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The number you have dialled is not in service: Explained

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  • 3 min read

Even after all these advancements in telecom, cellular networks aren’t perfect, and dropped calls aren’t surprising. However, if you’re calling someone for an urgent matter and an automated voice says that the number you have dialled is not in service, getting a number not in service error is still worrisome.

In this article, we’re looking at the “number you’ve dialled is not in service” error when calling someone, its causes and what you can do to fix the problem.

Also read: Your SIM sent a text message: What does it mean and how to stop it?

What causes this error?

There are several reasons why you might see this error when calling someone. Apart from network drops, here are a few popular reasons you might face this problem.

  • The number you’re trying to call is old and no longer exists.
  • The receiver is in a no-service area.
  • They’ve blocked you from calling their number.
  • You’re trying to dial the wrong number.
  • Issues with call forwarding.

Does this mean you’ve been blocked?

Not necessarily. While you might get a similar message when trying to call a number that’s blocked you, it isn’t always the case. At times, the recipient might have bad network coverage. The best option here is to reach out via text or any other means and await a response.

Other similar errors

The number you have dialled is not in service error message has a few other variations, too:

  • This number is no longer in service.
  • Your call cannot be completed as dialled.
  • The number you are trying to call is not reachable.

These occur for the same reasons and can be fixed using the four solutions listed below.

Also read: Sim not provisioned MM#2: 10 Fixes

How to fix this error?

Here are a few simple solutions you can try to see if they solve your problem.

Check the number

The first thing you should do is check if you’re dialling the correct number. Even missing a single digit or not entering the country code can cause problems with the network trying to reach the recipient.

Check if you were spam-called

If you’re trying to call an unknown number that was marked spam in your phone or was left on your called ID, chances are a robot contacted you, or it was a spam call. In such cases, you can block the number and move on with your day, or if you’re curious, run the number on a reverse lookup tool (like this one).


Confirm call forwarding status

If you’re calling someone and seeing your call being forwarded, but it isn’t connecting, chances are the call forwarding isn’t set up correctly for the recipient. Contact them through other means and check if that’s the case. 

Try again after sometime

More often than not, the network status of the person you’re trying to call isn’t under your control. Just hang back a little and try contacting them again after some time.

Also read: SMS not working after SIM change: 7 Fixes

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: