Call Waiting (often abbreviated “CW” in menus) is a handy feature available on most cell phones. With Call Waiting enabled, your phone will alert you of an incoming call even if you are in the middle of a call. You will be given the option to switch to the new call or decline the incoming call.
Although many Android devices have options to enable or disable this feature as part of their stock setup, your carrier and the geographic region may affect the method you need to use.
The benefit of Call Waiting is that the people who are trying to contact you mid-call will have a chance of reaching you rather than getting an annoying busy signal or being sent straight to voicemail. On the downside, you might wish to disable Call Waiting if you don’t want your calls to have any interruption.
If you have a hard time adjusting these settings through normal means, there are some apps you can try as well.
Android devices come in many varieties, but the same basic process can be used to activate Call Waiting on the majority of them. If you find your phone does not have an option to toggle this feature or if the option is grayed out, then please try one of the additional methods listed below.
This process can vary widely from device to device, so you might need to poke around a little bit until you find the right spot.
Open Call Function
From your home screen, navigate to your Call function by tapping the phone icon.
Access Call Settings
Tap the Settings button. This is usually an icon with three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of the screen.
Note: On some devices, your Call Settings will live in your phone’s General Settings rather than in your phone’s Call Function settings.
Toggle Call Waiting
Find the checkbox for Call Waiting and tap it to turn it off or on. Sometimes the Call Waiting option can be found under Advanced Settings or Other Settings, so you might have to hunt around for a little bit to locate it.
Again, if the option is grayed out or nowhere to be found, continue reading! It might be the case that Call Waiting is activated by default on your carrier.
Carrier Method 1: Call Waiting Major American Carriers
Verizon, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile, and Sprint all provide Call Waiting functionality to their devices on all standard plans by default. Exceptions may include pay-as-you-go plans, which sometimes do not support Call Waiting.
Some phones on these carriers do not have the option to turn Call Waiting off, so the checkbox may be missing or grayed out on your device. You can, however, temporarily disable the feature on a per-call basis by dialing a specific star code.
To use Call Waiting on a major US carrier, do the following:
Accept Incoming Call
Since Call Waiting will be enabled by default, you will receive a notification when somebody tries to reach you during a call. Tap the green or blue Accept button to switch to the new call. This icon is often a phone symbol, but it can also be a checkmark.
Note: You might want to let your friend know that you’re about to answer another call, or they’re going to wonder why you suddenly went quiet on their end!
Decline Incoming Call
If you don’t want to accept the incoming call, tap the red or gray Decline button. This icon is often a phone symbol in the hung-up position or an X.
If you have voicemail set up, tapping Decline will redirect the caller to there, and you can continue your conversation. If you do not have voicemail, then the caller’s call will abruptly end.
Switch Between Calls
It is possible to switch between calls by tapping the Switch button. You can end either conversation by switching to it and hanging up. Once you have hung up on one conversation, your phone should move you back to the still-active conversation.
Temporarily Disable Call Waiting
If you have a particularly important call to make and you don’t want to be distracted by Call Waiting, you can temporarily disable Call Waiting by dialing *70 before dialing the number. Call Waiting will not be active during this call, and any incoming calls will be redirected to your voicemail or get a busy signal.
Once this call is complete, Call Waiting will automatically reactivate.
Carrier Method 2: Call Waiting for European/Australian GSM or UMTS Cell Phones
Phones connected to GSM or UMTS require a different method for enabling or disabling Call Waiting. Typically, changing settings for this feature can only be done by dialing the appropriate codes.
Activate Call Waiting
To activate Call Waiting, simply dial *43#. Depending on your carrier and device, an electronic voice or on-screen message will let you know that the feature has been Activated.
Deactivate Call Waiting
Likewise, to Deactivate Call Waiting, dial #43#. A message will confirm the deactivation.
To see whether or not Call Waiting is currently active, dial *#43#. A message will alert you of your current Call Waiting status.
App Method 1: Call Waiting Enabler
If you are on a GSM network, Call Waiting Enabler is a nifty little app that does the work of toggling this feature for you.
Effectively, all the app does is dial the appropriate GSM code for you, but it takes the guesswork out of trying to remember which numbers and symbols perform which operation.
Note: If you are NOT on a GSM network, Call Waiting Enabler will have no effect.
App Method 2: Advanced Call Settings
If none of the above cases apply to you, Advanced Call Settings is an app that promises to give you full control of your device’s call settings in one easy-to-read menu.
However, setting up this app can be complex, and you must make sure that your carrier allows the features you want to use and that they are enabled on your line.
Download the app from the Google Play Store.
Make Provisions with Carrier
Because features vary so widely from carrier to carrier across the globe, you will need to contact your carrier and sign up for any additional features you want to use.
Note: Adding features and services may result in extra fees.
Use the app’s interface to apply all the settings you wish. Advanced Call Settings offers many more features than just Call Waiting. You can even use this app to send faxes from your mobile device. A full list of this app’s abilities can be found at the designer’s website.
Call Waiting is an infinitely useful feature that is widely available on most Android devices. Knowing how to use this feature will enable you to control the degree to which you are disturbed during your phone calls.
If you have another method for adjusting settings for Call Waiting on Android, please let us know about it in the comments!
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