Although Android got polished over years, there are still some puzzling issues that often come as isolated cases and thus hardly get addressed by OEMs. The issue we want to talk about today is really rare but still occurs, even on Android 11 devices. Namely, for some, the phone keeps ringing continuously and they can’t answer the call or stop it unless they power off the device or the caller ends the call.
If you are affected by this or a similar problem, check the steps we listed below.
Table of contents:
- Restart your device
- Remove the SIM card and add it again
- Wipe cache partition
- Reset App preferences
- Uninstall updates from the Phone app
- Update Android
- Check the Proximity sensor
- Boot into Safe mode
- Reset your device to factory settings
What does it mean when a phone rings endlessly?
1. Restart your device
Start troubleshooting by restarting your device. System bugs range from minor UI glitches to major issues, and this one is a major one.
If your device is freezing while ringing so you are unable to restart it through the system UI, you can force the power off by holding the Power button until the screen turns off. Once you boot the device again and if the issue persists, make sure to check the next step.
2. Remove the SIM card and add it again
The next thing you should do is remove the SIM card and add it again. In case your Android comes with a dual-SIM option, try switching slots and give it another try.
This way, you’ll allow your Android to read the SIM card again and, hopefully, the continuous ringing should stop.
3. Wipe the cache partition
One of the best ways to deal with system errors is to wipe the cache partition. A cache partition is a separate local storage partition that stores the system cache. Now, this cache shouldn’t be of any importance to the end-user (that’s why the option to wipe it exists solely in the recovery menu), but it’s known that it can cause system issues. Especially when you install new updates.
So, if the issues started after a system update, make sure to wipe the cache partition. Of course, this won’t delete any of your data. Here’s how to wipe the cache partition on Android:
- Turn off your Android.
- Press and hold the Power button + Volume Up until the welcome screen appears. Let go of the Power button and keep holding the Volume Up button.
- Once you get into Recovery mode, use the Volume buttons to get to the Wipe Cache Partition option.
- Press the Power button to confirm the selection. Don’t rush through it because there’s also an option to format everything and we don’t want to do that.
- Reboot the phone back to the system.
4. Reset App preferences
The Phone app failure might be the culprit behind this problem. To fix this, you can ensure that the Default Phone app is the system one but we suggest going a step further. Resetting app preferences is a common troubleshooting step and we wrote about it. It restores defaults to apps en masse including permissions and default settings.
Here’s how to reset app preferences on Android:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Apps & notifications (Apps).
- Tap All apps (App manager or Manage apps).
- Now, tap on the 3-dot menu and select Reset app preferences.
- Confirm the selection.
If your phone keeps ringing continuously after this, make sure to keep moving through the list.
5. Uninstall updates from the Phone app
Moving on. The next thing we’ll try and tackle are possible issues with the default Phone app. The best way to reset a system app is to uninstall updates from it and then re-update it from the Play Store. You can also clear local data before updating the app, just to be sure.
Here’s how to uninstall updates from the Phone/Dialer app on your Android:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Apps. Expand all apps or open App Manager/Manage apps.
- Select the Phone app (Dialer app) from the list of available apps.
- Tap on the 3-dot menu and then tap Uninstall updates.
- Open Storage and clear data.
- Update the app from the Play Store (or Galaxy Store on Samsung devices).
6. Update the Android
Android updates give and Android updates take (or break, to be more punctual). So, if you started experiencing issues with incoming calls and endless ringing after an update, make sure to check for new updates. Usually, updates come every month so you might need to wait for OEM to patch the problem.
You can speed up the process by reporting the issue as soon as possible. Usually, there’s an option to report the problem straight from the app in the Help menu, but there are also system apps like Samsung Members that are used for diagnostics and bug reports. Due to the gravity of the issue, it should be addressed fast unless it’s an isolated case.
Finally, if there are any available updates, you can check for them in Settings > System > Software update. Hopefully, this fixes the problem for you.
7. Check the Proximity sensor
If your phone keeps ringing continuously without a way to stop it (or answer the call), we can’t overlook possible proximity sensor issues. As you already know, the proximity sensor (positioned next to the earpiece speaker) should turn off the display when you take your device close to the ear during calls.
But, on some devices (especially on some older Xiaomi and Redmi handsets), the proximity sensor will turn the screen on or off even before accepting the call. A badly calibrated proximity sensor is what are we probably looking at.
We wrote about the Proximity Sensor problems more extensively the dedicated article. Check the article to learn how to test and, if necessary, fix proximity sensor issues.
8. Boot into Safe mode
We can’t go through the list of solutions without tackling possible rogue apps. Some apps that work in the background are known for causing the phone to ring endlessly and conflict with the Phone app. This is super rare, especially on newer iterations of Android that restrict activities like these, but it’s still a possibility.
To check if this is the case, boot into Safe mode. In this mode, Android will run only essential apps so it’s easy to determine if this is a system bug or if some third-party app is to blame. Call your number while in Safe mode and see if the issue is gone.
Here’s how to boot into Safe mode on Android:
- Press and hold the Power button simultaneously until the Power menu appears.
- Tap and hold on to the Power off icon until the pop-up appears. It should inform you about safe mode and offer options to enter the Safe mode or cancel the action.
- Tap OK to boot into the Safe mode.
- To exit Safe mode, just restart your device.
9. Reset your device to factory settings
Finally, if none of the previous steps worked, the last resort is the factory reset. This can take some time but many issues will eventually require a factory reset if you want to fix them. The factory reset procedure is even advised when upgrading to a newer version of Android, which we explained.
Important thing is to back up your files and system settings (app data, messages, call logs, etc.) to Google Drive so you can quickly restore it later.
Here’s how to reset your Android to factory settings:
- Open Settings.
- Choose System or General Management.
- Select Reset options (Reset).
- Tap Erase all (factory data reset).
- Tap Erase all or Reset.
If that doesn’t help, make sure to take your device to a certified service since this might be a hardware issue. We thank you for reading and do tell us about the alternative solutions we missed. We’ll make sure to add them to the list. You can do that in the comments section below or reach us on Facebook and Twitter.