That’s right, you can use your iPad to make and receive phone calls. It’s easy to set up, and once you do so, there’s no need to fumble around for your iPhone every time it starts to ring. Just grab your iPad to answer it instead!
As one of Apple’s Continuity features, your iPhone can relay phone calls to other Apple devices: iPad, iPod, or Mac. So you can make a phone call from any device. And when you receive a phone call, you can answer it on whichever device you’re already using.
Take a look at the instructions below to set up your iPad to make and receive phone calls. We’ve even included a troubleshooting guide in case it isn’t working!
- 1 Quick Tips
- 2 What do I need to have to use my iPad for phone calls?
- 3 Setting up your iPad to make and receive phone calls
- 4 Using your iPad to make and receive phone calls
- 5 What to do if phone calls don’t work on your iPad
Use these quick tips to make and receive phone calls from your iPad or follow the full instructions further down in the post:
- On your iPhone, turn on Allow Calls on Other Devices from the Phone settings.
- On your iPad, turn on Calls from iPhone from the FaceTime settings.
- Keep both devices signed in to the same Apple ID account using the same Wi-Fi.
- How to send SMS messages on iPad and Mac
- Where did Apple’s Continuity “Handoff” feature go in iOS 12? We have answers
- FaceTime audio calls for iPhone, iPad, Watch, and Macs
What do I need to have to use my iPad for phone calls?
There are a few things you need to have in order to use your iPad for phone calls. You probably have them already, but we’ve listed them below just in case.
1. You need to have an iPhone
The main thing you need to own is an iPhone. Any phone calls you make or receive from your iPad technically come from the iPhone, they only get relayed to your iPad. For this reason, your iPhone also needs to be powered on for the feature to work.
Do I still need an iPhone if I have a cellular iPad?
Although you can put a SIM card in your cellular iPad, it still needs to connect to an iPhone to make phone calls. The SIM card in your iPad is for data only. It doesn’t have a phone number, and even if it did, your iPad wouldn’t know what to do with it.
2. You need an Apple ID account
Phone calls relay from your iPhone to your iPad using Continuity. This feature looks at the Apple ID account your iPhone and iPad uses to ensure it only sends data to your personal devices. You need to use the same Apple ID in iCloud and FaceTime, on each device, for the feature to work.
3. You need to be connected to Wi-Fi
Your iPhone sends the call data to your iPad using a Wi-Fi network. For this to work, both devices need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and they normally need to be in relatively close proximity to each other.
Setting up your iPad to make and receive phone calls
Before you can use your iPad to make and receive phone calls, you need to tell your iPhone to allow calls on other devices. Then you need to tell your iPad to use your iPhone for calls.
How do I allow phone calls on other devices from my iPhone?
- On your iPhone, go to Settings > Phone.
- Under the Calls section, tap Calls on Other Devices.
- Turn on Allow Calls on Other Devices.
- You should see a list of all your Apple devices, including your iPad.
- Turn on the button next to your iPad and any other devices you want to make and receive phone calls from.
How do I tell my iPad to use my iPhone for phone calls?
- On your iPad, go to Settings > FaceTime.
- Turn on Calls from iPhone.
Using your iPad to make and receive phone calls
As expected, using your iPad for phone calls is fairly intuitive. Despite lacking a Phone app, your iPad looks and acts just like your iPhone does during a phone call. You have options to mute the microphone, access a keypad, change to speakerphone, and more.
How do I answer a phone call from my iPad?
Next time someone calls you, your iPad should ring as well as your iPhone. There may be a slight delay between devices when they start and stop ringing. This feels a bit alarming initially, as all your devices sound off at once, but you get used to it.
The same as on your iPhone, tap or slide the green button on your iPad to answer the call. When you use your iPad to receive phone calls it automatically answers in speaker mode, so you don’t need to pick up the tablet to talk.
How do I make a phone call from my iPad?
Without a Phone app on your iPad, it isn’t always obvious how to make a new phone call. But in fact, there are several ways to do it. We’ve listed them all below.
When you make a phone call on your iPad, it uses the allocated minutes from your cell contract, as any normal phone call would.
1. Start a phone call from your contacts
Find the person you want to speak to in the Contacts app, using Search, or by tapping their name in Messages. You can tap the phone icon beneath their name to make a call using your iPad.
2. Start a phone call from the Internet
When you search for a business in Safari it often suggests a phone number you can contact the business at. Tap the phone icon from the search bar, or any other phone number you find online, to start a new call from your iPad.
3. Dial a number using FaceTime
If all else fails, open FaceTime and tap the plus (+) icon to start a new phone call. Use the keyboard to type a phone number and tap Return when you’re finished. You should see the option to start an audio call at the bottom of the app.
How do I transfer a phone call from my iPad to my iPhone?
After you make or receive a phone call on your iPad, you might decide it’s more convenient to finish the call on your iPhone. On your iPhone you can talk without speakerphone or leave Wi-Fi without affecting the call.
It’s easy to transfer calls call from your iPad to your iPhone without losing connection. While on the call, you should see a green bubble or a green bar at the top of your iPhone screen. Tap it to transfer the call from your iPad and keep the conversation going.
What to do if phone calls don’t work on your iPad
Sometimes your iPad doesn’t work how you want it to. If you followed the instructions above but still can’t make or receive phone calls from your iPad, try to fix it using our troubleshooting tips below.
Let us know what problems you experienced and how you tried to fix it in the comments at the bottom of this post!
Update your software
Apple’s Continuity feature requires iOS 8.1 or later on your iPad and iPhone. If you have an older device, like an iPhone 4 or the original iPad, you might not be able to install iOS 8. Otherwise, you should update to the latest software from the Settings.
Software updates also fix bugs and glitches in existing releases. One of these bugs might be the reason you can’t use your iPad for phone calls. And so a software update could fix it.
Finally, if you’re taking part in Apple’s beta software program, you’re likely to experience more problems with your devices because the software is unfinished. Consider following this link to revert to the latest publicly released software.
How to update iOS or iPadOS on an iPad or iPhone:
- Make sure your device is connected to the Internet.
- Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
- Wait for your device to search for new updates.
- Download and install the latest available update.
Sign in to your Apple ID again
For phone calls to relay from your iPhone to your iPad, both devices need to be using the same Apple ID account for iCloud and FaceTime. If you’re experiencing problems, you should re-sign into your Apple ID on both devices.
Complete the following instructions for your iPad and for your iPhone.
How to sign out of your Apple ID on an iPad or iPhone:
- Go to Settings > [Your Name] > Sign Out.
- Enter your Apple ID password and tap Turn Off.
- Choose whether to keep a copy of iCloud data on your device (Optional).
- Confirm you want to Sign Out.
- After signing out, hold the Side or Top button and slide to power off your device.
How to re-sign into your Apple ID on an iPad or iPhone:
- Restart your device and go to Settings > Sign in to your [iDevice].
- Enter your Apple ID email address and password.
- If prompted, verify the sign-in from your other Apple devices.
- Now go to Settings > FaceTime.
- Make sure FaceTime is using the same Apple ID account.
Check your iPhone is working
To use your iPad for phone calls, your iPhone needs to be powered on, connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and relatively close by. Take a look at your iPhone to check it meets these requirements.
If your iPhone battery is low, plug it in to charge. You should be able to make and receive phone calls on your iPad while the iPhone charges.
Make sure you’re using the exact same Wi-Fi network and ensure both devices use the exact same Apple ID account. Double-check the Phone settings on your iPhone to ensure it allows calls from other devices, as we explained how to do above.
Finally, make sure you don’t stray too far from your iPhone. You shouldn’t need to be right next to it, but try not to go further than a couple of rooms away.
Contact Apple Support
If your iPad still can’t make or receive phone calls, try contacting Apple Support for one-to-one assistance. They can guide you through detailed troubleshooting steps or schedule your iPad and iPhone in for a repair.
Visit Apple’s Get Support website and go to iPad > Connectivity > The topic is not listed. Explain your problem in the text box that appears, saying something like:
I cannot receive or make phone calls on my iPad, despite turning on the “Allow calls from other devices” option on my iPhone.
Let us know how you get on in the comments. If Apple gives you any advice we haven’t listed here, we’ll be sure to update the article to reflect it. And in the meantime, you might want to learn how to send SMS messages from your iPad instead!
Dan is a freelance writer based in South West England.
He spent two years supervising repairs as a Genius Admin for Apple Retail and uses that knowledge to keep our troubleshooting guides up to date.
Long before that, Dan turned to Apple products from a musical background. Having owned iPods for years, he bought a MacBook to learn sound recording and production. It was using those skills that he gained a first-class Bachelor of Science in Sound Technology.