If there’s one thing that every consumer can agree on, it’s that businesses should answer the phone. Getting greeted with a busy signal or put on hold is always a frustrating experience for callers who need help. Trust us: No one is happily humming along to the hold music on your landline phone system.

The good news is that avoiding missed calls can be as simple as using the call forwarding option on your landline — and the even better news is that there’s a simpler way to forward calls using virtual phone numbers. Here’s what you need to know about how to forward a landline to a cell phone and how you can make the process even easier.

How to forward a landline to a cell phone

Using the call forwarding feature on your landline, you can reroute your calls to your cell phone number in four simple steps. Keep in mind that the exact process can vary depending on your desk phone model.

  1. Dial *72.
  2. Type in the 10-digit phone number that you want to receive your forwarded calls.
  3. Press pound (#).
  4. Wait for a confirmation tone before hanging up.

To stop call forwarding and take calls on your landline again, dial *73 and wait for the confirmation tone once again.

If you’ve used a home phone since before 2006, when mobile phone usage began to surpass landlines, this is the same process you might have used to forward a personal landline phone call in the past.

A better alternative to call forwarding 

Call forwarding shouldn’t have to happen every time you step away from your desk. If you want to limit your occasions for forwarding calls to the times you’re actually busy — like when you’re relaxing on vacation or in an important meeting — it may be ideal to ditch your landline altogether.

Instead of learning how to forward a landline to a cell phone, consider using a virtual phone service to take your calls from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

When you aren’t available to answer calls no matter which device is ringing, follow these steps to set up call forwarding on OpenPhone on the web or desktop app:

  1. Tap “Settings” from the left-hand menu.
  2. Click “Phone Numbers” under “Workspace.”
  3. Select the phone number you want to set up for call forwarding.
How to forward a landline to a cell phone: OpenPhone phone numbers settings
  1. Click “Setup” next to “Forward all incoming calls.”
  2. Input the number you want to forward calls to, then click “Forward.”

If you want to enable call forwarding from OpenPhone’s iPhone or Android app instead, follow these steps:

How to forward a landline to a cell phone: OpenPhone Call Forwarding GIF
  1. Tap on your account image in the upper-left corner.
  2. Tap “Manage” next to “Your numbers.”
  3. Select the phone number you want to set up for call forwarding.
  4. Press “Call Forwarding.”
  5. Input the number you want to forward calls to, then tap “Save.”

Please note we only support forwarding to US or Canadian numbers.

When you’re ready to stop forwarding calls, use your web or desktop app to enter your phone number’s settings, then click “Stop” next to “Forward Calls.” Or, from your smartphone app, simply delete the number from your “Call Forwarding” section and tap “Save.” It’s much more intuitive than memorizing random numbers to dial on a landline.

Using a virtual number will save you the hassle of unnecessary call forwarding since you can access your number from anywhere that has WiFi — no need to forward calls just to refill your water. You can also benefit from these perks:

Text from your virtual number

Unlike landlines, most virtual phone systems double as text messaging services. OpenPhone supports both SMS and MMS messages, so you can send anything from text and images to videos and GIFs. Plus, you can even automate texts and save text message templates to speed up your communication.

Use shared numbers when you’re away

Looking to have someone on your team take your calls while you’re off? No problem. With OpenPhone, you can share business phone numbers with other members of your team, so you can help each other field incoming calls and messages whether or not you’re available to work.

When a caller dials your shared number, the app will ring for everyone, allowing the first available person to pick up the phone. That way, you never miss an important call.

How to forward a landline to a cell phone: OpenPhone chatbox

When you receive a text, anyone can respond — even if you’re picking up a conversation on a team member’s behalf. Plus, you’ll see who’s typing so you never accidentally double text a client.

Integrate your phone with Slack

OpenPhone integrated with Slack

Virtual numbers can integrate with a handful of popular business tools. When no one’s available to answer the phone you’re forwarding calls to, you can still get voicemail transcriptions, incoming text messages, and missed call notifications on Slack or through email. This way, you can follow up ASAP instead of leaving clients with no answers.

6 key benefits of virtual phone systems

Avoiding the hassle of remembering how to forward a landline to a cell phone isn’t the only benefit of switching to a virtual number. Here are six benefits of using virtual telephone numbers for your business.

1. Make calls with your existing hardware

Virtual phone systems are simple and affordable to set up. Once you subscribe to a provider and download their app, you can use your phone number from any compatible device, anywhere you can get internet service. You don’t need extra hardware, so your employees can even use their own smartphones or laptops.

2. Separate business from personal

There’s nothing worse than getting business calls on your mobile device after work and not being able to do anything about it. VoIP systems allow you to have two phone numbers on one phone, so you can easily distinguish between incoming personal and business calls. Plus, you can keep your home phone number private and exclusively use your business phone line for work.

3. Add phone numbers with ease

OpenPhone phone numbers

As your team grows, you can add as many numbers as you need to help your business scale. On OpenPhone, all you need to do is open your web app, click “Phone Numbers” from your settings, and select “+ Add a new number” to select your new digits.

You can choose phone numbers with different area codes to enter new markets or even claim a toll-free number to give your business a global presence.

Or, you can assign different numbers to different departments (like sales and customer support), so your team members only get relevant calls and texts.

4. Share responsibility for incoming calls

Call forwarding may not even be necessary if you’re using a virtual phone system that supports shared numbers. OpenPhone allows you to assign multiple team members to each phone number, so no communication goes unanswered and you provide the best customer experience possible.

5. Instantly route calls with an automated phone menu

If you don’t want to manually route calls meant for other team members, you can set up a phone menu for every virtual number to let callers route themselves. Phone menus are simpler to configure on VoIP systems than on landlines. All you need to do is add a greeting message for callers and phone menu options.

6. Streamline your communication workflows

Taking advantage of the call forwarding service on your virtual phone system isn’t the only way you can improve the customer experience. You can also speed up your response times by using:

  • Integrations with business tools like email, Slack, and HubSpot, so you don’t have to endlessly jump back and forth between platforms for the proper context
  • Text message auto-replies, which empower you to set clear expectations with your customers when your team is busy or away
  • Text message templates (or snippets), which allow you to respond to common questions by tapping on a pre-saved message

How to port your landline number to OpenPhone

Switching to a virtual number is a quick and painless process, as it should be. You can port your landline phone number to OpenPhone in two simple steps:

  1. Tell your landline service provider you’ll be porting out.
  2. Complete our phone number porting form in the OpenPhone app. It only takes a few minutes, but it’s helpful to have your account number, account PIN, landline number, and latest phone bill or invoice ready.

Once complete, OpenPhone will soon inform you of your porting date and time. After the port is complete, you’re all set to cancel service with your landline provider — just avoid doing so before your virtual number’s activation to avoid service interruption.

Simplify call forwarding with OpenPhone

OpenPhone mobile and desktop app

Learning how to forward a landline to a cell phone is a great way to minimize missed calls and improve the customer experience. Switching to a virtual phone system is even better.

When you port your landline number to OpenPhone, you can take calls from anywhere you prefer (or have someone on your team field calls instead) by eliminating the need to forward calls altogether. You can use your virtual number anywhere with internet service instead of being tied to your desk.

However, simple call forwarding is only one perk of using OpenPhone. You can also save on hardware expenses, add phone numbers in just a few steps, and streamline communications with a phone menu, integrations, shared numbers, or automations. Start your free trial of OpenPhone today.

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Author

Emily is a freelance business and marketing writer based in the desert, though her writing is anything but dry. Her passion is writing compelling, human-friendly content that helps growing businesses perform better.

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