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Our linked mobile phone is not ringing when our Google Voice number is called. Help! 0 Recommended Answers 9 Replies 1 Upvote
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For years our linked mobile phone(s) would ring when our Google Voice number was called. Now we have a single mobile phone (one of the Devices) set to receive calls, and that phone won't ring. We've turned Do Not Disturb on a off in the Google Voice app. Help!
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Hi Marv Zauderer
Thanks for posting in the user moderated Google Voice Community Forum
Please validate the following,  from a computer:
  1. On your computer, open Google Voice.
  2. At the top left, click Menu Menu and then Legacy Google Voice. Google Voice will look different, but you're in the right place.
  3. At the top right, click Settings Settings and then Settings.
  4. Click the "Phones" tab.
  5. Make sure your "Forwards calls to:" phone is selected.
  6. Then click the "Edit" button under the phone number
  7. Change the phone type to "Mobile"
  8. Save the setting change.  
Then go back to settings
  1. On your computer, go to voice.google.com.
  2. At the top right, click Settings Settings.
  3. On the left, click Calls.
  4. Under Incoming calls, change where you get calls:
    • Change which devices get calls: Under My devices, turn them on.
    • Change which numbers get forwarded calls: Under Call forwarding, turn then on.
  5. On the left, click Messages.
  6. Turn on the forwarding you want:
    • Forward messages to linked numbers—Next to the linked numbers, check the box.

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Thank you so much. One question: you say in the second part, #4, to change which devices get calls and to change which numbers get forwarded calls. What is the difference between a call and a forwarded call?
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Hi Marv Zauderer

My devices lists all the devices that you potentially would answer calls on, either as a forwarded call (linked carrier number) or using the GV app. It is prefered to use the GV app instead of forwarding calls to the carrier number, unless the linked number is for a landline or similar.
Call forwarding would be your linked numbers that you forward calls to.
On your mobile device, using the GV app, check "Devices and numbers"  and also "Call forwarding".
You should also check "Missed Call Notifications"  to be sure those are also enabled.
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I'm sorry, I still don't understand.

We have a Google Voice number. We want that to ring on one of several mobile phones. Sometimes on one phone, sometimes on another. So we have all those mobile phones as Devices. When we want a mobile phone to ring, we turn it on in the Devices section, and turn the others off. 

So then what is a forwarded call? The procedure above already rings the correct mobile phone when the Google Voice number is called, why would we also need to forward calls?
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Hi Marv Zauderer
"The procedure above already rings the correct mobile phone when the Google Voice number is called, why would we also need to forward calls?"   you do not. Stick to what is working for you.  I do not forward any calls to my carrier number. I use the GV app on my mobile devices that I want to receive calls on. If that also works for you then keep doing it.
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We don't use the app to receive calls. The Google Voice number is forwarded to the carrier number and it rings the phone as if someone were calling it directly. So I still don't understand the difference between a device that gets calls (turning the device on) and a number that gets a forwarded call (call forwarding is turned on).
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Baldy already explained the difference, but here it is:
Google Voice added comprehensive VoIP (Internet calling) support, native to the service, not requiring Hangouts.  This has expanded the usefulness of the service, but it has also added some complexity to the settings.
When someone calls your inbound Google Voice phone number, Google Voice can do one of two things:
  1. The "classic" or original method, was to forward that call, over the ordinary public switched telephone network (PSTN) as a regular telephone call.  You "linked" up to six 10-digit US phone numbers, and you controlled which of those phones would receive calls forwarded by your Google Voice numbers.  This method still works as it did in the past.
  2. The new method uses SIP VoIP.  Google Voice can directly ring SIP clients on:
    • The Google Voice desktop website (User Interface, or UI), running on Firefox or Google Chrome browsers, which have built-in SIP clients
    • Android devices, using the Google Voice app
    • iOS devices using the Google Voice app
    • Poly OBiTALK devices
When using the app clients, the system can be set to intelligently prefer the VoIP method over WiFi, 4G or Ethernet.  If a stable VoIP connection can't be established, it will defer to the standard linked number method over the PSTN.
Now, back to your original post.  If you are using PSTN forwarding (without the app), and a forwarding phone doesn't ring, then you have a problem with the configuration of that forwarding phone number, OR  you have some other forwarding number enabled, that is grabbing the calls before the desired phone can answer.  When using PSTN forwarding, you must use each forwarding phone's carrier Conditional Call Forwarding system to send busy or unanswered calls back to your Google Voice number.  If your phone's carrier doesn't support CCF, or you didn't enable it, then failures like this will occur.
Last edited 10/23/19
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Aha. So if I'm understanding you, what this tells me is that we can keep doing what we were doing -- having a list of linked numbers, and simply turning one of those numbers on from the app to get that number to ring when the Google Voice number is called ("turn on the devices you want to answer calls on"). We do not have to also turn on the linked numbers we want to FORWARD calls to.

I see that the confusion was added to by the fact that the Google Voice app on my phone has a different interface than voice.google.com. The app has a single choice: "Forward calls to linked numbers." Voice.google.com has "turn on the devices you want to answer calls on" AND "turn on the linked numbers you want to forward calls to."
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You are getting confused by the terminology.  The overall concept I explained in my post above was the correct answer.  

Consider the overall concept:  two different ways that Google Voice can send calls to other destinations:
  1. Google Voice can act as a SIP VoIP server.  The Google Voice website on Firefox or Chrome, or the Android or iOS apps, or OBiTALK devices, all act as SIP VoIP clients, which can be set to ring when you receive an inbound GV call.
  2. Google Voice can forward calls over the conventional telephone network (PSTN).  These are ordinary telephone calls that can be forwarded to land line or mobile phone numbers.
The confusion is created by the way #1 above works.  If you're using that method, you are, by default, not forwarding calls to a linked number; you are ringing connected VoIP clients directly.  However, if a reliable (strong enough to support a call with decent audio quality) data connection isn't available, Google Voice will automatically revert to forwarding calls via #2 above.

When you look at the mobile app on a smartphone, there are two different sections with seemingly redundant information.  The "Devices and numbers" section will show two or three subsections:  If you've verified this smartphone's own telephone number, then you will see "This Device".  Then, you'll see "Other devices", which lists all of the SIP VoIP clients you've added, including the website, Android and iOS app clients and OBiTALK devices.  Finally, it will list "Linked numbers", which are the PSTN numbers you have verified, including dumb cell phones and/or land lines.  This section does NOT control forwarding.

Below that is a separate section labeled "CALLS".  This section controls ringing or not ringing to all of the VoIP clients AND to the PSTN forwarding numbers.  This is where you can enable or disable the ring-to behavior.
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