Google Voice Conference Calling

Start a Group Call to Get Lots of People Talking

Configuring and managing a Google Voice conference call is easy. You don't even have to start as a conference because you can turn one-on-one calls into conference calls as needed. Also, your Google Voice number can be combined with Google Hangouts to get the full conferencing effect.

What's Required to Make a Google Voice Conference Call

All that's needed to make a Google Voice conference call is a Google account and a computer, smartphone, or tablet that has the app installed. You can get the Google Voice app for Android and iOS devices and through the web on a computer. The same is accurate for Hangouts—iOS, Android, and web users can use it.

Animated illustration of three friends chatting in a conference call
Lifewire / Lisa Fasol 

If you already have a Gmail or YouTube account, you can start using Google Voice in no time. Otherwise, create a new Google account to get started.

How to Make the Conference Call With Google Voice

Before the call, you will need to inform all your participants that they should call you on your Google Voice number at the agreed time. You first enter into a phone conversation with one of your participants, by either having them call you or you call them, through Google Voice.

  1. Once you're on the call, you can add the other participants when they dial in. You will be alerted when you have an incoming call. To accept other calls, press after hearing a message about starting a conference call.

  2. You have the option of recording a conference call in Google Voice. You must first go to Settings > Calls and turn on Incoming call options.

  3. All participants must be connected to the conference call to initiate a recording. To start recording or stop recording, press 4. A message will alert all participants on the call when recording is activated and deactivated.

The Limitations of Google Voice

Google Voice is not primarily a conferencing service, but it is a beneficial way to use your phone number on all of your devices. With that said, you should not expect too much from it. Use it as a simple and easy way to make a group phone call due to limitations with the service.

A group conference call with Google Voice is limited to 10 people total on the call at once (or 25 with a paid account).

Unlike full-fledged conference tools, there aren't any tools with Google Voice intended to manage the conference call and its participants. There isn't a facility to schedule the conference call and have the participants invited in advance through email, for example.

Despite the lack of extra features you might find in other services (Skype has better options for conference calling), Google Voice's simple and straightforward conferencing ability that anyone with the essential devices can participate in makes it an appealing option. Because it integrates with your smartphone and lets you use a wide variety of devices, it does its job well as a central calling service.