How to Know if Someone’s Phone is Dead

It’s necessary to be able to tell if someone’s phone is dead, so you can source alternative ways to reach out to them in emergencies. This post reveals how to know when someone’s phone is dead.

We may be unable to reach out to someone for several reasons; most likely, their phone must have been dead. When someone’s phone is dead, and you try placing a call to them, their device won’t ring.

The call would go straight to voicemail, or you’ll hear an operator stating that the number you’re calling is currently switched off or unavailable.

In recent times, with lots of new features and technological advancements, it’s challenging to tell if someone’s phone is dead. Using voicemail or call operator alone isn’t enough evidence to boldly say that a person’s phone is dead because it could also be that someone blocked you or their phone is on Do Not Disturb or Airplane Mode.

You may feel they’re ignoring your calls, but they might have network issues. 

Regardless of how difficult it’s to tell if someone’s phone is dead, certain factors also exist to help you know when a person’s phone is dead.


How Do You Tell If Someone’s Phone Is Off Or Dead?

There are several ways to tell if a person’s phone is turned off or dead. The easiest is to call them. When you call someone, and their phone is dead, the person’s device won’t ring, and you’ll be redirected to voicemail if they have any setup.

The network provided might say that the number you’re trying to call is switched off or unavailable. The network provider will tell you the phone number is no longer in service for a dead phone.

Sometimes the call won’t go directly to voicemail; it may ring once before heading to the person’s voicemail. But this is often the case when someone blocks your number or puts their phone on Do Not Disturb. 

These features prevent calls and texts from entering the recipient’s phone and leave a missed call notification on their end instead. For example, your network provider might tell you the phone is unavailable or out of reach.

Let’s check out signs to note if someone’s phone is dead or not.

1. Check Their Last Seen on Social Media

One way to know if someone’s phone is dead is to check when they were last active on social media, especially WhatsApp; This may not be the case for some people as people’s preference on social media varies. So go to the one they are most frequently active on and check their last active status. If it’s up to hours, then it’s possible their phone is dead or switched off.

You can chill and try contacting them after some time.

2. The Phone Will Not Ring, Not Even Once

Usually, when a person’s phone is dead, and you try calling them, their device won’t ring. Once you dial their number to make a call, the call will go straight to the person’s voicemail, or the network provider might say the phone number is unreachable or unavailable. However, they’re other cases where it may ring once before the call goes to voicemail.

3. Use Location Data

Location data is another effective way to know if someone’s phone is dead. If they share their location with you, you’ll be able to track their location on Find My app.

You will only see their last location on the app if they have been online for a while. You can also track their iPhone with Find My App.

4. Try Texting Them on the Message app or iMessage on iPhone

If you’ve tried calling someone and still can’t access them, you can check if their phone is dead with a text message or iMessage for Apple users.

Once a person’s phone is dead, and you try texting them, the text message won’t go through; this applies only to Apple iMessage users. If you’re sending the text message with an Android, it will go through, but you won’t be able to detect if their phone is dead.

For Android devices, the text messages go out as a regular SMS, but if it takes longer for the text to send, there’s a high possibility that their phone is dead and isn’t receiving any service.

For iMessage, if the person has multiple devices configured for iMessage, then the message will go through, and you won’t be able to detect if their phone is dead. But if the person uses only one device for iMessage, the message won’t go through if their phone is dead.

Anytime their phone comes back on, iMessage will signal that the message is delivered. And you should note that iMessage won’t turn green if the person’s phone is off, except if you or the person turns off iMessage.

5. Try Calling With Another Phone.

Another effective way to check if someone’s phone is off is by calling them with another phone number. 

If you’ve another phone number, you can try calling the person, but if you don’t, you can use one of your friends or family’s phone to place the call.

Calling another phone number is the surest way to know if someone’s phone is dead. It’s a sure and effective method. If the person has two lines, you can also try calling their second line.

6. Hide or Mask Your Phone Number

If you feel someone turned off their phone because they are trying to avoid you, there’s only one way to find out.

Once you call them with your phone and can’t access them, wait a while and try contacting them by hiding your phone number to know if it rings.

If you call them after masking your number and the phone rings, it means their phone isn’t dead and they’ve blocked you. But if it doesn’t ring, then it could be that their phone is dead.

To hide your number when placing a call, add *67 before dialing the person’s number and pressing the call button.

To avoid your number from being displayed, toggle off ‘Show My Caller ID.’ Although some devices don’t have this feature, they may not be able to use this feature.

If the person’s phone rings at least twice after masking your number, then it’s possible that their phone isn’t dead and they’ve blocked you because dead phones only ring once before going to voicemail.

Now that we’ve discussed how to know if someone’s phone is dead, let’s briefly consider a few reasons why someone’s phone may be dead.

Reasons Why Someone’s Phone May be Dead Even When it Isn’t

There are numerous reasons why someone’s phone may be off or dead and you can’t access them. If you need clarification on the possible cause for someone’s phone to be dead, here’s a list of some of the most popular reasons for a dead phone.

1. No Service

There are times when the person’s phone may be on, but you still won’t be able to reach it because of no or bad service.

If your device doesn’t produce any signal, possibly due to the location you find yourself, then it would be impossible for your friends to be able to reach you.

To be sure, you can quickly check their last seen on their Social Media to know if they’ve been active.

2. The Phone is Switched Off.

Once you try reaching someone after several attempts and can’t, concluding that their phone is off is the most likely guess.

3. They Blocked you

Once someone has blocked you, you won’t be able to access them with your device.

Whenever you try to call them, your call goes straight to voicemail, and even if you try sending them a text message, it won’t go through; This is the main reason you call someone, and after ringing once, it goes straight to voicemail.

Hence it’s not advisable to assume that someone’s phone is off after trying to call them because the same message can mean many things in different circumstances.

4. They turned on Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb is a feature that allows you to silence calls and any audio sound from entering your phone within the period it’s turned on.

If someone’s phone is on Do Not Disturb, they won’t be able to receive any calls; instead, all calls will go straight to voicemail. In addition, the feature blocks all text, rings, and notifications from your device. Do Not Disturb is a feature that works for both Apple and Android users. 


Does A Phone Go Straight To Voicemail When Dead?

Yes, once a device is dead, all calls go straight to voicemail; This is the easiest way to know if someone’s phone is dead.

Is Their Phone Off, Or Am I Blocked?

There are several ways to know if a person’s phone is dead or if they’ve blocked you. If you call and the call goes to voicemail, it means the person’s phone is off.

On the other hand, if someone blocks you, the phone will ring twice before redirecting to voicemail. So you could check if someone blocked you by using another phone to call the person.

Will A Phone Still Ring If It’s Dead?

No! Once a phone is dead, it won’t ring; instead, it will go straight to voicemail. If the person doesn’t have voicemail set up, you’ll get a message from the network carrier that the phone is unreachable or unavailable.

A dead phone can’t produce any service, and once you try contacting the number, you’ll get a response from their network provider.

You can also mask your number and hide your caller ID to know if you’ve been blocked or contact them using any of their social media accounts.


Knowing if someone’s phone is dead is very important as this may come in handy when you need to reach out to someone urgently and can’t. Once you discover that the person’s device is dead, the methods stated above will help you make informed decisions on contacting them and finding alternative ways to reach out to them.

All methods listed in this article are effective when determining if someone’s phone is dead, either on Android or iPhone.

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