How To Set Up Call Forwarding Unconditionally in 2024

Man Forwarding Calls While in A Busy Environment

In the fast-paced world of 2024, staying connected is more important than ever, and managing your phone calls effectively can be a game changer for both personal and professional communication. One of the most useful features in this regard is call forwarding, a service that allows you to redirect incoming phone calls to another number. This capability ensures that you never miss an important call, whether you’re away from your desk, on the move, or simply unable to answer. While there are various types of call forwarding options, one particularly efficient method is call forwarding unconditionally. This approach guarantees that all incoming calls are automatically redirected, without the need for the original number to ring first.

But before we delve into the specifics of setting up call forwarding unconditionally, it’s crucial to understand the basics of what call forwarding is and how it can be a vital tool in our communication arsenal.

Call Forwarding 101

images of a modern smartphone displaying the call forwarding feature

Call forwarding is a telephone service feature that allows incoming calls to be redirected from the original intended receiving phone number to a different number. This service is particularly useful in various scenarios, such as when the primary phone user is unavailable, in a different location, or wishes to manage calls more efficiently. Here are some key aspects of call forwarding:

  1. Types of Call Forwarding:
    • Unconditional Call Forwarding: All incoming calls are immediately forwarded to the designated number, without ringing on the original phone.
    • Conditional Call Forwarding: Calls are forwarded only under specific conditions, such as when the phone is busy, not answered after a certain number of rings, or when the phone is out of reach or switched off.
  2. Uses and Benefits:
    • Professional Settings: Enables businesses to redirect calls to an available representative or a central customer service number.
    • Personal Convenience: Allows individuals to forward calls to another number when they are unavailable or prefer not to be disturbed.
    • Continuity: Ensures that important calls are not missed when traveling, during meetings, or in areas with poor reception.
  3. Setting Up Call Forwarding:
    • The process for setting up call forwarding varies depending on the service provider and the type of phone (landline, VoIP, cellular).
    • Generally, it involves entering a specific code or adjusting settings on a smartphone or through the service provider’s website or customer service.
  4. Variations and Customizations:
    • Some services offer advanced features like forwarding calls to multiple numbers or to voicemail.
    • Customizations can include setting call forwarding for specific times of day or for selected contacts.

Call forwarding is a versatile feature that can be tailored to suit various needs, enhancing both accessibility and convenience in communication.

The Three Types of Call Forwarding

There are three primary types of call forwarding, each serving a different purpose based on specific conditions or scenarios. Here’s a brief explanation of each:

  1. Unconditional Call Forwarding (Immediate Call Forwarding)
    • Description: This type of call forwarding is the most straightforward. All incoming calls to your number are immediately forwarded to another specified number, without the original phone ever ringing.
    • Use Case: It’s useful when you know you won’t be available to answer your phone for an extended period, such as during a vacation or an important meeting, and you want all calls to be directly routed to another number, like your office phone or a colleague’s number.
  2. Conditional Call Forwarding
    • This category can be further broken down into three sub-types:
      • No Answer Call Forwarding: If you don’t answer the incoming call after a certain number of rings, the call is then forwarded to a different number.
      • Busy Call Forwarding: When your line is busy (you’re on another call), incoming calls are forwarded to another number.
      • Unreachable (Fail-safe) Call Forwarding: If your phone is turned off, out of range, or experiencing connectivity issues, incoming calls are forwarded to a designated number.
    • Use Case: These options are beneficial for managing calls during busy work hours or in areas with inconsistent network coverage. They ensure that calls are not missed but are redirected based on specific situational needs.
  3. Call Forwarding on Demand (Selective Call Forwarding)
    • Description: This type allows you to select specific numbers to be forwarded when they call you. Calls from all other numbers will ring through as normal.
    • Use Case: It’s useful when you’re expecting important calls from certain numbers (like a family member or key clients) and want to ensure their calls are prioritized, perhaps by forwarding them to your personal cell phone while all other calls go to your office phone or voicemail.

Each type of call forwarding is designed to cater to different needs, offering flexibility and control over how incoming calls are handled. The availability and specific implementation of these services can vary based on the phone service provider.

How To Forward Your Calls to Another Number

Forwarding calls from your phone to another number is a common feature offered by most phone services, and the process can vary slightly depending on your service provider and the type of phone you are using. Here are the general steps for forwarding calls from Android phones and iPhone devices:

For Android Phones:

  1. Open the Phone App: Start by opening the phone app, the same one you use to make calls.
  2. Access Settings: Look for a settings icon or option within the app. This is often represented by three dots or lines.
  3. Select Call Settings: Once in settings, find an option that says ‘Calls’ or ‘Call Settings’.
  4. Find Call Forwarding: Look for an option labeled ‘Call Forwarding’, ‘Call Divert’, or something similar.
  5. Enter the Number: You will be prompted to enter the phone number where you want your calls forwarded.
  6. Activate Call Forwarding: Follow the prompts to activate call forwarding. This might involve selecting a specific type of forwarding, like ‘Always forward’, ‘Forward when busy’, etc.

For iPhones:

  1. Open Settings App: Go to your iPhone’s settings app.
  2. Select Phone: Scroll down and select ‘Phone’.
  3. Tap on Call Forwarding: Find and tap the ‘Call Forwarding’ option.
  4. Enable Call Forwarding: Toggle the ‘Call Forwarding’ option to on.
  5. Enter the Number: Enter the phone number to which you want your calls forwarded.
  6. Save Settings: Make sure your settings are saved before exiting.

Important Notes:

  • Service Provider Specifics: Some service providers have specific codes you can dial to set up call forwarding. Check with your provider for these codes.
  • Charges: Be aware that call forwarding might incur additional charges, especially if the forwarded calls are long-distance.
  • Testing: It’s a good idea to test the call forwarding to make sure it’s working as intended.

For Landlines:

If you’re using a landline, the process will vary depending on the service provider. Generally, you would lift the receiver, wait for the dial tone, and then dial a specific code followed by the number to which you want calls forwarded. Check with your landline provider for the exact steps.

Remember, these steps can vary slightly based on your phone model and service provider, so it’s a good idea to consult your provider’s website or customer service for specific instructions tailored to your service.

What is Call Forwarding Unconditionally?

Call Forwarding Unconditionally, often referred to as Unconditional Call Forwarding, is a feature in telephone services that allows all incoming calls to a particular number to be automatically redirected to another specified phone number, without the original phone ringing at all. This type of call forwarding is absolute and indiscriminate, meaning it applies to every incoming call, regardless of the caller’s identity or the time of the call.

Call Forwarding Vs Call Forwarding Unconditionally -What’s The Difference?

Call Forwarding and Call Forwarding Unconditionally are related features, but they have a key difference in how and when calls are redirected:

  1. Call Forwarding (Conditional Call Forwarding):
    • This is a broader term encompassing various types of call forwarding based on specific conditions.
    • It includes forwarding calls when the line is busy (Busy Call Forwarding), when there is no answer (No Answer Call Forwarding), or when the phone is unreachable (Unreachable Call Forwarding).
    • Calls are only forwarded under these specified conditions; otherwise, they ring through to the original number as usual.
  2. Call Forwarding Unconditionally:
    • This refers specifically to forwarding all incoming calls immediately, without the original phone ringing at all, regardless of the situation.
    • There are no conditions attached; every call is automatically redirected to the predetermined number.
    • This type of call forwarding takes precedence over other types and is typically used when the phone owner is certain they won’t be available to answer any calls.

In summary, while standard Call Forwarding is conditional and only redirects calls based on set scenarios (like busy, no answer, or unreachable), Call Forwarding Unconditionally is absolute and redirects all calls without exception.

When to Use Unconditional Call Forwarding

Unconditional Call Forwarding is best used in situations where you know in advance that you won’t be able to answer your phone, and you want all incoming calls to be automatically redirected to another number. Here are 3 common scenarios for its use:

  1. Extended Unavailability: If you’re in a meeting, on a flight, or in any situation where you can’t answer your phone for an extended period.
  2. Traveling Abroad: To avoid international roaming charges or when traveling to areas with poor network coverage, you can forward calls to a local number or voicemail.
  3. Device Issues: If your primary phone is lost, broken, or undergoing repair, ensuring you don’t miss calls during this time.

Unconditional Call Forwarding is a powerful tool for managing your availability and ensuring important calls are not missed, but it should be used judiciously since it redirects all calls without discrimination.


Q: What does *# 21 call forwarding unconditional mean?

A: The term “*#21” is related to a specific feature used in mobile phones and telephone systems known as “Call Forwarding Unconditional” (CFU). Here’s what it means:

  1. Call Forwarding Unconditional (CFU): This is a telephony feature that allows an incoming call to a particular number to be redirected to a different number chosen by the user. The ‘unconditional’ part means that the forwarding happens regardless of any other conditions – it’s absolute. That is, every call to the original number gets forwarded, without the original number ringing or checking if it’s busy or not.
  2. The Code “*#21”: This specific code is typically used to check the status of ‘Unconditional Call Forwarding’ on a phone line. When you dial this code on your phone, it generally tells you whether this feature is activated or deactivated on your phone line. The exact functioning might vary depending on your mobile carrier or the country you are in.

In essence, by dialing *#21, you are inquiring whether all your calls are currently being forwarded to another number unconditionally.

Q: Why is my phone showing call forwarding on conditional?

A: If your phone is showing “Call Forwarding on Conditional,” it means that call forwarding has been set up under certain specific conditions. These conditions can vary, but they typically include scenarios such as when your phone is busy, when you don’t answer, or when you can’t be reached (for example, if your phone is turned off or out of network coverage).

Q: How do I turn off unconditional call forwarding?

A: To turn off unconditional call forwarding on your phone, you typically need to use a specific code, which can depend on your mobile carrier and the region you’re in. However, the most commonly used universal code for deactivating unconditional call forwarding is ##21#. Here’s a general guide on how to do it:

  1. Enter the Code: Open your phone’s dialer app and enter ##21#.
  2. Call the Code: Press the call button as if you’re making a call. This sends the deactivation request to your network provider.
  3. Confirmation: After a few seconds, you should receive a message confirming that call forwarding has been deactivated. If you don’t get a confirmation, or if you receive an error message, it’s a good idea to contact your carrier for assistance.

Remember, these steps are quite standard, but they can vary slightly based on your carrier or the make and model of your phone. If ##21# doesn’t work, you should check with your carrier for the correct code or look into your phone’s settings menu, as some smartphones allow you to control call forwarding directly from the settings.

If you’re using an iPhone:

  • Go to Settings > Phone > Call Forwarding and toggle it off.

For Android:

  • Go to the Phone app, tap the Menu (three dots or lines), then Settings > Calls > Call Forwarding, and then disable it.

Always make sure to follow up with a test call to ensure that the setting has been successfully changed.

Q: Does * 73 disable call forwarding?

A: Generally speaking, yes, the code *73 is commonly used to deactivate call forwarding on many phone services, particularly in North America. When you dial *73 from your phone and then press the call button, it should cancel all forms of call forwarding that have been set up on your line. This includes conditional call forwarding (like forwarding when busy, when no answer, or when unreachable).

However, it’s important to note a few things:

  1. Carrier Specific: The effectiveness of this code can depend on your specific carrier and your region. While *73 is a standard deactivation code for many carriers, some might use different codes.
  2. Type of Call Forwarding: This code typically deactivates all types of call forwarding. If you only want to deactivate a specific type of forwarding (e.g., when no answer), you might need to use a different code.
  3. Confirmation: After dialing *73, you should receive a confirmation message or tone indicating that call forwarding has been deactivated. If you don’t get such confirmation, or if you receive an error, it’s advisable to contact your carrier.
  4. Check Your Settings: If you’re not sure whether call forwarding is active, you can usually check this in your phone’s settings or by using a status check code (like *#21#).
  5. Smartphone Settings: In addition to carrier codes, some smartphones allow you to manage call forwarding through their settings menu.

If you’re unsure about the correct code or procedure for your specific situation, it’s always a good idea to check with your mobile carrier or refer to the user manual for your phone.

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