How to Make Phone Calls from Mac Using iPhone
If you have a Mac and an iPhone, you can now make phone calls from your Mac using that iPhone. The phone call will sound through the Mac speakers and use the Mac microphone, but the actual call itself routes through the iPhone. This is a part of the Continuity suite, which is really nice feature set in newer versions of iOS and OS X that allow for seamless transition between Macs and iPhones and iPads. Phone calling from the Mac is quite simple to use once you have it set up properly.
Requirements for Making Phone Calls from a Mac via iPhone
You do not need to have Bluetooth enabled to use this feature, but you must be on the same wi-fi network, the devices must be using the same iCloud account, and the feature must be enabled in OS X and iOS, both of which require a modern version to function (OS X 10.10.x or newer, and iOS 8.x or newer). This is basically the same set of requirements which is necessary for using HandOff, which is another Continuity feature.
How to Enable Phone Calls from Mac with iPhone
Before making phone calls from the iPhone using your Mac, you’ll need to enable the feature on both iPhone and OS X, this is easy:
- From the iPhone, open Settings and go to “FaceTime”
- Toggle the switch for “iPhone Cellular Calls” to the ON position, this may be turned off so be sure it is ON
- From the Mac, open the “FaceTime” application and from the FaceTime menu, select “Preferences”
- Toggle the switch for “iPhone Cellular Calls” so that it is ON
This is particularly important to double-check that settings are enabled and set properly because many users opted to turn off their Mac ringing with an inbound iPhone call after experiencing it once or a dozen times, which can be desired or annoying depending on the environment.
How to Make Phone Calls from the Mac Using the iPhone
Once configuration is complete and the devices are nearby on the same wireless network, making an outbound call from the Mac through an iPhone is really easy:
- Open the “Contacts” app on the Mac, and locate the personal or contact to make a call to
- Hover the cursor over the phone number in Contacts app to reveal a little phone icon, click on that phone icon to make the call
You’ll see a little notification like popup arrive in the top corner of the Mac screen as the call starts, you’ll have the option to mute and end calls using that screen, which remains active as long as the call is active.
You can also make phone calls from the Mac from the FaceTime app, though if you’re calling someone on another Mac or iPhone it is likely to get routed through the Apple VOIP FaceTime Audio protocol. Additionally, you can make phone calls from Safari by hovering over a number on the web.
Receiving Phone Calls from iPhone on the Mac
When calling is configured properly, you’ll also discover that the Mac will receive inbound calls as well. When an inbound call is coming through, a notification will display in OS X, the Mac will ring alongside the iPhone, and you can answer the call in OS X, which again will route through the Mac speaker and microphone (or a headset, if one is in use).
While you can stop the Mac receiving calls, if you do so it will not be able to make calls too.
Can You Make Phone Calls from the Mac Without Receiving Them on the Mac?
At the moment there is no way to turn off the reception of phone calls on the Mac while maintaining the ability to make phone calls from the Mac, the only option is to change the ringtone on the Mac to a quiet or silent one. This is similar to other iPhones and iPads using the same Apple ID, where device ringing can be disabled too through iOS Settings but doing so will also remove the ability for the same device to make an outbound call.
Where is the Number Dialing Pad on the Mac for Making Calls?
Great question! Currently, OS X does not have a built-in dialing pad with numbers for making calls to new numbers. Hopefully that will change in the future, but for the time being, you’ll need to turn to the iPhone if you need to use a numerical dialing pad on the call.
If you like the ability to make and receive calls on the Mac, you’ll probably also like to be able to make and receive text messages from Mac OS X too, which can be setup with these instructions.