How to Automatically Dial Extensions on Android

Man using Samsung Galaxy S8 phone

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Many business contacts have a phone number that includes an extension number. It's not easy to remember all these extension numbers and listening to the automated message for the list of extensions takes time. Instead of looking or waiting for a list of extension numbers, there's a clever Android feature that makes it possible to add extension numbers to a contacts' phone number and automatically dial the extension when making a call.

There are two different methods to add extension numbers to contacts. The method you use depends on whether you can enter the extension as soon as the call is answered, or if you have to wait for an automated message to finish.

Information in this article should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

Use the Pause Method

Use the Pause method to add extension numbers to a contact's phone number when the extension number can be entered as soon as the call has been answered.

Here's how to add an extension number to a contact's phone number using the Pause method:

  1. Open the Contacts app on your Android phone, then find the contact whose number you want to add an extension. The contacts list can be opened from the phone dialer.

  2. Tap the person's name. On the Phone app, the contact information slides into view. On the Contacts app, the contact information page displays.

  3. Tap the Pencil icon.

  4. Tap the phone number field and place the cursor at the end of the phone number. The on-screen keyboard appears.

  5. Insert a single comma to the right of the phone number.

    Edit button and comma placed in phone number on Android

    On some devices, including the comma may be replaced with a Pause button. Other devices may have both.

  6. After the comma or pause, without leaving a space, type the extension number for the contact. For example, if the number is 01234555999 and the extension number is 255, the complete number is 01234555999,255.

  7. Save the contact information.

  8. The next time you call that contact, their extension number automatically dials when the call is answered.

Troubleshoot the Pause Method

When using the Pause method, you may find that the extension dials too quickly, meaning the automated phone system does not detect the extension. Normally, when automated phone systems are used, the call is answered almost immediately. In some cases, however, the phone may ring once or twice before the automated system picks up.

If this is the case, insert more than one comma between the phone number and the extension number. Each comma adds a two-second pause before the extension number is dialed.

Phone number with several commas place in the phone number on Android

Use the Wait Method

The Wait method of adding an extension number to a contact's phone number should be used in cases where the extension number cannot be entered until the end of the automated message.

  1. Open the Contacts app on your Android phone and tap the contact whose number you wish to add an extension to. The contacts list can be opened from the Phone app.

  2. Tap the Pencil icon.

  3. Select the phone number field, then place the cursor at the end of the phone number.

  4. Use the Android keyboard to insert a single semicolon to the right of the phone number.

    Phone number with semi-colon placed on Android

    Some keyboards have a Wait button instead of a semicolon. Some have both.

  5. After the semicolon, without leaving a space, type the extension number for the contact. For example, if the number is 01234333666 and the extension number is 288, the complete number is 01234333666;288.

  6. Save the contact.

  7. When using the Wait method, a notice appears on the screen when the automated message has finished. This prompts you to dial the extension number to proceed or to cancel the call.

Not Using Android?

These methods can be used to add extension numbers to contacts on almost any type of cellphone, including the iPhone and most Windows Phone devices. The exact steps vary, but the basic information is applicable.