Fix Google Voice Not Ringing Hangouts App on iPhone (iOS Hangouts App)

Google Hangouts will let you receive calls, texts and voicemail from your Google Voice number. In theory, this works on the iPhone (iOS) app as well.

It appears like it would be really easy to set this up. There’s just one setting that says “incoming call ring” that looks like all you have to do is toggle that setting. Wrong! There’s yet another, more hidden setting that many seem to be struggling with and I can see why. It really is not intuitive to find this 2nd aka “hidden” setting that you have to switch on to be able to receive your Google Voice calls on the Hangouts app.

I was banging my head against this for the better part of a week until I just happened to stumble on the fix. I searched high and low for some kind of tutorial, answers in the Google Support forums – anywhere! There were some mentions of a second setting but those were mostly for Android users and of course there were no screenshots which made it even harder to find.

Upon changing this setting, it was instantly fixed! Now I can get calls from any phone that calls my Google Voice number via Google Hangouts App on my iPhone. So basically I have completely free calls to the US and back while traveling by using the Hangouts App on my phone.

Here’s the steps on how to fix Hangouts App not ringing Google Voice calls

Okay, well it’s more like how to enable it. But since it’s such a poor UI that people can’t figure this out due to the redundancy of the terminology used, I think “fix” is a fairly descriptive term. 🙂

For what it’s worth, the instructions from Google are here. They are accurate, but it didn’t dawn on me until I found the second “Incoming Phone Calls” setting and referred back to it.

Note: The blacked out parts are my Google Voice number, and the circled red parts are what you need to click on to change the settings.

Click the screenshots to enlarge them if you need to.

Step 1: Enable Incoming Call Ring – First Setting

google-hangouts-ring-phone-settingThe first step is to enable the main “incoming call ring” setting.

This setting allows for Hangouts calls (as opposed to phone calls) to ring on the Hangouts app. This is where the confusion lies, because by looking at this setting it appears like you have it set to ring, and when you have the setting within hangouts on desktop to ring your Google Voice number as well, it makes you think you have it set correctly.

HOWEVER. The setting to ring your Google Voice number in Hangouts appears to be per-device (aka one for desktop/web and the other for iOS App)

Step 2: Find your Google Voice Number in Hangouts App

google-hangouts-select-phone-numberAll you have to do is scroll down the settings in the Hangouts App and you should see your Google Voice number. See the screenshot on the right to see what I mean.

Remember that my phone number is blacked out, so you should see your phone number listed there in a (555) 555-1234 format.

Click the arrow on the right to enter the settings page for your Google Voice number.

Step 3: Enable Incoming Phone Calls for your Google Voice Number

google-hangouts-incoming-phone-calls-2nd-hidden-settingThis should be the last step. If it does not work after this, you may not have the settings within hangouts on the web and Google Voice correct. You can see instructions for those steps here.

Once you are on this page, all you have to do is toggle the “Incoming Phone Calls” setting to on. Optionally you can also do this for voicemails and text messages as well, if you want to.

Now go test that your Hangouts App is ringing when you are called on your Google Voice number. If you don’t have a spare phone around, or have some other reason you can’t call your Google Voice number, you can try a service like this, which is what I used.

16 thoughts on “Fix Google Voice Not Ringing Hangouts App on iPhone (iOS Hangouts App)”

  1. The above was not enough, and still didnt solve the problem. What solved the problem was :
    On Ipad, there is a general purpose side button that could be configured as mute switch from ipad settings.. The mute would mute only the ring tones, and doesnt mute the voices or anythng else from within the app. This side button is somethng that is very much likely to be forgotten by the user once set, or even, it could be accidentally be moved in its position due to the handling of the ipad itself. And it doesnt mute everything, all at once. If that mute switch muted off everything then it would have been easier to find the problem.. but this semi functionality is tough to track down. So, user needs to first check the settings if the side button is configured as mute switch instead of ‘rotation lock switch’, and if so, the user need to try moving the switch to either positions to see if that makes any change…

  2. I did everything you instructed and nothing works. I even deleted the hangout app and still when someone calls, it doens’t ring. It used to but I paid $10 to get a new number. At first it was ringing but after a month it stopped

  3. That was it!! Another confusing thing are the two toggles in the Hangouts settings (I think this is a new addition since your original post):
    – Answer on lock screen
    – Incoming call ring

    They can’t both be enabled at the same time. But I tested it and “Answer on lock screen” inherently enables incoming call ring. But it’s confusing because it looks like incoming call ring is disabled.

    The whole Google Voice vs Hangouts app setup is so screwy. Why is it that I can only make Voip calls with using Hangouts but if I want to check voicemail then I need to use the Google Voice app? And for changing voicemail greeting on the computer I have to go to Google Voice and then drill down into LEGACY Google Voice??

    I guess you can’t complain too much about free, but still… the whole user experience is probably the worst of Google’s products. But again… it’s free!

  4. Well, I’ve done all of the above, and more. Nothing works. No ring, no vibrate, no pop-up window (which would be nice) informing me of an incoming call. NOTHING.

    Skype is better than this.

  5. Michael Coleman

    The Hangouts app is used to receive calls on your phone. The Hangouts app does NOT use your phone’s dialer. Instead it uses your phone’s Notification system. Therefore, go to your phones Settings / Notifications and find the Hangouts app. Make sure Notifications are on for the Hangouts app. Now when someone calls, you will get a Notification that says DECLINE or ANSWER. Select ANSWER and your Hangouts app will open and you will receive the call.

  6. THANK YOU!! I was so frustrated until I found your page. The pictures were a perfect help! Thank you for sharing.

  7. Thanks .. I was struggling with it for months .. very well written. In fact now there is a toggle on main screen to receive the calls on locked screen. It makes the call receiving experience exactly like iPhone’s normal calls

    Thanks again

  8. Thank you, thank you. 2nd step resolved it for me. How silly to had ANOTHER incoming phone calls toggle under the actual phone number. I didn’t think to look there b/c the one under my account was turned on.

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