How to make phone calls on your Mac

Learn how to set up your iPhone and Mac to make and receive calls from your Mac.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Thanks to Apple's Continuity feature, you can start tasks on your iPhone and then pick them up on your Mac and vice versa, from handing off documents and long-form articles to sending and receiving emails, texts and phone calls.

Making and receiving calls from your Mac can save you from having to get up to retrieve your phone and can be especially convenient if you have a headset with a microphone. Without a headset, you'll need to rely on your Mac's built-in microphone and speakers. Either way, it's easy to get up and running (and talking) on your Mac.

Get your Mac and iPhone talking

In order to use your Mac for phone calls, you will need to sign in to both iCloud and FaceTime with the same Apple ID on both your Mac and iPhone. And both devices will need to be connected to the same network. A Bluetooth connection is not needed.

Next, you'll need to tell your Mac and iPhone to share phone calls. Here's how:

On your iPhone, go to Settings > Phone > Calls on Other Devices, then turn on Allow Calls on Other Devices.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

On your Mac, open the FaceTime app and go to FaceTime > Preferences and check the box for Calls From iPhone.

Making Mac phone calls

After setting it up to share calls between your iPhone and Mac, you'll see a notification in the top right corner of your desktop when you receive a phone call. Click the Accept button to answer the call.

When you go to place a call from your Mac, you might suddenly realize that there is no such thing as a Mac Phone app. Instead, you'll need to use the Contacts or FaceTime apps.

From the Contacts app, select a contact and click the call button. From the FaceTime app, you can do the same thing by clicking the telephone icon to make a voice call (instead of the video-camera icon to make a FaceTime call). Also from the FaceTime app, you can simply enter a phone number in the search box and then click the telephone icon to place a call, which you can't do from the Contacts app.

You can also dial a phone number directly from Safari on your Mac if, say, you're looking up the number for a restaurant.

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