person holding space gray iPhone X

Dialing an extension on an iPhone might seem tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze. Let’s walk through the steps so you can connect to those important calls without any hiccups.

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into the nitty-gritty, let’s cover the basics. When you dial an extension, you’re essentially telling your iPhone to wait before dialing additional numbers. This is crucial when you’re calling a large organization or office where you need to reach a specific department or person.

Step-by-Step Guide to Dialing an Extension

1. Starting the Call

First things first, grab your iPhone and open the Phone app. This app is typically represented by a green icon with a white phone symbol.

2. Entering the Main Number

On the keypad tab, enter the main phone number you wish to call. This is the number of the organization or office you’re trying to reach, without the extension.

3. Adding the Extension

Here’s where the magic happens. To add an extension, tap and hold the * (asterisk) button. By doing this, a comma will appear after the phone number. The comma acts as a pause, telling your phone to wait before dialing the extension​​.

Saving Extensions to Contacts

Wouldn’t it be easier if you didn’t have to remember and enter extensions every time? Good news! You can save extensions to your contacts for easy access later.

1. Accessing Contacts

Open your Contacts app, or the Phone app and then tap on Contacts. You can edit an existing contact or add a new one by tapping the plus (+) button.

2. Editing the Contact

If you’re editing an existing contact, tap on their name and then select ‘Edit’. Here, you can add or modify phone numbers.

3. Saving the Extension

Once you’ve tapped on the saved phone number, follow the same process as dialing an extension: enter the main number, then a comma, followed by the extension. This way, the next time you call, your iPhone automatically dials the extension for you​​.

The Pause Method

Another handy method to know is the ‘Pause Method’. This is particularly useful for dialing extensions that can be entered right after the call connects. You add a comma before the extension, with each comma representing a two-second pause. This allows you to bypass waiting for the automated message to finish before entering the extension​​.

Tips for a Smooth Experience

  • Practice Makes Perfect: Try these methods a few times to get comfortable.
  • Check the Length of the Pause: Sometimes, you may need to add more than one comma if the automated system takes longer to prompt for an extension.
  • Update Your Contacts: Save commonly called extensions in your contacts to save time in the future.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

If you’re having trouble, consider these quick fixes:

  • Ensure Correct Number: Double-check the main phone number and extension.
  • Adjust the Pause: If the extension isn’t going through, try adding or reducing the number of commas.
  • Restart Your Phone: Sometimes a quick reboot can fix minor glitches.


  1. Can I dial an extension automatically on an iPhone? Yes, by using the pause method (comma) or by saving the number with the extension in your contacts.
  2. How do I add a pause when dialing an extension? Tap and hold the * button to add a comma, which represents a pause.
  3. Can extensions be saved in iPhone contacts? Absolutely! Just enter the main number, followed by a comma, and then the extension in the contact’s phone number field.
  4. Is there a limit to the number of pauses I can add? No strict limit, but too many pauses might disrupt the call connection.
  5. What if the extension doesn’t work after the pause? Try adjusting the number of commas to increase or decrease the pause length.
  6. Does this method work for international numbers? Yes, it works the same way for international numbers.
  7. Can I dial an extension during a call? Yes, you can access the keypad during a call to enter an extension manually.
  8. Is there a way to test if I’ve saved the extension correctly in my contacts? Yes, call the contact after saving to ensure the extension dials automatically.
  9. Will these steps work on all iPhone models? Yes, these steps are applicable to all iPhone models.
  10. What should I do if my iPhone isn’t saving the extension in contacts? Ensure you’re correctly adding the comma and extension. If it still doesn’t work, try restarting your iPhone.

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