How to Use Call Forwarding on the iPhone

Forwarding calls on an 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 lowcost 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. You don’t need to contact a cell provider or pay any additional fees to use the service, it’s free and everything is done right on your iPhone, here’s what to do.

Turning On Call Forwarding

This will forward all inbound calls to the number you specify, it lasts until the feature has been turned off.

  • Open Settings and choose “Phone”
  • 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 changes to take effect
Forward calls on the iPhone

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:

Call forwarding turned on

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:

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. It’s also a handy way to pretend that your iPhone number is no longer in service, by forwarding it to a phone number that’s not active.

From a 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 as usual with forwarding on, but return calls will not come back to your phone number even though that number remains on caller id.

Turning Off Call Forwarding

Switching off forwarding is even easier than turning it on:

  • Go back to Settings and choose “Phone” again
  • Tap “Call Forwarding” and flip the switch to OFF

The phone icon should disappear from the title bar, and the iPhone will accept inbound phone calls and ring again as usual.

Set Up Call Forwarding on a Verizon iPhone

Most Verizon iPhone devices will not have the “Call Forwarding” option built directly into iOS Settings, meaning the method described above must be modified slightly. Instead, Verizon users will need to do the following:

Enable Call Forwarding with Verizon: Dial *72 followed by the phone number to forward to. For example: *72 1-408-555-5555

Disable Call Forwarding with Verizon: Dial *73 at any time to disable call forwarding and receive calls on the phone as normal.

The plus side to the Verizon 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.


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