What Is Call Forwarding? Learn How It Works And The Activation/ Deactivation Process

Video forwarded call meaning

Many telecom providers have upgraded to Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) services to provide better and uninterrupted calling to customers. However, there are times when the telecom service providers are faced with network outage or congestion due to the ever-growing number of users that are active at the same time. To overcome the issue, many users generally tend to rely on call forwarding to never miss out on their important calls.

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So what is call forwarding?

Call forwarding or call diversion is an interesting feature which allows users to redirect their phone calls to another phone number. When someone activates call forwarding on their phone, it means that they want their incoming calls on that particular phone number to be redirected to another phone number of their choice.

It is especially useful in instances of network problems and can be also used for a lot of other reasons. Let us take a look at the different types of services available within call forwarding and the various instances when you can use them.

How call forwarding works and different types of call forwarding

Always forward

When you need to be away from your work or family and do not want to miss out on important phone calls, you can activate this feature on your handset to forward all of your incoming calls to a number of your choice.

Call forward when busy

This service is helpful when you are waiting for an important call, but you still need to use your phone. It allows you to send your incoming calls to an alternate phone number as you are still using your line. What this means is activating this service will only forward the incoming calls to the designated number when you are busy talking on your phone.

Call forward when unanswered

When you are busy in a meeting or simply unable to answer your phone for any reasons, you may need to redirect that incoming call to another phone number. Only calls that you fail to answer will be forwarded.

Call forwarding when unreachable

This is one of the best parts about call forwarding as it also allows users to never miss any phone calls, even in cases of a network outage. If you activate this feature on your device, all your phone calls will be forwarded if you end up in an out of coverage zone or when your phone is switched off.

Also Read | How To Deactivate Call Forwarding In Airtel? Alternative Steps And How You Can Reactivate

Does the caller know that the call is being forwarded?

Since the caller is connected directly to the forwarding destination when they call the number, they may notice that their call is being forwarded. However, this is also dependant on telecom providers as they may play a message to the caller notifying that their call is being forwarded to another number.

In certain cases, service providers may also play a piece of music while the call is being set up. There could also be a change in the ring signal or a slight delay before ringing as the call forwarding process may generally take a few additional seconds.

How to activate call forwarding in India (same for all telecom carriers)

To forward or divert a call, you will need a handset that comes with a call forwarding function. Activating the call forwarding service can be done directly through your phone’s settings section. Note that this is the standard process to follow regardless of your telecom carrier.

  • Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Call’ > ‘Advanced settings’ > ‘Call forwarding’.

You simply head to your phone ‘Settings’ and navigate to ‘Call’. Now go to ‘Advanced settings’ and select ‘Call forwarding’. Most handsets come with this feature and allow you to activate call forwarding by following the above steps.

Once you enter ‘Call forwarding’, you will be able to see these four options, as explained above:

  1. Always forward
  2. Call forward when busy
  3. Call forward when unanswered, and
  4. Call forwarding when unreachable.

Select your preferred option and provide the phone number where you need to forward your incoming calls. Once you enter the phone number, the call forwarding feature automatically gets activated. However, in case you observe that your phone lacks this functionality or if you are unable to navigate, we have another easy process.

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An alternative way to activate call forwarding through call forwarding code

For users facing problems navigating through the above steps or unable to locate the function, their best option would be to use another method that works through the call forwarding code. You will need to dial a call forwarding code from your device and type the 10 digit phone number where you wish to forward the calls. Following are the different options available for activating call forwarding:

Call forwarding code for major telecom providers like Vodafone, Airtel, and Idea!

1. Call forwarding code for ‘Always Forward’:


2. Call forwarding code for ‘Unanswered’:


3. Call forwarding code for ‘Busy’:


4. Call forwarding code for ‘Not Reachable’:


How to deactivate call forwarding (Vodafone, Airtel, and Idea!)

  • To deactivate call forwarding when you phone is unanswered: ##61#
  • To deactivate call forwarding when your phone is not reachable: ##62#
  • To deactivate call forwarding when busy: ##67#
  • To deactivate all types of calls: ##21#

*Note that you need to dial the respective code as it is from the mobile number you wish to opt-out of and hit the call button. Alternatively, if you activated call forwarding through your phone settings, you can follow the same steps and clear the mobile number you have updated.

For Reliance Jio users looking to activate or deactivate the call forwarding service on their device, they can follow our detailed guide here.

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Image credits: Unsplash | Fezbot2000