How to Make 3-Way Calling?

  • Last Updated: 29 Sep 23
  • 13 min read
how to make 3 way calling

Are you a business owner wanting to start a 3-way call with your clients/teams but wondering how to do it? Or, do you want to start a 3-way call with your besties but don’t know how to do it?

If that’s the case, then you have landed on the right page!

Starting a three-way call might sound difficult, but trust us, it’s not. To make a 3-way phone call, you need to know what it is, how it works, the steps involved throughout the process, device requirements, and apps to help you with. 

That might seem like a lot of things to go through, but don’t worry; this article will just guide you from one side to another of 3-way calls.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

What is 3-Way Calling?

Three-way calling, a subcategory of Conference Calling, is a unique form that allows you to have a conversation with two other people at the same time, using features of traditional phone systems, cloud phone systems, or a specialized third-party app.

three people using 3-way calling to communicate with each other

It’s like having a mini-conference without needing the heavy-duty requirements of a large one. It is a useful feature for both personal and professional uses. You can use it to get in touch and bring together selected friends, family members, and colleagues to discuss important topics or just catch up on their well-being.

What are the Benefits of 3-way Calling?

Making the use of 3-way calling comes with many benefits, and it can make a huge difference, whether it’s for personal or business-related reasons.

Here are the most prevalent benefits that can be observed in any given scenario:

  • Effective Collaboration and Communication: Enables multiple parties to collaborate as a team, communicate dynamically, share valuable information on the topic of discussion, and achieve the desired outcome.
  • Better Flexibility and Convenience: Start a 3-way call from anywhere with anyone around the globe from any device, no matter what your purpose is.
  • Increased Cost-efficiency and Productivity: Eliminates the need to make separate calls to different people; all participants can work together on a single platform. For businesses, this can also be time-efficient and result in enhanced overall productivity.
  • Enhanced Privacy and Safety: Following that, we have its benefits in regard to privacy and security. Generally, 3-way calling and related solutions offer robust in-built security and privacy features that ensure your conversation remains discreet, protected, and confidential.
  • Real-time Problem-Solving and Service Delivery: Lastly, 3-way calls empower business teams to communicate in real-time to discuss problems that need to be dealt with immediately and remove obstacles to deliver their services to clients proficiently.

How Does 3-way Calling Work?

Basically, whenever you start a 3-way call, your phone service provider creates a virtual bridge that links all the ongoing calls which enables the participants to communicate with each other simultaneously on the same call.

diagram of a 3way calling process

For a deeper dive into the technicalities, here is a step-by-step working process:

  1. Call initiation: First of all you make a call to the person you want to talk to.
  2. Adding the second participant: Once the first participant has answered the initial call, they are put on hold and the second participant is added to the ongoing call using an ‘Add caller button,’ ‘Flash button,’ or similar option.
  3. Merging the calls: The next step is to merge the calls into a single one to create a three-way call using the ‘Merge Calls’ option; this option may vary depending on the phone and service.
  4. Managing the calls: The final step is to flexibly manage the ongoing three-way call, using the ‘Swap button,’ muting  & unmuting the callers, and eventually ending the call.

Key Components Required for 3-way Calling

3-way calling is available across various platforms and services but may be limited in certain cases. Therefore, the key components required to start a 3-way call are:

  • A phone service that supports it. 
  • A device with features and options like the add caller button, flash button, and merge calls button that can access important components of 3-way calling.
  • Real-time participants

If you don’t have the components mentioned above, you can opt to use a specialized app with a three-way calling option.

How to Make 3 Way Calling?

1. Preparation for 3-Way Calling

Before you start, check your service plan; most plans include this feature inherently, so it’s better to check its availability beforehand.

After confirming that your phone plan has 3-way calling enabled, the next step is to check whether your phone itself has a 3-way calling feature or not.

Lastly, if you have difficulties setting it up, contact your service provider requesting assistance.

2. Inviting People to Three-Way Calling

To invite other participants in a 3-way phone conversation make a call to the first person to start the conference call>Put the first person on hold once they have answered>Make a call to the second person you want to invite to the conference call, using the add call ➕button>Once the second person has answered, merge the two calls.

It’s now time to continue your conversation with those you invited to your 3-way call.

3. Managing 3-Way Calling

Once the call is set and all the parties are connected, you can toggle between callers by pressing the corresponding button.

You can also put callers on hold and mute them individually by pressing the hold or mute button. The call can also be customized by adding or removing participants using the corresponding options and then finally ending the call using the end call button.

4. Troubleshooting Common Issues

Another process that goes hand-in-hand with all the procedures, as mentioned earlier, is troubleshooting common issues.

Some of them are moving to network-rich areas during call drops or disconnections, upgrading your service plan or your device to deal with incompatibility issues, and trying different services to get over busy signals or interruptions.

How to do a 3-way call on Android?

group of people talking 3 way on android phone

To Make a 3-way call on your Android device follow the steps:

  1. Make the first call by dialing the participant number and waiting for the call to be received.
  2. Once the first person answers the call, place the ongoing call on hold and add a second participant to the call by clicking the ‘Add Call’ ➕ button.
  3. After that, link both calls using the ‘merge buttonmerge calls button
  4. If needed, you can add additional members by repeating the 2nd and 3rd steps.
  5. Start the 3-way conversation.

How to do 3-way calling on an iPhone?

3 way calling on an iphone

These are the steps you need to follow to do a 3-way call on your iPhone:

  1. Start by calling the first participant and waiting for the call to connect.
  2. Then, tap the ‘Add Call‘ ➕ button to hold the first call and dial the 2nd participant.
  3. Wait for the second call to connect, and once it’s connected, tap on the ‘merge call’ button merge calls button.
  4. Now, you can get going with the 3-way call on your iPhone.
  5. To add more participants, you follow steps 2 & 3 again and again until the participant limit is reached.

How to do 3-way calling on landline?

3 way calling on a landline

Here’s how to make a 3-way call using your landline phone:

  1. Use your landline phone to call the first person and wait for them to receive the call.
  2. Once the call is received, put the ongoing call on hold using the Hook or the Flash button on the device, wait for three short beeps, and then a dial tone.
  3. Following that, simply dial *71 and then dial the phone number of the second participant.
  4. When the second person receives the calls, ask them to place the call on hold, and then you will have to press the Hook/Flash button again to merge both the calls.
  5. You can now continue the conversation with both callers and manage the 3-way call.

How to do 3-way calling on a Cloud-Based VoIP Phone System?

If you own a cloud-based VoIP phone system, here’s a simple step-by-step process to start a 3-way call using it.

3 way calling on VoIP phone system
  1. Initiate a call with the first participant and wait for their response. 
  2. Once the call is connected, inform them about the upcoming procedures and put them on hold.
  3. Press the ‘Add call or other equivalent button’ to start a second call and add another participant.
  4. Use the Merge Call button to link both calls and start a 3-way call.
  5. Continue the above step to add more participants.
  6. Once the call is done, press the End-Call button to hang up.
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Top 3-way Calling Apps (Free/Paid) in 2023

1. Google Voice

Google Voice is a free cloud phone solution that offers 3-way calling through its services and features. You can acquire a virtual phone number using it for making and receiving calls and texts from any supported platform in selected countries. 

googlevoice virtual phone number system

It has an easy-to-navigate interface, offers compatibility for every device, and additional features like personalized voicemail greetings, protection from spam, and call screening.

2. Skype

Skype is another popular and free-to-use 3-way calling app made available to users worldwide. It is a VoIP service that lets its users make internet calls for free and to non-users for meager applicable costs. 


You can use it to start cross-platform three-way audio & video calls through your PC and mobile devices and make use of its classic features like file transfers, screen sharing during the calls, and lastly, end-to-end encryption for safe and secure calls.

3. Microsoft Teams

Developed by Microsoft, Microsoft Teams is an all-in-one app that lets its users start 3-way calls, share files and messages, and collaborate through real-time voice/video calls across all devices. 

microsoft teams home page

Using its cloud-based unified communication platform, participants can collaborate more quickly and conveniently. It integrates with Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Onenote, and other Microsoft 365 apps, which in turn helps you make better use of its three-way calling features.

4. Zoom

Zoom has become a household name known for its video conferencing, three-way calling, and virtual meetings.

It is a cloud-based virtual video conferencing platform that works on all devices and allows users to connect with each other through audio calls, video calls, and messages on its network. 

zoom homepage

It is free to use; however, some of its features, like rooms & webinars, integration with essential apps, and cloud storage, need to be unlocked by acquiring a premium plan.

5. GoTo Meeting

GoTo Meeting is a cloud-based three-way calling freemium platform that has all the features you are seeking when choosing a provider. It is available on desktop and mobile devices and can be used for a variety of personal and business purposes.

GoToConnect cloud based phone system

In addition, it is an easy-to-use, reliable, secure, and affordable service provider that has essential features like screen sharing, drawing tools, HD voice live chat, breakout rooms, and encrypted sessions. 

Dos and Don’ts While 3-way Phone Calling

Like every activity that involves the participation of multiple individuals, three-way calling also has some dos and don’ts that you should be aware of. Here are some of the major ones:


  • Ensure your device and service provider are compatible for 3-way calling
  • Before adding new participants to the ongoing call, notify the group and seek their consent.
  • Resolve any technical issues or glitches before initiating the call
  • Make the call from a quiet and peaceful location
  • Maintain clear and courteous communication


  • Avoid using disrespectful language and inappropriate comments during the call.
  • Focus solely on the call and refrain from engaging in other activities.
  • Be mindful not to talk over others during the call, allowing everyone to express their thoughts.
  • Share sensitive information only with the necessary individuals on the call, maintaining confidentiality.

Bottom Line

3-way calling is a valuable tool that can make group conversations easier and improve connectivity, removing communication barriers.

By maste­ring its uses, you can transform the way you communicate by e­nhancing collaboration, saving time, and enjoying convenie­nce. To effortle­ssly make and enjoy seamle­ss 3-way calls with your loved ones and colleague­s, simply follow the specific instructions tailored for each operating system outlined in this article.


How to call two people at once?

Calling two people at the same time is easy and requires basic knowledge of telephony. To make a call to two people at once, follow the below-mentioned step-by-step technique:

  • Dial the first person to initiate the call,
  • Use the ‘Add Call’ or similar option to add the second person,
  • Dial the second person and wait for both calls to connect,
  • Merge both the calls, and make sure there’s no mistake in doing so,
  • Start the conversation with both participants.

How to do a three-way call without the other person knowing?

There are several methods to do a three-way call without one or the other person knowing about it. Some of the most widely used methods are

Method 1: The first method is to join a conference call with multiple callers anonymously. Here, you can talk with the desired personnel privately while muting other participants.

Method 2: The second method is to use a VoIP service. By utilizing VoIP solutions and their specialized features, you can carry out three-way calls without the other person being aware of it.

Method 3: The last option is to use a free or paid third-party app that has the ability to allow you to do three-way calls without the other person knowing.

Can you get two calls at once?

Yes, you can surely get two calls at once. However, it depends on a few other factors, such as your service provider, features like call merging, three-way calling, and call switching enabled, and the type of phone you use. To receive two phone calls at once at any time, you can choose to use a virtual phone service with one-of-a-kind abilities specially built for this purpose.

Arun Chaudhary

Arun is SEO Analyst at KrispCall. He has written in extensively in the field of cloud telephony and call center solutions.

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