Receiving a phone call in Gmail

In addition to calling a phone number in Gmail, you can also receive calls if you have a Google Voice account. If you already have a Google Voice account, it must use the same username as the Gmail account that you wish to receive calls in. If you aren't a Google Voice user yet, you can upgrade free of charge if you are in the United States.

To receive calls in Gmail:

  1. Make at least one outbound call from Gmail.
  2. In Google Voice, navigate to Settings under the gear icon.
  3. In the Phones tab, click the checkbox next to Google Chat.

If you wish to edit the settings for this forwarding phone, click the Edit button. You can disable Gmail as a forwarding phone simply by unticking the box next to Google Chat.

When you receive a call in Gmail, a call window will appear with a ringtone. If you cannot hear the ringtone, please check to make sure that your sound is not muted. To accept the call, simply press the Answer button. You can ignore a call by clicking the Ignore button.

Currently, users outside the US cannot upgrade to a full Google Voice account and cannot receive phone calls in Gmail.

Call screening

You can screen calls you receive in Gmail by clicking the screen button. Doing so will allow you to listen to the caller as they leave you a voicemail. If you wish to interrupt and actually answer the call, simply click the Answer button.

Switching phones

Additionally, once you are in a call, you can switch the Google Voice forwarding phone that you are using to talk, during the call, by pressing the * key. For example, if you answer your call in Gmail and wish to switch to your mobile forwarding number, pressing * will cause your mobile forwarding phone to ring for you to complete the call.

Megan is a Google Chat expert and author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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