How To Tell If Someone’s Phone Is Off Or Dead

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How To Tell If Someone's Phone Is Off iPhone

There are times when you’re trying to reach someone and you’re just unsure if their phone is off or they just ignoring your calls. Obviously, when someone isn’t answering their calls or their calls aren’t connecting, it can be concerning and it can lead you to conclude that their phone is off. There are certain things that you’ll hear on a phone call that’ll indicate to you that someone’s phone is off.

How To Tell If Someone’s Phone Is Off Or Dead

1. Phone Rings Once (Or a Half Ring) Then Disconnects

The most common thing that you’ll notice when someone’s phone is dead and you’re trying to reach them is that the call rings once then goes straight to the answering machine. Usually when a phone is turned off, or there’s no service and it’s hard for the phone to be reached, you’ll hear the call ring once then you’ll be allowed to leave a voicemail after the tone.

Depending on their carrier, you may also hear something along the lines of ‘The mobile phone you are trying to calling has been switched off, Please Try again Later.’ Or ‘The person you are trying to reach is out of coverage, Please try again later.’ Or ‘The person you are trying to reach is Unavailable, Please try again later.’ All of these messages can indicate to you that the person you’re trying to reach phone is dead.

There’s pretty much nothing else that could indicate to you that someone’s phone is dead apart from hearing the call ring once then going straight to the answering machine so that you can leave a voicemail, or you hear a message saying that the phone is off/person isn’t available and you should try again later.

2. You Ask Them When Their Phone’s On If It Was Off

If you want to know if someone’s phone is turned off or dead, then you can ask them. Simply send them a message on a platform like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp and ask them if their phone was off or dead. If they let you know that their phone was off your dead, then you’ll know that their phone was recently off or dead when you tried to reach them, then you’ll know. Of course, you only want to find out if their phone was off or dead when you were calling or texting them, but if you’re unable to find out while you think their phone is off, then you can wait for them to respond to your text message. If this is a family member’s phone that you were trying to reach, asking if their phone was on or dead won’t be awkward as you’re close with them.

3. Check When They Were Last Active on WhatsApp

Checking when someone was last active on WhatsApp can give you an idea of if their phone was on or off. If they’re a frequent WhatsApp user and they haven’t been active on WhatsApp in hours, then chances are their phone is off. Make sure that they haven’t been off WhatsApp for too long because people usually charge their phone when it’s dead (during the day). If it’s the middle of the night, their phone might be dead if they don’t charge it during the night. Again, you can just send them a simply message saying i tried to call you last night but it wasn’t going through, from here, they’ll either let you know that they didn’t see your call or their phone was dead.

4. You’ll Be Able to Forward The Call

If the recipient has call forwarding activated, if their phone is dead or they’ve turned it off, when you call them, you’ll be able to forward the call to another number. Not many people have call forwarding activated so if you’re trying to call a friend and you’re wondering why forwarding the call isn’t an option, don’t be surprised because it’s usually corporate numbers. Before a call is forwarded, you’ll commonly hear the call ring once, then you’ll have the option to forward the call even though the phone was turned off.

5. You’ll Hear A Not Reachable Tone

If their phone is off or dead, you might also hear the not reachable tone. The not reachable tone is a tone that a lot of carriers default to when you’re trying to call someone but their phone is dead. This is indicated by a beeping sound when you try and call them and you won’t even hear the line ring or allow you to leave a voicemail. You may also get a text message letting you know that they’re not reachable depending on the recipient’s provider. Other providers may all later notify you when the person’s mobile is turned on. Before the not reachable tone, you may also hear the call ring once which is very common.

Rather than hearing the not reachable tone, you may be informed with an automatic message right away saying that the person is not reachable which will indicate that their phone is turned off.

6. The Call Will Ring Like Normal

If you’re trying to call someone’s landline, you might hear that the line will continue to ring like normal then go into the answerphone even if their landline is dead. It’s a lot harder to know if someone’s landline is dead or off compared to a phone due to landlines ringing continuously even if they’re not dead.

7. It Will Transfer To A Hunt Group

If you’re trying to call a corporate number and you’re wondering is the phone is off, you might notice that it transferred to a hunt group until the call is answered by one of the numbers within the group. A hunt group is a feature in a phone system that distributes calls from a single phone number to a group of numbers in a company. Simply put, when callers ring your company phone number, the group will route the call to a group of members so they can answer the call.

How to Tell If Someone’s Phone Is Off When Texting

If you want to know if someone’s phone is off when you’re texting them, there are a few things you’ll notice when you’re texting them. Whether this is on your iPhone or Android device, you can use platforms like iMessage to know if your phone is off.

1. They Don’t Reply To Your Message

A big indicator that their phone is off when you’re trying to text them is that they don’t reply to your message. If someone is a quick replier, but for some reason, they’re taking ages to get back to your message, chances are their phone has died or they’ve turned it off. Although this isn’t the best indicator, it’ll give you clues as to if their phone is dead. If you know that they’re not busy on that day and they’re just at home doing nothing but they’ve suddenly stopped responding to your messages, their phone could be dead.

2. You Text Them on iMessage And It Turns Green

If you have an iPhone and you text them on iMessage, if it takes a while to deliver then it goes from green to blue, then you’ll know that their phone is off. It’s a better indicator when you’ve been texting them for a while and it suddenly turns green. If you know they’re at home and it’s not their service causing this, then you’ll know that their phone is dead. Even if it doesn’t turn green, the message might just not deliver.

1. Open up iMessage

2. Open the conversation with the suspected blocker

3. Check underneath the last message you sent

4. Check for a read receipt below the last message

Many users have read receipts turned on, so if you no longer see ‘Read at’ underneath your sent messages, their phone might be dead or the person may have turned off Read Receipts. If you didn’t see a read receipt under the last message, check for a deliverer receipt under the last message. If you don’t see delivered, then chances are their phone is off. If you do see delivered, then their phone isn’t dead.

How to Tell If Someone Phone Is Off Without Calling Them

If you don’t want to call someone but you want to know if their phone is off or dead, there are a few ways that you can go about it. These methods involve hiding your identity and still calling them rather than not calling them at all because the best way to know if someone’s phone is off is to try and call them.

1. Call Them On No Caller ID

Calling someone on no caller id is a good way to know if their phone is off. Even if you don’t want to call them on no caller id for the slight chance that they’ll know it’s you, calling them with a friend’s number to see if the call goes through will let you know if they’ve turned their phone off or if it’s dead. If you’ve called them in the past and it normally goes through but now you’re calling them on no caller id or you’ve got a friend to call them and it’s not going through, chances are their phone is off.

2. Mask Your Number

If you want to know if their phone is off, try calling them with a masked number. If you want to mask your number on your iPhone so you can call them without them finding out it’s you, dial *67 before the ten-digit number and then press the call button. To prevent your number from being shown while trying to find out if your phone is off, toggle off Show My Caller ID to prevent your number from being displayed. Some carriers don’t have this feature as an option so you may or may not be able to use this feature.

If the phone rings twice or more, you may be sure that you have been blocked. The blocker may not pick up the call since “No Caller ID” will be shown on the receiving device. After all, most individuals no longer answer anonymous phone calls.

If you call them with a masked number and it rings twice or more, then their phone is still on because dead phones only ring once and then goes to the answerphone.

How to Know If Someone’s Phone Is Out Of Service

Sometimes someone’s phone may be out of service and you delay it for their phone is off. It’s quite hard to distinguish if someone’s phone is actually dead or if their phone is just out of service.

The Call Goes Straight to The Mailbox/Voicemail system

When you call someone, the call can go straight to voicemail if they have it set up so that you can leave them a message after the tone. When you call someone and their phone is off, it’s very common for the call to go straight to voicemail. Most people have voicemail set up which is why you’ll easily be able to leave a message after the tone. It’s also common for the call to ring before it goes straight to the answering machine so don’t think that the person’s phone isn’t dead if you hear a ringing.

If Someone’s Phone Is Off Will It Ring

If someone has a dead battery or they’ve just turned off their phone, rather than hearing the line ring when you call them, you might just hear a single ring or a half ring. This happens when someone’s phone is dead, off, or you’re blocked. If their phone is on, then the line should continue to ring and you shouldn’t just hear one-ring. The number of rings is crucial to know if this person’s phone is dead – always listen out for a short ring then leave a voicemail message speech, anything that’s ongoing indicates that their phone is off. If it rings once

You’ll Never Truly Know When Someone’s Phone Is Off

There’s no true way to know that someone’s phone is dead just by listening out to what you hear when you call them because the same messages and patterns can mean different things. If you notice a lot of the things mentioned above happen to you, it may also be a sign of a potential block so it shouldn’t be confirmation to you if you’re noticing a lot of the things above happen when you try and call or text someone.

They Have No Service

When someone’s phone rings once then goes to voicemail, this could also mean that they have no service. If a phone has no service, it can’t connect to its carrier therefore you’re not going to be able to reach them which is why it may seem like their phone is turned off.

You’ve been Blocked

Another thing that it could mean when you call someone and it rings once then turns off is that they’ve blocked your number. When someone has blocked your number, you wouldn’t be able to connect calls with them as the call always goes to the answering machine after ringing once. This is why you should never just assume that someone’s phone is off after trying to call them because the same message can mean a lot of things.

Do Not Disturb

Another situation where you’ll hear the same thing as when their phone is dead is if they’ve put their phone on Do Not Disturb on their Apple device (on iPhone, DND is indicated by a faint little crescent-moon icon near the notch). If they have an Android phone, they can also have Do Not disturb enabled. But the only difference is that when you try to call them a second time, the call will go through. But the first time you try and call them, it’ll seem as if their phone is dead. Another thing that happens when someone is using DND is that they don’t receive any notifications on their lock screen and no notification will come down from the top bar while they’re using their phone. So if you try and text them and you’re concluding that their phone might be dead because them not responding is a clue for you, then they might just be using DND.

Their Phone Is On Airplane Mode

If the recipient’s phone is on Airplane mode, then it’ll seem as if their phone is off when you try and call them or text them, when you call someone, their phone isn’t going to ring whether their phone is off or dead or if they’re on Airplane mode. Airplane mode

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.

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