
  • You have DnD setting in place.
  • The incoming calls might be coming from a blocked number.

Let’s go over each of these sections in more detail.

Calls Go Directly to Voicemail

One of the most common and often overlooked reasons incoming calls on your flip phone go straight to voicemail is that you have it set up (on purpose or accidentally) to do so.

Usually, your cellular service provides you with a voicemail service as a means for people to leave you a “voice” message if they can’t reach you on your phone. However, some cellular service providers have a feature to transfer all incoming calls to voicemail, which can be helpful if you’re on vacation or busy and don’t want to entertain incoming calls.

If you accidentally configured your phone to transfer all incoming calls to voicemail, that might be the root of all problems. To fix this, you can go to your voicemail settings. You should be able to access it by holding NUM 1 on your flip phone’s keypad.

Alternatively, call your cellular service provider and have them fix the issue for you or set up voicemail properly.

Your Flip Phone Doesn’t Have Good Cellular Coverage

Do you notice that your flip phone sends calls to your voicemail when you’re in a particular location? If yes, this might be happening because of poor network coverage. Some common locations where you may not get a signal include:

  • Subways
  • Office spaces
  • Bathrooms
  • Remote locations

If signals from the closest cell tower cannot reach your flip phone, you won’t be able to receive or make calls on your phone, and the incoming calls will go straight to your voicemail. If you only lose cellular coverage in a particular location, simply leaving that place should fix your problems.

However, your cellular service provider may not have towers nearby if you can’t find cellular coverage anywhere. In this case, it’s best to switch to a network with service in your area.

For reference, here’s a helpful guide on how to find the nearest cell towers.

You Enabled Call Forwarding on Your Flip Phone

Call forwarding is a helpful feature that allows you to redirect calls coming to your flip phone to a different phone number. However, if that phone number is “switched off” or “out of network coverage,” the call might get sent straight to your voicemail. The same can happen if you mistakenly set up call forwarding to an invalid number.

To fix this problem, disable the call forwarding feature on your flip phone and see if calls are still getting auto-transferred to your voicemail. If you can now receive incoming calls, you know where the problem was.

But if you must have call forwarding enabled, try to change it to a different number, and if the calls start to go to voicemail again, I recommend you stop using call forwarding to avoid this issue.

You Have Airplane Mode Turned On

Airplane mode prevents your flip phone from connecting to any cellular or WiFi network, so if you have it enabled and you get any calls, they’ll naturally get diverted to your voicemail.

It’s worth checking whether you have airplane mode enabled if all calls are getting relayed to your voicemail, as you may have turned it on when boarding a plane or entering a conference room and forgot to turn it off.

Some flip phones have a shortcut button on the keypad, which, if you press long enough, can enable airplane mode. Accidentally long-pressing that control can also enable airplane mode leading to all your problems. In this case, simply disabling the airplane mode will fix your issue.

To get started, go to your flip phone’s settings page and search for the airplane mode option. It should be under “Calls,” “Connectivity,” or a similar option, and simply disable airplane mode and check if the problem persists. You can also refer to your phone’s manual to learn how to disable airplane mode on your specific phone model.

AdobeStock_28297954 woman using a flip phone pushing some keys

You Have Do Not Disturb Tuned On

The DnD or “Do not Disturb” is a handy feature to stop your phone from constantly bugging you about spam and other unwanted calls, especially when you want to focus on a serious task.

On most flip phones, enabling DnD will not only “silence” the incoming calls but also prevent any pop-ups or dialog boxes from showing incoming call alerts.

Only when you turn off DnD will you know which people tried reaching you, so if you have DnD enabled on your phone, a person trying to reach you will only hear the caller tune and ultimately get redirected to your voicemail. In these cases, this might be what’s causing your issue.

To fix this issue, see if you turned on DnD on your flip phone, which you should be able to see by heading into your phone’s settings page and searching for DnD or “Do Not Disturb.” It might be under the “Calls” and “Connectivity” settings, in “Notifications,” or you can also look into your phone’s manual.

If you see DnD is enabled, that might explain why calls go straight to voicemail. Disabling the feature will stop this from happening.

The Incoming Call Might Be Coming From a Blocked Number

If almost all incoming calls are coming through, but a few are going straight to voicemail, you might have blocked those contacts.

When you block a phone number, your flip phone will automatically reject all incoming calls and messages from that number. Unfortunately, some flip phones won’t even bother you with notifications that the blocked number was trying to reach you.

Now, if you have set up your voicemail so that rejected calls go to voicemail, that might explain this phenomenon. Try unblocking the number to fix this problem of your flip phone going straight to voicemail, allowing you to receive their calls as usual and stopping them from going straight to voicemail.

To unblock a number, go into your flip phone’s settings page and search for “Blocked Numbers” or “Block List.” You should find it under the “Contacts” page or “Phone” settings, but if you’re having trouble locating the option, refer to your phone’s manual.

The Bottom Line

So these were the top 6 reasons why incoming calls on your flip phone go straight to voicemail. I hope this article helped you figure out what’s causing this issue on your specific phone model and you were able to fix it with the provided solutions.