How to Make a Three Way Phone Call

 Back in the old days, they had "party lines," when several houses were connected to the same phone line. Those days are mostly gone, but having a couple other people on the line is still a party! Nearly all phones are capable of making three-way calls, and most plans provide for three-way calling. If you want to connect to two of your friends at the same time, but don't know how, read on!

Using a Home Telephone

Call the first person.

Dial their number as you would normally do, and let them know you’re going to add the third person.

Activate three-way calling.

Quickly press and release the hang-up (or flash) button. Don’t linger, or you’ll hang up on the first person!

Dial second person.

Wait till you hear the dial tone, then call the second person. When they answer, let them know you’re setting up a three way.

Press and release the hang-up (or flash) button.

Now all three of you are connected.

Using an iPhone

Call the first person.

When that call is established, tap “add call.”

Call the second person.

When that second call is established, tap “Merge Calls.”

To drop one person from the call:

Tap “Conference,” tap the red phone icon next to the person, then tap “End Call.”

To talk privately with one of the parties:

Tap “Conference,” then tap “Private” next to the person. Tap “Merge Calls” to continue the conference.


For GSM phones (generally AT&T plans) you can add up to five people to a call; CDMA phones (usually Verizon), the options are more limited. See the owner’s manual and your service plan for details.

Making a Call with Verizon Plans (non-iPhone)

Call the first person.

When that call is established, dial the number of the second person.

Press SEND.

When you press this, the first person is put on hold, and the call is made.

Press SEND again.

When the second person answers, press SEND to create the conference call.

  • If the second person does not answer, press SEND twice to end the connection and return to the first
  • Note per Verizon: If you are traveling and the instructions don’t work, or if you are in OH, MI, MN, SD or Southern IL, you will also need to press SEND before dialing the number of the second person.

Three-Way Calling with Feature Phones, GoPhones, and Generic Phones

Call the first person.

When that call is established, press the “Flash” button.

Dial the second person.

When they’ve answered, press “Flash” again.

Have a great conversation!


  • You may be able to make consecutive calls to different third parties by pressing the hang-up button for 2 seconds, listening to the dial tone, then adding the next third party to the call.
  • If your friend is talking to you and adds someone, making it a three-way, then you hang up, they can still talk.
  • On certain cell phones three way calling may be referred to as a “conference call”.


  • Three-way, or conference calls, are not available for all plans, or in all areas. Some plans charge more for multi-party calls, and in most cases, all long-distance and data charges still apply.
  • If you connect to somebody and drop, you will end the conversation.

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