How to Use Call Forwarding on iPhone
You can easily forward calls from your iPhone to any other phone number. This is a great trick to use in a ton of situations, whether you want to send calls to an office line or landline, you’re in an area with bad reception for and want to redirect calls to a phone with better service, you’re taking a vacation to somewhere without cell service at all and want to leave your phone at home, or if you’re traveling and want to send your calls to a low-cost dumb phone. You can even forward your number to a Skype or Google Voice number if you’d rather accept inbound calls on a VOIP provider, whether that’s on another iOS device or a computer.
Forwarding calls from an iPhone this way does not need any cell provider approval, service, and there are no additional fees to use the call forwarding feature and service, it’s free and everything is done right on your iPhone through the phone settings.
This article will walk you through exactly what to do to forward all phone calls from iPhone to another phone number.
How to Turn On Call Forwarding on iPhone
This will forward all inbound calls to the number you specify, it lasts until the call forward feature has been turned off.
- Open Settings on the iPhone
- Go to the “Phone” settings
- Tap “Call Forwarding” and flip to ON
- In the text field box, enter the phone number you want to forward all incoming calls to
- Tap back and exit out of Settings for the call forward to take effect
As soon as a number is entered, the calls will start forwarding. The example shown is forwarding calls to a number that doesn’t exist, but of course you would put in a real phone number to forward the iPhone calls to. The receiving phone can be any type of phone number, it could be another iPhone, an Android, a feature phone, smartphone, a land line, a VOIP number for Skype or Google Voice, or nearly any other phone number you can think of.
From an inbound callers perspective, nothing is different, but your iPhone will no longer ring and instead it will just send the calls off to the number you specified. You can still make phone calls out as usual with forwarding on, but return calls will not come back to your phone number even though that number remains on caller id.
By the way, you will always know the iPhone is forwarding calls because of the small phone icon in the titlebar with an arrow pointing out of it. Here’s an example of what the call forward indicator looks like in an iPhone status bar with an earlier version of iOS, but the icon is the same in newer versions too:
How to Forward All Calls to Voicemail on iPhone
By entering your own voicemail number, you can also forward all inbound calls to voicemail instantly, without having to turn the phone off or manually send an incoming call to voicemail every time.
Another interesting trick with this that can be handy in some situations is to pretend that your iPhone number is no longer in service, by forwarding it to a phone number that’s not active. To do that, you’d need to find a phone number with no active service and forward the iPhone calls to that number.
How to Turn Off Call Forwarding on iPhone
Switching off forwarding is even easier than turning it on, you simply toggle the switch and when call forwarding is off again the iPhone will receive phone calls as usual:
- Go back to Settings and choose “Phone” again
- Tap “Call Forwarding” and flip the switch to OFF
The phone icon should disappear from the status / title bar on the iPhone, and the iPhone will accept inbound phone calls and ring again as usual as long as the call forward feature is disabled.
Set Up Call Forwarding on Some CDMA / Verizon iPhone with *72
Some iPhone cellular carriers and mobile companies use a different method to forward calls from an iPhone. This includes some Verizon and CDMA iPhone services, because some carrier iPhone devices will not have the “Call Forwarding” option built directly into iOS Settings, meaning the method described above must be modified slightly. Instead, these iPhone users can still forward calls but will need to do the following:
Enable Call Forwarding with *72: Dial *72 followed by the phone number to forward to. For example: *72 1-408-555-5555
Disable Call Forwarding with *73: Dial *73 at any time to disable call forwarding and receive calls on the phone as normal.
The plus side to this difference is that the trick is universal for all devices and not exclusive to iPhone, meaning you can forward any Verizon number using the *72 method. The *72 and *73 approach works on many different types of cellular and mobile providers, so if the Settings based approach on iPhone is not available or working for you, then you can try this one instead.
By the way, if you have an older iPhone device running an earlier release of iOS system software, the call forwarding feature continues to work exactly the same, however the interface to enable the call forwarding option will look a little different in the Settings app.
The settings appearance for call forwarding thus looks different in those releases, but all functionality is the same on the iPhone itself.
Visual differences aside, whether you’re setting up a call forward on an iPhone X, iPhone Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 4, or anything else, you’ll find the setting works and the calls will forward as expected.
Do you use call forwarding on your iPhone? Do you know of any other helpful tips, tricks, or interesting tidbits about call forwarding on the iPhone or in general? Share with us in the comments below!