How to Make Phone Calls With Your Mac

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One of the major features of the Apple ecosystem is cross-device connectivity. With Continuity and multiple Apple devices, you can share everything from browser tabs to text messages. With the right switches enabled, you can also allow your Mac to share your iPhone’s cellular voice connection and make phone calls with your Mac.

How does it work?

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If your iPhone and Mac are on the same Wi-Fi network, you can make phone calls with your Mac using your iPhone. This will use the microphone and speakers of your Mac to place a call. This works by using your iPhone’s cellular plan to actually transmit the data pertaining to the call. And it’s not just for FaceTime calls either. You can place regular voice calls to landline phone numbers with this method. Since the microphone is a little far away from your face, the sound quality is about as good as Skype,or as good as using speakerphone. If you plug in your earbuds, the sound is much better. .

Once you have this set up, you can also receive calls with your Mac. Calls with ring through on both your Mac and your iPhone simultaneously. This can lead to a cacophony of ring tones when you get a call. Hopefully Apple will fix or modulate this feature in the future. But for now, it’s an echoing blast of ringers when you get a call.

Before you can make phone calls on your mac, you just need to do a little minor configuration on your phone and your Mac in advance. It’s especially convenient to make and receive calls from your Mac when your iPhone is buried in your purse or in the bottom of a backpack. That can make it very convenient to make phone calls with your Mac. Follow the steps below to configure your iPhone to make phone calls with your Mac.

Configure Your Phone

Each phone provider is different, so your settings might vary slightly. This series of steps should apply to the broadest collection of wireless providers. For some, you might be able to get away without enabling Wi-Fi Calling (step 2). Other providers require WiFi Calling to reveal the “Calls on Other Devices” menu. Either way, the steps below will cover all major carriers to configure your iPhone to make phone calls with your Mac. However, if anything looks different or your have trouble enabling this feature, your carrier’s tech support might be able to tell you the secret.

1. Open “Settings > Phone” on your iPhone.

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2. If you see a menu labeled “Wi-Fi Calling,” tap that.

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3. In the next screen turn on the toggle for “Wi-Fi Calling on This Phone.” This will allow your iPhone to make calls over a Wi-Fi network.

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If you’re in the United States, once you press this toggle, you may have to enter an address for the Emergency 911 system. This allows 911 operators to attach your phone call to a location while you’re calling from that network. Make sure the address is accurate. And make sure that, if you move, your remember to update it. Otherwise, emergency operators could be confused about your physical location in the event of an emergency.

4. If you see a menu labeled “Calls on Other Devices,” tap it.

5. Turn on the toggle that reads “Allow Calls on Other Devices.” This is the switch that actually makes it possible to call from your other devices.

By default, this will allow every device on your iCloud account to share your iPhone’s cellular signal—provided they’re on the same Wi-Fi together. If you’d prefer to ban certain devices, you can manually disable specific devices in the toggle list at the bottom of that screen. This can prevent your kids from making calls from their iPad, for example.

Configure Your Mac

Once you have your phone configured properly, you can set up your Mac to make phone calls.

1. Open the FaceTime app (Applications -> FaceTime).

2. Open “Preferences …” under the FaceTime menu bar entry.

3. Make sure “Calls from iPhone” is checked in the middle of the dialog box.

Make Phone Calls with Your Mac

Once you have your Mac configured, there are a variety of ways you can make phone calls with your Mac. This is often indicated in the OS by either a blue underline (like a link) or a grey dotted box with a drop down arrow on the right. Let’s look at some of the more popular methods.

1. In the FaceTime app, enter a contact name or phone number search field. Then, right click on the contact and select the phone number under “Call Using iPhone.” You can also click the phone icon within the main contact.

2. Click the phone icon under a contact’s name in the Contacts application.

3. In Safari click the drop down arrow next to a grey-outlined phone number on a web page and select “Call.” If you don’t see the grey outline, selecting the text with your cursor will often make it appear.

4. In Mail, click the drop down arrow next to a phone number and select how to make the call. This can be a little tricky, but selecting the phone number with your cursor will often make the menu appear.

5. Find a point of interest in Maps, click the information bubble, then click “Call.”

6. From Spotlight, enter a contact’s name. Then select the correct search result. Click the phone icon to place the call.

7. In Calendar, look for underlined blue phone numbers in the details associated with events.

8. In Reminders, click on an underlined blue phone number to make a call.

9. In Notes, click on the drop down arrow next to the phone number (or highlight and right-click), then select how to make the call.

You might also like the following posts:

Best Apps for Your New Mac or iPhone

How to Fix Cellular Data Problems on iPhone and iPad

Record Your Conversations with These iPhone Call Recording Apps

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

3 thoughts on “How to Make Phone Calls With Your Mac

    1. I found that to be true as well, which I tried to mention in the piece. But according to Apple’s own instructions, some carriers require you to enabled Wi-Fi Calling in order to see the “Calls on Other Devices” option. That wasn’t the case for my US Verizon iPhone 6, but that might be different for other carriers.

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