What Does It Mean When Call Goes to Voicemail After Two Rings?

What Does It Mean When Call Goes to Voicemail After Two Rings?

Calling your friends or family can sometimes result in the phone ringing a set number of times before going to voicemail. But if every time you call, it rings two times and then goes to voicemail, what does this mean?

Two rings and then straight to voicemail likely means the call is ignored, your number is blocked or the receiver has not answered a phone call recently.

We’ll have a look at all the times the phone will ring and go to voicemail, as well as what may be causing this and ways to check if you’re being blocked or there are just some phone issues happening.

If the Phone Rings Twice Then Goes to Voicemail, Are You Blocked?

What Does It Mean When Call Goes to Voicemail After Two Rings?

The number of rings a phone makes before it goes to voicemail can be adjusted as well as having some changes that occur automatically.

It will depend on the carrier you’re using as well as the device when checking this setting. As this is one of the most common questions a phone company has to answer, you should be able to find detailed instructions just by searching the official company website.

For a landline, you’ll generally have to dial a number and set the number of rings before a call gets sent to voicemail. This can be a bit of a slow process and you should try the other methods before this one.

For some carriers, you can login to your account online and then change the number of rings in the voicemail settings. This is a common feature and so is normally named something like  ‘Set Number Of Rings Before Voicemail’, which is the name AT&T gives it.

Voicemail may activate after a set amount of rings, but if the phone is not answered, then the number of rings until a call gets sent to voicemail may decrease. 

This will depend heavily on the phone type and carrier, but after a phone call is missed, the next time it may only ring once before getting sent to voicemail. This means you can test what is happening by calling the number back and counting the number of rings.

If you notice it rings the standard six or eight times before voicemail, but then on the next call has gone down to two, and then the next call goes straight to voicemail, this is likely indicating that the person is just not answering their phone rather than blocking you.

The Ignore Button

Phones will give you a few choices when you receive a call, answer or ignore being the two main ones. Ignore will send the call directly to voicemail, prompting the caller to leave a message.

The general flow of this involves the phone ringing, the person checking the phone, and then making the decision to send it to voicemail. This could be because they’re at work or otherwise indisposed and unable to take the call.

In most cases, this means that the phone will ring once or twice before someone hits the ignore button, as this is the amount of time it takes to glance at the phone and reach for the ignore button. 

How Many Times Does the Phone Ring When You Are Blocked?

What Does It Mean When Call Goes to Voicemail After Two Rings?

If the phone goes immediately to voicemail or does only one or part of one ring, it’s likely that your number has been blocked, you’re on their blacklist, it was instantly declined/ignored or the person has do not disturb mode on.

Generally, there’s a reason for this, but if you’re certain that the person does actually want to talk to you, it can be worth sending a message through some other means to make them aware of this setting, as many people don’t realize they’ve put it on.

However, if you don’t hear from them after a few days, it’s very likely that the block was intentional and you should probably take the hint not to contact them anymore.

You can always double-check by using a different phone, hiding your own caller ID, or hiding your phone number in some way and then calling them back. Be prepared that this conversation may be very awkward if the person has actually been dodging you.

Keep in mind that if a blocked number has just called, many people won’t answer the next number if it calls through within five minutes for this exact reason, so give it at least 30 minutes between calls.

It’s worth keeping in mind that if someone is blocked, the behavior of how everything else works will depend a lot on what phone or device they have, and what carrier they are with.

For example, you may not be able to send text messages to someone who has blocked you, and it may enable you to leave a voicemail, but this will never be communicated to the person who blocked you.

Some messaging apps will show when your message is delivered and read, so you can try sending a message on these apps to see if the person is busy and can’t answer, or is just avoiding these calls.

Answering Machine and Call Forwarding

While not so common anymore, a separate answering machine will often let the phone ring once or twice before taking a message. The settings for this can have it so that it prompts the caller to leave a message right away, or rings 10 times before taking a message.

Call forwarding can be enabled on the phone itself or in the carrier settings, and this will force a call to be sent to another device or destination. Before doing the redirect, it’s common to have the phone ring once or twice before the transfer.

Normally, the transfer is denoted by a different tone ringing. If your call forward destination is busy or has other issues, this may send the call directly to voicemail.

This call forwarding behavior also happens if the person is on the phone when you call them. Their phone will give them an option to switch to the new caller, sometimes referred to as call waiting, and then switch back.

If the second caller is ignored, the phone will ring the standard number of times before being sent to voicemail or the call dropped.

Connection Issues

What Does It Mean When Call Goes to Voicemail After Two Rings?

A large cause of a phone only ringing a few times before stopping is that a cell signal is not reaching the other phone. While the actual technology behind voicemail has a lot going on, it is definitely possible to leave a voicemail even if you can’t reach their phone.

This is because they may be out of cell range, but you’re not, so you can still get through to their carrier or cell provider to leave a message even if you can’t contact the other phone directly.

It may be worth removing and then reinserting the SIM card to see if this helps improve cell service. You can also try turning off and then turning on cell data as this may help establish a better connection and enable a phone call to come through.

On your phone that is suffering from connection issues, open up settings and find Network Settings. Tap on Reset Network Settings and wait for the phone to reconnect to the cell network. Try calling someone or have someone call you to see if the issue is resolved.

Some apps can use the WiFi, and if this switch between cell data and WiFi is having issues, this can cause the call to be diverted to voicemail.

Launch the phone’s settings and open Connections or Phone to access your phone call settings. The option is generally called Wi-Fi Calling, and it can be temporarily disabled to see if that solves the issue.

Disconnected or Dead Phone

If a number has been disconnected, when you ring it, it may direct you straight to a recorded message informing you of the fact, and it may ring once or twice before doing so.

In other cases, it will send you almost directly to the recorded message.

If you’re still getting connected to a voicemail, it is very likely that the phone account is still active.

That means that if you’re calling someone and it’s going straight to voicemail, it could just be that their phone has run out of battery. Depending on the particular configuration it may still ring once or twice, but generally, a dead phone won’t ring at all.

These symptoms can also manifest in the same way if airplane mode is being used. Airplane mode kicks you off both WiFi and the cell networks, meaning you won’t be able to send or receive calls. It’s easy to switch this on and not notice, leaving your phone unreachable.


  • Tristan

    Tristan has a strong interest in the intersection of artificial intelligence and creative expression. He has a background in computer science, and he enjoys exploring the ways in which AI can enhance and augment human creativity. In his writing, he often delves into the ways in which AI is being used to generate original works of fiction and poetry, as well as to analyze and understand patterns in existing texts.