Forward Your iPhone VoiceMail to Your Google Voice

One Voicemail To Rule Them All! – Gone are the days of checking multiple voicemails.

For years now I have used, originally named Simulscribe to transcribe my voicemails. Up until Google recently updated their transcription service Phonetag.Com had them beat hands down. It was also easier to use Phonetag because they were a voicemail service and not a new phone number. I was a lucky early beta adopter of the Google Voice service and actually really like it. I use my Google Voice phone number, but mostly as a message line. With recent updates Google Voice has made plus the Google Chrome plugin that makes it really easy to access your voicemails, I have wanted to make Google Voice my primary Voicemail line, so here is how I did it.

I have an iPhone and a Google Nexus One Phone. The Nexus One is easy to set up for use with Google Voice. There is a setting right in the phone, you switch it on and it’s good to go. With the iPhone it is a bit more challenging.

To set up your iPhone to forward all voicemails directly to Google Voice with out using additional minutes or data you will need to do the following.

Step 1:
On you iPhone (or any GSM-based phone), pull up the keypad and type the following, substituting 1234567890 with your 10-digit Google Voice/GrandCentral account:
To deactivate the forwarding and return to regular visual voicemail enter ##61# and hit call.

If you are on AT&T in the US then I suggest using these settings which will forward not only your regular voicemail but your busy voicemail as well (This is the option I use personally).
To deactivate the forwarding and return to regular visual voicemail enter ##004# and hit call.

Step 2:
Log in to your Google Voice account and turn on Do Not Disturb mode. You will want to do this so that when your iPhone forwards to your Google Voice after the typical five or so rings, it will not go through the five or so rings it would take Google Voice before the voicemail picked up. Do Not Disturb sends the incoming call directly to voicemail.

That’s it. All unanswered calls to your iPhone will instantly be dropped in to your Google Voice voicemail.

Tip: You will need to disable any linked phones you have set up on your Google Voice account. If you do not do this, the phone will ring 2-3 additional times before it goes to voicemail resulting in a total of 7-8 or more rings before the caller actually reaches voicemail.

The only problem is that this will make your Google Voice account nothing but a voicemail. Of course you can still use your Google Voice phone number, but if someone calls it, the call will go directly to voicemail.

If you still want access to your Google Voice number then I suggest you set up an additional Google Voice account and use that account for your voicemail. This could get a little confusing to set up and I don’t want to get into those details.

How to easily access your Google Voicemail on the iPhone:

Accessing your Google Voice voicemail is easy on the iPhone. There are two ways to do this.

First Option: Open Safari, go to, click on the “+” at the bottom menu in Safari, tap “Add to Home Screen”. Then click add. This will add a shortcut to your home screen that will launch Google Voice in Safari. On occasion you may need to use your password to re-enter Google Voice.

Second and Way Better Option: Use the VoiceCentral app. Because Apple is currently blocking native apps that work with services such as Google Voice there is a work around. Visit from your iPhone and choose the free version. The paid version removes ads and has a few minor feature additions but the free version will do you just fine. Once you install and set up this app you will be able to access your Google Voice with great ease. I really like the app and have been using it since they released it.

If you are using the Google Chrome browser on your Mac or PC computer there is a nifty plugin that will add your Google Voice voicemail and transcribed voicemails to an easy to access button. Being that I spend 75% of my day in a web browser it makes it much easier for me to access voicemail that way.

From what I understand, it is easy to forward your other phones to point voicemail to Google Voice as well. You can Google search your way to those answers as I do not have a land line to do testing on.

If you have any questions about Google Voice or how to use it with your devices feel free to comment me in the box below. I will answer your questions on my blog so that they are available for everybody to read should they have the same question.

One Voicemail To Rule Them All!


  • technologiez
    June 30, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Google Voice Service Takes Aim At Telephone Companies: It converts voice mails to text, and even better…nice article

  • One53largefish
    February 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Google now allows you to forward your voicemail to your Google number without setting it to “do not disturb” and no extra rings. Just click “Activate Google voicemail on this phone” in Settings > Phones in your Google Voice account.

  • Otiy
    March 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Jerad – Nice artice. I have used the GV forwarding for quite sometime. But now it seems AT&T / Apple have made some sort of fix to teh forwarding to GV. Now when someone calls my number and I don’t answer, the caller gets a recording saying “the number dialed is not in service” Anyone else getting this message?

    otiy at hotmail dot com

  • Jerad Hill
    April 3, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    The process I wrote about still works for me. You may need to reset everything and start over.

  • Alexis
    January 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    How can I forward old visual voicemails that I had prior to setting up google voice?

  • Russell Tanner
    January 11, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I’d like to know the same thing. My visual voicemail is full. Is there some way to have that forwarded to Google Voice?

  • jeradhill
    January 12, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Yes, if you have a Google Voice account and follow the instructions on how to set your voicemail to forward to Google Voice instead of Visual Voicemail you will not have to worry about your voicemail being full. This will bypass your visual voicemail and you will use Google Voice instead. You can download the Google Voice app for free to manage your voicemails.

  • Themarkodom
    February 1, 2012 at 9:26 am

    does not work on verizon mobile.  *61* is a dead end!

  • Jerad Hill
    February 13, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    You are correct, this would probably only work on AT&T. I will see if I can find a workaround for Verizon. I am sure there is one.

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