How to Make WhatsApp Phone Calls

Voice calling, even internationally, is easy with this messaging app

WhatsApp is a popular messaging app with more than a billion users. It rose in popularity, in part, because it lets you communicate for free and probably also because it offers enhanced privacy; everything it sends is fully encrypted. That’s not all: It’s also free of ads, which is more than can be said of many other messaging apps. Here is how to use WhatsApp to place a phone call.

Looking for information about making individual or group video calls on WhatsApp? Get those details in How to Use WhatsApp Video Calling.

Understanding WhatsApp

WhatsApp is an app that uses data rather than cellular voice services to place text messages and voice calls. That means you can use it even if you are traveling internationally or are somewhere without cellular service. In fact, WhatsApp is popular among international travelers who rely on WhatsApp to avoid buying international data plans.

As long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, you can place a WhatsApp call. If you do not have Wi-Fi, though, WhatsApp will use data from your mobile plan, which might result in data charges.

On the other hand, WhatsApp is also simple to use, since it relies on your existing address book and doesn’t require you to find people by usernames or email addresses.

How to Make a Call on WhatsApp

  1. Start the WhatsApp app.

  2. If you’re not already on the Calls page, tap Calls at the top of the screen.

  3. Tap the Call button, which is the green phone icon at the bottom of the screen. 

  4. Find the person whom you want to call from your contacts list. The WhatsApp contact list which you see here is actually your phone’s default contacts list. If you don’t see the person you want to call, you can tap New contact and add the individual to your contact list. You’ll need to enter the person’s phone number in the new contact entry, since WhatsApp uses phone numbers to identify users. 

  5. What you find the person you want to call, tap the phone icon to the right of their name. If the person is able to receive a call and answers, the call has begun. From here, it works like a phone call using any messaging or phone app. 

    Screenshots showing how to make calls on WhatsApp.

If a contact calls you, you can accept or reject an incoming call. To accept the call, swipe the green phone button. You can reject the call by swiping the red button, or decline the call with a short text reply by swiping the text button.

How to Make a Group Call on WhatsApp

You aren’t limited to calls to individual people; you can make group calls as well. There is a limit of 8 participants for these calls.

  1. Start the WhatsApp app.

  2. If you’re not already on the Calls page, tap Calls at the top of the screen.

  3. Tap the Call button at the bottom of the screen. 

  4. Tap New group call.

  5. On the New group call page, tap each person you want to add as a participant in the call. You can place up to three people in the call (for a total of four, including yourself). 

  6. When you’re ready to start the call, tap the call button at the top of the screen. 

    WhatsApp screenshots showing how to make a group call.