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.
Step 2: Select call waiting
While in the settings menu, tap on 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.
Summary: To setup call waiting on stock Android phones, open the dialer and tap Call settings. From the options, choose Call waiting.
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.
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.
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.
Summary: You can keep the new call waiting as long as you’re on the first call. Also, you can switch between calls by tapping the switch button.
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.
Summary: For European/Australian GSM or UMTS cell phones, you can enabled call waiting by dialing *43# and disable it by dialing #43#.
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
Step 2: Apply settings
Open the app and apply the settings you want.
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.
Summary: You can activate call waiting by enabling the option on a third-party app like Call Waiting Enabler
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you disable call waiting?
There are many options, from toggling off the built-in option form your phone, or temporarily disabling it by dialing *70 for USA Carriers before dialing the number or #43# for European or Australian GSM or UMTS phones.
Why should you enable call waiting?
If you’re waiting for a very important call, but you have to answer others in the meanwhile, enabling call waiting is like keeping an eye out. However, if you prefer your voicemail handling incoming calls for you, we suggest reading our guide on How to Setup Voicemail on Android.
What is call waiting on Android?
Sometimes, when you’re on a call, somebody else can contact you and disrupt your initial call. If you have call waiting enabled, you get notified about the second call and can choose whether or not to take it and switch between the calls. If you have it disabled, the second call will go straight to voicemail.
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!