by Al Sacco

RIM BlackBerry How To: Enable/Disable Call Forwarding

Nov 03, 20085 mins
Computers and PeripheralsConsumer ElectronicsData Center

Setting up call forwarding on your BlackBerry smartphone can save you the time, effort and unnecessary headaches associated with carrying multiple devices. Whatever your motivation, just four steps will have you forwarding calls from a BlackBerry to another phone before you can say "voice mail."

Your Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry has a plethora of phone, messaging and Web-oriented features packed into its robust operating system, including the ability to forward some or all of your incoming calls to another landline or mobile phone. Such functionality can be particularly handy if you’re traveling with a work phone but would still like to receive calls made to your personal device.

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I’ve covered a wide variety of BlackBerry tricks in our past Tips of the Week, including how to transfer data back and forth between BlackBerry smartphones; how to manually load and remove software from your BlackBerry; how to back up and restore handheld data; as well as how to determine how much memory you’re using at any given time and how much you’ve got left.

This week, I’ll show you how to enable call forwarding on your BlackBerry so you can receive all your mobile phone calls on another line.

Ensure That Your Mobile Account Allows for Call Forwarding

Before spending too much time tweaking your BlackBerry call forwarding settings, it’s a good idea to check in with your wireless carrier to make sure call forwarding is available as part of your service plan and that it’s enabled. You may be able to access this information on your carrier’s website, but a support representative in one of the company’s call centers should also be able to help.

BlackBerry Home Screen with Call Forwarding Icon
BlackBerry Home Screen with Call Forwarding Icon

Not all service plans allow for call forwarding. For example, BlackBerry owners with T-Mobile FlexPay service plans currently cannot enable call forwarding. T-Mobile FlexPay accounts are designed to prevent its customers from incurring any monthly overages, and because forwarding calls to distant or international numbers could rack up services fees, T-Mobile has decided to disable the feature altogether.

If the following three steps don’t work for you, try calling your carrier’s technology support line to confirm that call forwarding is available and turned on for your account.

Open BlackBerry Call Forwarding Options

To access your BlackBerry call forwarding options screen, click the green Send key and then open the menu options by clicking the BlackBerry Menu key. Scroll down and select Options.

BlackBerry Phone Options Screen
BlackBerry Phone Options Screen

You’ll then be presented with a list of your BlackBerry’s Phone Options, which include Call Forwarding. Click on this option and wait a few seconds for the call forwarding screen to populate.

Enter a New BlackBerry Call Forwarding Phone Number

Before you can forward incoming calls via BlackBerry, you first need to enter the number you want calls to be forwarded to.

BlackBerry Call Forwarding Options Screen
BlackBerry Call Forwarding Options Screen

On the main Call Forwarding options screen, click your BlackBerry Menu key and choose New Number. A dialogue box will then appear asking for the number to which your calls will be forwarded. Type in the 10 digits and click the trackball to save the number.

BlackBerry Call Forwarding New Number Option
BlackBerry Call Forwarding New Number Option

If you mistyped the new call forwarding number and you need to correct it you can click the BlackBerry Menu key on the main call forwarding screen, choose Edit Number, scroll to the number you wish to modify, click the trackball again and choose Edit from the available options. From there, you can make your desired corrections. To save the changes, simply click the trackball one more time. You’ll then be returned to the Edit Forwarding Numbers screen. You can reach the main Call Forwarding option screen by clicking the BlackBerry Escape key once.

Enable BlackBerry Call Forwarding, Tweak Settings

On the main BlackBerry Call Forwarding screen, you have two options for call forwarding: 1) Forward All CallsForward Unanswered Calls. Below the latter option, you have three more choices: A) If Busy; B) If No Reply; and C) If Not Reachable.

By default, your device is set to Forward Unanswered Calls to your carrier’s voice mail box in all instances.

BlackBerry Forward Unanswered Call Options
BlackBerry Forward Unanswered Call Options

Forwarding every call that comes in to your device is simple; you just fill in the circle next to Forward All Calls and then specify the number to which you wish to direct calls from the corresponding drop-down menu. To save any changes you make, click the BlackBerry Escape key and confirm the changes when prompted.

Forwarding calls in specific situations is a bit different, but it’s no more difficult. The first thing you want to do is ensure that the circle next to Forward Unanswered Calls is filled in. (Again, this circle will be filled by default unless you modified your settings.)

To forward only the calls that come in while you’re already on the line, click on the If Busy option to open the drop-down menu and then choose the number to which you want to forward your BlackBerry calls. If that’s the only call forwarding option you wish to modify, click the BlackBerry Escape key and confirm the change when prompted.

If you want to forward calls that come in while you’re, say, in another room and away from the phone, change the number associated with the If No Reply option and save your changes.

If you want to receive calls when your BlackBerry is turned off or you’re otherwise unreachable, modify the number settings next to the If Not Reachable option and again save your changes.

When BlackBerry call forwarding is enabled, you’ll see a small icon, which looks very much like the missed call icon, appear on your BlackBerry home screen.

BlackBerry Home Screen with Call Forwarding Icon
BlackBerry Home Screen with Call Forwarding Icon

Finally, if you wish to return to your device’s default settings, simply fill in the circle next to the Forward Unanswered Calls option and set the number for all three options (If Busy, If No Reply and If Not Reachable) to your wireless carrier’s voice mail digits.