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How to use call forwarding on iPhone

You can divert calls from your iPhone to any other phone number. This is a great trick to use in a variety of situations, whether you want to send calls to an outside line or landline, are in an area with poor reception, and want to redirect calls to a phone with better service. You are taking vacation somewhere without cell phone service and want to leave your phone at home or when you are away and want to send your calls to a cheap phone. You can even forward your number to a Skype or Google Voice number when you want to take incoming calls with a VoIP provider, regardless of whether they are stored on another iOS device or on a computer. You don't have to contact a cellular operator or pay any additional fees to use the service, it's free and everything is done right on your iPhone.

Activate call forwarding

This will route all incoming calls to the number you specified. It lasts until the function has been deactivated.

  • Open Settings and select "Phone"
  • Tap "Call Forwarding" and switch to ON
  • In the text box, enter the phone number to which you want all incoming calls to be forwarded
  • Tap back and exit Settings for the changes to take effect

As soon as a number is entered, the calls are forwarded. In the example shown, calls are forwarded to a number that does not exist:

You'll always know that iPhone is forwarding calls because the little phone icon in the title bar indicates it with an arrow:

Also, by entering your own voicemail number, you can instantly forward all incoming calls to voicemail without having to turn off the phone or manually send an incoming call to voicemail. It's also a handy way to pretend your iPhone number is no longer working by forwarding it to a phone number that is inactive.

From the caller's point of view, nothing is different, but your iPhone will stop ringing and instead the calls will only be sent to the number you specified. You can still make calls as normal by forwarding, but calls are not returned to your phone number, even though that number remains in the caller ID.

Switch off call forwarding

Forwarding is even easier than switching it on:

  • Go back to Settings and select "Phone" again
  • Tap Call Forwarding and toggle the switch to OFF

The phone icon should no longer appear in the title bar. The iPhone accepts incoming calls and rings again as usual.

Set up call forwarding on a Verizon iPhone

Most Verizon iPhone devices do not have the Call Forwarding option built into the iOS settings directly. Therefore, the method described above needs to be changed slightly. Instead, Verizon users must do the following:

Enable call forwarding with Verizon : Dial * 72 followed by the phone number to be forwarded to. For example: * 72 1-408-555-5555

Turn off call forwarding with Verizon : Dial * 73 anytime to turn off call forwarding and receive calls on your phone as normal.

The plus side of the Verizon difference is that the trick is universal to all devices and not exclusive to the iPhone, which means you can forward any Verizon number using the * 72 method.