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How to make a call on WhatsApp on iPhone and Android

By reading through this guide, you’ll find out how to make a voice and video call through WhatsApp to a single person or a group of friends with your iPhone or your Android device.

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how to make calls on WhatsApp

But it doesn’t end there.

Differently from most guides you can find on the internet here I’ll go into detail, sharing with you – besides the instructions to make a call on WhatsApp – also how to switch from a voice call to a video call, how to manage phone calls and last but not least a trick to record WhatsApp calls (true James Bond stuff).

Before we begin, let me introduce myself.

I’m Frankie Caruso and I’m a messaging app expert and tester for some smartphone software. If you want to know more, I’ll drop you the link to my bio.

Note: If you want to get these helpful tips and more tricks right to your inbox for free, you can take a quick second and subscribe to my weekly newsletter.

Back to us.

Not familiar with WhatsApp? I would like to reassure you.

Making voice or video calls on WhatsApp is very simple and requires no technological skills.

Anyone can accomplish these phone or video calls to distant relatives or friends with this popular social network messaging service.

Enough chit-chat, let’s get started!

In short:

  • You can make a call on WhatsApp to call a single person or start a group call
  • You’ll need an internet connection to make calls over WhatsApp, but you can use Wi-Fi or mobile data.
  • You can only make voice calls to users who have WhatsApp installed on their devices and have an active internet connection.
  • Make a call: open WhatsApp > open the chat with the contact you want to call > click on the phone icon in the upper right corner.
  • Group Call: open WhatsApp > click on New Group (top right corner) and add contacts > create group > click on phone icon in top right corner.

How to make a call on WhatsApp to a single contact

Before you can begin making voice and video calls through WhatsApp, there are a few things that you need to assure have happened first.

  • Be sure that you are running the most recent version of WhatsApp available for the platform you are using.
  • Make sure that the WhatsApp user that you are attempting to call is saved in your contact list within the application. You can only make calls to those that are on this list. If you do not know how to find out this information, I have composed a guide about adding a new contact to WhatsApp.

Now that you have this information squared away, making a voice call or a video call is actually simple.

There are three simple steps that you should follow, and this is the same for both iPhone and Android devices.

1. Open your WhatsApp application.

How to make a call on WhatsApp to a single contact step 1

2. Open the specific chat thread with the contact you wish to voice (or video) call. If you haven’t yet opened a chat with the person you want to call, create a new chat.

How to make a call on WhatsApp to a single contact step 2

3. Click on the phone icon in the top right of the screen to start a voice call immediately. Alternatively, click on the camera icon to start a video call.

How to make a call on WhatsApp to a single contact step 3

Congratulations!

After you have followed these steps, you have successfully made your first voice call using WhatsApp.

This is one of the simplest and most straightforward ways for you to call a contact in your WhatsApp list.

There are alternative techniques, such as opening the application and clicking on a CALLS tab. You can then use the search bar to type the name of the contact that you wish to voice call and click it. The call will start automatically.

How to make a group call on WhatsApp

With WhatsApp group calls you can call and video call up to 8 people (including you).

TIP: If you want to call more than 8 people at the same time I recommend using other apps such as Google Duo or Messenger. I’ll drop you a link to my guide with the best apps for making free calls and video calls.

Making group calls via WhatsApp is extremely easy.

The process is the same whether you use an iPhone or an Android.

Here are the steps to follow:

1. Open WhatsApp. If you want to call a group of friends who are already part of a WhatsApp group, open it. Alternatively, you can create a new group by adding the contacts you want to call (or video call) by clicking on New Group and selecting participants from the contact list for a total of 8 including you.

How to make a group call on WhatsApp step 1

2. Click on the phone icon to call, or the camera icon to make a video call. Then click on Call Group.

How to make a group call on WhatsApp step 2

3. That’s it!

How to make a group call on WhatsApp step 3

 

Frankie-Caruso


Frankie’s Take:

If you would like more in-depth information on about making conference calls on WhatsApp, I would like to invite you to take a look at my guide: a step-by-step guide to group video calls on WhatsApp.

How to answer (or decline) a call on WhatsApp

When you get a phone or a video call from a contact, you will be notified of this in the similar fashion to receiving calls normally on your phone.

The entire screen will indicate that a contact is reaching out to you, and you must slide the green button on Android – or tap on blue button on iPhone – to answer or push a red button to decline the conversation.

How to answer (or decline) a call on WhatsApp

If you choose to decline with a message, you can do so by choosing the message icon that appears on the incoming call screen.

This offers options and a custom text window to reply with your message instead of just declining the conversation outright.

Switching from Voice to Video Calling and vice versa

Many users do not know that they can switch from voice calling to video calling at the press of a button.

Here is how you do it:

  1. While you are engaged in a voice call, you can click on the camera icon which indicates a video call and then tap on the popup that says Switch.
  2. The contact with whom you are making the call will also be asked if it is OK to switch to a video call. You can choose whether or not to accept. Both parties must agree to a video call for them to occur.

Naturally, you can also do the other way around and thus switch from a video call to a voice call.

Here is how you do it:

  1. While on your video call, tap Video Off, to first notify the contact that you are speaking to.
  2. Once the contact turns their own video off, the call is then switched automatically to a voice conversation.
Frankie-Caruso


Frankie’s Take:

Video calls use more data than normal calls through WhatsApp. I would suggest, if possible, to always do so while on Wi-Fi. For a better image resolution, the faster the connection, the better. If you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, it is possible to make video calls through 4G or 5G (which is better) when available.

Managing a call on hold in WhatsApp

When you receive a call during a busy time on WhatsApp, you have three options:

  1. You can accept this call, which in turn closes out of other active conversations.
  2. You can decline the call.
  3. Or you can place the current conversation on hold until your new call completes.

The functionality of the app provides two specific options depending on whether the second call you receive comes from inside or outside of WhatsApp.

If someone is calling you on WhatsApp while you were engaged in another call in the same service, you will see the options to either End & Accept or Decline.

By choosing the first one, the ongoing call will end, and the incoming call will start. The second case, you will continue with the call you are currently having and reject any incoming transmissions.

If the incoming call is from outside of WhatsApp, the procedure changes depending on whether you have an Android or iPhone.

Android smartphones allow you to choose among three options:

  • Answer (End current call and accept incoming)
  • Decline (Reject the incoming call and continue the current conversation)
  • Screen Call (Google Assistant filters the call to determine who they are and what they want)

There are also three options available for the iPhone too, but they are slightly different:

  • End & Accept (accept incoming and leave current conversation)
  • Decline (Reject incoming and continue current conversation)
  • Hold & Accept (put current call on hold and answer incoming)

You will receive an audio notification when you are getting a WhatsApp voice or video call from within the service. There is no way that you will not notice the second call.

Frankie-Caruso


Frankie’s Take:

Call waiting is one of the most interesting features of WhatsApp, especially when you use this feature for business reasons. You can spend all day on the phone. If you have the latest version of WhatsApp installed on your phone you don’t have to do anything to activate it, it is already a feature.

How Much Do Calls in WhatsApp Cost?

Calls are always free between WhatsApp users.

There are no limits regarding the number of calls that you can make, or how long that they last. Better yet, you can make both national and international calls.

The price does not change.

You could talk to millions of users throughout the world.

The only recurring fee might need to consider is the cost of your internet subscription to navigate your smartphone to make these calls as readily as you would like.

WhatsApp uses data to make VoIP voice calls. This is the same as services like Skype so you can draw parallels between the two operations.

Voice and video calls consume data. If you do not have unlimited data with your plan for your phone, it is advisable to only make these connections when you have Wi-Fi internet available.

Frankie-Caruso


Frankie’s Take:

Voice and video calls are both free, however you must be aware of the data that you use to make these connections. Because WhatsApp relies exclusively on your internet connection to make these calls, you are accessing mobile data when not on your Wi-Fi.

BONUS: How to record WhatsApp calls on iPhone or Android

You might not know this but calls that get made in WhatsApp can also be recorded like normal conversations.

There is no native feature that allows you to record this directly within WhatsApp, but you do have third party options and stock tools on your smartphone to accomplish this.

Recording a call with WhatsApp can be useful, especially if you are conducting business. With the ability to have up to 8 participants in a video conversation, WhatsApp is increasingly becoming a forerunner in videoconferencing applications.

Android users have multiple solutions for recording WhatsApp calls as they happen.

It is necessary to use an external app, however, because this feature is not present as a function currently in WhatsApp.

Through recent years, manufacturers are integrating apps exclusively designed to record calls. You can look in your app drawer and check if something labeled “Call Recorder” is available to use.

If you don’t have this, I would recommend installing Recorder, which is made directly by Google. Call Recorder made by Cube ACR there’s another application that integrates well with WhatsApp.

Once you have installed the application you can register a call on WhatsApp with your Android phone.

For those with an iPhone, the issue becomes a little more complicated.

IOS does not allow third party apps to access your smartphone or microphone at the same time. This makes it impossible to record calls through WhatsApp.

So, what do you do?

There is an alternative solution, although it is a lot more complicated. You can use an external recorder.

Simply activate the speaker feature and a WhatsApp call and record it through an external device near your phone. The quality will not be very good, but as it stands, there are no alternative solutions.

Frankie-Caruso


Frankie’s Take:

In almost every country in the world, it is illegal to record calls that you are involved in. This is why WhatsApp does not have a native recording function to help you in this matter. However, there are multiple external apps for Android that allow you to do this. With an iOS device, it becomes significantly more challenging.

FAQs About Voice and Video Calling in WhatsApp

How do I make a call on WhatsApp without having them in my contact list?

You cannot dial a number on WhatsApp like you would make normal calls, an in theory, you need to have a stored number in your contact list to call them with WhatsApp.

However, there is a trick to call a contact via WhatsApp even if they’re not saved to your list. I will tell you about it in my guide on how to chat and call on WhatsApp to a number not saved in your contacts.

How to make a video call on WhatsApp Desktop?

Calls and video calls with WhatsApp Desktop are available on:

  • Windows 10 and later
  • macOS 10.13 and later versions

To make calls and video calls on WhatsApp Desktop you need to:

  1. Open the WhatsApp app on your desktop or laptop
  2. Open the chat of the contact you wish to call
  3. click on the phone icon to call or the camera icon to make a video call.

Tip: use earphones for a better audio quality.

Unfortunately you cannot make calls or video calls using WhatsApp Web service.

Can I call countries other than mine in the world for free?

Yes, voice call on WhatsApp is always free.

There are countries in the world where WhatsApp has been banned (such as China, Iran, North Korea, and others.)

If the contact you wish to call is located in one of these countries you cannot reach them.

There are alternative apps to WhatsApp to allow calls and video calls for free as well.

I have listed some of the best ones that you might also consider in a guide about the best free call apps for voice and video.

What if someone calls and I don’t pick up, or my phone is turned off?

If someone calls you and you do not answer, you will find a missed call notification on your smartphone much like normal traditional calling.

You could see who is tried to call you in the phone call log, even if your phone has been turned off.

Can someone overhear a call that I’m making on WhatsApp?

A phone call made with WhatsApp takes place only between you and the person that you have called.

Other users cannot eavesdrop or even join, nor can they see that you are talking to each other.

Conversations always take place in complete privacy, unless someone has installed a keylogger on your phone.

Can I call emergency numbers with WhatsApp?

A downside to voice and video calls through WhatsApp is that you cannot access 911 or other emergency services with this functionality.

You should always have a backup plan in place in case of emergencies to contact the appropriate authorities.

Conclusion

So now that we have reached the end of this guide, I can say that I hope that the information I provided was helpful. I tried to put it as simply as possible so that you could be more familiar with the steps and follow them accordingly.

Before I say goodbye, I thought I should give you a brief recap of what I’ve talked about during this guide.

I walked you through how to make and answer WhatsApp calls, how to switch from a voice call to a video call and vice versa, and last but not least a trick on how to record WhatsApp calls.

Now that you have this information that’s really all I have left to tell you.

If you have any questions or doubts, please leave a comment in the box below this post so that I can get back with you and help you through the obstacle. Alternatively you can contact me on my Facebook Page.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my free weekly newsletter to get tricks and tips and become a messaging app master.

A hug,

Frankie Caruso

PS – You can also see a guide all about learning to make international calls on WhatsApp.

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About Frankie Caruso

I'm Frankie Caruso. I'm a professional amateur in that ugly business of social media, instant messaging apps and computer security. I help all those frustrated people who call themselves digital illiterates to understand something about this confusing digital world.

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