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How to set up call waiting on Android: 3 methods

Call waiting (you might find it abbreviated as CW in your menus) is a handy feature that is available on most cellphones. With call waiting enabled, you’ll be alerted if you have an incoming call even if you are in the middle of another call. With it, you have the option to either switch to the new call or decline it.

Even though Android devices have options to enable or disable this feature, your carrier and the geographic region may affect the method you need to use.

There are many benefits to call waiting on Android, especially if a lot of people contact you. However, you might want to disable call waiting on Android if you don’t want your calls to have any interruptions during your important calls. If you have a hard time adjusting these settings through normal means, there are some apps you can try as well. I put together a list of how you can set up your call waiting on Android devices.


1. With Android stock options

Even if Android devices come in many varieties, the same basic processes can be used to activate call waiting for Android on the majority of them. If you find that your smartphone doesn’t have an option to toggle this feature or if the option is grayed out, then try one of the additional methods listed below.

Step 1: Open call settings

From your home screen, go to Call functions by tapping the menu button.

Setup call waiting on Android by accessing the call settings menu
Call settings menu

Step 2: Select call waiting

While in the settings menu, tap on Call waiting.

Adjust call waiting settings on Android through call settings
Select call waiting

Here you’ll be able to adjust the settings for call waiting on Android devices. I emphasize because it might be different on other phone OSs.

Note: If the option is grayed out for you, or nowhere to be found, please try any of the other methods below.


2. Using options from major carriers

I’ll discuss two major types of carriers: Major American ones, and European and Australian GSM or UMTS Cell Phones.

SIM card
Call waiting options for different carriers

Call waiting options for major American carriers

Verizon, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile, and Sprint all provide call waiting functions to their devices on all standard plans by default. Exceptions may include pay-as-you-go plans, which sometimes do not support call waiting on Android devices.

Note: Some phones on these carriers don’t have the option to turn call waiting off, but it can be temporarily disabled on a per-call basis by dialing a specific star code.

Step 1: Accept or decline incoming calls

Since call waiting is enabled by default, you’ll receive a notification when somebody tries to reach you during a call. To accept the call press the green or blue button and you’ll switch to the new call without ending the previous one.

You can also decline the call and if you have voicemail set up, the caller will be redirected there.

Decline or Accept Incoming Call while using call waiting
Decline or accept incoming call

Step 2: Switch between calls

It’s possible to switch between calls by tapping the “Switch” button. You can move to another call by switching to it without hanging up on the other line. You can move back and forth between calls as long as you’re both on the line.

Switch between calls using call waiting on Android devices
Switch between calls

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.

Step 1: Activate call waiting

Simply dial *43# and a message will confirm your activation.

Step 2: Deactivate call waiting

Just like with activation, just dial #43# and a message will confirm deactivation.

Step 3: Check Status of call waiting

If you’re not sure whether or not you have call waiting activated, dial *#43# and a message will tell you the status of call waiting for your device.


3. Using an app: Call Waiting Enabler

Note: This app will only work if you are on a GSM Network.

Step 1: Download and install the app

call waiting enabler
App Logo
Google Play

Step 2: Apply settings

Open the app and apply the settings you want.

Call Waiting Enabler app interface.
Main interface

After using the apps and applying the settings, you’ll be able to use call waiting on Android devices without a built-in call waiting feature.

Note:  You have to physically dial the relevant codes. It can take a few seconds for the changes to go into effect.


Frequently Asked Questions


Call waiting – Talk to more people at once

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 a lot of people contact you on a regular basis, having this feature enabled will benefit you and the people you talk to!

What method did you use? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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6 Comments

  1. This call waiting system is no where to be found on a sprint Galaxy s6 phone. Not even merging calls while on an existing call. Why pay for a phone that can’t use those functions from Sprint. Other carriers are able to do this. Does anyone hv any suggestions? I even tried to find an app to do this an i hvnt found one. Anyone know a code?

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