How to Make and Receive Calls on iPhone

By Jessica RegheliniUpdated on November 23, 2017

Are you new to using an iPhone and looking to learn about the built-in calling app on iOS and its features? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll show you how to make and receive calls on your iPhone, and tell you a bit about some other features of its built-in calling app. To start, let’s cover the basics. We’ll begin with going over how to make a phone call from your device.

To make a phone call on iPhone:

1. Tap the Phone icon on your device’s home screen.

On your home screen, you’ll see a green Phone icon. Tap this icon to launch your iPhone’s calling app.

Calling app icon

2. Select Keypad from the menu displayed at bottom of your screen.

On the next screen, you’ll see a menu appear at the bottom. Tap the Keypad icon to reveal a number pad on your touch screen.

Open calling keypad

3. Enter the phone number of the person you would like to call.

Now, using the keypad, enter the phone number of the person you’d like to call. If you make a mistake, you can tap Backspace.

Dial a number

4. Tap the Green Phone button to make the call to the number you entered.

When you’re done entering the person’s phone number, you can tap the Green Phone at the bottom of your screen to begin your call.

Green Phone icon

Those are the basic instructions for making a phone call on iPhone. Now, we’ll show you another way to make a phone call that doesn’t involve you having to remember or look up someone’s number. If you’ve saved someone’s contact information to your address book, this next set of instructions can make calling them even easier.

To call a saved contact on your iPhone:

1. On your device’s home screen, tap the Phone icon.

Tap the Phone icon on your home screen to begin the process.

Calling app icon

2. From the bottom menu, select Contacts.

At the bottom of your screen, you’ll see a menu bar. Here, tap Contacts to see a list of your saved contacts.

Select a contact

3. In the search bar, type in the name of the person you’d like to call.

At the top of the next screen, you’ll see a search bar. Tap the search bar and type in the name of the contact you’d like to call.

Type name of contact in search bar

4. Tap their name as it appears in the search results.

You should see the results of your search appear below the search bar. When the name of the contact you’d like to call appears, tap it once to view their contact information.

Tap the name of the contact you want to call

5. Tap the Phone icon below their name to call them.

Here you’ll be able to see all the contact information you’ve saved for this person. Below their name, tap the Phone icon to call them right away.

Tap Green Phone icon to make the call

You can also call someone through the Favorites section on your iPhone’s calling app. Tap Favorites at the bottom of your screen, then tap the name of the person you’d like to call.

Favorite Contacts screen

Learn how to add or remove contacts from your favorites list here.

That’s all you have to do to call one of your saved contacts on your iOS device. Now, let’s talk about how to answer a call when you receive one.

To answer a phone call on iPhone:

When someone calls you on your iPhone, you’ll see one of three different possible screens:

1. If you were currently using your phone, you’ll be given a few options on your screen. You can tap the Green Phone button to accept and answer the call, or the Red Phone button to decline the call.

Accept or Decline call button

2. If your screen was locked or you weren’t using your phone at the time when it began ringing, you’ll see a different screen. Here, if you want to answer the call, you’ll need to slide your finger to the right across your screen where it says “Slide to Answer.”

Slide button to answer call

3. If someone calls you when you’re already on a call with someone else, there are another set of options that will appear. You can tap End & Accept to end your current call and answer the incoming call, tap Send to Voicemail to stay on your ongoing call and send the incoming call to your voicemail, or tap Hold & Accept to put your current call on hold and answer the incoming call.

Incoming call screen

So now that we’ve gone over the basics of how to make and receive calls on your device, let’s go through a little information about someone of the other built-in calling features on iOS.

Other iPhone calling features

Call waiting

Call waiting is a feature offered on most smartphones that allows you to see when you get in incoming call even if you’re already on the phone with someone else. In order to have the call waiting option available to you, you’ll have to make sure it’s a feature that your mobile service provider has included in your monthly cell phone plan. As we just mentioned in the section about how to answer calls, when you have a call waiting on your phone, this is the screen you’ll see.

Incoming call screen while already on the phone

Merging calls

Another cool calling feature is the ability to merge phone calls and create conference calls. If you want to speak with multiple people at once, you can start a conference call. To do so, call one person, then tap Add Call to dial in another person. You can have up to five people on a conference call.

Add another call to current call

If you’d like to learn more about this feature, check out our article on how to merge calls to make a conference call on iPhone.


A calling feature that is exclusive to Apple devices is FaceTime. If you’re on the phone with someone who also has an Apple device, you can tap FaceTime on your screen to switch your call from a regular voice call to a FaceTime video call. This will allow you to see the other person you’re talking to, as well as hear them. Keep in mind that switching to FaceTime will mean you’re using your mobile data, unless you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Switch call to FaceTime button

That wraps up our introduction to making and receiving phone calls on your iOS device. Check out the other tutorials in our iPhone calling and voicemail course if you’d like to learn more, including topics such as how to set up your voicemail, make conference calls, and how to record phone calls.