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How to Set Up Call Forwarding

August 09, 2022
phone system for small business

Call forwarding is considered one of the most basic telephony features. It's also one of the most useful when it comes to:

  • Separating business and personal life
  • Cutting from work when you're supposed to be off
  • Managing unavailability for any personal or business reasons
  • Traveling
  • Managing several phone numbers

The bad news is, setting up call forwarding is not as straightforward as it seems. Mainly because there are different processes from one device to another, from one Operating System to another, from one country to another, and to make it even more simple, it's also different from one telecommunication operator to another.

It's not the same process on Samsung Android and on an iPhone, it's not the same on a landline in the US and on a mobile in France, it's not the same process according to the business phone system you're using etc.

There are also multiple kinds of advanced call forwarding features.

In the end, there are a thousand different ways to do it. And they don't deliver the same results. Let's say it, it's quite a mess.

Lucky you, you've found this article! Thus, you'll benefit from the many years of experience we have in the telephony industry as well as the hours of research we've made to come up with this comprehensive guide.

In this article, we'll review all tips and tricks to set up efficient call forwarding across all Operating Systems and devices. Then we'll also see what is the best solution if you are looking to set up some kind of more advanced call forwarding, especially for business purposes.

What Is Call Forwarding?

So, what exactly is call forwarding? Can the receiver of the call find out that their call is forwarded to another number? Let's answer your questions.

Call Forwarding Definition

Call forwarding is one of the most used phone management features. As you might have guessed from the name, this feature is all about forwarding or redirecting an incoming call to another number.

For instance, you can forward calls from your office phone number to your home phone or a colleague's phone. As modern-day phones have evolved, you get advanced call forwarding features.

What's The Difference Between Call Forwarding and No Answer Transfer?

Call forwarding is pre-programmed and calls will be forwarded to another number in a different destination. However, call transfer happens after the caller is connected to a number.

For instance, the caller gets connected to an employee's number, if they can't answer a request, the call will be transferred to another employee or department. It is done manually.

What Are Advanced Call Forwarding Rules?

Advanced call forwarding helps you set up redirects for incoming calls based on more complex rules and conditions including:

  • Call Forward Fixed
  • Selective Call Forwarding
  • Call Forward Busy
  • Call Forward Unanswered/No Answer
  • Call Forwarding Variables

Call Forward Fixed

Also known as Remote Call Forwarding or Permanently Parked, this feature allows you to automatically forward all your incoming calls to your answering services 24/7/365.

Typically, this feature is activated by the service provider. If you wish to turn it off, you need to get in touch with your service provider.

This feature comes in handy if your phone service is disrupted, your internet is down or when you are facing internal network issues. You can choose to forward all your incoming calls to a working number in such scenarios. This way you don't miss an important call or a lead.

Selective Call Forwarding

Selective Call Forwarding is a feature that lets you forward calls from a specific list of numbers to another phone.

When this feature is turned on, you won't be able to receive incoming calls from the list of numbers you forwarded to another number.

This is useful when you want certain departments or employees to deal with certain calls.

Call Forward Busy

You guessed it right. You can forward your calls to another number if your line is busy.

Imagine this scenario: an important call comes to your phone when your line is busy. If it was a translatable lead or a client that needs immediate resolution, you missing the call and keeping them waiting won't look good on you.

If you have activated Call Forward Busy, one of your teammates could help the caller solve their problems without any delay.

Call Forward Unanswered/No Answer

This feature allows you to forward an incoming call when you are not in a position to answer a line. You can even set the number of rings a caller must hear before forwarding the call to another number.

This feature can be put to use if you are not at your desk or too busy to pick up calls. That way you don't have to miss an important call when you are away.

Call Forwarding Variable

Otherwise known as Traditional Call Forwarding, this feature allows you to forward all your calls to another number automatically. You can turn this feature on or off when in need and even change the number to which the call should be diverted.

Let us imagine that you have to catch a flight while your coworker is engaged in an important negotiation. You expect a call from them before you land and are in no position to answer any quick questions.

Call Forwarding Variable is extremely useful in such scenarios and someone else from the office can pick up the call and take a message.

What Does It Mean When It Says Your Call Has Been Forwarded?

When you dial a number and you hear a notification that the call is forwarded, it means that the recipient has chosen to redirect your call to another number.

Typically, call forwards are activated when the recipient is busy, can't answer your call or doesn't have access to their phone, etc. If you are calling a business, the person on the other end will be able to help you with your request.

Will a caller notice anything if I forward the call?

The caller may realize the call is forwarded to another number due to:

  • Notification from the network: The phone company may notify the caller with a message that the call is being forwarded.
  • Music played while forwarding the call: The service provider may play music while the call is getting forwarded
  • Different ring signal: The caller may hear a different ring tone other than the one they normally hear. This mostly happens when you forward the call to a number in another country.
  • Longer wait time before ringing: Call forwarding might take a few extra seconds to get connected causing the caller to wait for a few seconds to hear the ring tone.

How to forward calls from landline to cell phone

Want to know how to set up a call forward from your landline to a cell or mobile phone if you are living in the USA or a European country? Here is a step-by-step guide.

Call forwarding from landline to mobile in the US

First, let us see how to forward calls to a cell phone if you are living in the USA. Please note that the below call forwarding rules are based on NANP or the North American Numbering Plan.

How does Verizon landline call forwarding work?

To activate or cancel call forwarding from your Verizon landline follow the below instructions:

  • Forward all calls: Dial *72 followed by the number to forward your call
  • Forward calls when your line is busy or no answer: Dial *71 and then the number to forward the call
  • Cancel call forwarding: Dial *73

How to do AT&T Call Forwarding For home phone

Find below the ways to activate and deactivate call forwarding on an AT&T local home phone:

  • Call forwarding: Dial *72 or 72#. Punch in the number to which the calls need to be forwarded and wait till you hear an answer. For deactivation, Dial *73 or 73#.
  • Call forwarding for busy lines or don't answer: You will need agent assistance to activate and deactivate these options. Call 800.288.2020.
  • Selective call forwarding: To activate and deactivate this option on your AT&T phone, you need to dial *63 and then press 3.

Call Forwarding from Landline to Mobile in Europe

Here is how to activate call forwarding from landline to mobile phone if you are living in a European country.

Note: The below given call forwarding rules are based on CEPT and ETSI standards developed in the 1970s on POTS and ISDN lines.

How to Set Up Call Forwarding for Android

Your android phone comes with an inbuilt call forwarding feature. To Activate call forwarding, follow the below steps:

  • Step 1: Unlock your device and open the Phone widget
  • Step 2: Based on the kind of device you use, you will either find 3 dots or the settings symbol on the right top. Click on it and you will be redirected to call settings
  • Step 3: Click on Call Forwarding. You can see separate options to forward voice and video calls. Once you click on either of them, multiple options will be displayed on the screen such as:
  • Always forward
  • When busy
  • When unanswered
  • When unreachable

Step 4: Choose the option and set the call forwarding number. Select Enable and it is done.

Note: You can also turn off call forwarding following the same steps.

How To Set Up Call Forwarding On an iPhone

To set up call forwarding on an iPhone follow the below steps:

Step 1: Go to the settings of your phone

Step 2: Scroll down until you see the Phone widget and click on it.

Step 3: You will see call forwarding, now click on it and swipe to see the option to enter the number to which you should forward the call. That's it. Your call forwarding is activated.

Note: You can follow the same steps to deactivate call forwarding.

Google Voice call forwarding

Here are the steps you need to follow to forward calls from your Google Voice number:

Step 1: Log in to your account

Step 2: Click on the Settings icon on top right

Step 3: Select a number from the linked number

Step 4: Now, choose Send Code

Step 5: Enter the code that is sent to your phone and verify the connection

Step 6: Check the box next to forwarding calls and it's done.

Spectrum Call forwarding

Use the below steps to forward calls on your Spectrum number:

Forward All Calls

You can use the below dialer codes to activate call forwarding in your handset:

  • Step 1: Enter star (*) 72 and wait till you hear a dial tone
  • Step 2: Now, punch in the phone number you want the calls to be forwarded to and then press the # key.
  • Step 3: Wait till you hear a confirmation

Note: Punch in *73 and then the call button. Now, wait for a dial tone to cancel call forwarding.

Missed Call Forwarding

In case you want to forward a call, you fail to pick, key in *71 and then the 10-digit phone number to which you want to forward your calls. Press the call button and wait for a confirmation message and hang the phone. It's all done.

T mobile Call Forwarding

To activate call forwarding, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Visit the official website and then go to the device page

Step 2: Choose your phone brand from the list displayed on the site

Step 3: Scroll till you see the How To section and choose Calling & Contacts.

Step 4: Now, choose Block and Manage calls for the phone.

Step 5: Choose the condition under which the call should be forwarded from the list given, and then follow the instructions displayed on the screen to activate call forwarding.

Comcast Call Forwarding

Follow the below steps to activate the unconditional call forwarding option on Comcast:

Step 1: Pick the receiver, once you hear a dialer tone, punch in *72

Step 2: Wait till you hear a caller tone again, dial the 10-digit number you want to forward your calls to.

Step 3: Stay until someone picks up the destination number and your unconditional call forwarding is done.

Note: To deactivate, press *73 after picking up the receiver and then hang up the phone.

They also offer conditional forwarding such as call forwarding when you are busy or lines not answered, etc.

Sprint Call Forwarding

The call forwarding feature works on a landline or mobile phone. Find below the steps for unconditional forwarding with Sprint:

Step 1: Press *72 followed by the 10-digit forwarding phone number.

Step 2: Now, press the Talk button.

When the call forwarding is activated, you will hear a notification that says the feature is activated. Wait till you hear the message.

Note: Dial *720 to deactivate unconditional call forwarding. Check the website to know about advanced call forwarding features.

Top Benefits Of Using A Business Phone System For Call Forwarding

Using a business phone system for your call management comes with innumerable benefits. Here is how you can benefit:

Manage Your Availability Better

With call forwarding activated, you can make sure that some key resources are always available when a customer calls. For instance, when someone is out of the office, they can activate call forwarding to a colleague's number in the same department.

Interestingly, you can even forward the call to a series of numbers until someone picks the call. This is a great way to make sure that the caller always gets the answers they are looking for.

To sum it up, call forwarding is the best way to make sure that someone is always there to address your customers' concerns.

Get Your Customer Calls From Anywhere

For a small business owner who practically runs the operation from their phone, being able to attend to customer calls from anywhere is important. By getting a professional phone number you don't have to share your personal number with anyone.

You can just forward your business calls from your office phone to your personal phone or to one of your colleagues' phone numbers making sure that someone always answers the call. In short, you can pick up your business call anywhere without sharing your personal number with customers.

Use Call Routing Functions For A More Advanced Forwarding System

Call forwarding is also about staying connected to your business on different types of phone systems from multiple locations. Consider this scenario: You have a VoIP phone set up in your home office in Chicago while two landlines are in the Seattle office and a few mobile numbers in another city.

How can you make sure that a customer call is answered from different destinations and phones if required? You use advanced call forwarding/diverting options and your customers will never know.

Set up After-Hour Rules

Using an advanced call forwarding system, you can let your customers know the operational hours. For instance, if a customer calls after or before office hours, you can inform them that you have closed for the day, giving them a prompt to leave their contact details so that you can get back to them the next day.

If you have a remote customer support center that works after office hours, you can forward the calls to that number as well.

Quicktalk business call forwarding

Quicktalk is a business phone system designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It helps them to manage their customer calls from anywhere thanks to an advanced call forwarding system. For $19 per month per company, you can get a business phone number for your company, set up an auto-attendant with custom greetings and call routing, and benefit from unlimited calls, outbound and inbound.

A List Of The Best Free Call Forwarding Applications (iOS and Android)

1. Call Forwarding Lite

It is an app that lets you forward your calls to another business number.


The benefits of using Call Forward Lite include forwarding calls if you fail to answer a call or when your phone is on busy mode. Even if your phone is unreachable, the app forwards your call for free. The app also offers premium plans.


Most users have complained that the app rarely worked and some even claim that they can't deactivate the call forward. The lack of proper documentation on how to activate or deactivate the function also adds to the woes. Their premium plan is very expensive, priced at $2,99.

2. Call Divert

A call forwarding app, Call Divert offers many benefits and features. Let's find out both the advantages and disadvantages.


In addition to activating and deactivating the call forward, Call Divert lets you check the status of existing forwards, erase the settings. The app also has call waiting features.


Users have reported annoying ads taking over the screen without letting them access any feature. According to some users, they couldn't divert the call to the number they specified and most of them couldn't find instructions on how to turn on or off the feature.

3. Easy Call Forwarding

This app lets you set up call forwarding easily. Let's understand the advantages and disadvantages.


Supports call forwarding in major service providers such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile Verizon, etc. The call forwarding is done using special USSD Codes. The app supports Dual-SIM allowing to easily configure call forwarding for each sim.


After the 30 days free trial, you need to pay for the app. Most users have complained that after the free trial period, they faced many hiccups and the app stopped working after a while. Users also complained that deactivating the call forwarding doesn't work smoothly.

4. Forward My Calls (Android only)

Forward My Call is your way to redirect your calls to another number with a click. Take a look at the benefits and downsides.


Using the app, you can manually activate call forwarding. The app also lets you save the last phone number you used for call forwarding. You can even forward your calls when the phone battery is low.


Ad banner appears on the screen and you need to pay $0.99 if you wish to use the app without ads. Some users have reported that the app keeps crashing after activating call forward and they are unable to cancel the function.

According to many users, the android only app works only on certain phones and doesn't allow you to select numbers from your phone book.

5. Call Forwarding 2021

This lets you set up call forwarding with a click. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of the app.


In auto setting mode, you can activate unconditional call forwarding and divert calls when unanswered or busy.


The instructions inside the app are not in English according to many users. The screens are flooded with ads and it is not easy to navigate through the app.

6. Call Forwarding by Android Buddy

The app offers an easy solution to your call forwarding worries. Find below the benefits and downside of the app.


The app is easy to use and allows you to forward calls to another number. You can take advantage of conditional forwarding and forward calls when your line is busy.


The instructions on the app are in broken English making it difficult for a user to read and understand the steps required to activate and deactivate call forwarding. Some users have complained that the app didn't work on their phones.


Call forwarding offers businesses unmatched convenience and it is a great way to make sure that you don't miss a call even when you fail to attend one.

For a business to work efficiently, you need a comprehensive phone system that can be tailored to your requirements. Free apps may not be able to scale up and meet your business call forwarding needs.

When you purchase a phone system for your business needs, be sure to purchase a premium one that comes at a reasonable rate. Look for advanced features and a reputed company as a good phone system can improve your brand image while helping you reach out to a larger customer base.


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