How to Add Pauses When Dialing a Number on Your Android Phone

By Dan Gookin

When you tap the Phone icon to dial a number on your Android phone, the number is instantly spewed into the phone system, like water out of a hose. If you need to pause the number as it’s dialed, you need to know how to insert secret pause characters. Two are available:

  • The comma (,) adds a 2-second pause.

  • The semicolon (;) adds a wait prompt.

To insert the pause or wait characters into a phone number, obey these directions:

  1. Type the number to dial.

  2. At the point that the pause or wait character is needed, tap the Action Overflow icon.

    On some phones, tap the More button.

  3. Choose the action Add 2-Sec Pause or Add Wait.

  4. Continue composing the rest of the phone number.

When the number is dialed and the comma (,) is encountered, the phone pauses two seconds and then dials the rest of the number. When the semicolon (;) is encountered, the phone prompts you to continue. Tap the Yes or OK button to continue dialing the rest of the number.

The comma (,) and semicolon (;) can also be inserted into the phone numbers you assign to contacts in the phone’s address book.

Alas, you cannot program an interactive phone number, such as one that pauses and lets you provide input and then continues to dial. You have to perform that task manually on an Android phone.