How to set up and manage conference calls on iPhone

When Bell Labs introduced the concept of conference calling in 1956, it was recognized as a great way to talk to two or more people at the same time. The concept, as everyone knows, has been added to mobile phones. Although they may feel old-fashioned today with the presence of video calls, group calls will come in very handy, especially during times of Internet connectivity issues. If you’re having trouble or don’t know how to make a conference call on iPhone, read on.

How to create and manage a conference call on iPhone

As you read this guide, we’ll help you discover many features to efficiently manage your conference calls. Let’s start by understanding how to set up a conference call, gradually moving on to managing the call.

A note: You can add up to five people (including yourself) to an iPhone conference call in the US, depending on your network operator. Popular carriers like AT&T and Verizon support up to 5 subscribers.

How to make a conference call on iPhone

It’s quite easy to start a conference call on iPhone, and you can also participate in the conversation through Bluetooth headphones. Here’s the step-by-step procedure:

Step 1: Open the Phone app on your iPhone and tap the Keyboard option.

If you remember the person’s number, dial it or go to the next step.

Select Keyboard

step 2: Now click on Contacts at the bottom.

Select Contacts 1

step 3: Find and tap on the contact you want to call and select their mobile.

Wait for the person to receive the call. After posting this, you can add a second person to the call.

Step 4: Now click Add Call and select the contact you want to add to the group call.

If you haven’t saved their contact and want to dial their number, use the keyboard option below.

Select a keyboard to add a second person

step 5: Once the second person is added, the first person will be automatically suspended. To create a conference call, click merge calls.

Select Merge Calls

Once you’ve followed the steps above, you’ll be able to create a three-way call on your iPhone. The name of the call will be displayed in the format “Person1 and Person2”. If you want to start a 4-way call, simply repeat the procedure described above.

A note: Only the conference host can see all participants.

Conference call on iPhone

Now, when other conference participants are in conversation and you don’t want to disturb them. Or, if you might want to take a break without having to leave the current call, use the mute option.

How to turn off your iPhone during a conference call

If you are in a conference call, you can mute your end. All you need to do is tap on the mute icon on the call screen as shown in the image below.

Select the Mute icon.

But wait, what if someone calls you and you want them to be part of your group call? Fortunately, the iPhone gives you an easy option to do this.

Add an incoming caller to a group phone call on iPhone

Step 1: Once you receive an incoming call, you will find three different response options. Click Hold and Accept.

The existing conference call will be put on hold to accept the new incoming call.

Incoming call 1

step 2: Now tap merge calls.

Combine incoming calls 1

That’s all you need to do to transfer an incoming call to a conference call. However, now when you have multiple people talking, you can only share some information with one person. This means that what you say must not be heard by the other two. Fortunately, there is an option on the call screen that allows you to do this without disconnecting the call.

How to talk privately during an iPhone conference call

Here’s how you can use the private option to talk to a select few people during a conversation without the rest of you listening.

Step 1: On the conference call screen, tap the i icon.

step 2: Now you will get a list of the participants of the call. Select private under the name of the person you want to talk to privately.

A note: The availability of the private function depends on the operator network you are using. Unfortunately, it will be grayed out and unavailable if your carrier doesn’t support it. (as in our case)

Select Private

Using this option, you can talk to selected people while ensuring that everyone else stays on the conversation. However, if you want to talk to a select few and don’t mind removing others from the conference call, you can use the End button.

How to remove a person from an iPhone group call

Here’s how you can use the end button to remove a person from a conference call.

Step 1: Tap the “i” icon on the group call screen.

Click on the i icon

step 2: Click End under the name of the person you want to delete.

Select End

These are all the settings you need to know to manage and control your conference call. If you’re comfortable with the steps but have a few questions about them, check out the FAQ section below.

Frequently asked questions about iPhone conferencing

1. Why can’t I merge calls?

You should probably check that all the participants in the call are on a good network. If not, there is a possibility that the activated VoLTE feature is preventing you from merging calls. To turn it off: Go to Settings > Mobile/Cellular > Mobile/Cellular Data Options > Enable LTE > Turn Off or Data Only.

2. How do I add more than 5 people to a conference call on iPhone?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to add more than 5 people using the default iPhone phone app. However, you can use WhatsApp or FaceTime for this.

3. Do all conference participants need to use an iPhone?

No, if the call is over a cellular network, it’s not necessary for everyone to use an iPhone.

Make conference calls on iPhone with ease

That’s all you need to do to make a conference call on iPhone. Group calls are a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. What’s more, we’re very impressed with the number of options the iPhone gives you for doing so. What other iPhone conferencing options would you like to see? I think they should increase the number of people we can add to the call. Share your thoughts in the comments below.