AT&T Cordless Phone Handset Not Working

AT&T prides itself on being among the most popular cordless phone brands owing to its outstanding features that offer the utmost convenience. The brand provides the best wireless network in its class, gracing its users with ideal voice quality and accessibility. Due to these and more outstanding aspects, AT&T cordless phones tend to be a sought-after preference for consumers since the brand offers value for money. Unfortunately, just like most technological equipment, your AT&T cordless phone handset is likely to break down at some point. You may experience problems such as your AT&T cordless phone handset not working or lacking a dial tone during such instances. You don’t have to freak out because such issues are often minor and can be resolved in no time. This article evaluates the possible causes and solutions to your AT&T cordless phone handset not working.

The best way to go about the situation is to reset or restart your AT&T cordless phone handset before resorting to more complex solutions. You can reset your AT&T cordless phone by disconnecting it from the power source, which entails detaching the handset’s battery as well. Hold on for a few minutes before plugging the base unit back to the power source and powering on your handset.

A image showing a woman using AT&T EL52313 3-Handset Expandable Cordless Phone with Answering System, one of the best AT&T cordless phones on a quiet mode

Although the problem could be due to various causes, this process should do the trick if you’re experiencing a minor setback.

Possible Causes of the Problem (AT&T handset not working)

Low or Defective Battery

If your cordless phone seems completely dead or fails to power on, you may want to focus your attention on its battery. The battery serves as an integral part of cordless phones and could be the source of the problem. However, before concluding that the battery is defective, consider charging the device first.

AT&T cordless phones require up to sixteen hours to attain a full charge for optimal performance. That said, it is advisable to charge the device for the required amount of time before attempting to power it on again. Fortunately, AT&T cordless phones are fitted with an LED light to indicate whether the device is charging. Ensure you check if the LED light illuminates to confirm that the handset is charging.

Failure of the battery to charge may signify that either the battery or charger is defective. In such a case, you may be obliged to replace the battery or charger, and this is where your AT&T cordless phone’s warranty should come into play. Do not worry if the handset lacks a warranty. You can purchase corresponding accessories as they are readily available.

Poor Network Coverage

Inadequate network coverage is yet another significant reason your AT&T cordless phone handset does not work or lacks a clear dial tone. Network connectivity issues could either originate from your home or from the AT&T network itself.

To confirm if network connectivity is the problem, try using other phones in the building to test whether they exhibit a similar issue. If not, your AT&T cordless phone’s network is most likely the problem, and resetting it should resolve the problem.

AT&T Phone Outage

Put in mind that network or service outage differs from network coverage. A phone outage is a network disruption that simultaneously affects many phone users in a given area and is primarily due to technical breakdowns.

You can know whether this is the cause of the problem by selecting the ‘Voice’ option on the AT&T support website, then sign in using your username and password. Navigate to the ‘Can’t Make/Receive Calls’ option, whereby you should see a notification if an AT&T phone outage is the problem.

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Step by Step Guide on How to Reset Your AT&T  Cordless Phone

Disconnect it from the power source

The first step to reset your telephone system is ensuring there is no power supply to it. You can do this by unplugging the base unit from the power source.

Remove the battery

Subsequently, remove the handset’s battery despite disconnecting the base unit to ensure it is entirely powered off.

Restore power supply to the base unit

For this step, give the system at least five minutes before reinstating its power supply. This provides the system with ample time to reset, after which you can plug it back into the power source.

Restart the handset

Restart the handset by first re-installing the battery then turn it on. Give the handset a few minutes to allow intercommunication with the base station. Be sure to update the date and time for the handset to function effectively. You can then test whether it has a  clear dial tone and is working correctly.

A video showing how to reset an AT&T or V-Tech handset


If the steps mentioned above don’t solve the problem, you may be obliged to seek professional help, preferably from AT&T customer service. In this way, you can easily establish the problem and find a solution specific to your phone’s model.

Proper Maintenance Practices for Cordless Phone Systems

The best cordless phones in the market, such as AT&T cordless phones, often cost a fortune, and having to replace them constantly could be a deal-breaker. For this reason, it is essential to acquaint yourself with proper maintenance practices to enable you to take the necessary precautions.

Below are some of the proper maintenance practices for cordless phone systems:

  • Always reinstate your handset to the base unit after use.
  • Ensure you charge the device entirely using its original charger without any interruptions during its first charge.
  • Consider removing your handset’s battery and storing it in a cool environment when not in use.
  • Also, consider replacing your cordless phone’s batteries at least once a year.
  • When purchasing replacement batteries, consider those that feature a high energy density, preferably Nickel Metal Hydride batteries (these include AA and AAA rechargeable batteries)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my AT&T cordless phone not ringing?

The most probable cause for the problem is an absence of power supply to your AT&T cordless phone system. It would be best that you, therefore, consider checking whether the base unit has been appropriately connected to a working power source. Consequently, check whether the handset’s battery has been properly installed, which should resolve the problem.

How do I find a battery for my AT&T cordless phone handset?

Cordless phone replacement batteries are readily available in the market. However, ensure you purchase batteries that are compatible with your specific AT&T phone’s model. It is advisable to contact AT&T customer service or go through the user manual to know the most suitable batteries. Alternatively, you may visit your local electronic retailer but be sure to carry your old battery for accuracy.

How do I find my AT&T model number?

Cordless phone system model numbers are usually located at the back of the base station, and your AT&T handset shouldn’t be an exception. The model number is essential to consider when purchasing replacement batteries, chargers, or other relevant accessories. Also, whenever you seek AT&T customer service assistance, you will be required to fill in your device’s model number for convenience.

How do I connect my AT&T cordless phone to the base?

First, identify the ‘Find Handset’ button on the system’s base unit. You can then long-press this button until an LED indicator light illuminates the base station. Subsequently, identify and press the pound button on your handset, after which you should see the word ‘Registered’ displayed on the screen, and you’re good to go. Alternatively, read through the user manual for a detailed guide that is more specific to your phone’s model.

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How do I get a live person at AT&T?

 Before getting connected to a live representative or person, the wireless networks like with the cable providers will require you to have an account for device information ready. For the AT&T phone, you will be required to call 1-800-331-0500, then press 0, and then wait to be connected to the live person.

How do I link my AT&T accounts?

 This is yet another common question among AT&T users. To link the phone to the AT&T accounts, you first go to your profile and sign in using your profile information. Go to the ‘my linked accounts,” then select link account. Once selected, enter the AT&T phone number or the account number and the billing ZIP Code of the account that you intend to add. In some instances, you may be asked to verify your identity. In that case, be sure to include the additional information requested by the providers.


Ultimately, it is typical of technological equipment such as cordless phones to break down, and your  T&T cordless phone handset is not an exception despite featuring outstanding aspects.  This should lessen when confronted with a situation where  your AT&T Cordless Phone Handset Not Working. However, before you jump out of your skin and end up worsening the situation, consider evaluating the source of the problem, which could be minor.

As stated above, resetting your phone using the steps provided should resolve the problem and get your AT&T cordless phone handset is up and running in no time. However, if this fails to be the case, opting for AT&T customer service assistance should be your ultimate solution.

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