How to Make a Conference Call on Your iPhone

Did you know that the iPhone makes it easy to have free conference calls with a call of people very easy?

Getting more than a couple of people in a couple of locations onto a phone call used to require a paid conference calling service. But not if you have an iPhone. And forget about dialing into special phone numbers, remembering long access codes, or paying for conferencing.

Conference calling is part of the iPhone's pre-installed Phone app. In the U.S., it supports up to 5 callers (including you) on AT&T and T-Mobile, 6 callers if you use Verizon HD Voice (formerly known as Advanced Calling) on an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus or newer, and up to 3 callers on Sprint.

This article was written using iOS 12. However, the iPhone has supported this kind of free conference calling for many years and on many versions of the iOS. So, if you're running an older version of the iOS, the steps might be slightly different — but you've still got free conference calling.

People on a conference call, clapping
Luis Alvarez / DigitalVision / Getty Images

How to Make Conference Calls on iPhone (All Phone Companies)

To make conference calls on your AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Call the first person you want to have a conference call with.

  2. After that person answers, tap Add Call.

  3. This brings up your contacts list. Browse or search your Contacts and tap the phone number of the next participant. You can also use the keypad from this screen to dial the next number.

  4. When the next person answers, tap Merge Calls to conference the calls together.

  5. Repeat these steps until you've added all the people to the call or hit the limit on participants.

If you're already on the call and another participant calls you, tap Hold Call & Answer when it pops up. When you've answered that call, tap Merge Calls to add the new caller to the conference.

Not sure how to decide which phone company will be meet your needs? For help choosing the best phone company for your iPhone, read this article.

How to Use Talk Privately and Hang Up Individual Lines During iPhone Conference Calls

When you use your iPhone for a conference call, you can speak to one participant privately, or disconnect people from the call individually.

To speak privately to just one person on the call without anyone else hearing:

  1. Tap the i icon next to the phone numbers (on iOS 7 and up) or the arrow next to Conference (on iOS 6 and earlier) at the top of the screen.
  2. The next screen shows a list of all the people on the call.
  3. Tap Private next to a person's name to speak only to them without the rest of the conference participants hearing you.

On the same screen where you enter private conversations, you can also disconnect individual callers from the conference call without ending the entire call. To do that:

  1. Find the End button (on iOS 7 and up) or a red phone icon (on iOS 6 and earlier) next to each caller's name.
  2. Disconnect a caller by tapping End (on iOS 7) or tapping the phone icon and then tapping the End button (on iOS 6). This disconnects that caller while leaving everyone else in the conference.

How to Switch Calls in the iPhone Phone App

Already on one call and have another coming in? You can choose to switch between the two calls without conferencing them together. Just use the Swap Calls button.

If you're already on a call and have a second call coming in, simply tap Swap Calls to put the current call on hold and switch to the other. Tap the button again to reverse the process.