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How we can set [formerly 3, back to] 2 Google Voice Numbers to forward to our cell phones

Three is better than two and two is better than one, but only if you have one to account for all three - [until you break your settings].

June 19, 2016.Finn.1 Like.14 Comments
Home/Blog/Google/How we set [formerly 3, back to] 2 Google Voice Numbers to forward to our cell phone

The solution that worked for us

Google Voice >> Settings >> “Forwards calls to:” [Pick your number] >> Edit >> “Phone Type:” drop down: Select one phone type for this Google Voice and set a different phone type for your phone number in the other Google Voice account. You have up to three phone types to use. Use them wisely.

The reason we have multiple Google Voice numbers

I just set up an another Google Voice number for Katie and I. It’s to help with family because we’re on the road a lot and spend parts of the year in three different states – not including pleasure trips. Already we have our original cell phone numbers. Katie also has a work phone number. We share a Google Voice number with a 925 area code for all the local things we do in Bay Area. This first Google Voice number acts as our “house line.”

I was in the process of setting this additional number for family when I got a message in my email saying:

“Dear Nat Finn,

“Please note that the forwarding number (***) ***-**** was deleted from your Google Voice account (usemycontactform@insteadofthis.comical) because it was claimed and verified by another Google Voice user.

“If you still want this forwarding number on your account and believe this was an error, please click here to learn more.
“The Google Voice Team”

So I did what I normally do during a SNAFU: I swore. I wrote a whiny email to Katie because she was asleep. Then I grumbled, bitched, ate popcorn, grumbled, and went, “hey, maybe I should Google this and see if there’s a solution.”

Here’s what I found.

You can have up to three Google Voice Numbers forward to your cell phone. The trick is to set a different Phone Type for each one.

Google provides three phone types:

  1. Mobile
  2. Work
  3. Home

I guess work comes first.

What I did wrong

I already set my phone type in our House Line to “Mobile.” It makes sense, being that it is my mobile phone. The problem was when I went to do it sell my phone type to “Mobile” again for this new account, I accidentally kicked my cell phone off our “House Line,” and I got the warning email.

What I did to fix it

I went back into this new Google Voice number and I set the phone type to “Home,” and validated it again.

Then I went and sent test calls and texts from both Google Voice numbers to make sure they still forwarded to my cell.

And, I’m in luck. They both work.

And, I still have one Google Voice number slot to play with.

Lucky days. Lucky days.

Update: 2016/07/30

I had a commenter ask if anyone had really done three before. At first I was about to delete it because the comment implied he hadn’t read the post. I had them running. I even called them that night to confirm I had the 3 forwarding to me.

Then my dumb ass got curious

I deleted my settings and tried them again. And I broke them. I can only get two now. It sucks, but the third one isn’t a, “answer the call right away,” so I have the gmail to that account forwarding all mail over to my primary accounts. So, in essence, it’s like 3. For that matter, you can stay up-to-date with as many Google numbers as you want if you don’t have to worry about answering the call right away. But it’s not 3 you can answer to right away. Not like how I had it. F***.

Note to self: next time, just set the test in a testing environment. Not one you have live.

Additional Sources on how to set multiple forwarding Google Voice numbers to your cell phone

I usually avoid as a praxis, but since they opened up that stupid login paywall so now everyone can read the indexed content, I’ve given their advice a chance. It worked. Check it out.

Google Product Forums

For a $20 fee you can port a second Google Voice number to your Google Voice account. It will be a permanent fix. One will be primary. One will be secondary. They note that you’ll also have to pay the $10 “change number” fee so it will end up being a $30 fee overall. But, still, way cheaper than paying the phone company more than that per month.

Now, about keeping my cool when things go stupid…grrr.

  • RG

    Hi, has anyone actually gotten this to work with THREE Google Voice numbers forwarding to the same phone? I can only get two to work.

    • natfinn


      I went to check my settings to make sure they were working. They were. I was getting calls from them.

      Then I deleted them and tried again just to make sure that I still can. Now I’m getting the “only 2,” pop-up I didn’t get before. I have them all set with different types. I even switched the names on them.

      The “mobile” one is not jacking shit up.

      So now, at the moment, I have 3 phone numbers forwarding, but only 2 can forward to the phone. The third one, which isn’t used much, now has the calls forwarding to the email on that account, which forwards over to one of the emails I predominately use. So, I get notified, but I can’t receive calls traditionally from all three.

      That’s what I get for breaking shit.

      I guess it still works. Not ideally or the way I had it, but it’s a start. And, if I really, really wanted to, I guess I could do many, many more numbers that way – but I have no need for that.

  • voicebox

    OK…I am a dummy. I have a cell phone number. I would like 5 other phone numbers forwarded to that cell phone. I just read about google voice. I don’t care if any of the phones ring right away – meaning, I am fine if they all go to 6 separate voice mails as long as I know which number they called and I can call them back on that particular number. If I read your post correctly, I could have 5 google voice accounts which would give me 5 google voice numbers. Since my original cell phone is the “Mobile”, then the two of the five GV numbers would be marked Home and Work. What would the other 3 numbers be marked as? Will each of the 6 numbers be able to set up it’s own voice mail – even if they all go into one box? Will I be able to call back from the number the person call on? I am doing a personal little dating experiment. I really really appreciate your help!

    • natfinn

      Dating experiment? For a website or for personal life?

  • Locust Gee

    I don’t think this works any more with the latest GV update.
    Whether on the web dashboard settings or app settings – there are no options that I can see which we can use to specify the number type (Home, Mobile or Work) to link to ONE mobile phone number anymore.

    Am I mistaken?

    • natfinn

      It does look like they changed the format. There’s still access to the legacy Google Voice.

      I’m afraid to break my setup anymore. If I get time at the end of the month, I’ll set up some new ones and see what I can do to the new interface.

      • Mike_Rob

        Yeah, you can still use this method if you switch the Legacy mode in Google Voice. Once you follow this method, you can then switch back to the normal Google Voice mode.

        • Dr. Paul

          I just tried this and it didn’t work. I have 3 forwarding numbers on the original account, is this what is making it not work?

    • Melissa St.Laurent Pieterse

      Yes – I am seeing the same issue. So it seems it can no longer forward to 2 phones?

    • Pololoq

      Click delete under the google voice number.
      Hit the the settings button under your number.
      There you’ll find the drop down menu.

      Found this by accident while trying to do the opposite since I was stupid enough to get my cellphone number hijacked by another google voice account.

  • Joshua Price

    You can do a temporary forwarding number as long as you have a permenant number to verify with..
    IE You call into the google voice number, press * to enter the voicemail box, enter your pin + #, it will then ask for a number on your account, enter it and press #.. Then press 4 for temporary settings. Press the button to add a temporary number.. It will then ring that number too.

  • RG

    Me again…sorry my question messed things up for you. Now that the new version of the GV app allows multiple simultaneous logins (just like the Gmail app), has anyone been able to login with more than two accounts (ie, have 3+ GV numbers ring the same cell phone). Currently I am logged in with two accounts.

    • natfinn

      Check out @disqus_bWQ5HXyTlR:disqus ‘s comment below. He’s got a possibility.

      • Joshua Price

        Been working for me with no problems using my method… I had to do the temp number again after 60 days but so far it works…

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