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How to Turn Off Call Forwarding

by Fred DeckerUpdated January 26, 2019

In almost any business, your clients, suppliers and colleagues expect to be able to reach you when needed. Your business card probably lists multiple numbers where you can be reached, but inevitably there will be times when none of those are accessible. In those instances, forwarding your calls is a simple solution to staying in touch or sending callers to someone who can help them immediately when you're not available. Turning it on and off is a simple process that's easy to memorize.

The Case for Call Forwarding

There are two primary reasons to forward calls. The first is that you'll be away from your main number for a while and want your calls to still find their way to you. That might mean forwarding from your office number to your cell phone, for example, or from your work cell number to your personal cell phone.

The second is that you might be in a situation where you can't take calls and want to forward them to your office or an answering service so urgent situations can be dealt with while you're personally unavailable. In either case, once those situations change, it's important to turn off call forwarding when you're done.

Using Call Forwarding

Call forwarding is a relatively simple process. You'll enter in a short code and then the number where your calls should be forwarded. When you're done, enter a second code, and call forwarding will stop. The codes are the same or at least similar for most carriers.

For Verizon call forwarding or Sprint call forwarding, for example, you'd enter *72 to begin call forwarding. The same code works for CenturyLink's landline service, while other carriers such as Windstream or Bell South use 72# instead. In either case, enter the code and wait for a dial tone. Enter the number to which your calls should be routed, and you're done.

Cancel Call Forwarding

It's just as easy to turn off call forwarding once you're done. The code that's used for most carriers is the number 73 along with either the asterisk or pound key. If you're on Verizon, for example, and used 72 to start call forwarding, you'd use 73 to cancel it.

If you're on Bell South and started call forwarding with the code 72#, then you'll use 73# to turn it off. In either case, you should hear a pair of short tones and then a dial tone to let you know it's been successfully turned off. It's always a good idea, whether you're turning call forwarding on or off, to make a test call and make sure it's working.

Conditional and Unconditional Call Forwarding

This kind of call forwarding is called "unconditional" because every call to that number will be forwarded. It's a useful tool, but there are probably times when you'd like to pick and choose whether or when a call gets forwarded. Those options are available from a number of carriers or in the form of an app for your mobile phone if the carrier doesn't offer those services. They're just as easy to use as regular call forwarding, though it means a few more codes to remember.

Conditional Call Forwarding Options

One common form of conditional call forwarding lets you create a list of specific numbers to be forwarded. You might use this to give important clients priority access while still keeping your alternative contact number private. It's also a good way to route calls to your personal number if needed. Other common options will forward your calls if your line is already in use or if you don't answer your regular line. It's an alternative to letting calls ring through to your voicemail, which rightly or wrongly might be perceived as indifference by your clients.

Mobile Call Forwarding Options

Aside from your carrier's features, your cell phone has the ability to do call forwarding. On Android phones, you'll tap the phone app's icon, then the three-dot menu on your dialing screen and choose "Settings" or "Call Settings" to set up forwarding.

On an iPhone, you'll tap "Settings," then "Phone" and scroll down to "Call Forwarding" and turn it on. In either case, you'll follow the same steps to turn it off again. Call forwarding has been a part of each mobile operating system since the early days, so iPhone 6 call forwarding is much the same as you'd find on an iPhone 4 or iPhone X, and an elderly Samsung running Android 2.3 forwards calls just as well as the latest flagship Galaxy model.

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