How to Answer a Call with a Text Message

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Sometimes, you just don’t have time to answer the phone. Especially if you’re driving, it’s often safer to quickly pull over and send an iPhone automated message to let the person know you’ll call them back later. This function is accessible right from the iPhone call screen. Here’s how to answer a call with a text message.

Related: How to Use Remind Me Later on Your iPhone When You Need to Decline a Call

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Why You'll Love This Tip

  • Reject a call politely by letting the caller know why you can't talk.
  • Reassure your friends you'll get back to them as soon as you can when you're not available to answer a call.

How to Answer Call with Text Message

You can pick several different preset text message responses to incoming calls, including "Can I call you later," "I'm on my way," and "Sorry, I can't talk right now," or you can set a custom response and even edit the preset responses in Settings. To learn more about messaging, sign up for our Tip of the Day newsletter. Now, here's how to answer a call with a text message.

  1. When your phone is ringing, tap Message above slide to answer.

    Tap Message
  2. Tap one of the preset responses to automatically send a text and reject the call or tap Custom to write your own response.

    Select response
  3. If you tapped Custom, a text conversation with the person calling will appear. Type whatever you like! (But please don't choose this option if you're driving!). Tap Send, and you’re done.

    Send custom response

Now you know how to answer a call with a text message. Next, learn how to answer a call with your AirPods.

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Author Details

Abbey Dufoe's picture

Author Details

Abbey Dufoe

Abbey Dufoe is a freelance writer and a web producer at a nonprofit based in Princeton, NJ. She's always itching for the newest iOS gadget (current favorite - the Apple Watch). She tweets and blogs about the earth and the Internet on Twitter at @abbeydufoe and at