How to Know If Someone is on Another Call

How to Know If Someone is on Another Call

There are times when you call people and you notice that it tells you that they’re on another call so the call is unable to connect.

This may lead you to wonder what happens when someone calls you and you’re already on the phone with another person. If you knew, this will allow you to get back to the person right away so that there’s no inconvenience.

The processes that happen when you’re on the phone and someone calls you is different dependent on your device as well as your network.

Before you know ways to tell when someone calls you while you’re on the phone, you need to know what happens on their end.

How Can I Tell When Someone I Call is on Another Call iPhone/Android?

If you want to know if someone is on another call on your native phone app on your iPhone or Android, then you can. If you can also tell when someone is on another call on Messenger and on another call on WhatsApp using similar methods.

1. Ask Them

When you want to call a person, you expect them to pick up your call, and you can communicate as per your expectations. However, that is not always the case; in some cases, you may try calling and find they are on another call.

You may suspect that the person is on another call in some cases. In such cases, you can ask them before calling. However, since they may be on-call, the only way to ask them is by sending them a text.

A direct text or an internet text through WhatsApp or any other social platform will work. A normal text or WhatsApp message will be delivered when on a call. The phone user may or may not hear the notification depending on their device and the settings. If they don’t, they will see the message if they check their phone.

In such a case, you will have to wait until they are done with the call to ask them by calling.

2. Call Them And See If They Answer

If you think someone might be on another call and you want to find out, you can call them and see if they can answer. If they are on another call, they will not be able to answer your call.

Once you call and the person is on another call, you will get different responses depending on the type of device and network. The most common outcome you will get is a response of “line busy.” However, this can mean that the phone is switched off or the person is on a call with someone else.

However, there are other cases where you will get a direct answer that the person is on another call. Again, this may depend on the network or device. For example, iPhones will give you direct feedback that the person is on a call with someone else and give you a chance to leave a message.

You may be diverted there if the person has activated a voicemail system.

3. Ask The Person You Think They’re on Call with If They’re on Call

If you call someone and think they’re on another call, you can ask them. That is by sending them a message. Depending on the device, they will get a beep sound indicating that you are trying to call them.

For android users who have call waiting mode on, they will get a beep showing another call, and they can choose to put their current call on hold, pick yours, inform you they are on another call, and continue with the first one.

iPhone users will also hear a beep indicating a call coming in and get options.

If the person does not answer, you will wait for them to respond to your message to answer whether they are on another call or not.

Will Someone Know If You’re on Another Call on iPhone/Android?

It depends on several factors. First, if you have not activated any call waiting mode on your phone, the person will get a line busy feedback both on Android and iPhone.

However, when you activate the call waiting mode, it is different. With the call waiting mode activated, your phone can receive multiple calls simultaneously. So, when someone calls when you are on another call, they will hear the “toot” call or another modified sound. If they hear the “toot,” they will not know whether you are on another all.

However, in some cases, depending on the device, or network, they will get a message that you are on another call and will be asked to hold or call later. If they get this message, then they will know you are on another call.

Another case is if you have activated a voicemail system. This will divert the call to another number where they will be required to leave a voicemail message; as a result, they will know you are on another call.

Does Phone Tell You When Someone is on Another Call

It depends on the settings on your phone. Normally, the phone will not be able on its own to tell you when someone is on another call.

When the person you call is on another call, your phone behavior will mostly depend on their phone settings and network.

If they have activated a call waiting feature, your phone will produce the normal “toot” sound indicating it is calling. If they do not answer, you will not get a “no answer” notification, and you will not know.

However, for someone using an iPhone and they have activated the call waiting mode, you will get a notification that they are on another call and ask you to hold or call later.

Some network providers will also tell you that the person is on another call.

If the person has voicemail activated, your call will be directed to voicemail, and you will be asked to leave a message.

Can Someone You See If Someone is on Another Call Without Calling?

Yes. You can use truecaller to see if someone is on another call without actually calling them.

What Happens When You Are on a Phone Call, and Someone Else Calls?

Several things may happen when you are on a call, and another person tries to call you. One of them is that you may not know at all if someone tried calling you.

This happens when you do not have a call waiting or voicemail activated. When the person tries calling you, and you are on another call, they will get a “line busy” feedback.

However, if your network provider has an option that indicates you are on another call, they will get a message that you are on another call.

1. One thing that’ll happen when someone calls you whilst you’re already on another call is that the caller is given the busy signal. This will let them know that your phone is either turned off or that you’re on the call with someone else.

2. It can signal to them that you’re on another call. On iPhones, it’ll tell the person calling you that you’re currently on a call with someone else and that they can leave a voicemail after the message.

3. Another thing that’ll happen is that the call is forwarded to another phone number, which is typically your voicemail system. Signaling information informs the voicemail system that it’s for your voice mailbox, and essentially it’s just a fancy answering machine.

If you don’t have call forwarding set up, then this won’t be the case for the person calling you whilst you’re already on another call.

When You Have Call Waiting Activated:

For iPhone, when you have the call waiting option activated, which allows your phone to receive multiple calls, you will hear a beeping to indicate someone else is calling. At the same time, the caller’s details will be displayed on your phone screen. The details will include the number, name, and some options. The phone will also vibrate.

For Android, when you have the call waiting option activated, you will get a notification through a beep whenever someone tries calling you, and you are on another call. Once you get this, you will have a chance to either pic or decline the call.

How to Know If Someone is Calling While on Another Call

If you’re on a call with someone and you want a way to know if someone else is calling in, then you need to have the call waiting feature whether you’re on iPhone or on Android.

Call waiting allows you to know when someone is calling you whilst you’re already on a call and it can be enabled for both your iPhone and Android.

On Android, with call waiting set up, if you have activated call waiting, you can handle multiple calls at the same time. When it is activated, you will be notified by a beep if you receive another call. Select to either accept the incoming call or decline it.

The person calling you will simply hear the dial tone and if you decide to decline the call, they will either hear the busy tone or be directed to your voicemail service, if supported and activated.

On iPhone, you’ll know when someone is calling you because you’ll hear a beeping sound indicating that someone is calling in.

When someone calls in whilst you’re already on the phone with someone, on the iPhone, the phone rings (and/or vibrates) as usual, and the screen displays the name or number of the caller as well as a few options to go with it.

1. Ignore. With the incoming call, if you chose to ignore it, it’ll go straight to voicemail and the caller wouldn’t know that anything has happened. All they’ll know is that you’re already on a call and that you’re oblivious to the incoming call that they just made.

2. Hold Call + Answer. This button gives you the option to put the person you’re currently on the phone to on hold whilst you answer the incoming call. This option gives you the traditional Call Waiting effect.

To avoid coming off as rude, you should say to the person on the other end, “Can you hold on a second, someone urgent is calling, I’ll only be a second”. When you select that option, your iPhone will put them on hold and connect you to the incoming call.

Once you’re in this position, if you find that you need to speak to the person who’s on hold, you can jump between calls or if you want to and it makes sense, you can merge both calls together to create a conference call.

3. End Call + Answer. With this option, you end the call with the person you’re currently on the call with and answer the call to the incoming person. It’s common to select this option accidentally so if you do, be sure to call the person back and let them know what happened.

Things to Do When Someone Calls When You Are on Another Call

If you have call waiting mode activated, you are provided with several options.

1. Pick the Call

You can choose to pick the new incoming call. For example, sometimes, you may realize the new incoming call is more urgent or worth picking up.

Or you can pick up the new call and tell them you are on another call and they should call later. To do this, you will either put the current call on hold or end it.

When you put the current call on hold, you will be able to receive the new one and resume the previous one later.

2. Decline

The decline is not a lot of work. If you do not want to pick the new call and want to continue with the current call, you can just decline. Your phone will provide you with these options if it is in call waiting mode.

3. Ignore

You can also choose to ignore the call. This is where you let the call keep coming through, and you continue with your current call. After ringing enough, the call will get a “no answer” feedback in such a case.

4. Send a Message

You can also choose to send a quick message while on your call. Many phones will provide ready texts to just click and send.

However, you will also have an option of writing a customized text to send to the call to tell them to call you later or if you are on another call.

How to Stop People From Knowing You’re on Another Call

It is possible for you to stop people from knowing you are on another call. This is possible if you have activated a system such as voicemail or call waiting that allows callers to know you are on another call.

If you deactivate these two options, callers will get a “line busy” feedback that they cannot conclude as you being on another call.

How to Activate a Call Waiting on Your Phone?

The steps to activate call waiting on Android vary from one version to another.

For android 9.0

1. Find and open the phone app.

2. Go to the settings options identified by three dots. Tap on the dots.

3. Scroll to “calls” and tap, then tap additional settings on the menu screen.

Here, you will see an option to turn it on. Besides the words “call waiting,” tap to enable the mode.

For Android 11 and 10

1. Find the “phone” app and open it.

2. Open the settings by clicking the three dots.

3. Navigate and tap on “Calls,” then tap “Call Waiting.”

4. Besides the call waiting, tap to switch the function to enable.

Here are the steps to follow to turn on call waiting when using an iPhone.

For iPhone

1. Go to “Settings” and tap to open.

2. Scroll and tap on “Phone.”

3. You will get the phone menu. Scroll to “Call Waiting” and tap to open on the menu screen.

You will get a call waiting text with an indicator to turn on or off. Click on the far edge indicator to turn on the call waiting.

Press the home key to go back to your phone home screen.


Whether someone can or cannot know when you are on another call, knowing when someone is on another call, responding to people calling you when on another call are actions affected by many factors. These factors may vary from the device to settings, user, and even network.

Go through the above-discussed scenarios and learn about whichever you are dealing with. Remember to test whenever you activate any option.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


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