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Can you Tell if your Call is Being Forwarded?

Posted by Jamie on June 8, 2019

Call forwarding is a useful telephone feature that allows you to set calls to forward to a different phone number. This feature can be useful if you’re out of the office and want your work calls forwarded to your cell phone, you’re in a poor cell coverage area, you’re using a toll-free number for business, and a range of other reasons. Call forwarding is a useful tool to know how to use as you’ll likely eventually need to use it.

If you have inherited a phone or can’t remember if you set up the feature or not, can you tell if your calls are currently being forwarded?

Call forwarding is a feature of modern telephone networks that enables you to redirect incoming calls to a different number. It works on both mobile and landlines and can be very useful. Essentially, you tell the network switch that any calls coming into your number should be redirected to a different number. The switch will not dial your original number but used the new destination instead.

So can you tell if your call is being forwarded? In a word, no. Call forwarding is a network setting and happens in less than a second. Unless your network has some exotic setting that informs you, you will not know whether your call is forwarded or not. This is a quality of life option as most people don’t really care whether a call is redirected or not. They just want to talk to the person. It makes no difference to billing either as costs incurred by any redirection is covered by the person administering the redirect.

Check if your iPhone is being forwarded

There is an exception to not being able to tell if your call is being forwarded. If someone has set up your iPhone for tracking without your knowledge, you can input a code to check. If you think your calls might be set to be forwarded then type ‘*#21#’ into the phone app then tap “call” you’ll set up interrogation for call forwards. That is, entering ‘#21#` and tapping call on your iPhone will tell you if your calls are being forwarded.

This code apparently tells you whether your numbers are being forwarded to another phone or number. Enter  ‘##002#’ to remove any forwarding if the previous code showed redirection.

Call forwarding

Bear in mind that any extra calls costs incurred by your forwarding will be billed to you. This can include forwarding to an international number, forwarding to or from toll-free numbers or premium numbers or even forwarding out of state. It is worth checking with your carrier before setting up anything like that. Otherwise, call forwarding is simple to manage.

Set up call forward on Android

If you’re on the other side of the conversation and want to set up call forwarding, you can. Android makes it easy to forward calls to any number that will accept them.

  1. Open the phone app on your Android device.
  2. Select the three-dot menu icon to access Settings.
  3. Select Call settings and then Call forwarding.
  4. Select one of the settings depending on your needs.
  5. Add the number for calls to be forwarded to.
  6. Select Enable and then OK to confirm.

The forwarding settings are something like Always forward, Forward when busy, Forward when unanswered or Forward when unreached. You can set up any of these depending on your needs. Repeat the procedure above when you want to stop forwarding and just select Disable at Step 6 instead of Enable.

You can also use codes on your Android to access these settings:

  • Unconditional call forwarding dial *21*
  • Call forwarding when the line is busy dial *004*
  • Call forwarding when the line is busy dial *67*
  • Call forwarding when no pick-up dial *61*
  • Call forwarding when out of range dial *62*

You will then be prompted to add the forwarding number and confirm the settings.

Set up call forward on an iPhone

You can redirect calls using an iPhone too using a similar setup to above. Here’s how to set up call forwarding on an iPhone if you do not have Verizon as your carrier:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap Phone
  3. Next, tap Call Forwarding
  4. Turn on call forwarding and enter the number you want your calls forwarded to

If you have Verizon as your carrier the instructions are Verizon specific:

  • To forward your calls without ringing first, enter *72 then the 10-digit phone number you want your calls forwarded to
  • To have your phone ring before forwarding a call, enter *71 then the 10-digit phone number you want your calls forwarded to

That’s it for non-Verizon and Verizon carriers. You should now see a forwarding icon in your iPhone’s top bar whenever redirection is enabled.

Set up call forward on a landline

I use call forwarding on my landline all the time. I only have the landline as it is part of my broadband package so I just divert it to my mobile. Here’s how to set up call forwarding on a landline:

  1. Dial *72 from your landline phone
  2. Type in the number to divert calls to
  3. Select the hash (#) to confirm the number

That’s it. Some carriers allow conditional forwarding while some do not. Verizon allows conditions and if you dial *71 instead of *72, you can set them up. Once done, dial *73 to disable call forwarding.

If you enjoyed this article you might also like The Best Call Forwarding Apps for Android – May 2019.

If you have any recommendations on the best way to tell if your calls are being forwarded, please leave a comment below.

One thought on “Can you Tell if your Call is Being Forwarded?”

Aleka says:
When I had an LG phone for a month while my iPhone ported over, my business line that forwards to my mobile would come up saying it was a forwarded call which was nice so I could answer accordingly. This was in March of 2018. I wish iPhone would have this feature.
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