How to Tell if Someone’s Phone is Off or Dead.

Sometimes you have tried to call a friend, and all you received was an operator’s automated response telling you either their number is unreachable or the number is out of service. This begs the question, how can you possibly tell if their phones are dead or simply switched off? Mobile phones that are switched off will automatically go straight to the voicemail if it is set up to do so. However the voicemail is not always an indication that the phone is off, it could be that the owner has channeled all the incoming calls to voicemail.

How to tell if someone's Phone is off or dead
How to tell if someone’s Phone is off or dead

Understanding the Difference

A dead phone that has been out of service for a long time will give different feedback to you as a caller compared to the feedback a switched-off phone would give. These differences may include:

  • A switched-off phone will mostly ring shortly then goes to voicemail if it is set to do so when switched off. A dead phone, on the other hand, will never ring but a voice message would be delivered to you to let you know the line is out of service.

You can always do the experiment by yourself at home using two phones.

  • First, switch off one phone and leave the other one on.

    How to tell if someone's Phone is off or dead
    How to tell if someone’s Phone is off or dead
  • Call the switched-off phone using the other and note the response.

    How to tell if someone's Phone is off or dead
    How to tell if someone’s Phone is off or dead
  • Switch on the phone and check the messages, you will find a call attempt message from the other phone you used to call. This will tell you the line is in service but was just on a switched-off phone.

The thin line

A lot of debate about the response people receive when they call a dead phone has conflicted with each other. One claims to have been sent straight to voicemail while another claims that they hear a few rings before being asked to leave a message. What’s the real deal? 

  • Sometimes it is nearly impossible to differentiate the responses one receives from either a dead phone or simply one that is switched off. This also varies based on the type of phone and user preference settings.
  • Like for example if someone switches on the Airplane mode on their phone, the response you get when you try calling them is more or less the same to the one you get when their phones are off.

Technically a dead phone would mean a line that is no longer in service and this always gives you the alert from the service provider that the user you’re looking for is out of service.

Wrap Up

Knowing the difference between a switched-off phone and a dead one helps you while even tracing a lost phone. Again if you want to know whether your friend has blocked you or just ignoring everyone in their call logs, you would have received the help you needed by now from this article since a blocked number receives the same response as a dead phone.