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How to enable Wi-Fi calling on your iPhone

Apple has long supported FaceTime Audio for the iPhone, which lets you chat with other iCloud users via Wi-Fi and (if your carrier allowed it) cellular data. Now, some users are getting their first taste of Wi-Fi calling, a carrier-based technology.

What's Wi-Fi calling?

Unlike FaceTime, Wi-Fi calling is carrier-driven, and depends on a technology called SIP / IMS (IP Multimedia Subset). The technology enables your iPhone to make and receive phone calls using a regular Wi-Fi network.

Instead of routing your voice packets through your carrier's closest cell tower, those packets get tunneled through the Internet to a controller used by your cell company, which then bounces them across the network to whomever you're speaking. The net result is that you're talking, but you're not actually using a cell tower to do it. For people who live in areas with poor or inconsistent cellular reception, Wi-Fi calling is an absolute savior.

If your carrier supports Wi-Fi calling, it's also a great way to get clearer, crisper calls when chatting with all your friends — not just those on an iPhone or Mac. Here's how to enable it.

How to turn on Wi-Fi calling for your iPhone

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Phone > Wi-Fi Calling.
  3. Switch the Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone slider to On.
  4. You'll see a warning about location data and what your carrier collects. Tap Enable to turn on Wi-Fi Calling.

For some carriers, like AT&T, you may be bumped into a Safari WebView, where you're asked to agree to terms and conditions and provide an Emergency Call address (in case you dial 911 and they can't locate you on Wi-Fi, this gives emergency responders a place to send assistance).

How to enable Wi-Fi calling for other devices

If your carrier supports it, you can give any device on your iCloud account the ability to make and receive calls — even when your iPhone isn't nearby.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Phone > Wi-Fi Calling.
  3. If available for your carrier, select Add Wi-Fi Calling for Other Devices.
  4. A Safari WebView will prompt you to set up sync for your other devices. After you're finished, you should get alerts on your other devices confirming availability for Wi-Fi calling.

Questions?

Let us know below.

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.

43 Comments
  • Still not available on AT&T in my area.
  • Same here. It says it is coming soon. But when will that be? Sent from the iMore App
  • When I turned on Wi-Fi calling for Sprint (bad idea) on my iPhone 6 all of the neat Hand-off and Continuity things stopped working - no calling from the Mac using a Wi-Fi calling Sprint iPhone. Getting it turned off again was absurdly difficult - Sprint didn't know how. Has that changed? No indication of a loss of capability showed up as a warning before it was turned on...
  • Ugh! I've never seen that happen, but also never used Sprint. Call AppleCare?
  • That's Sprint smh Sent from the iMore App
  • With iOS 9, voice Continuity and WiFi calling can coexist.
  • Same problem here. It's not worth it to turn on wifi calling on Sprint. Sent from the iMore App
  • Here's how to turn on a free pass for your carrier. Let us use the broadband you pay for as a free tower instead of improving our network.
  • No Death Star support Yet. Supposedly regulation hurdles ( Yeah Right ), where's Luke when you need him. Stay on Target, Stay on Target.. ARHGhhhhh...
  • It's so easy to do this. I did have to show my boyfriend how to activate Wi-Fi calling on his 5S though. We're on T-Mobile and it works well. I also have a 5S (expecting my new 6S early next week) and I've tested it out on it as well and it works great.
  • step one: switch to T-mobile. Nexus 5 | T-Mobile $30 Plan
  • Hi, On the 30$ plan with just 100 mins talk mins, what other apps do you use to make phone calls if necessary. Thanks
  • I use Google Voice/Hangouts regularly to make longer phone calls with the $30 T-Mobile plan.
  • Well, at least on T-Mobile the 5s gets wifi calling. It's not clear on AT&T whether the 5s will get it, even when the FCC issues its ruling on the RTT matter. Sent from the iMore App
  • the AT&T site said it supports the 5c and up actually, it says this quite clearly Sent from the iMore App
  • Very limited areas.
  • Anyone with att can turn it on? Last i tried with 6 + says it currently doesnt support it.
  • By the way why should I use Wi-Fi calling
  • I'm not greatly knowledgable about how it all works, but obviously Wi-Fi calling will give you the ability to call as normal even when you have no phone signal so long as you have Wi-Fi. I believe if both the caller and the receiver are using Wi-Fi calling the audio quality will be improved as well
  • T-Mobile has made it so that Wifi calling can be available on all devices, even Watch without being paired to an iPhone. Sent from the iMore App
  • Yeah just tried to turn it on with AT&T with the iPhone 6s and it's currently not available and will be coming soon.
    But when? Sent from the iMore App
  • Probably gonna be a bit of a wait for att since the fcc has had the application for rtt since July and haven't made a peep. I have the wifi calling haven't had a chance to try it tho since I have to drop signal and be connected to wifi at the same time can't use airplane mode Sent from the iMore App
  • I have been beta testing (now fully live) for AT&T and it works great when I have no service in the hospital (work) but can use wifi to send and receive calls.
  • And that is precisely why I am going for an iPhone next. When my kiddo ends up in the hospital (which happens frequently enough), I need to be able to call from his room and the only way would be with using the hospitals WiFi. Thanks for that info!!
  • More areas are going live with AT&T. Hang tight. Beta testing is going on in a lot of places. Sent from the iMore App
  • Will that be a upgrade feature following a update for the rest of us or is it a iPhone 6s feature only? Sent from the iMore App
  • Ok found it alas Atnt doesn't want us to have Wifi calling smh Sent from the iMore App
  • I have AT&T and I use Wi-Fi calling all the time. However, AT&T limits it to the 6S and the 6S plus – they will not allow it with the six or the 6+ line of phones … I'm not sure why because those phones do have the option for Wi-Fi calling, but AT&T will only allow it on Apple's newest phones … I'm not sure why because those phones do have the option for Wi-Fi calling, but AT&T will only allow it on Apple's newest phones With iOS 9 .2 you can also place Wi-Fi phone calls using your data plan on your iPad as well – and I'm not talking about using Wi-Fi to make a phone call through your iPhone… Face time I'll actually make a VoIP call for you using your Wi-Fi, but you will burn up your data plan doing it
  • WiFi calling is supported by iPhone 5s and later. On iPhone 6 & 6s if you start a call on WiFi and move out of the WiFi range the call will seamlessly move to a cell connection. On an iPhone 5s WiFi calling is also available but will not transfer from WiFi to cell and will drop. I signed up during the beta and that iPhone still works with WiFi calling, another iPhone not in the beta can not turn on WiFi calling.
  • Hi all. I'm on AT&T and enabled it today. I just took a call on my iPad Air 2, so handoff is working. Does anyone know if it has much of a draw on home WiFi when making calls or at all when idle?
  • I've looked on my Verizon iPhone 6S and the Wifi Calling option isn't in the UI under Phone in Settings. Presumably, this is because the carrier doesn't support the feature yet, but I'd like someone with a Verizon iPhone 6S to confirm.
  • Just checked with Verizon - WiFi calling is still not available on iOS devices, however it *supposedly* will be available "early this year". I'm guessing April/May timeframe at the earliest.
  • Allegedly, Verizon has offered a ****** compromise where you have to use their app, then yo can make a call over wifi but it won't fall back to the LTE/4G/3G network. Or something like that. Either was it was a nasty compromise; I really hope that we see the feature finally rolled out by the end of this month, but that's just wishful thinking.
  • I just enabled it on mine but I'm part of the iPhone developers program running version IOS 9.3 beta, and runs great. https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/ and you can possibly join the beta and get that version running on your phone. You have to make a backup with your phone with iTunes, and then I recommend you Archive your backup. To save you from not being able to go back if you want. I suspect that they in the upcoming weeks will be releasing 9.3 which definitely has it. Hopefully I could be some help to you. ....Mark..
  • I'm wondering, do we HAVE to toggle the carrier enable switch to active in order to use wifi calling? What if we just turn off our cellular data and the wifi assist option. It would seem to me that would nix any chance of cellular usage. Also, if you choose this option and enable wifi calling, will the call and text log detail still appear on your billing statement?
  • Actually, I found the answer on Apple's website. Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't know this. Turning off cellular data does not affect phone calls. It only affects data transfers. Here is a link to the support page. https://support.apple.com/en-ph/HT201299 Also, iOS 9 has a feature named Wifi Assist that will switch from wifi to cellular data when you have a poor connection. I read an article not too long ago that people didn't know this was an option and were being charged overage fees. Here is more on that feature as well. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205296
  • I have AT&T and I use Wi-Fi calling all the time. However, AT&T limits it to the 6S and the 6S plus – they will not allow it with the six or the 6+ line of phones … I'm not sure why because those phones do have the option for Wi-Fi calling, but AT&T will only allow it on Apple's newest phones … I'm not sure why because those phones do have the option for Wi-Fi calling, but AT&T will only allow it on Apple's newest phones With iOS 9 .2 you can also place Wi-Fi phone calls using your data plan on your iPad as well – and I'm not talking about using Wi-Fi to make a phone call through your iPhone… Face time I'll actually make a VoIP call for you using your Wi-Fi, but you will burn up your data plan doing it...
  • Once Wi-Fi calling is enabled, there's nothing you need to do. You have a strong cell phone signal, your phone will continue to make phone calls using a cell tower. It will only switch over to Wi-Fi calling once you get down to one or two bars of signal – then you will see a new icon or a new carrier in the upper left-hand corner. InStead of saying AT&T it will say AT&T Wi-Fi that's how you know your calls are going over Wi-Fi versus a cell tower… It would do the same thing for T-Mobile: it would say T-Mobile Wi-Fi
  • Up until a week ago, I used a 4G microcell because my house kills cell phone signal. Inside the house, you get one bar of 4G – step outside the house and you get five bars of LTE. It sucks that my microcell was an LTE but at least I got clear calling , microcell used my Internet connection… Now with Wi-Fi calling, when I'm in my house there's no need for the microcell a m microcell used my Internet connection… Now with Wi-Fi calling, when I'm in my house there's no need for the microcell anymore
  • My wife and I are on a joint AT&T account. I have a 6S Plus and she has a 5C. My WIFI calling works great, but she doesn't even show the option in Settings. I thought the 5C was supposed to be supported. Any suggestions.
  • big deal ...Sprint has had this for a few yrs already.
  • Verizon wants to bump me up to a more expensive plan to allow this to be enabled.
    Not worth it to me.
  • trying to enable other devices - I get 'cannot turn on calls on other devices. FaceTime and iCloud must be sign into the same Apple ID to enable calls on other devices'. - by all accounts it should be.
    My iPad and iMac used to be all hooked to my 5 a few months ago. Then, my 5 battery decided it could not charge, so ended up replacing with a 7 (local dude misdiagnosed why battery would not charge) AND could not back up nuttin, cause my phone was DEAD. THEN my iMac died on an upgrade of the newest Sierra. - Went to real Apple Store, and they restored everything (And explained my phone was not really a rock, just needed to purchase a battery) - Needed up having to erase all hard drive and work off backup, which of course turns out to have something wonky with it. I got most things back but my original 'set up' is not as it was. So It could be a button not flipped somewhere. . -- Pretend I am starting over, where are ALL the buttons to turn on - on iPad, iMac and Phone?