9 Best Ways to Fix What­sApp Calls Not Ring­ing When Phone is Locked

Olanrewaju Sodiq

How often do you unlock your phone, launch WhatsApp and meet a bunch of missed calls that didn't ring when your phone was locked? This happens both on Android and iOS devices. We have a detailed guide covering seven (7) ways to fix the issue on iPhone and iPad. In this article, the focus will be on Android devices. Let's get to it.

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First off, confirm that your phone's cellular data/Wi-Fi is enabled and make sure you have an active internet plan. Secondly, check that your phone's ringtone is properly configured and your sound profile isn't set to Silent. Lastly, restarting your device could also help. If you still don't receive WhatsApp call notifications when your phone is locked, proceed to the troubleshooting methods below.

Note: Due to the diversity in software configuration and branding of Android phones, the steps/instructions under the methods listed below might vary from device to device.

1. Disable Do Not Disturb

When enabled, Do Not Disturb will mute all incoming cellular calls and other third-party apps. If WhatsApp calls aren't ringing when your phone is locked, check that 'Do Not Disturb' isn't active. You'd find the 'Do Not Disturb' option in the Sound section of your Android Settings menu. Go to Settings > Sound > Do Not Disturb and tap the 'Turn Off Now' button.

Fix whatsapp calls not ringing when phone locked
Fix whatsapp calls not ringing when phone locked 01

Do Not Disturb can also be easily disabled from the System Tray.

2. Force Stop WhatsApp

Another way to expeditiously fix this issue is to force-stop apps whenever WhatsApp calls are not ringing when your phone is locked.

Step 1: Long-press the WhatsApp icon and tap App info to open the WhatsApp info page.

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Step 2: Next, tap the Force Stop icon and select OK on the confirmation prompt.

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Fix whatsapp calls not ringing when phone locked 04

3. Re-Enable WhatsApp Notification

If WhatsApp notification is disabled or improperly configured on your device, voice and video calls might not ring, even when your phone is unlocked. To fix this, inspect the app's notification settings and check that WhatsApp is set to receive notifications. If everything looks fine, you can turn off WhatsApp notifications and re-enable it. That can help restore WhatsApp's text and call notifications back to normalcy.

Step 1: Long-press the WhatsApp icon and tap App info to reveal the application details page.

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Step 2: Select Notifications.

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Step 3: Toggle off the Show notifications option and toggle it back on.

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Fix whatsapp calls not ringing when phone locked 07

4. Clear WhatsApp Cache

Apps create cache files, so they boot quicker and run faster during usage. However, when these files build up over time, they eat up your device’s storage and sometimes cause an app to malfunction. If WhatsApp doesn’t ting when your phone is locked, and none of the solutions above fixed the issue, clearing its (read: WhatsApp) cache storage might help.

Step 1: Launch the Settings menu and select ‘Apps & notifications.’

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Step 2: Tap App info.

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Step 3: Scroll through the list of apps and select WhatsApp.

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Step 4: Tap ‘Storage & cache.’

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Step 5: Finally, tap the Clear Cache icon.

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5. Update WhatsApp

Your phone might fail to notify you of WhatsApp's voice or video calls if there's a bug causing the app to malfunction. Manually updating WhatsApp to the latest available version is your best bet at fixing the issue. Visit the WhatsApp info page on the Google Play Store and check that it is up-to-date.

Tap the Update button to install the latest version of the instant messenger on your device.

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6. Modify Background Data Settings

WhatsApp requires round-the-clock access to your phone's cellular data or Wi-Fi connection to provide users with prompt and real-time notifications of texts and calls. If WhatsApp call doesn’t ring when your phone is locked, check that it has access to background usage of your app’s internet connection.

Step 1: Launch the WhatsApp app info page and select ‘Mobile data & Wi-Fi.’

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Step 2: Check that Background data is enabled.

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You can also toggle on the ‘Unrestricted data usage’ option to permit WhatsApp to use unrestricted data access when Data Saver is enabled on your device.

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7. Disable Battery Saver

Another probable culprit of this issue is the Android Battery Saver feature. In a bid to extend battery life, Battery Saver (Battery Optimization on some devices) might cause your phone to block WhatsApp call notifications. Disable the Battery Saver and check if WhatsApp calls now ring when your phone is locked.

You can disable Battery Saver from the Notification Panel or the Settings Menu (Settings > Battery > Battery Saver > Turn Off Now).

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Fix whatsapp calls not ringing when phone locked 18

8. Update Google Play Services

Google Play Services plays an important role in the proper functioning of your apps and other services like push notifications, location services, etc. Updating Google Play services could also help fix the WhatsApp Call notification issues.

Step 1: Launch the Setting menu and select 'Apps & notifications.'

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Step 2: Select App info to reveal all apps on your smartphone.

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Step 3: Scroll through the application list and select 'Google Play services.'

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Step 4: Tap the Advanced drop-down button.

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Step 5: Under the Store section, select App details.

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That will redirect you to the 'Google Play services' page on the Play Store.

Step 6: Finally, tap the Update button to install the latest version of the software on your smartphone.

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9. Reinstall WhatsApp

Deleting and reinstalling the instant messaging app from your device is another troubleshooting solution worth trying out. Launch the WhatsApp info page on the Play Store and tap the Uninstall button to remove the app and its data from your phone.

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Reinstall the app, set up your account, and check if calls ring out when you lock your device.

What Else Can Be Done

Suppose you still don't get WhatsApp call notifications on your phone after implementing all the solutions mentioned above. In that case, one last thing we recommend is updating your phone's operating system to the latest version—go to Settings > System > Software update. Check for any available Android update and install it on your device. Do let us know if that helps.

Next up: Are you facing troubles in making or receiving video calls on WhatsApp? Click the next link for 11 useful fixes to solve WhatsApp video call issues on iPhone and Android.


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Sodiq has written thousands of tutorials, guides, and explainers over the past 3 years to help people solve problems relating to Android, iOS, and Windows devices. He also enjoys reviewing consumer tech products (smartphones, smart home devices, etc.) and previously worked with GearBest in that capacity.