Here’s How to Know if Someone’s Phone Is Dead or Not

how to know if someones phone is dead

When you can’t get hold of someone, it can be frustrating. Knowing whether they’ve turned their phone off, whether it’s dead, or even whether you’re blocked can be important. Thankfully, there are clues that can clarify how to tell if someone’s phone is off or dead.

Why Might Someone’s Phone Be Turned Off or Dead?

There are many reasons why a person’s phone could be off or dead. Though you might not know the exact reason, it’s likely to be one of the following things.

  1. The recipient’s phone is out of service: this could be that they’re disconnected from the service provider or network either due to a fault or because of their location.
  2. You’re blocked: if someone has blocked you, you won’t be able to get in touch either by phone or message.
  3. ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode is activated: the person you’re trying to reach might have turned on the ‘Do Not Disturb’ setting, which means you won’t get through until it’s off.
  4. The phone is turned off: whether the battery has died, or they’ve manually turned it off, you won’t get through to a number in this case.
  5. The phone number no longer exists: if the person you’re trying to reach has changed their number, you won’t be able to get through to their old one.
  6. Airplane mode is turned on: when airplane mode is activated, you can’t get through via call or message. The phone appears to others as though it’s been turned off.

Someone’s Phone Is Off or Dead: The Main Signs

Unfortunately, there’s no sure way to know whether or not a phone is off or if its battery has run out. In this section, we’ll give you some ways you can try to find out why, including answering the question, “If you call someone and their phone is off, will it ring?”

1. No Rings

So, will a phone ring if it is dead? No. If a phone doesn’t do a single ring before going to voicemail (if this is configured), then the phone is not switched on. This is a clear indication that their phone could be off or dead, but it could also mean that they don’t have a phone signal in their location.

However, if you hear even one ring, the phone isn’t dead or off.

2. Voicemail Redirection

how to know if someones phone is dead

Another way how to know if someone’s phone died is to see if you get sent to voicemail. There won’t be a ringtone at all in this case. Either voicemail will be activated right away, or you’ll hear a generic message saying the number can’t be reached.

If this is the case, it could mean a few things: the phone is off, the phone is in an area where there is no signal, or you’ve been blocked.

3. Use a Different Call Number

Another way to check to find the answer to the question “If someone’s phone is dead, will it ring?” is to use someone else’s phone. If, when you call, it’s been going to voicemail, try someone else’s phone instead. If they get a dial tone, it is a sign you could have been blocked.

4. Hide Your Own Phone Number

Similar to the above, if you want to know if the phone is dead, or you’ve been blocked, you can try masking your number. If it rings when you hide your number but doesn’t when you don’t, it’s a sign you’ve been blocked.

5. Call Their Family or Friends

A simple way how to know if someone’s phone is dead is to contact someone who knows them or lives with them. If you have an important message you need to tell them, you can call a family member and ask. They might be able to pass on a message too.

How To Know If Someone’s Phone Is Off When Texting?

There are actually lots of ways how to tell if someone’s phone is off when texting and sending messages. Here are three of them:

1. Use iMessage to Text Them

how to know if someones phone is dead

There is a great way how to know if someone’s phone died on iMessage: send them a message. With iMessage, you can see whether a message has been delivered or read. If you send the person a message in this way and it says ‘delivered,’ then you know the phone is on.

However, it’s worth noting that if the person has installed iMessage on multiple devices, you won’t be able to know whether a ‘delivered’ message indicates that their phone is switched on. For example, if they have a MacBook, an iPad, or an Apple Watch, the message could have been delivered to one of those and not the phone.

2. Regular Messages to Track Their Absence

This is a simple way, but not as obvious as the iMessage route. If you send a normal SMS and the recipient’s phone isn’t on (or it doesn’t have a signal) then it will take a longer time to send. As you can imagine, this isn’t an exact science and just because a message seems to take longer than normal, it doesn’t confirm that the phone is off or dead. Use this method if it’s your last option.

3. They Have Not Been Responding for a Long Time

If the person you’re trying to contact normally responds quickly but hasn’t on this occasion, it could be that their phone has died or is turned off. Perhaps they’re in an important meeting or appointment or they’ve just not charged their phone.

Signs That Their Phone Is off Without Calling

There are other ways how to know if someone’s phone is off or on without calling or texting. Here are some ideas:

1. The Last Time They Logged Into Social Media

Most people only use social media like Facebook or Snapchat on a mobile device. So, if you check their ‘last seen’ or Active Status, you can probably guess when they last used their phone. If it shows they’re online, for example, it’s probably going to be on their phone.

2. Get in Touch on Social Media

If you send a message through a social media account like WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram and it’s delivered successfully, you’ll know that the person’s phone is not switched off or dead.

3. Ask Them Directly

Another surefire way to know is by asking the person directly. Send a message and ask if they’ve got your previous message or missed call might mean they get in touch to explain.


All of the different solutions we’ve given above will help you know whether or not you’re unable to reach someone because their phone is off, dead, or if you’re just being ignored. However, you won’t be able to tell whether the phone is off deliberately or if it’s because the battery has died.

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