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How to Use WiFi Calling on Your Android Phone

by Suzanne Kantra on November 14, 2023

Updated on 11/14/2023 with WiFi calling availability by additional carriers.

You can make calls and receive texts on your Android phone using WiFi calling, even when you can't get a cell phone signal. Instead of using your carrier's cellular network, WiFi calls and texts are routed through whatever WiFi network your Android phone is connected to. This means you remain reachable in subterranean office levels, meeting room dead zones, and other areas with good WiFi but no cellular signal.

What you need for WiFi calling

WiFi calling has to be supported on your phone and by your carrier to work. The major U.S. carriers all support WiFi calling (AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon), as well as many smaller carriers, including US Cellular and Xfinity. And while WiFi calling once was a postpaid plan perk, WiFi calling is available now for most prepaid customers.

In terms of hardware, WiFi calling is generally available on Android phones that have been manufactured since 2015. If your phone is unlocked and not originally built to work with your carrier, you may not be able to take advantage of WiFi calling.

How to activate WiFi calling

WiFi calling isn’t automatically enabled on Android phones. It's easy to turn, but the instructions are slightly different depending on your phone manufacturer.

For stock Android phones, like the Google Pixel phones:

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Tap the triple dots to open the menu and select Settings.
  3. You may see Wi-Fi Calling, where you can toggle on the feature. Or, you may need to select Calls first, and then you'll see the option to toggle on the feature.

For Samsung phones:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Connections.
  3. Toggle on Wi-Fi Calling.

For all other manufacturers, if they are using the standard Google Phone app (which they likely are), follow the instructions above for stock Android phones. If these instructions don't work, open Settings, select the search magnifying glass, and type in "Wi-Fi Calling." You should be taken to the correct setting.

How to make a WiFi call

Once you activate WiFi calling, you dial or text as usual. The routing of your call or text is handled automatically in the background.

If you make a 911 call, you should always provide your address to the emergency operator. Emergency services will not automatically receive your location information as they would if you're using the cellular network.

WiFi calling costs

The WiFi calling feature doesn't cost anything extra, but the same rates and fees that apply to your regular cellular calls also apply to WiFi calls. This includes deducting minutes from your monthly allotment, if you don't have an unlimited plan, and fees for calls made to international numbers.

WiFi calling is perfect for overseas travelers because there’s typically no roaming or international charge for making calls or sending texts back home. Many carriers' plans include free calling to Canada and Mexico. Keep in mind, though, that you will be charged a rate based on your international calling plan if you call an international line using your U.S.-based smartphone. Also, WiFi calling isn’t supported in some countries, including China, Cuba, and North Korea.

Check out the WiFi calling pages on your carrier's site for full details on included features, limitations, and charges:

Need to set up an iPhone for WiFi calling? Check out our story on How to Use WiFi Calling on Your iPhone.

[Image credit: main in waiting room via BigStockPhoto]

For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.


Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, Tips & How-Tos

Discussion loading


From Geoff on March 12, 2020 :: 10:04 pm

Just a small amendment to your excellent article. In Australia Wi-Fi calling is provided by the main carriers for calls within Australia, however not for international calls.



From Art on January 02, 2023 :: 2:18 pm

Why can’t I use this without a cell phone?



From Josh Kirschner on January 02, 2023 :: 4:08 pm

You can use WiFi to make calls without a cell phone - that’s what VOiP providers do, as does Google Voice. But you need to be calling from an identifiable phone number through a telecom provider to connect with other phone networks.



From guy62 on February 17, 2023 :: 1:31 pm

I get it I have a phone but it’s just like a computer so it doesn’t have a phone plan and doesn’t work. you are right they should add that on a computer.



From Russell on June 15, 2023 :: 3:09 am

I am in australia with an unlimited (local) plan.
Can I call to or from overseas using VoLTE or VoWiFi?



From Josh Kirschner on June 15, 2023 :: 8:27 am

WiFi avoids cellular networks to route the call to your carrier, but the overseas portion will be routed through a separate carrier and there could be charges associated with that. So, ultimately, it is up to them determine what fees, if any, they will charge.



From Morris Achtemichuk on December 10, 2023 :: 1:37 am

On my android phone that has the latest ver 11 by completing the steps of wifi calling to the end saying’Successful’, it doesn’t stay on even when restarting.
I have successfully used this before on the same phone but, for some reason this notification keeps coming up?



From Josh Kirschner on December 11, 2023 :: 9:49 am

Android 11 is a pretty dated at this point, can you update to a later version on your device and try it? If not, can you provide more details on your carrier and what device you have?




From John Michael Cheshier on December 17, 2023 :: 4:34 pm

I have an android phone I try to turn on the wifi calling but it’s not letting me turn it on.why?



From Josh Kirschner on December 18, 2023 :: 10:26 am

Sometimes carriers will lock out certain devices from being able to make WiFi calls. What device and carrier are you using and which version of the OS?



From Stewart Pan on February 23, 2024 :: 8:18 am

My wife and I have Pixel 6 phones. Mine worked fine, but I had to get online with Consumer Cellular to activate wifi calling on hers.

Most likely our used phones had been activated on a different network.


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