Can’t Receive Calls on Your Galaxy S7? Some Quick Fixes
It’s no secret that smartphones are basically mini-computers made for your pocket. In fact, smartphones do so much for us, we’re quick to forget that they also exist to make phone calls. Between texting, instant message applications like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and video chat applications like Google Duo, there’s no shortage of ways to connect with other people, whether they live down the street or on the other side of the world. Yes, the classic “phone call” isn’t quite as popular as it used to be, but that doesn’t mean phone calls aren’t convenient. For one thing, they’re great for hammering down a bunch of details quickly, instead of sending ten or twenty text messages back and forth. They’re fast, they require little-to-no effort, and you can even place them while you’re driving—that is, as long as you’re using a hands-free calling system like Android Auto.
But if you’re like most smartphone users, you probably don’t think about your Galaxy S7 or S7 edge’s actual phone. That is, until you need to place a phone call—only to find you can’t receive or make calls. Suddenly, a function we all take for granted becomes an actual problem.
So, if you’re struggling to place calls to your friends, co-workers, or clients from your S7, let’s take a look at how you could fix your call issues.
Quick Tips for Solving Your Call Issues
The first steps to troubleshooting should always involve taking small steps to try and fix the problem at hand, and solving issues placing or receiving phone calls are no different. Here are some quick guides to try on your Galaxy S7.
- Reboot your phone. Often a quick reboot can jolt a phone back into operation, especially if your system software or an app was recently updated. Just hold down the Power key and select “Reboot” from the menu.
- Check your network connection. In the top right corner of your screen is your status bar. You should see 1-5 bars, along with a 4G or 3G logo, depending on the data speed in your area. If you don’t have a signal from your wireless carrier, you may be in a dead zone. If you’re in an area that normally has coverage, your phone may be experiencing network connectivity problems, or your carrier might be suffering from an outage. These outages happen infrequently, but often enough that it’s worth looking into. Typically, searching Google for “[your carrier] outage” will return coverage and outage maps, which you can use to check your current location. If your carrier is currently experiencing an outage, you’ll have to wait for operations to be re-enabled. Typically this takes one-to-three hours, depending on the cause and severity of the outage.
- While the Phone application itself doesn’t have a way to clear the application cache, you can clear the cache of your Contacts app for a similar effect. While the two applications do have different functions, they also have several functions tied together. Just head into Settings, scroll down to the “Apps” menu, and select “Application manager.” Once your apps list loads, find the “Contacts” application. Select “Storage,” then press “Clear Cache” to reset the app.
- If you’re using a third-party dialer, switch back to the stock Samsung Phone and Contacts applications. It’s possible a bug with your choice of dialer app has caused a problem with placing calls that won’t be there with the standard application. You should also disable or uninstall any applications you’re using that modify your calls, including Caller ID or call blocking apps. Though uncommon, it could be causing problems with your own phone calls..
- If you’ve enabled WiFi calling or HD calling on your phone, disable one or both and try to place a call over your mobile network. Though these settings are located in several different settings locations based on your carrier, it should be under the “Wireless and Networks” category in your S7’s settings menu. On my Verizon model, WiFi calling is under “Advanced Calling.” You can then turn off both HD Voice and WiFi calling from this menu. After these settings are disabled, try once more to place or receive a phone call.
Check Other Functions of Your Phone
If you’re experiencing problems placing or receiving calls on your device, we should make sure those issues don’t include network-related problems as well. If you haven’t already, disable your WiFi (if you’re currently connected to WiFi) and try to send a text message or do a quick Google search on your device. If everything on your phone is working except for your calls, we can move forward. If you’re experiencing other problems—like you can’t place a phone call, or use your data—you may have a different, network related problem on your hands. Luckily, we have guides for both fixing your network problems and for fixing your SMS issues, so head on over to our respective guides for each of those issues. Otherwise, let’s continue troubleshooting your device for call-related issues.
Make Sure Your Phone Isn’t On Do-Not-Disturb
It might sound silly, but leaving your phone on Do-Not-Disturb mode will create problems alerting you to incoming calls. To make sure your phone is set to allow phone calls, slide down your notification tray to reveal the quick-settings menu. Make sure your Do-Not-Disturb mode is grayed out and disabled; if it’s lit up, click the icon to disable it. Once you’ve disabled Do-Not-Disturb mode, your phone will once again alert you when you have an incoming call.
Check Your Phone’s Block List
Head into your call settings by opening your Phone application from your app drawer. Tap the triple-dotted menu button in the top-right of the display and select “Settings.” Under the “Call Settings” category, you’ll see “Block numbers” listed as the first option; tap the menu to proceed to the next display. Make sure you haven’t accidentally blocked a number you’re trying to reachl if you have, tap the delete icon on the right of the display to remove the number from the list, and try to call that person again.
You should also disable “Block anonymous calls” for the time being, if you have it enabled, to see if the person trying to reach you can get through once the option is disabled.
Reset Your Network Settings
If you’ve tried all of the above steps and your phone still isn’t able to send or receive phone calls, you can try resetting several of your settings back to their default modes. First, start by opening your settings menu and finding the “Backup and Reset” option near the bottom of your settings list. If you’re viewing your settings in simplified mode, you’ll find this option by selecting “General management,” followed by “Reset.” You’ll find three reset options in this menu: “Reset Settings,” “Reset Network Settings,” and “Factory Data Reset.” We’ll be using the second option: “Reset Network Settings.” This will reset your WiFi, Bluetooth, and mobile data connections back to their carrier-enabled defaults. If your network settings have been changed, either by user error or a rogue application, this option will reset your phone’s network capabilities to stock. Do note that your WiFi and Bluetooth settings and devices will be lost, so you will have to reenter your passwords and repair your devices back to your phone once the reset is done.
After your network settings have been reset (it should only take a few moments), try to place or receive a phone call and see if your calling capabilities have been restored to the phone. If they have, feel free to restore any wireless and Bluetooth you previously removed by resetting your network settings. If not, continue down to the next guide.
Clear Your Cache Partition
Next up on our list of resets: clearing your S7’s cache partition. If you’ve never wiped your phone’s cache partition, do proceed with caution and follow this guide closely. It’s easy to do this step, but selecting the wrong menu can wipe or brick your phone. Wiping the cache partition of your S7 won’t wipe any user data or applications from your device. Instead, your cache partition holds any temporary data saved by the applications and software on your phone, allowing your phone to load app data faster. Unfortunately, this information can sometimes lead to problems or issues with your phone if something goes wrong with your cache. Clearing the cache partition should fix any minor issues with your device’s usability or connection.
Start by powering your phone completely off. Once the device is off, press and hold the Home key, the Power key, and the Volume Up key. Once the words “Recovery Booting” appear at the top of your screen, you can let go of these buttons. A blue screen reading “Installing System Update” for up to thirty seconds; the display will then alert you that the system update has failed. This is normal, so don’t stress. Let the phone sit for another few seconds, and the display will switch to a black background with yellow, blue, and white text on it. At the top of your screen, the words “Android Recovery” will appear; you’ve successfully booted into recovery mode in Android. Using the volume keys to move your selector up and down, move down to “Wipe Cache Partition” on the menu. In the picture above, it’s below the highlighted blue line—don’t select that option unless you want to wipe your entire phone. Once you’ve highlighted “Wipe Cache Partition,” press the Power key to select the option, then use the Volume keys to highlight “Yes” and the Power key once more to confirm. Your phone will begin wiping the cache partition, which will take a few moments. Hold tight while the process continues. Once it’s complete, select “Reboot device now” if it isn’t already selected and press your Power key to confirm.
Once your device has rebooted, try once more to make or receive a phone call. If your phone still fails to do either, and you’re sure the problem doesn’t lie with your carrier’s mobile network or a misbehaving application on your phone, we can move onto our final troubleshooting guide.
Factory Reset Your Phone
Finally, we come to the final step when doing any troubleshooting on your phone: a full factory data reset. As we mentioned above, you should ensure you followed this guide closely and performed each of the steps before this, as factory resetting your phone will wipe any data and applications you keep on your device.
Before completely resetting your device, however, you’ll want to back your phone up to the cloud, using a backup service of your choice. Some recommendations: Samsung Cloud and Google Drive work best with your device, but if you’re interested in using something like Verizon Cloud, that will work too. You can also use apps like SMS Backup and Restore and Google Photos to backup your SMS messages, call log, and photos to the cloud. You can also transfer important files or information to an SD card installed in your device; factory resets don’t clear your SD cards unless you check a specific setting.
Once you’ve backed your files up, open your settings menu and select “Backup and Reset,” found under the “Personal” category in the standard settings menu and under “General management” on the simplified layout. This time, select the third reset option, “Factory data reset.” This will open a menu that shows every account you’ve signed into on your phone, along with a warning that everything on your device will be wiped. As mentioned above, your SD card will not be reset unless you choose to select the “Format SD card” option at the bottom of your menu; whether you want to do so is up to you, but it isn’t necessary for this process. Before selecting “Reset phone” at the bottom of this menu, make sure your phone is either plugged-in or fully charged. A factory reset can use a large amount of power and can take upwards of half an hour, so you don’t want your phone dying during the process.
Once you’ve confirmed your device is either charging or charged, select “Reset phone” at the bottom of your scree, and enter your PIN or password for security verification. After this, your phone will begin to reset. Let the device sit and complete the process; don’t mess with your S7 during this time. Once the reset is complete—which, again, can take thirty minutes or more—you’ll be booted to the Android setup display. Complete the setup on your device as normal. Once you arrive at your device’s home screen, you can try to place a phone call. Typically, any software troubles on your phone are completely fixed by a full wipe of your phone, so if there are any remaining problems, we only have one last suggestion.
Contact Your Wireless Provider/Retailer
If you’ve done everything above and you still can’t manage to send or receive phone calls, it’s time to reach out to your carrier or your local retailer to try to set up a support appointment. You can also use your carrier’s support phone line, but it’s faster and quicker if you meet with a technician in person. They may need to replace your SIM card, or send your phone in for repair if it’s still covered under warranty.
Once you’ve received a new SIM card or repaired phone, try once more to place a phone call to a friend, just to ensure your device is working. With any luck, you won’t have to come this far in the guide, but if you have, a repaired phone should be all you need to be back up and running with your phone calls.