How to Make Calls on Your iPhone Without Cell Service

Dec 06, 2016

Thanks to apps like Facebook Messenger and Skype, it's possible to call nearly anyone regardless of whether or not you have a carrier plan or even know the recipient's phone number.

But an increasing number of phones and carriers are beginning to support Wi-Fi calling too. As its name implies, Wi-Fi calling is a feature that makes it possible to place a call so long as your phone is connected to Wi-Fi. This means if you're stuck in an area with poor cell reception, you'll still be able to make a phone call by connecting to a Wi-Fi network.

There's no need to launch an app or send a request to the recipient like you might have to when using Messenger or Skype, since Wi-Fi calling is integrated directly into your phone. You can place a call as you normally would through your phone's dialer or contact list.

Not every phone on every carrier supports Wi-Fi calling, but Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have guides available online that offer more details on their specific policies. It's important to note that if you're using Wi-Fi calling for international calls, fees will likely still apply so check with your carrier.

The video above will show you how to turn on Wi-Fi calling in your iPhone's settings menu. After following those steps, your carrier may also ask you to enter an address in case a Wi-Fi connection cuts out during an emergency call to 911. When setting up Wi-Fi calling for the first time, you may need to be connected to your carrier's data network.

TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.