How to Forward Calls on iPhone in 3 Easy Steps [2024]

Key Takeaways
  • Call forwarding on an iPhone allows you to direct incoming calls to another number. It's beneficial for staying reachable, maintaining privacy, and managing work-life balance.
  • Before setting up, check service availability, impact on voicemail, and understand geographical and international restrictions. To enable it, go to iPhone settings, turn on call forwarding, and set the "Forward To" number.
  • For CDMA networks, use USSD codes for forwarding. An alternative to traditional forwarding is using VoIP services, which offer more features and flexibility. Call forwarding is a useful tool for various needs and situations.

Call forwarding is a handy tool that lets you send calls from your phone to another number. This feature is great when you can’t answer calls, or your phone is out of reach. Imagine being on vacation and having your work calls go straight to your office. 

In this guide, we’ll explain what call forwarding is and why it’s useful for iPhone users. We’ll cover the essentials before you set it up, show you how to do it step-by-step, discuss setting up call forwarding using USSD codes for CDMA networks, and look at other options besides call forwarding.

What is call forwarding? 

What is call forwarding?

Call forwarding is a feature on your mobile phone that sends your incoming calls to another phone, like your office or home phone. With this feature, your phone won’t ring when someone calls you. Instead, the call goes straight to the phone number you selected for these calls. 

Setting up call forwarding on an iPhone is simple, and the best part is it works with almost all the phone service providers. This makes managing your calls easy, whether you’re busy or prefer not to be disturbed.

READ MORE: What is VoIP, How Does It Work & Is It Better Than Traditional Calls? ➜

↪ Why forward calls on iPhone?

Why forward calls on iPhone? | KasparsGrinvalds

Setting up call forwarding on your iPhone to another number is useful for many reasons. It helps you stay in touch, keep your life private, and manage your time better. Here are some key benefits of using call forwarding on your iPhone:

  • Never miss a call: With call forwarding, your iPhone sends calls to another number, like one at your workplace or a backup phone. This way, you can answer calls even if you’re not using your main iPhone.
  • Protect your privacy: If you handle sensitive information in your job, call forwarding helps by sending calls to a secure line. This keeps your clients’ details private and ensures you handle information carefully.
  • Manage work and personal time: Call forwarding helps you separate work and personal life. You can send work calls to another number when you’re off the clock or personal calls away when you’re busy at work. This helps you keep a good balance between your job and personal life.

READ MORE: How to do Call Forwarding on Verizon in 2024 [4 Easy Steps] ➜

What to know before setting up call forwarding?

What to know before setting up call forwarding?

Before you start using call forwarding, it’s good to know a few things about how it works and what it means for you. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • Service Availability and Compatibility: Call forwarding isn’t available with all phone companies or plans; verify if your phone supports specific forwarding types (e.g., all calls or only unanswered calls).
  • Impact on Voicemail: Be aware that activating call forwarding might change how your voicemail functions, possibly leading to calls not reaching voicemail.
  • Active Voice-Capable Line Requirement: The number you forward calls to must be capable of receiving calls for effective call forwarding.
  • Geographical Limitations: In the US, the forwarding number generally needs to be domestic, which may differ in other regions.
  • Number Format and Length Considerations: Ensure correct entry of the forwarding number, typically a 10-digit number including area code in the US.
  • Restrictions on International Forwarding: Be mindful of potential extra costs or specific rules when forwarding calls to international numbers in the US.

READ MORE: How to Call Forwarding Not Working on iPhone ➜

How to forward calls on iPhone?

Setting up call forwarding on your iPhone can be a real help. It ensures you don’t miss important calls, especially when you can’t answer your phone. This is useful when traveling out of the country and avoiding high roaming fees. 

Here’s how you can get call forwarding up and running on your:

Step 1: Go to the phone settings

Open the Settings app on your iPhone and scroll down until you find “Phone” and tap on it.

Go to the Phone settings

Step 2: Turn on call forwarding settings

  1. Inside the Phone settings, look for “Call Forwarding” under the Calls section and tap on it.
    Tap on "Call Forwarding"
    Tap on “Call Forwarding”
  2. You’ll see a toggle switch next to “Call Forwarding.” Tap it to turn it on.
    Turn the toggle switch on
    Turn the toggle switch on

Important: If you can’t find this option, your phone service doesn’t allow call forwarding, or you might be on an older CDMA network instead of GSM. In this case, you should contact your phone company to ask about adding this feature.

Step 3: Setup “Forward To” number

  1. After you tap Call Forwarding, you’ll see “Forward To” appear just below it. Tap on it. If you use two phone lines (Dual SIM), the phone will ask you to pick one.
    Tap on Forward To
    Tap on Forward To
  2. A numeric keypad will appear. Enter the number to which you want to forward your calls.
    Enter the phone number
    Enter the phone number
Note: You have to enter the number manually. You can’t pick it up from your contacts.
  1. After you enter the number, you don’t need to look for a Save or Done Just tap the Back button in the top left corner to save the number you typed. 
    Tap the back button at the top left
    Tap the back button at the top left

You’ll see the number you chose next to “Forward To.” Your iPhone will now send all your calls to the number you selected.

READ MORE: iPhone Not Saving Contacts? Try these fixes ➜

Setup call forwarding via USSD codes (For CDMA networks)

If your iPhone uses an older CDMA network like Verizon or UScellular, you can’t set up call forwarding in the normal iPhone settings. Instead, you’ll use special forwarding codes, also known as carrier codes, to send calls to a different number.

Keep in mind CDMA networks are becoming outdated. Switching your SIM card to the newer 4G or 5G networks might be a good option for better service.

Here’s how to use the codes for different carriers:

  • T-mobile users: Type **21 followed by your 10-digit number, and end with a hash sign (#). Then, tap the call button. To stop forwarding calls, dial ##21# and call.
For T-mobile users
  • Sprint users: To start forwarding calls, type *72, add the phone number, and then make the call. To stop, dial *720.
For Sprint users
  • Verizon or UScellular users: Begin with *72, type in the number you want calls forwarded to, and press the call button. To turn it off, dial *73 and call.
Verizon or UScellular users

There are also codes you can use if you want calls forwarded only under certain conditions, like if you don’t answer, can’t be reached due to poor network, or are on another call. Using these codes ensures you don’t miss any important calls.

READ MORE: CDMA vs GSM – Which Technology is Better? ➜

Alternative to call forwarding

There are some different ways to manage your calls without using traditional forwarding. These options, like VoIP services, provide flexibility and additional features for handling calls efficiently.

↪ Virtual phone numbers via VoIP phone systems

Virtual phone numbers of VoIP phone systems | Chainarong via Canva

If you find call forwarding tricky or want more features, consider using a virtual phone number through a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system. These systems let you make and receive calls over the Internet. They work like call-forwarding apps but have extra features to ensure you don’t miss calls, even without traditional call forwarding.

Sometimes, VoIP call forwarding is not useful, like when your internet connection isn’t strong. But most of the time, a virtual number can handle your call needs more effectively in various situations.

iPhone users who travel abroad are choosing call routing options from VoIP providers like Vonage and Skype. These services are popular because they offer useful features over the Internet without costing too much. Some of these features include:

  • Sending calls to other countries.
  • Creating virtual local phone numbers in places outside the US.
  • Making connections between computers and regular phones (landlines).

READ MORE: What is VoIP – How Does It Work & Is It Better Than Traditional Calls? ➜

Final thoughts

Understanding how to forward calls on an iPhone can make your life much easier. Call forwarding is a fantastic tool whether you’re managing work, protecting your privacy, or simply can’t answer your phone. We’ve explored the straightforward steps to set it up and even explored alternatives like VoIP services for those needing more. 

Remember, staying connected is effortless, whether using traditional forwarding or considering services like VoIP phone numbers for international travel. So, try mastering call forwarding on your iPhone; it might just be the game-changer you need.


How much does Call Forwarding cost?

If your phone plan doesn’t give you unlimited minutes, you’ll have to pay for all the calls that get forwarded, just like your regular calls. This means you pay the same way as if you took the call on your mobile, even if you send the calls to a home phone.

Will a caller know that I’ve forwarded their call?

Most of the time, the person calling you won’t realize you’ve forwarded the call. There might be a short wait before the call connects.

Can I forward calls to any number?

Yes, depending on your carrier’s policies and phone plan, you can forward calls to almost any number, including local, long-distance, and even international.

Does call forwarding work if my phone is turned off or out of battery?

Yes, call forwarding works even if your phone is off or out of battery because the forwarding setting is managed by your network carrier, not your phone.


Khalid Ali

Khalid is a versatile analyst honing his expertise for the past 5 years. With certifications from Google and IBM to back him up, his knowledge extends far beyond the routine coverage of the latest trends and in the industry.