How to Make or Receive Phone Calls on iPad or Mac

Use the iPhone Cellular Calls feature to answer calls on iPad or Mac

What to Know

  • First, on iPhone: Settings > Cellular > Calls on Other Devices, and enable Allow Calls on Other Devices.
  • Make calls from your iPad by selecting phone numbers in FaceTime, Contacts, Messages, Calendar, or Safari.
  • You can also call using Contacts or manually enter phone numbers in FaceTime from your Mac.

This article explains how to make and receive phone calls on your iPad or Mac, instead of just on your iPhone.

Can You Use an iPad or Mac as a Phone?

Yes, you can use your Mac or iPad in lieu of a phone, but you do have to have your iPhone nearby since the iPhone is often doing most of the work. Now, there's some initial setup to do else the function won't work, but we'll cover what you'll need to do. Before we get into that, make sure:

  • All your device are running the latest operating system it can (at least macOS Yosemite, 10.10 and iPadOS 13)
  • FaceTime is enabled on each device
  • Your devices are all signed into the same Apple ID

After that, you’ll either need to use your iPad or Mac’s external microphone, or otherwise have a headset with a microphone available to plug in. And lastly, you’ll need to enable the ability to route calls to your other devices on the iPhone and whatever other devices you plan to use.

The Mac mini does not have a built-in microphone. Also, some models of iPad and Mac don’t have a headphone jack, so if you want to plug in a headset you may need to get ahold of a USB-C or Lighting headphone adapter.

Adjust the Settings in Order to Make or Receive a Call on Your Mac

Once you have this working, you'll wonder how you lived without making or receiving calls this way.

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone, tap Cellular, then tap Calls on Other Devices.

  2. Make sure Allow Calls on Other Devices is toggled on.

    Steps to allow your iPhone to allow calls on your other Apple devices.
  3. Under ALLOW CALLS ON you can see which usable devices are connected, and toggle call routing on or off for each of them.

  4. For the iPad, go into Settings and then FaceTime, and turn on both FaceTime and Calls from iPhone. If you’re also asked about enabling Wi-Fi calling, enable it.

    Settings in macOS to allows FaceTime and cellular calls from an iPhone to the sent to a Mac.
  5. For a Mac, open the FaceTime app and click the FaceTime menu.

    The FaceTime menu highlighted on a Mac.
  6. Select Preferences > Settings > Calls from iPhone. As with the iPad, if you’re asked to enable Wi-Fi calling, do so.

    The preference setting, in macOS, to enable calls from iPhone in FaceTime on a Mac.

How Do I Make a Call From My iPad?

Once the initial setup is out of the way, making and receiving calls through your iPad is a breeze.

  1. Receiving a call is fairly straightforward as call notifications should appear on your iPad much like they do on your iPhone. Just tap the notification that pops up on your iPad to take the call, or swipe the notification to ignore the call.

    An example of a call coming in on an iPad.
  2. To make a call from your iPad, open FaceTime and enter a contact or phone number, then tap the phone icon.

    An example of calling on an iPad.
  3. You can also make a call from your iPad by tapping on phone numbers that appear in other apps such as Contacts, Messages, Calendar, or Safari.

    Making a call in Safari on an iPad.

How Do I Make a Call From My Mac?

Much like with the iPad, routing calls through your Mac is pretty simple once everything is properly prepared.

  1. Incoming calls will produce notifications on your Mac, which you can accept to take the call or dismiss to ignore it.

    Receiving a call on a Mac.
  2. To make a call from your Mac, open Contacts and click the contact you want to call, then click the phone icon.

    Making a call using the Contacts app on a Mac.
  3. You can also manually dial a number for a call from your Mac by opening FaceTime, typing in the number (press Enter when you’re done), then clicking the Audio button.

    Making a FaceTime call on a Mac.
  • How do I call 911 on an iPad?

    Once you've set up calls on your iPad, you can dial 911 just like any other number. Just like with normal calls, you can use FaceTime, provided your iPad is on the same Wi-Fi network as your phone.

  • How do I record a FaceTime call on Mac?

    The easiest way to record a FaceTime call is with your Mac's screen recording feature. Start the call, and then press Command + Shift + 5 to open the screen-recording menu. Choose whether to record the entire screen or just a selected portion, and then select Options and pick an option under Microphone to capture audio.

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