Let Your Computer Do the Dialing

Have you ever used Phone Dialer? Maybe you didn’t even know that Windows had it. It can be used to dial common numbers or just to avoid the hassle of holding the phone while you dial and wait for someone to answer. If your computer has a phone line hooked up to it you can have your computer dial the number for you, then just pick up your phone and talk.

Windows 98/ME has it listed under Start /Programs /Accessories /Communications /Phone Dialer . If you don’t find this feature on your Win 98, you will need to dig through the closet for your install disk to add the feature. Windows 95 has it under the Accessories submenu.


You can save your eight most frequently called numbers by clicking one of the Speed Dial buttons and entering a name and telephone number.

Phone Dialer can also keep a log of all outgoing telephone calls made with the program. To log calls, go to Tools /Show Log to display the “Call Log” window. Select Log /Options and check the “Incoming Calls” check box. This will keep track of who you called and when.

The last twenty dialed numbers are retained on a history list, which can be recalled or edited. About twenty calling card options are built-in, plus more can be created as needed.

This older version was much more of a novelty than a truly useful application. Any good address book program, like our Personal Phonebook Plus download, has a dialing feature—plus you can include addresses, make detailed notes about calls, print labels, etc.

BUT… the Phone Dialer included in Windows XP is more than just the simple speed dial novelty of Win 9x. Not only can it be used for speed-dialing with standard phone lines, but also for voice conferencing and video conferencing over network connections.

To start Phone Dialer, Go to Start / Run and type “dialer” (without the quotes). If you want to make a shortcut, search for “Dialer.exe”—it should be in the Windows NT folder.

The first thing you’ll notice is the absence of phone buttons. To make a voice call, all you need is the recipient’s phone number, IP address, or DNS (Domain Name System) name. Phone Dialer lets you make calls with a telephone connected to your computer, through a modem, over a network, through a telephone switch connected to your local area network (LAN), or an Internet address.

With a sound card and microphone you don’t even need a telephone. Add a webcam and make video calls or do video conferencing. You can even receive calls while you work on the computer if you have Phone Dialer open.

I could spend all day talking about its features and how to use it. If you decide to use Phone Dialer in XP, I suggest that you go to Help / Index and read up on how it works for yourself. Some of the features require a bit of skill.

Happy dialing!

~ David