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 for free 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 on the checkbox next to Google Chat.

If you wish to edit the settings for this forwarding phone, click on 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 do not 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 on 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 that you receive in Gmail by clicking on 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 on the Answer button.

Switching phones

Additionally, once you are on a call you can switch the Google Voice forwarding phone you are using to talk right in the middle of 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.