What Is Google Voice?

One number no matter how many phones you use

Google Voice is an internet-based service that gives your contacts one voice number and forwards calls to multiple phones—landline or mobile—that you specify. You can also use Google Voice on a computer. So, as you change service providers, jobs, or homes, your phone number stays the same for people who try to reach you.

Google Voice screens calls, blocks numbers, and applies rules to each caller. When you receive a voicemail message, Google Voice transcribes it and sends you an email or text message alert.

Get Started With Google Voice

To sign up for Google Voice, you need a Google account and a U.S.-based mobile or landline phone number. The exception is Google Fi, which enables your Google Voice number to become your regular number.

Google Voice



Google Voice accounts are free. The only actions Google charges for are making international calls and changing your Google Voice phone number after you create your account.

Find a Number and Verify Phones

Google Voice lets you select a phone number from the available pool. Many carriers have the option of using the number they assigned to you as your Google Voice number. Doing so means you lose a few Google Voice features.

Once you have a Google Voice number, set up and verify the numbers you want it to ring. Be aware that Google won't let you:

  • Input phone numbers that you don't have access to.
  • Forward to the same number on multiple Google Voice accounts.
  • Use Google Voice without at least one verified phone number on record.

How to Make Calls

To make calls through your Google Voice account, access the website. It dials both your phone and the number you're trying to reach and connects the two.

You can also use the Google Voice phone app to dial directly.

Make International Calls

You can only forward Google Voice calls to U.S. numbers. However, you can use the service to make and receive international calls for free or cheap, depending on who makes the call and where it originates. Purchase credits through Google, and use the Google Voice website or the mobile app to make your call.

How to Forward Calls

You can forward your calls to multiple numbers at the same time. This feature is handy if, for example, you want your home landline number and your mobile number to ring when someone calls you. You can also set numbers to ring during certain times of the day. For example, you may want your work number to ring between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, while in the evening and on weekends, you want it to be your mobile number.

Google Voice used to forward SMS text messages. However, it removed the feature to avoid issues with spamming. The messages still show up in your email if you turned on email forwarding and in the Google Voice app, but they don't appear in your text app.

Use Voicemail

Receiving a voice call forwarded from Google Voice is similar to receiving one on your mobile phone. Choose to either answer the call or send it directly to voicemail. New callers are asked to state their names. Then, you decide how to handle the call.

You can also choose to set specific numbers to always go directly to voicemail.

You set a voicemail greeting with Google Voice. When you receive a voicemail message, you can play it back, view the transcription, or do both. You can view the message on the website or in the Google Voice phone app.

Use the Phone App

With the Google Voice app, you can use the service for visual voice mail. You can also use Google Voice as your outgoing phone number on your mobile phone, so anyone you call sees your Google Voice number in their caller ID.

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