Using iPhone Phone Features Like Caller ID and Call Waiting

Use the dialer or your iPhone's settings to configure core phone features

The iOS's built-in Phone app offers a lot more than the basic ability to place calls and listen to voicemails. There are a lot of powerful options hidden within the app if you know where to find them, such as the ability to forward your calls to another phone number and control some aspects of your calling experience.

Instructions in this article apply to iOS 9 through iOS 13.

How to Access Phone Settings on iOS

To access the iPhone settings screen, tap Settings > Phone. The Phone Settings screen that opens contains all the device-specific settings that govern your iPhone's voice dialer.

iPhone Settings with Phone highlighted

How to Turn Off Caller ID on iPhone

The iPhone's Caller ID feature is what lets the person you're calling know it's you; it's what pops your name or number up on their phone's screen. To block Caller ID, change its setting.

AT&T and T-Mobile

From the Phone settings screen, scroll down to Show My Caller ID and tap it. Move the slider to Off/white and your calls will come from "Unknown" or "Blocked" instead of your name or number.

Verizon and Sprint

Dial *67 followed by the number you're trying to call. This prefix code works on a per-call basis. To block Caller ID for all calls, you must work through Verizon or Sprint directly through your online account.

How to Enable Call Forwarding on iPhone

If you're going to be away from your iPhone but still need to get calls, turn on call forwarding. With this feature, any calls to your phone number are automatically sent to another number that you specify. It's not a feature you'll use often but it's handy when you need it.

AT&T and T-Mobile

From the Phone settings screen, scroll to Call Forwarding and tap it. Move the slider to On/green and enter the phone number you want to forward calls to. Tap the Call Forwarding arrow in the top left corner.

You know Call Forwarding is turned on by the icon of a phone with an arrow coming out of it in the top left corner. Call forwarding stays turned on until you turn it off to let calls come directly to your phone again.

Verizon and Sprint

Dial *72 followed by the forwarding number. Press Call and wait to hear the confirmation. At that point, you can hang up. The forwarding stays in place until you turn it off by dialing *73.

How to Enable Call Waiting on iPhone

Call waiting allows someone to call you while you're already on another call. With it turned on, you can put one call on hold and take the other or merge the calls into a conference.

When call waiting is turned off, any calls you get while on another call go directly to voicemail.

AT&T and T-Mobile

Call waiting is enabled by default. You can disable it temporarily from the iPhone Settings screen. Scroll to Call Waiting and tap it. Move the slider to Off/white.

Verizon and Sprint

Call waiting is enabled by default. To suspend call waiting temporarily, dial *70 and enter the number you are calling before you place a call. For the duration of that call only, your call-waiting service temporarily suspends.

How to Make Your iPhone Announce Incoming Calls

In many cases, it's easy enough to look at your iPhone's screen to see who's calling, but in some cases—if you're driving, for example—it might not be safe. The Announce Calls feature makes your phone speak the name of the caller, as long as the person's number is stored in your Contacts app, so you don't have to take your eyes off what you're doing.

This feature is not carrier-specific.

To configure it, in the iPhone settings screen, tap Announce Calls. Choose whether to Always announce calls, only when your phone is connected to Headphones & CarHeadphones only, or Never.

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