How to switch cellular phone calls between your iPhone, iPad and Mac

You can transfer any in-progress call from your iPhone to your iPad or Mac with just a couple of taps. Let’s show you why you might want to do this and how.

iPhone call transferred to iPad

Why transfer calls?

You may be wondering what’s the use case for transferring a phone call to a bigger device such as an iPad or Mac. Besides convenience, don’t forget that your tablet or computer has a much bigger battery than your phone and a significantly louder speaker.

Mid-call switching currently works with regular phone calls which use your iPhone’s cellular account. FaceTime calls, Wi-Fi Calling, and calls from third-party VoIP apps that use the CallKit framework for Phone app integration, like Viber or Skype, don’t work with this handy feature.


Before setting this up, be sure your devices meet the Continuity system requirements. If it’s a new device purchased in the last 5-6 years, it most likely supports the requirements, and you can move on to fulfill the remaining prerequisites.

Your devices also must have Wi-Fi turned on and be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

The Calls from iPhone option must be enabled on iPad and Mac in FaceTime settings.

Toggle on Calls from iPhone in FaceTime settings on your iPad and Mac

Going back and forth between an iPhone and iPad requires iOS 11.2 or newer. Transferring a call to the computer requires a Mac with macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 or newer.

In several recent tests, I have also noticed that you must enable Allow Calls on Other Devices from iPhone Settings > Phone > Calls on Other Devices. Make sure you enable the switches for your iPad and Mac where you want to receive calls.

What you can do and what you can’t

With this feature, you can:

  • Transfer a cellular phone call from iPhone to a nearby iPad, and vice versa
  • Transfer a cellular phone call from iPhone to a nearby Mac

You cannot do the following:

  • Transfer a Wi-Fi call between devices
  • Transfer a FaceTime audio or video call between devices
  • Transfer a cellular call from iPhone to your Apple Watch
  • Transfer a cellular call to a device not on the same Wi-Fi network as your iPhone
  • Transfer a cellular call accepted on your Mac back to your iPhone

How to switch iPhone calls between iPad and Mac

Follow these steps to transfer iPhone calls to your iPad or Mac:

  1. Pick up or make a cellular phone call on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the Audio button on the calling screen.
  3. Choose your available iPad or Mac from the list to transfer the call to.

As soon as the call is transferred, the target device should display the calling screen.

Tip: If your iPad/Mac is not listed, check that it’s on the same Wi-Fi network as your iPhone.

As a typical example, you could pick up an incoming phone call on your iPhone and decide to continue the conversation on your iPad in order to take advantage of the tablet’s significantly louder speaker and bigger battery.

A call transferred to another device is labeled with a “From Your iPhone”

To switch the call back to your iPhone, simply select it from the Audio menu on its calling screen. If you aren’t currently in the Phone app, just hit that green status bar at the top of the screen to instantly jump to the Phone app and make the change.

To switch the call back to iPhone, choose it from the Audio menu

Again, all devices must have Wi-Fi turned on and be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

The feature also works from your Mac back to an iPhone, but only if you pick up a call on your Mac to start with. In other words, you cannot go back and forth with your iPhone and Mac, as you can with an iPhone and iPad.

iPhone → Mac also works, but not the other way round

Though watchOS has always supported picking up an incoming phone call and handing it off back to your iPhone, you cannot transfer an in-progress iPhone call to your watch.

In a typical Apple fashion, this feature is implemented with some nice touches.

Handy icons on your iPhone denote the device you’ve switched the call to

For example, the device you’ve transferred a call to indicates its origin with a “From Your iPhone” on its calling screen. And on your iPhone’s calling screen, the Audio button iconography changes dynamically to reflect the device where a call has been transferred to.

Check out next: