Link 2 Google Voice Numbers to 1 Phone {Updated}


Originally published: 9/7/2011  Last updated: 8/5/2013

I LOVE Google Voice!  I’m using it right now for IT Pixie.  It allows me to keep my mobile number private but still let my (potential) clients to get in touch with me by phone.  And it allows you to keep your mobile number via the number porting feature.

I had been looking for a way to have multiple Google Voices numbers (one for work and one for personal use), and forward calls to these numbers to my mobile phone (so I don’t have to give out my mobile number to strangers).  Google allows only one mobile number to be linked to any one Google Voice number, and you have to have a physical phone number attached to the Google Voice number (even if you don’t actually forward calls to it).  But there is a way around this limitation.  The trick is mark your mobile number as one of the other, non-mobile phone types!

When setting up your Google Voice number, you have to indicate where calls to this Google Voice number to be forwarded to.  You also have to indicate the type of phone this forward-to number is: Home, Work or Mobile.

There is really no difference between the three, except you can receive text or SMS messages on phones marked as Mobile only.  But there is a way to get around that as well (See below and here)!

Linking 2 Google Voice numbers to one phone:

  • Make sure you have separate mobile and Google Voice numbers. In other words, make sure you had not ported your mobile to be your Google Voice number. If you had, please get a new (true) Google Voice number as your Google Voice #1 before setting anything up.

    It is because if you had ported your mobile number to Google Voice, it became a Google Voice number. Because Google does not allow calls to one Google Voice number to be forwarded to another Google Voice number (i.e. Your mobile/Google Voice #1), you won’t be able to link another Google Voice number to your mobile phone.

  • Set up your mobile phone number as a forward-to phone (in the “forward calls to” section) on the 1st Google Voice number. Choose the phone type as Home or Work. If your mobile number is already linked to one Google Voice number and is marked as Mobile, change that to Home or Work phone type before linking another Google Voice number to it.
    • Go to Voice Settings (the Gear icon at upper right corner) –> Phones –> Edit
  • When you set up your 2nd Google Voice number, add your mobile number as a forward-to phone again, and make sure you set the phone type as Home or Work as well.
    Important: Make sure NONE of your forward-to phone numbers is marked as “Mobile”. Once you have a forward-to number marked as “Mobile” Google will flag you if you try to add the number to a 2nd Google Voice account. Google only allows ONE “Mobile” number attached to ONE Google Voice account at any given time.
  • To not miss any text or SMS messages that are sent to your Google Voice numbers, go to Voice Settings –> Voicemail & Texts –> Text Forwarding. Do this for both Google Voice numbers.
    • Check the box that says “Forward text messages to my email: <your email address here>
    • You can reply to the SMS sender directly from your email. Simply reply to the text message email you receive from Google Voice. Note: The SMS sender will receive your reply from email ONLY if you’re replying from the email address that’s attached to the Google Voice. For more information on forwarding text messages to email, check out this Google Voice support article.
    • 5/24/2012 Update: Thanks to commenter Sennivar, I learned that there IS a way to receive SMS to your GV attached phone, even after you mark your phone as “Home” or “Work”.  Most wireless carriers allow their customers receive SMS via emails by using customized email addresses in specific formats.  Once you figure out the special email address to use for sending SMS to your phone, simply put this email address in the “Forward text messages to my email” field. To find out more about how to figure out the special email address for your wireless carrier, check out this article.
    • 7/30/2012 Update: You can no long specify which email to forward SMS to. You can only forward your SMS to the email that’s attached to your Google Voice number.  However some people is finding that they are able mark their forward-to phones as “Mobile” by simply ignoring the error message.  You might want to give that a try, especially if you do not have a smart phone that can receive emails.
  • If you have a smartphone and have a Google Voice app installed, you can receive SMS sent to your Google Voice number(s) via your Google Voice app.
    • With Android’s native Google Voice app, you can only sign into one Google Voice account at a time, so you would still want to set up receive SMS via email for the Google Voice account that you’re NOT signed into in your app.
    • If you use a Google Voice app that allows multiple accounts signed in simultaneously (like GV Mobile+), then you should be able to receive SMS in your app for all accounts signed in.

There is however ONE limitation to this work-around: You can only link a maximum of TWO Google Voice numbers to one phone.

But other than that, this work around is pretty sweet.  And I’m going to enjoy my new Google Voice number for personal use and not having to worry about giving out my real mobile number anymore!

Update 2/27/2012 (Revised 8/5/2013):
After reading and answering all the comments, I realized I had failed to mention ONE VERY IMPORTANT thing (especially for Sprint customers):

If you want to use this set up, DO NOT PORT your mobile number to Google Voice.  That is, DO NOT USE your mobile number as your Google Voice number.  If you port your mobile number to Google Voice, it becomes a Google Voice number.  Because Google does not allow Google Voice number forwarding to another Google Voice number, you won’t be able to link another Google Voice number to your mobile phone.  All you Google Voice numbers must be “virtual” numbers, ones that you pick out using Google Voice’s new number wizard, in order for this set up to work.

If you have already ported your mobile number to Google Voice, you CAN get a new number.  Go to Settings (gear wheel) –> Phones (tab) –> Change/Port link.  Be sure you click “I want a new number” option.  Please note that Google might charge you a fee for changing your Google Voice.

The reason why this is very important is explained here.

Update 5/24/2012:
According to commenter Sennivar (thank you again!), there is an iOS app called GV Mobile+ that allows you to switch between 2 Google Voice accounts with ease. I do not have an iOS so can’t really test the app out. If you have tried it or are using it right now, I would love to know what you think.

Update 7/30/2012:
Commenter Christopher discovered that he could link two Google Voice numbers to a single non-smart phone, and he was able to mark the forward-to phone as “mobile” on both Google Voice numbers (The trick is to ignore and close the warning/error dialogue box).  If anyone else has success linking a non-smart phone to 2 Google Voice numbers, and/or able to mark the forward-to phone as “mobile” on either or both Google Voice number, please share your success story in the Comments.

Update 7/31/2012:
Check out more from Christopher on receiving SMS at a simple phone (non-smart phone) when having 2 Google Voice numbers forwarded to it, as well as how to make calls using Google Voice from your simple phone.

Click here for more Google Voice Q & A



  • Anonymous

    Ingenious!  Thank you so much!  Exactly what I was looking for!

    • You’re very welcome! It all really thanks to Google and the Google Help Forum. 🙂

  • LovelyA

    Thank you for sharing this info!!!!!!! Very useful. 

    • You’re welcome! Glad you find it helpful! 🙂

  • Thank you.  This helps a lot.  After you add the 2nd phone, you can change the first one back to mobile.  It brings up a message to “reclaim” it but just ignore that and it works great.

    • Oh cool! I didn’t know that! Thanks for the tip, Jimmy! 🙂

      • I got that message too, but if you don’t click “reclaim”, just close that box it will let both of them work.

  • david

    limitation to this is that if you have sprint-google voice integration, it will view your regular sprint number as your google voice number and when you try to add another google voice number to your phone it will say ‘you cannot forward google voice to another google voice number’.

    i really wish google would allow multiple google voice numbers on the same phone – for the reason stated above – to be able to use the same phone for work and personal use.  i would even pay for this feature!

    • Humm… I didn’t know about that limitation since I have Verizon. Is it possible for you to disable the integration? Or is it something that cannot not be changed?

  • Albin

    Thanks.  This is exactly what I was looking for.  I now have two google voice numbers that are connected to my one cell phone.  I also use GVoice Callback, so that I can now use my one cell phone to dial out, and show up as either 1. My first google voice number (thru regular Android Google voice app), 2. My second google voice number(thru GVoice Callback), and 3. My actuall cell number.

  • James

    This is perfect! Thank you!

  • Happy

    hello, i am trying to do the same thing but I cant get it right. I have 2 google voice numbers each from a separate e-mail account, one personal and work number. I want to connect both to my cell number… please suggest the best way to do this. I have sprint!

    • Hi Happy,

      You have to mark your cell number as a “home” or “work” number in both accounts to get it to work.

      For example, in your personal GVoice account, you mark the cell number as a “home” number. Now in your work GVoice account, you mark this number as a “work” number. This is crucial, since Google won’t allow 2 GVoice numbers forward to a single “mobile” number (i.e. any number that’s marked as “mobile”.)

      And be sure you set to email all your SMS because according to this set up, your cell number is either a landline “home” or a landline “work” number so it won’t receive any SMS. By emailing your SMS, you will get notified via emails instead.

      I have heard because the Sprint phones has some kind of Spring-Google Voice integration set up, there is a chance that this work around might not work (please see the comment by “david”)… If somehow you can disable that integration, then the work around described above should work.

      I have Verizon, and I had the option of whether I use my mobile number as my GVoice (porting), or I get a new number as my GVoice, when I first set up my GVoice accounts. DO NOT PORT your number if you want this set up to work. Porting your cell number as a GVoice number automatically marks it as “mobile”. You need your cell number to be marked as either “home” or “work” in order to work. If you have already port your cell number as one of your GVoice numbers, you will have to get a new GVoice (a true GVoice) number. To do this, log into your GVoice, click Settings -> Phone tab, then click “Change/Port” link next to your GVoice Number.

      Hope this helps… 🙂

      • Bre


        Do you know if anyone has found a way to disable the Spring-Google Voice Integration setup you referenced in your reply to Happy on 2/8/12? (See Below)

        “I have heard because the Sprint phones has some kind of Spring-Google Voice integration set up, there is a chance that this work around might not work (please see the comment by “david”)… If somehow you can disable that integration, then the work around described above should work.”

        • Can you get a GV number, one that’s NOT your Sprint mobile number? I think the REAL limitation is that if you port your mobile number to GV (i.e. using your mobile number as your GV number), then you are stuck with just 1 GV number to your mobile phone.

          If you are able to get a “true” GV number (a number that you picked out using GV’s wizard), as long as you don’t mark your cell number as “mobile” when you set up your forwarding phone, you should still be able to make this whole thing work.

          If Sprint phones are running a Sprint custom-baked Android OS that forces some kind of Sprint-Google Voice integration that cannot be removed, rooting your phone and run a Android OS that’s not attached to any phone company probably will disable that Spring-Google Voice integration.

          I would say, if you already integrated you Spring phone number with Google Voice, disable it first, then start over by signing up with for a NEW (true) Google Voice number. If you haven’t already checked this out, here’s Google’s documentation regarding disabling Google Voice with Sprint:

    • Meg Conlon

      I have AT&T and its asking me to reclaim the number even if I put one as a home number and one as work.  Of cours when I claim it, it then doesn’t work on the other phone.  It goes directly to voicemail for one of the lines.  Also – any idea how both phones could go to one email address when a message is left? 

      • I only see the reclaim message when I try to add my cell number as “mobile” to the 2nd GVoice account (the cell number is already added to 1st GVoice account as “work”). So my guess is your cell is marked as “mobile” in one of the accounts, and simply changing the phone type doesn’t actually clear it from being “mobile”. I would say try deleting your cell number from both GVovice accounts and start over, adding it as “work” or “home” to begin with.

        As for voice messages going to one email, there is the option in the Settings –> Voicemail & Text –> Voicemail Notifications, you can add whatever email you want the voicemail notificiations to go to there. Text messages, however, can only go to the email that the GVoice number is associated with.

      • I only see the reclaim message when I try to add my cell number as “mobile” to the 2nd GVoice account (the cell number is already added to 1st GVoice account as “work”). So my guess is your cell is marked as “mobile” in one of the accounts, and simply changing the phone type doesn’t actually clear it from being “mobile”. I would say try deleting your cell number from both GVovice accounts and start over, adding it as “work” or “home” to begin with.

        As for voice messages going to one email, there is the option in the Settings –> Voicemail & Text –> Voicemail Notifications, you can add whatever email you want the voicemail notificiations to go to there. Text messages, however, can only go to the email that the GVoice number is associated with.

  • bryan

    How are outgoing calls handled when you have 2 GV numbers’s connected?  I have one on an android that prompts me to use GV or my regular cell number.  Do you get an option to choose which GV to use along with your phone’s actual cell number?

    • The short answer is no, you can’t choose which GV number to use for outgoing calls. The Android GV app can have only 1 Gmail address attached (signed into) at a time, and that’s the GV number you can use to call from, along with your actual cell number.

      If you want to call from the other GV number, you will need to sign out of the GV app first, then sign back in with the other GV’s gmail address.

    • mainah

      @bryan : one possible solution on android devices is to use the GrooveIP app. You van use GrooveIP (VOIP app that uses GV numbers) to receive/place calls on one GV number and handle switching between the other GV number and the cell nunber with the Google Voice app. GrooveIP and Google Voice apps operate independently.

  • MJE Networks

    Question, I’m trying to integrate this as well. How about calling from that 2nd GV number, is that possible?

    • Assuming you’re talking about calling from your cell, you can call from the 2nd GV number by sign out of the GV app (out of your 1st GV account), then sign back in using your 2nd GV’s gmail address.

      You cannot, at this point, simultaneously switch between 2 GV numbers for outgoing calls when calling from your cell.

      • MJE

         Thank you, I guess this is not allow on the VZ network as I tried doing that and it didn’t work. When I added my 2nd GV number and entered it as “home”, i got an email from GV saying that the number had been re-claimed, even if I didn’t click submit. I have settled to use one since the business number is more important that the personal, and I also have groove installed, the only thing about it is, you don’t know what number you are being called on.

        Thanks for the info.

        • You’re welcome.  Glad you found the info helpful.

          About that “re-claimer” error, are you using your mobile phone number as one of your GV numbers? That error usually has to do with either one of your GV numbers is linked to a “mobile” type number; or the GV number itself IS the physical cell number.

          Having GrooVe might complicated things a little…  I think the 2 GV to 1 phone trick is rather picky with alll the elements involved in order to get it to work.

          • MJE

             No, my phone number is completely separate, I’ve had it for a long time. I only use GrooVe when I need to use the other number, other than that, I just use the second GV#.

          • Humm… I just looked at my GV Android app settings, and there’s a “This phone’s number” setting.  Although it’s listing my cell phone, when I clicked on it a dialogue popped up asking to add my cell phone (to some kind of list). When clicked on “Add this phone”, a new dialogue opened up saying GV would now verify my cell number by sending a text message to GV.  I didn’t go to the next step as I thought if I had, GV would “know” that my cell number is a “mobile” type number, which would (probably) then null my 2 GV to 1 phone setup… So I wonder if that’s why we were getting the re-claim message.

  • You’re welcome! Glad to hear that you found it helpful! 🙂

  • Kate

    How long ago was this post? I tried to set up a google voice number for a friend who doesnt have a cell phone to link it too. (i have done this before and been able to remove my number so that only forwarding to email is there, I can take pics to show it) However this time, it wont let me remove my cell phone from their account back to mine. So now mine is only forwarding to email and theirs is going to my cell phone…. how so I change this??? I tried making theirs the home phone and mine the mobile..but it wont let me it says it is linked to a different account??

    • Well, the post was written about 6 months ago, but as far as I can tell, the hack still works.

      Make sure NONE of your forward-to phone numbers are marked as “mobile”. Once you have a forward-to number marked as “mobile” then the hack is void. Google only allows ONE mobile number attached to ONE Google Voice at any given time.

      Try marking your cell number on your friend’s GV account as “home” or “work” — it doesn’t matter which, and you can have multiple “home” or “work” numbers under any GV number. Then try adding your cell number to your own GV account as “home” or “work”. Again, the key point is, NEVER mark any of the forward-to number as “mobile” if you want this hack to work.

      After you get your cell number back on your GV account, if you want to continue to receive your friend’s GV calls, leave the forward-to numbers as “home” or “work”. If you’re trying to delete your cell from your friend’s GV account, delete the number first, then you can switch your number on your GV account back to “mobile”.

      Once again, I must emphasize that, any time you want 2 GV numbers going to 1 cell number, even for a short period of time, you MUST NOT mark any of your forward-to numbers as “mobile”. That’s the trick.

  • Frustrated

    okay, I don’t understand this Gv thing at all. I was given a number by my employer, but there’s no tutorial on how to set-up a number that’s been given to you. Now My mobile # is linked to some random GV number and I can’t seem to find ANYTHING  that will tell me how to access the # given to me.

    • If you haven’t already, please check out Google Voice Help here: This should give you an overview of how Google Voice works, its features and FAQs. Particularly read through Google Voice Basics ( if you are not familiar with GV at all.

      As far as I know, each Google Voice number is always associated with an email address (Google Account). So the first thing you will need from your employer is the email address (and password) that’s associated with the GV number you received. Without such info, it’s rather difficult to manage your GV number.

      Good luck!

  • Ylanisalter

    I have two google voice numbers… I downloaded the google voice app from itunes for my iPhone 4s ios5. Is there any way for me to know which GV # is calling when I receive an incoming call? I set up both my GV accounts as you instructed above…

    • The easiest way to know which GV number is getting called is to set your Incoming Caller ID to display your GV number. You can set that up by logging into your GV account, then going to Settings –> Calls –> Caller ID (Incoming). Choose the option “Display my Google Voice number”. Repeat these steps for your other GV account,

      Now you should see the GV number as Caller ID when you get a call at that GV.

      Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Kered Retej

    Is there any way to have SMS messages automatically forwarded to multiple cell phones that are each themselves attached to other GV numbers?

    I have a personal GV number that I use with my Sprint (non-smart) phone.  I don’t have integration, so I have separate GV and Sprint numbers.

    I am trying to set up a “family” Google/GMail/GV account that both my wife and I can use for things that involve the whole household (e.g., email newsletters from school, etc.).  I have GMail forwarding to both of us, but I’d also like to have a central text number (the new “family GV” number) forward texts to both of our phones.  SMS is used locally for things like emergency notices, and I’d like to just register 1 number and have it re-distribute.  Is this doable?

    • Generally speaking, the answer is no.  Google Voice will only send SMS to phones that are marked as “mobile”, but if you do that, you are not able to point 2 GV numbers to that “mobile” phone.

      However, you might be able to use the method suggested by Sennivar (the comment above) — get SMS via email.  This method works for pretty much all major carrier, the only thing you will have to change is the email address (each carrier has a special address).  I found this article that might be useful to you:

      • Kered Retej

         Thanks for the tip!  The email address for SMS seems like a decent workaround for what I want to do for now.

        • You’re welcome!  Let us know how it works out for you. 🙂

  • Sennivar

    Thank you for this tip, two Google Voice numbers are working for me, on my cell phone.  I wanted to add a that I was able to get incoming text messages right away for both Google Voice Numbers.  First, I forward my incoming text messages to my email, as you suggested.  Then, in my Gmail account, I created a Filter for any email with the subject line “SMS from “, and then forward them to the email address form me cell phone text message, (10digitnumber) for AT&T account.  And now I receive text messages from both Google Voice accounts, and I get them in about 30 seconds from when they are sent!  To send, I still have to go into the Google Voice App on my iPhone, and send them from inside the app.

    It all works from the Google Voice app on the iPhone, but if you try the GV Mobile+ app, (which came out long before the Google version of this app did), you can easily switch between the two accounts, and you do not have to retype your password.  Thanks again

    • Thank you for the tips!  I followed your lead and found an article that talks about receive SMS via email, and I’ll definitely update my post with the tips you provided.

      And thanks for the heads-up on the GV Mobile+ app.  It sure sounds like something worth checking out. 🙂

  • KnotYu

    Your post of 2/27/12 suggests not porting your cell number. Is that true only if you want to retain your ported cell number as your primary device? I currently have two cell phones. Each from different carriers, the older one I want to drop. I was looking at this option to port my old cell phone number to be a GV number and then tie my new cellphone as a HOME or WORK number to that ported GV number. Will that work?

    • In your case, it should work, in theory.

      The “Do Not Port” advice is for those who want to point 2 GV (virtual) numbers to one phone (physical).  Porting make the physical number a GV number, and Google doesn’t allow GV number forward to another GV number.

      But in your case, you have two physical phones but only one GV number.  Google allows up to 6 forward numbers per each GV number.  So what you’re trying to do should work.

      The only drawback I see with your setup is, if you do drop your old carrier, you might lose your number you have with them, which means you might end up losing your GV number.  Unless you figure out a way to retain your number with the old carrier, or if you don’t plan on cancelling the service with them

      • KnotYu

        From what I understand of the porting procedure (which can be cryptic), once I pay the $20.00 porting fee, the old cell number will become a GV number. I will then drop the carrier after I’ve successfully ported the number as described in the GV porting instructions. (I’m not on a plan any more with my old cell number – just month to month, so I won’t have to pay any cancellation fees). My old cell number will then become a second GV (virtual) number which I can then attach to my new (physical) cell phone as a HOME number as you describe here. So anyone calling my old cell number will actually be calling me on my new cell phone via GV. At least that’s how I understand it. If you see a “hole” in this, please let me know.

  • Guest

    Any idea if it is possible to set up a separate voicemail greeting?  I have set this up and it works fine (with the text forwarding as well).  My newest GV number is for my new business (side job).  I’d like this phone number to say a particular greeting. I went to GV’s new account and set up the greeting but when I call that number, it goes to my first GV’s greeting?

    Any fix?

    • If you have separate voicemail greetings for your GV numbers, you should get the greeting respective to the number that you call.  At least that’s the way it works for me, and this is the first time I have heard an issue like yours.

      You didn’t say from what phone you’re calling your 2nd GV number (let’s call it GV2)… Did you call GV 2 from the phone that already has another GV number (GV 1) attached?  Have you tried calling your GV numbers from a phone that is not attached to any of them?  And if you have, did the problem persist?

      I experimented with my GV numbers, and even when I tried having the “Voice Access” turned off (so calling myself would bring up the greetings instead of going straight to voicemail), and I still got the right greeting for the GV number that I called.

      And are you using any 3rd party GV app that might interfere with Google’s ability to identify your phone and the number you’re calling correctly?

      Sorry, with the info that I have right now, I don’t have an answer for you.

      If anyone else have had this problem and have a fix, please do chime in!

      • Guest

        I’m using a VZW HTC Thunderbolt and have a native number plus two GV numbers (GV1 & GV2 sounds good).  I called GV2 on my wife’s phone and my phone number rang fine…but when I ignored the call, it had my GV1 greeting.  I then went to GV2’s account and recorded a new greeting (instead of the default) and it still did not kick over.

        I am not running any other phone applications except Google Voice.  I wonder if it just takes time to migrate through the system?

        • How about your phone’s Voicemail Service setting (Settings –> Call settings –> Voicemail service)?  Do you have it set to “My carrier” or “Google Voice”?  If you have it set to “Google Voice” and your phone is signed into GV1 account in the Google Voice app, then I can see how calling GV2 will still bring up GV1’s greeting: Calls to GV2 rings your phone, and your phone answers any and all ignored calls, regardless of they are calling your native number, GV1 or GV2, with GV1 greeting.

          I have mine set to “My carrier” so calls to my native number get the carrier’s voicemail service, and calls to the GV numbers get the respective greetings.

          • Guest

            It was set to “Google Voice”.  I tried switching it back to my carrier but under “Voicemail Settings”, the “Voicemail number” is still my GV #1.  So I have to figure out what my original VZW Voicemail number was (been using GV for years now).

            So let me understand your setup.  You also have 3 numbers…and you don’t use Google voice with your carrier (original) number?  So in that instance, you’d have to check your voicemail through your native equipment (which isn’t as good as GV because I don’t pay for “Visual Voicemail”).  Getting away from visual voicemail was one of the main reasons that I came ove to GV in the first place!

            Is that correct?  Thank you!

          • For VZW, the voicemail access number is *86. 

            You’re correct, I keep my voicemails between my 3 numbers (native, GV1 and GV2) separate.  And yes, I access my native number’s voicemail via phone only since I don’t need Visual Voicemail for this number.

            I understand it’s a pain, but in order for callers to get the right greeting, it is necessary to keep the voicemail handling separate between your native and GV numbers.

            I’m glad at least we got your problem figured out. 🙂

          • Guest

            Alright, talked to a rep at VZW…couldn’t get *86 to work (tried a few times and then the customer support lady asked me to do exactly what I did before I called her… luck when she was on the other side either).  She asked me to call some other support people.  I’ll try that later.  

            Thanks for the direction.  I’ll let you know if/when I get it working.  (I’m done for now though!)

          • You’re welcome. I’m sorry it’s giving you such grief.  Yes, please update us on how it turns out – I’m interested to know why you can’t switch back to VZW’s voicemail.

          • Syed H

            not sure if its still needed — make sure you call *73 from your cell. if you go to settings and change back to ‘my carrier’ it will still fwd to GV#. But when you dial ‘*73 also, it will then disable the vm fwd to GV# and you will be back to 3 v-mailboxes

          • craftingdragon

            I think with VZW if you plug in your native (carrier) # that will get you to VM. At least it used to.

  • Tiffany Singleton

    Hi – I so appreciate your blog! Quick question I had when I tried to set mine up.  I could not directly reply from my physical phone to incoming texts sent to my GV #  because they were now coming from my Gmail/Tmobile forward filter.  When my physical phone was setup as “Mobile”, I could reply back to that “unique GV number GV gives to all incoming txts/calls”.  Does it make sense what I am asking? Have you had that problem & found a way to work around it? I really wat to have 2 #s! Tanks so much!

    • Thanks so much! I’m glad you found it helpful… 🙂

      About your question… I don’t know of a way to reply texts from your phone by simply hitting “reply” if you receive texts via the daisy chain of incoming text -> Gmail/T-mobile email -> your phone as text msg. After all the forwarding and filtering, the “reply-to” email or number that you see is probably changed from the original sender’s, and that’s probably why you couldn’t reply directly from your phone.

      If you have the native Google Voice app on your phone, you can receive texts via the app and reply from there. The drawback is it only works for 1 GV number, since only 1 GV number is allowed to be signed in at a time. If you need to send and receive text for the 2nd GV using the app, you would need to sign out of GV1 first, and sign back in using GV2.

      There’s a different app mentioned in the comments (GV Mobile+) that allows multiple GV accounts signed in simultaneously, you might want to check that one out.

      Sorry I couldn’t help more… But let me know if there didn’t answer your question, or if you have another GV question.

      Thanks again!

  • Guest

    Is it possible to have voice messages and text messages forwarded to a cell phone, but not the phone call itself?

    • Yes, if you can receive emails from your cell phone. Simply set to receive voicemails and texts via emails in Settings –> Voicemail & text. You can also daisy-chain up text receiving via your cell service provider’s special email (please see previous comments).

      You still have to have a physical phone on file for GV, so simple uncheck the forward-to phone that you don’t want to receive phone calls from GV (Settings –> Phones). The a forward-to phone is unchecked, it won’t ring when someone calls your GV number.

      Hope this helps.

      • John Reid

        I looks like Big G may have caught on to this. The only text forwarding option I seem to have is a simple check mark to forward to the Google account’s primary E-mail address, ie. your Gmail address.

        • Thanks for pointing it out! I think this has been the case for a while, I have just never pay much attention to notice the change. I must say I’m constantly waiting to see how Google’s going to clamp down on this workaround, and wouldn’t be surprised one bit if they completely kill the ability to link 2 GV numbers to one phone altogether…

  • cygnus-X1

    I found this blog while searching how to get a second GV number on my account. I like the hack and will use it for sure, but other than signing up for a separate google account, how do you get a second GV number?

    • There’s no other way. You must have a 2nd Google Account to get a 2nd GV number. Think of it as getting a phone number for your Google Account.

  • Ryan

    So your saying if I port my cell number to google voice, then making me have a ‘personal’ GV number and also my ‘work GV number – and get a new number on my cell phone, I couldn’t set them up like this article suggests and have both numbers forwarded to my new number?

    • If I understand you correctly, you want to
      1) first port your cell number to GV (i.e. turn your cell number into a GV number);
      2) get a 2nd GV;
      3) change your physical cell number (via your cell carrier);
      4) then point both GV numbers to your new cell number?
      I suppose that should work, as long as your cell carrier isn’t going to take back the old cell number (the number that you have just turned into a GV number) after you get a new one.

      I’m very interested to know if this works or not. So if you try it, please report back how it works out, if you don’t mind… 🙂

      • jeffshead

        Has anyone been successful in doing the following?

        I currently have two cell phones. One is for work and one is for personal. I already have one GV added to my personal cell. Since the work phone service is going to be terminated, can I port that number to my personal cell phone so calls to all three numbers (native cell, GV1 and old work cell number) are forwarded to my personal cell?

        I need separate voicemails and greeting for all three numbers too. I’m guessing I have to set up a second GV account and port the work cell number to that account and forward that GV account to my personal cell phone. So I will have native cell, GV1 and GV2 all on one phone.

        Can anyone verify if this is possible?

        • @jeffshead: What you said about porting your work no. as your GV2 then forward the calls to your cell is exactly what I would do. Good luck and let us know how out works out. 🙂

          • Guest

            Maybe I missed something or things have changed since the original blog post was written. I created a second GV account and added a new GV number. When I added my cell phone to the second account, it removed it from my original GV account. I received the following email from my original account:

            Please note that the forwarding number (xxx) xxx-xxxx was deleted from your Google Voice account (
   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.

            GV requires you to verify the cell phone number you enter. It calls the cell and you have to enter a two digit code before it will let you add the phone to the account but then it also removes it from the original account.

          • Did you add your cell phone as “home” or “work” to both GV numbers? If your cell phone was set as “mobile” on GV1, you would get that message when you add it to GV2.

            Try adding your cell to GV1 again, be sure add it as either “home” or “work”, and be sure your cell was added to GV2 as “home” or “work” already.

          • jeffshead

            Could not port my number (business account) but I was able to get GV to forward both GV account calls to the one cell phone.

          • Thanks for the update! Was porting your business number to Google what prompted that “reclaim” message from earlier? Or was there other reason(s) you couldn’t port the number?

          • jeffshead

            The “reclaim” message was due to me setting the phone type to “mobile”. I don’t know why I can’t port the number. I think it’s because it’s a large business account even though Verizon told me that should not matter. I can’t see how a number can be ported without proper authorization from the account holder. Of course I’m not the one who could authorize such changes. I’ll call our IT dept. Monday to see what they have to say. Thanks again 🙂

          • mainah

            @jeffshead: that’s because you didn’t specify the number as a cell number on either GV account?

    • DV

      I’m also pretty interested in knowing this as I’m in the same situation. I want to port my old number to GV, get a 2nd GV number, then set up a new physical number where I forward both GV numbers. Any word if this works?

  • Aurora

    Thank you! Your post just saved my day. One mobile number only is a ridiculous limitation. It is perfectly reasonable and should be expected for a person to have a “work” gvoice number and another gvoice number. Why would I want to forward those to two different cell phones – of course it’s going to be to one cell phone.

    • You’re very welcome and I’m glad it was helpful. I can understand why the limitation – to prevent people from abusing the service; but I think Google also understands people wanting separate phone numbers for different purposes, hence the (not-so) secret work around. Let’s hope Google won’t take it away… >_<

      Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  • Sean Branam

    I use this app on my android and it works great.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. It looks like, though, in order to use multiple GV accounts with the app, one has to get the premium version/service, which is $2/month or $20/year. It’s probably useful for those who use more than 2 GV accounts.

      • John Reid

        So use Google Voice the normal way for one number and this app for the other number. Anyhow, that is what I am going to try since I can not forward text and voicemail to “just any old E-mail address I want” anymore.

  • Ms. L Jay

    THANK YOU for this! You have just allowed me to use my home business and professional number to my PERSONAL cell phone! So I have THREE NUMBERS one phone love it. so I have my cell number. I then also have my professional number that I give out instead of my cell number, and NOW I have added my business to my cell number.. so THREE numbers ONE PHONE! LOVE THIS.. It took my a while to do it but I FINALLY have it done THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    • You’re very welcome! I’m glad you found it useful! 🙂

  • Christopher O’Donnell

    Sir/Madam, I believe you have to update this post yet again as I’ve found how to link TWO numbers to a “stupid phone” — aka, $15 virgin moble prepaid cell.
    1) Do what you do above (as in link it as a “work” number, on both of your google voice numbers
    2) After it’s linked… I kid you not, (as of this posting 7/30/2012) just change the phone type to “mobile” on both.
    Note: Google voice will say “Whoa buddy, you can’t do that…” error box. Here’s how we fight the G-man: “X” out of this box, by either refreshing the page, or closing the pop up.
    [Fin]. I can send screenshots if it doesn’t work for you so that ya’ll know I’m not blowing wind up your skirts.

    • Thanks for the heads-up! This is certainly a good discovery for those without a smart phone (hey, I myself is contemplating going prepaid with a “stupid” phone). So are you able to receive SMS for both GV numbers at your cheapie Virgin Mobile phone? I know this is a concern for some — being able to receive SMS sent to their GV numbers on their phone.

      And how about calling using your GV? While I would image that is not quite possible without a GV app of sort, but I could totally be wrong. If you have way to work it out, please do kindly share.

      I will update my post with your findings. Thank you again! 🙂

      • Christopher O’Donnell

        To answer your question about SMS to both numbers, I can confirm with screenshots that it is indeed possible! As for calling with GV from the “stupid” phones, one feature of Google voice that most people don’t know about is being able to call using Google voice from a :stupid” phone.
        There’s 2 routes to this:
        1) calling _from_ an SMS: What I mean about this is if someone sent you a text message to your Google voice, and it goes to your “stupid” phone, what you do is you highlight that text message I’m sure we’re all familiar with the strange numbers that Google assigns people when it reaches our phones. I have a friend in MI but when he texts me, the “Phantom Number” as their called gives him something like a 232 number. If you simply hit your green phone button while hovering over that text, it’ll call that “Phantom Number” and your Google voice number will show up at the other end.
        2) Calling yourself, then whomever: Another way of making calls is simple to call yourself, access your voicemail, (listen to the prompts) and if you select the 2nd option, Google allows you to make a routed call from your phone. It’ll prompt you to type the number, with area code, and then press pound — voila!

        Glad I can be of assistance! 🙂

        • Thank you so much again for the awesome tips! 🙂

  • John

    Awesome. I’m not sure if this is a new development, but I can still receive text messages to one of my GV numbers via the GV app. I left the native GV app on my phone, switched that number to a “Home” and still get texts. Which is perfect, I’m probably like a lot of people and have a personal GV number and business GV number. I don’t need texts for my business GV number. So, using the GV Mobile+ app, I can call from either number, and texts still pop up instantly from the native GV app. Sweet!

    • Yes, you can always receive SMS via the naive GV app. The “not getting SMS” issue is in regards to receiving SMS on your phone directly (i.e. for the “stupid” phones that don’t run apps).

  • John

    Wait! Forget that last post. IF you have an iPhone, you can get texts and calls to two GV numbers, AND have those texts “pushed” to you so they pop up on your phone. This is ridiculously awesome, well, actually this is how GV should work in the first place and I shouldn’t have to buy a stupid app to do this but anyway it works. So first, you have to buy the GV Mobile+ app. Add your two google accounts that have your two separate GV numbers. Then in the GV Mobile+ app, under each account go to Settings -> Push Notifications, follow the instructions for setting up push notifications and voila! I get texts (and I think picture texts too, haven’t tried this out yet though), calls, voicemails, everything to two GV numbers on my iPhone, and I can text/call from either number too. So awesome.

  • Hi,
    I already ported my original cellphone number to Google voice months back, now I want it back on ATT so i can have 3 voice mails as others did in the comments. How can i do this? Right now it is still going to a Google voice number VM I don’t want it to. Thanks!

    • First you need a new number for the GV account that has your ported mobile number (if you haven’t done that already). Go to your GV account’s Settings –> Phones. There’s a link next to your Google Voice Number that says “Change/Port”. That should allow you to “reclaim” you number back to ATT.

      Then make sure your voicemail service of your phone is set to “My Carrier”. My guess is that right now your phone’s voicemail service is set to “Google Voice”. Go to your phone’s call settings, or wherever voicemail options are set, to check that. In Android Gingerbread, that’s Settings –> Call settings –> Voicemail service.

      Hope this helps.

      • You guessed right. I had it set to Google. I switched it to “My Carrier, but now when I try to access my voice-mail mail box account in ATT it does not recognize that it exists for my number (I’m assuming my wireless number is the VM account #). I am calling the standard VM number ATT set in the phone and when prompted entering my cell number as the voice-mail box number. Any more words of wisdom?

        • I think if the phone’s voicemail service has ever been set to GV (or anything else other than the carrier’s), something internally gets messed up somehow. Assuming you have the right access number, and have that set up in your correctly (look for “Voicemail settings”, you might need to talk to ATT to get the voicemail service reset (or set up again). I know one of the commenters was having a similar issue (see I never heard back from him/her to find out how, if, the problem was fixed.

          You can also try plugging in your native cell number, that should take you to your carrier’s voicemail service. If this doesn’t work, it’s likely that you don’t have a voicemail box with ATT (at least not anymore) and you will need to contact ATT to get that set up.

          Good luck, and if you don’t mind sharing, please let us know how you solve the issue.

          • So i called ATT and it looks as if I never even setup the voice-mail/ it never was activated when i purchased the phone. So there was no need to re port the number or anything. Now I have 3 different VM’s and it’s great! Thanks for your help!

          • Wonderful and you’re welcome! Thanks so much for the update! I’m glad it all worked out and that I was able to help! 🙂

  • Such a nice & detailed information regarding voice number, this is very useful & remediable post, l like your information thanks to sharing nice info.

  • MrPab911

    Maybe some someone can help me/clarify for me. I have an iPhone 3GS and have been using the GV Mobile + app for a couple of years. I have had my regular personal cell # and GV business number working perfectly. Now I started another business hence another GV #. I got both numbers to work on my phone( 1 work and 1 home) but I can’t get the voice mails to work right unless both GV #’s are on do not disturb. The both go to my phones voice mail unless the do not disturb is on. I think my AT&T voicemail is on their server not my phone, could that be the problem?

    • MrPab911

      Any ideas?

      • Could it be an issue with the GV Mobile + app? May be a setting on the app that is not set correctly? Sorry I don’t have iPhone or GV Mobile + so I can’t really help you troubleshoot…

  • FW

    I don’t understand. How are you able to get the second GV number added to the account?

    • It’s not adding a second GV number to an account – That’s not possible because only one GV number is allowed for each Google Account. In order to get a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) GV number, you must have 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) Google Account.

      • RE

        That is not completely true, If you pay the $10 to change your Google voice number, you then will have 90 days to pay an extra $20 to make the old number permanent. This will allow for you to have 2 google voice numbers on the same account

        • Thanks for pointing out the way to have 2 Google Voice numbers on 1 account. For those who are interested to find out more, please visit

          However having 2 Google Voice numbers on 1 account this way does not give you 2 separate Google Voice accounts (mailboxes). It allows your old GV number serve as an alias to your primary (new) GV number — calls to both your current and old GV numbers go to one GV (Google) account, and your current GV number will always be your caller ID.

          If you are looking to have 2 completely separate GV numbers, you will have to have 2 separate Google Accounts.

  • FW

    Once I changed my setting to home my GV number does not go to my cell phone number anymore. It now goes to voicemail after a certain number of rings. I have not even added the second GV number yet. What am I doing wrong?

    • FW

      Nevermind….I figured out what I was doing wrong.

  • jeffshead

    Just purchased the HTC EVO 4G LTE and installed the GV app. I have two GV accounts and the phone rings when either GV number receives an incoming call. The problem I have is that I am never asked to select the GV number or the native number when dialing out from the phone. I even changed the setting so the GV number is used for all outgoing calls but this is ignored. Any ideas?

    • So you’re saying all outgoing calls are using your native cell number? I assume the setting you changed to use GV number for all outgoing calls is in the GV app, is that correct? How did you verify that the outgoing number is not the GV number you signed into your GV app with?

      When you set to use your GV for all outgoing calls, all calls are (should be) called using your GV number, and your phone doesn’t prompt you to choose between GV or native anymore – that prompt only happens when you select “ask each time I make a call” in your GV app settings.

      And remember with GV native app from Google, you can’t choose simultaneously which GV number to use for calling.

      If you believe you have all the settings done correctly and still can’t call using your GV number, could it be a carrier thing – your carrier restricting how calls are made? Or some kind of incompatibility between your new phone and GV app?

      • jeffshead

        Maybe I do not understand how the app is supposed to
        function. Should I get the prompt to select the GV number or the native number
        when using the phone’s native dialer or the phone’s native contact list?

        • There’s a setting in GV app called “Making calls” (Menu button –> More –> Making calls), that’s where you control how your phone behave when you make outgoing calls.

          You will be prompted to choose whether to use GV or native number to make outgoing calls only if you select “ask every time I make a call”.

          You always make calls using you phone’s dialing pad, regardless what number you use for outgoing calls. You can’t make calls from the GV app – you can only text. If you choose to use GV for all outgoing calls, your phone will use your GV to dial out every time you call from your phone .

          Try calling a phone with caller ID to verify the dial out number.

          • jeffshead

            Yea, I’ve done that. It’s just not working. I only get the prompt when I click on the phone icon, in the GV app, to return a call to someone that left a message. I wonder if it just does not work with my phone?

          • It is possible that your carrier might be restricting how calls are made and somehow that interferes with the phone’s ability to make calls using GV. I would check with the cell service provider to see if that’s the case.
            Or somehow the GV app doesn’t work well with your phone model… You might have to research that a little.

            Yes I forgot that you can make calls from GV app, if you’re returning a voice mail from the app… Thanks for pointing that out.

          • jeffshead

            I got it! You have to enter the area code. If you dial a number without an area code or select a contact or number from call history without an area code, you will not get the prompt.

          • Awesome! Thanks for the update!

  • Stephen

    please let me know that if someone goes to UK for months and still want google voice to forward call to local UK mobile number.
    Means is it possible for google voice to forward incoming calls to non-US numbers?

  • Mainah

    One more thing to add to the puzzle for Android. You should look into the GrooveIP app. It allows you to place/receive true VOIP calls from your Android phone (or tablet) using your Google Voice numbers. I use it on 3G and WiFI netowrks; It works great for me on both a Droid 3 and a Nexus 7 (yes, it turns my Nexus 7 into a great phone, given WiFi access anyway). It’s also great for international calling at VERY LOW rates. You can use it to place & receive calls from overseas as well. If you have an international phone then you can place calls via the cellular data network when travelling abroad. Without an inernational phone/plan you’ll need to be connected to WiFi. Calls to the US/Canada are free regardless of where you’re calling from. For me, it’s better than Skype and other VOIP solutions.
    I have 2 Google Voice numbers as well. There are a lot of options/combinations here and I’m not fully settled on how to put everything together yet…

  • Nate French

    Adding my mobile number at two GV accounts (using Home for both) worked fine, and also it let me switch to mobile on both. I simply refreshed the page from the address bar when I got the warning. Now it lets me “ring other phones” before going to voicemail.

    Thanks everyone for sharing this very useful information!

    • Syed H


  • GtoMugiwara

    Thank you so much for this! Now I got a personal google number and a work google number going to my HTC One 😀

  • Wendy

    So is there a way to change your number as a mobile number? I set it up years ago as mobile. I now have another business I want to add, but can’t switch any of the phone numbers without causing a lot of trouble. Any way to link 2 numbers to one iPhone without changing either the mobile number or first GV number?

    • Are you talking about actually changing the phone numbers? Or are you talking about changing the settings on GV1 and/or your mobile phone?

      Assuming your mobile number was not ported to GV1 — There is no need to change the numbers at all when trying to forward 2 GV numbers to 1 phone. You keep whatever numbers you already have.

      All you’re changing, on GV1, is the phone type of the “forward to” phone to avoid the “number has been reclaimed” message. To forward your GV2 to your iPhone, simple set it up like you did with GV1, and select “Home” or “Work” as the phone type of your “forward to” phone.

      If you had ported your mobile phone number to GV1 (i.e your mobile number IS your GV1), then you will have to “unport” it — get a new number as your GV1, and return your mobile number to being just your mobile number. You can’t forward another GV number to your iPhone if you had ported your mobile number to GV1. Once you port your mobile number, it becomes a GV number, and Google treats it like a GV number. And Google Voice doesn’t allow you to forward calls of one GV number (i.e.GV2) to another GV number (i.e. your mobile/GV1 number).

      Hope this makes sense…

  • sommer

    Thanks very much for your post! i have a question: my contract with at&t is ending, so it seems i have to port the number to GV otherwise it will expire. Now i have 2 gv numbers tied to this cell nr., so if i want to keep this cell nr. , i have to port it, but after porting, the 2 gv nr. will no longer be valid because my cell now becomes a gv nr. too, right? So in any case i will either loose all 3 numbers or keep the cell one, loose 2 gv. Is there anything i can do about it? thank you!

    • Here are your options:
      1) You lose your native cell number, and keep the 2 GV numbers. If you don’t mind that, you can always update your GV numbers to forward calls to your new cell number.
      2) You lose one of your GV numbers, if you choose to port your native cell number to one of the GV accounts. Your cell number will replace that GV number. You won’t lose the other GV number — you just can’t forward calls to your cell number (which is now a GV number) anymore. 3) Get a 3rd Google (i.e. GV) account to port your native cell number to. The only benefit of doing this is you get to keep your native cell number somewhere, but you can’t really use it on your cell phone, if you want to keep forwarding your other GV numbers.
      4) See if your new phone service carrier can move your number over. Most carriers allow you to keep your old number — not sure how exactly they handle that, but you should check with your new carrier to see if that’s possible.
      Hope this helps.

      • sommer33

        hi thanks for the detailed answer, i think the first option is most attractive to me, but how can i keep the 2 gv numbers? i mean, do they stand alone without a forwarding nr.? when my native cell expires what happens with them?i saw somewhere people say you can keep them as google talk nr., how do i do this?

        • Your GV numbers are completely independent of your cell number because they are part of your Google Accounts, and have nothing to do with ATT or any other carrier. Just because your ATT contract is done, that does not terminate your Google Accounts, so you won’t lose your GV numbers (i.e. your GV number continues to work). People still can call your GV numbers, your GV mailboxes still pick up the calls if you don’t answer them.

          Whether you can receive these phone calls on your cell is a different matter. You MUST have at least one forwarding phone number on file for each GV number. If you decide to get a new native cell phone number and NOT update your forwarding phone numbers on file, you won’t receive the GV calls at your new phone number. But your GV numbers will ring (virtually), then answer the calls with voicemails. You will then have to log into your GV account to check for messages. You can also check them via email, if you have set up to forward voicemails to your email address, or via an app on your phone (assuming your have a smartphone).

          And if you decide not to update your forward-to phone on file for whatever reason, you better turn off the forwarding (uncheck the “forward calls to” checkbox in Settings –> Phones) in your GV accounts, or whoever get your old cell number next will end up getting all your GV calls.

          If you want to continue to receive the GV calls at your new cell number, simply log in to your GV (Google) accounts and update the forward-to numbers with your new cell number.

          By the way, your GV numbers ARE your Google Talk numbers. You can use them with Google Talk regardless whether you are forward calls to your cell phone or not.

          • sommer33

            this really is, the best answer i’ve found so far on the web on this matter. I did the experiment, it confirmed all what you said, only a few things:

   seems you don’t even need google talk, if you don’t forward the gv nr. to cell phone, it will just ring in gmail page via google chat.

            2. there is this change/port tab, says $10 to change to a new gv nr., $20 to make it permanent. Kind of confusing: if the gv. nr. is completely independent,do not expire with your forwarding nr. etc., why is there a need to make it permanent? Isn’t it permanent anyways for you as it is tied to your gmail account?

            3. you can uncheck to forward to your old cell nr., but you can’t delete it. so if you don’t own this cell anymore, some one else get it, try to tie gv to it, anything happens with this gv? thanks again!

          • Glad I was able to help… 🙂 Here’s my answers/comments:
            1) Yes, I believe Google Talk is integrated into Gmail now. So as long as you have Gmail, you can your GV.

            2) There is a $10 fee to change your GV number. The $20 extra is for in case you want to keep your old GV number, you can do that. In your case, say you decide to port your old ATT number to one of your GV numbers (GV1), you first pay $10 to port the number (so now your ATT number becomes a GV number). Then you can pay another $20 to keep your original GV number (GV1) as a secondary number. This way you actually get to keep both ATT number and GV1 under one Google account. And you should be able to forward both of your GV numbers to your new cell phone. At your new cell phone number, you will get all the calls — calls to your old cell number, calls to your GV numbers and calls to your new cell number. I tend to forget about this paid-option… Sorry about that. You can see this page for more info:

            3) If someone gets your old ATT number and uses GV with it, you will either get a “forward-to phone has been reclaimed” message or you will get that person’s GV calls (depending on the set up) So it is definitely recommended that you update your GV “forward-to” phone with your new cell number.

          • sommer33

            you are quick 🙂

            2) if i choose rather to loose the att nr., but keep the two gv nr., do i then have to go for the pay option to avoid problems in 3)? somehow it doesn’t answer my question of why the pay option is needed if my gv nr. is stand alone and permanent anyways, as assumed.

            3) if i get the reclaimed message, what will happen with the gv nr. itself? i mean, if it is independent as you said, then i will just not be able to forward it to the old att, but the gv nr. itself will neither expire nor be redirected right? i actually don’t think i will get that person’s gv calls, he’ll choose either to forward to att or not, but in either case his call can’t be directed to my gv right? just like now i have 2 gv, the one will not be associated with another even that they both tie to one att nr.

            i did another experiment, try to call from att nr. to gv1, from gv 2 to gv1,from gv2 to att nr. it all works, shows different nr. respectively, and each time rings only the respective phone. A confirmation that these 3 numbers, although tied to 1 native cell, works independently. It’s just a matter of, whether they expire.

            sorry for my slow understanding, but that’s why i’m here asking for help 😛 thanks!

          • Your GV numbers never expires. The only time you lose your GV numbers is when you close your Google Account, when you delete Google Voice from your Google Account, or when you change your GV number (in the last case, you lose your original GV number, but the new GV number stays good as long as you keep your Google Account/GV service).

            2) Paying the $20 is for when you change your GV number from one number to another, but want to keep both numbers. It doesn’t matter how you get the new GV number (whether you get a new one from Google or you port a number to make it a GV number).

            For example, if you port your ATT number to GV Account 1, it becomes the number of GV Account 1 (i.e. new GV1). You will lose your original (old) GV1 that GV Account1 had, unless you pay the $20. When you pay the extra $20, you will have both ATT number (as the new GV1) and your original (old) GV1 in your GV Account 1. GV1 itself, new or old, doesn’t expire.

            3) Nothing will happen to your GV number if you get a reclaim message. That message refers to the “forward-to phone” (the old ATT number that you no longer own, assuming didn’t pay to port it to GV). All that means is the old ATT number is no longer on file as your “forward-to” phone.

            Say your old ATT number goes to John, and he uses it as a “forward-to” number on his own GV number. If you still have that old ATT no. in your GV account (i.e. it has not been reclaimed by John), that becomes the scenario of “2 GV numbers to 1 phone”, that 1 phone being the old ATT no. Calls to either your GV or John’s GV will go to the old ATT no (i.e. the GV accounts that have it on file), so you will get John’s GV calls in your GV account, and he might get your GV calls at his phone (depending on whether you have “forward-to” to the old ATT no. turned on or not). This scenario will only happen if the reclaiming of the old ATT number by John didn’t happen. If the old ATT number is reclaimed, it’s no longer your “forward-to” phone, then your calls won’t go to John’s phone.

            Again if you do nothing to your ATT number, it’s the only number you will lose when your contract expire. Nothing will happen to your GV numbers themselves.

            What carrier do you plan to move to? As I mention before, most carriers in US will move (port) your current cell number to their networks. That’s probably the easiest way to go if you want to keep your current cell number and your GV numbers. You wouldn’t have to change anything on your GV accounts. You will simple get your current cell number working on your new phone/carrier network.

          • sommer33

            i figure i have to tell you this: it seems you can add more than 2 gv to one cell number? i mean i just opened a new gmail account, tried to add a new number to my cell choosing either home or work, it worked and none of my other 2 gv numbers got any warning – i mean i didn’t choose to forward them all to my cell, but they co-exist in google chat/talk very well. is this true? i’ll try to add more just to test out

          • I’m not sure what you mean by adding the GV numbers to your cell, but as far as I know, you can only forward a maximum of 2 GV numbers to any one phone. In other words, you can use the same phone number as the forward-to phone on 2 GV accounts max.

            If you have a different experience (i.e. able to forward more than 2 GV numbers to you cell), please let us know. 🙂

          • sommer33

            i see, i haven’t tried if they can all be forwarded to my cell, i’ll try it and get back if successful! what i meant is i opened new gmail account, was able to create more than 2 gv numbers which are tied to the one same cell number, they work well in google talk – it seems you can have many gv numbers with 1 forwarding phone, but i haven’t tried to actually forward them all to my cell yet, they do function stand alone.

          • How do you tie your GV numbers to your cell, if not setting it up as your forward-to phone for those GV accounts?

            Google forces you to have at least 1 forward-to phone when you signs up for a new GV account, and if you use a phone number that’s already a forward-to phone for 2 other GV accounts, Google will remove the phone number off the 1 of those 2 accounts and reassign the number to the one you’re setting up.
            You can have as many GV numbers as you have Google Accounts, but unless Google relaxed the restrictions, you can only forward 2 GV accounts to a single phone.

          • sommer33

            yes what i mean is exactly, you can has as many gv – i just haven’t tested if they all forward to my cell yet – at least i didn’t receive message on any of the 3 gv saying “your forward nr. is reassigned”.

  • sierra

    Hi everyone, I am new at this,have been trying to find my answer for hours but am at a loss! i have just signed up for a new google voice account, and chosen a new number to use as forwarding with my cellphone (Not a smart phone i think, just regular cell).
    My question is- can I keep my original phone number AS WELL AS my new google number? I wan my original number for friends, and to use the google number to give out to new business clients. If so, then how do i do this?
    Thanks SO much for any helpful answers!!!

    • Signing up for GV service (account) and getting a number from Google for the account means now you have a virtual phone number (the GV number), as well as your native cell phone number.

      This means yes, you get to keep your original (native) cell phone number. You always do, because that’s the phone number you tell GV to forward your calls to when people call your GV number.

      For more info on GV and instructions on how to get your GV set up, please visit

  • Marina

    Thank you so much! After hours of trying to make it work, I found your trick. It works, I’m so happy.

  • Wow, about to try this now. Thanks for keeping things updated. I’m going crazy trying to figure out how to have two numbers. Will keep you posted if I have a new error.

    • You’re welcome! Glad to be able to help. 🙂

  • Matthew Hoyt

    just tried it,, cancelling error message. either google voice number rings my cell phone. Awesome

  • I actually managed to get one GV number to forward to another GV number. How? By accident.

    First I forwarded one GV account to my Vonage home number and then later I decided to port that Vonage number to a second GV account (yes, first I had to port it to a mobile provider before porting it to GV).

    Next, I forwarded the second GV account to my new mobile phone number.

    So, now I have a daisy chain. If you call my GV #1 it forwards to GV #2 which forwards to my mobile.

    BTW, I had set up GV forwarding on that first account as a home number so I don’t know what would happen–if anything–if I had set it up as a mobile number to begin with.

  • XanaxRider

    I have two GV numbers linked to my cell. Is there a way to switch between numbers to make calls? I would like to call my friends using one GV number, and clients using the other. Any suggestions?

    • Please check out my GV Q & A post: (look for Question: I have my GV numbers set up to forward to my cell phone. Can I switch between the 2 GV numbers when I make calls with Google Voice?)

      As far as I can tell right now, only iOS’s GV Mobile+ app allows simultaneous multiple GV accounts, but if you find an Android that does the same thing, please do tell.

    • Nate

      @IT Pixie – The problem is that if the person that texted you has a Google voice account as well, there is no phantom number, and if you return his call, your ‘real’ phone number might be the number that will be displayed as the caller ID.

      @XanaXRider If you have the call screening feature on (a Google voice setting), you simply call your own Google voice number, while your voice mail message (OGM) is playing , hit * , Dial your pass-code number (a Google voice setting). * for main menu, 2 to call out, dial the number you wish to call, and # to start dialing without waiting. This works from any phone in the world.

      The only problem is that on most cellphones, you can’t send a contact number as DTMF tones, when you hit ‘send’ it will actually dial the number as a second call (showing your real number), so you have to write down the number from your phone’s memory, and dial it manually. (Nextel IDEN phones are the only phones that I know of, that when in a call will send the contact number you select as DTMF tones, I hope there are other phones that can do it, as Nextel is shutting down next year, and I don’t want a smart phone.

      This inconvenience can be tolerated if you don’t have to make calls to lots of different numbers on the go, if you are by your computer, you can use the computer to initiate the calls, I like the Google Voice Contact Manager.

      Also, If someone leaves you a message, and you know you need to call this number frequently, keep the message as new, than, while you hear that message playing, just press 2 to return the call.

      Tip: While being on a call via Google Voice in the method above, if you whish to make another call right away, you don’t need to hang up and dial again, simply hit the * button to go back to the main menu where you can listen to messages and dial out again.

      • @Nate – The idea of calling your GV voicemail and make a call from there is brilliant! I just tried it calling my 2nd GV*, got to voicemail and called someone, the call went through and my 2nd GV number was displayed in caller ID. Thanks for the tip!

        * I’m already signed into my 1st GV number via the GV app so I can make calls using my 1st GV, with the GV number displayed in caller ID.

  • I love you for this!!! FOR SPRINT: It does work. I have an SIII and it works perfectly. Follow the instructions given and you will be alright!!!

  • Andre Powell

    Just tried this and I am unable to get this to work. I am getting the error forwarding phone already exists. I followed the instructions step by step any help would be appreciated.
    – Andre

    • Could it be that you’re already linking to another GV (a 3rd GV)? Or are you a Sprint customer, and have some kind of GV integration with your Sprint service? Usually you get this message when you’re trying to link your native number to more than 2 GV numbers. I have heard some people have trouble linking 2 GV numbers to 1 cell number when they have GV intergrated into their Sprint service.

    • Mike

      same problem here.

  • Mike,

    I would suggest you check your both of your GV accounts by calling them and see if they are actually forwarded to your Mobile2, despite the “in use” message.

    If they are not (or one of them is not) forwarded to your Mobile2, then try unlinking all GV accounts from you Mobile2 and start over, with the following set up:
    — GVpersonal == Mobile1 (no change)
    — GVwork -> Mobile2 (set as work)
    — GVpersonal -> Mobile2 (set as HOME)

    Whenever you set up a forward-to phone (in your case, GVpersonal) as “mobile”, you’re going to get that “in use” message. Some people have claimed that you can ignore the message and the GV accounts are still forwarded correctly, and it might be the case for you right now. And if that’s not the case, try starting over and see if my instructions work or not.

  • Kyle

    As far as I can tell this work around does not work for Sprint. I have tried according to the directions in the post and the work arounds mentioned in the comments. If anyone figures it out, please let me know.

    • I have heard/read that Sprint has some kind of special set up for Google Voice (something called ”Google Voice for Sprint”?). In this case Sprint might be forcing your phone number to link to GV in the same sense of porting your number to Google Voice. Have you tried deactivating this special set up between Sprint and GV? Or is that not an option?

      • Kyle

        The setup between Sprint and Google Voice is not activated as far as I know. If it is, it is not something that I can control as I have gone through the varying options on the Google Voice setup page

        • Have you checked with Sprint? If i remember correctly the special set up has to do with voicemail (i.e. GV replacing Sprint’s voicemail when you choose to use GV). Ask Sprint if you can use GV without Sprint’s interference.

          And it’s also entirely possible that if you want to use Google Voice, you have to do it “the Sprint way”…

  • How do I switch a Gvoice # to ANOTHER google account? For instance, I have a gvoice # going to one email but want it to go to another email’s inbox. Anyone have advice for me on that? I can delete it from the account (I have 2 Gvoice #s for this account because I’ve already ported my cell into it) but not sure if I will lose it permanently at that point.

    • Here’s the link to submit a transfer request to move your GV number from one Google account to another:

      If you simply want your voicemail notifications to go to another email, you can change that in GV’s settings (Settings –> Voicemail & Text –> Voicemail Notifications)

  • Johan vL

    Hi. I thought I had posted a messag, but I don’t see it anymore, so I’ll try again. I have one landline with two numbers. I’m in the process of moving them both to GV, but I think I’m hitting a wall now: How do I get two numbers in the same account? I only want to receive calls on one number and the other number I want to send and receive calls, so basically I have one number forwarding to the other. How would I do that? Right now one of them is ported to my cellphone and the other one is -supposedly- on it’s way to be on another cellphone. Please any advice is welcome! (or hopefully someone can point me in the right direction.. thanks!! 🙂 )

  • John Roets

    Thank you!!!

  • Andy Johns

    Also if you just want to have a number that is associated with another account you can. Apply for a new number and ensure its fowarding to your real phone. Then on the previous number go into the account settings and make sure calls are ONLY forwarded to GOOGLE CHAT. This way you can make calls from your PC only which is what I do, retain your old number and then the other number is forward to your phone. This is also i presume usable with those who have 1 main google voice going to a cell num and the other GV num being utilized with a VOIP application on there smart phone.. This way you can utilize two numbers on one phone as well.

  • Dan Weiss

    This is exactly what I have been looking for, however I cannot get this to work for me at all. I have 2 physical phones, both Verizon cell phones, with a Google voice account for each one. I only use the second phone (a cheap burner) to receive forwarded calls from an apartment complex so the manager can have a few days off now and then. I did this so there would be a separate voice mail for off hours calls (I know that there are other ways to do this) . I have to carry the burner around and often miss calls for various reasons. I would love the to have the burners number ring on my primary phone. I set up Google Voice on both phones and designated them both as non mobile types (however Google Voice has them both tagged as Verizon numbers – somehow it knows this). Whenever I attempt add my primary number (add a second number) to the burners Google Voice account I always get a warning that the number is already associated with another Google account. I ignore the warning and my primary number gets added, however I have to “verify” the number and I get a pop up box that states the number will be “reclaimed” and there seems to be no way around this. If I go through the process my primary number gets called and I have to enter a 2 digit code, and then my primary numbers Google Voice account loses the primary phone number, until I reverse the process and get it reclaimed back. Any suggestions?

    • I’m not sure why you even need the burner phone, because all you really need are the 2 GV numbers and your main/primary cell phone (the one that you use the most).

      Let’s say you have GV1 and GV2, GV1 has your primary cell attached, and GV2 has your burner number attached. When you add your primary cell to GV2, make sure you mark it as non-mobile as well.

      And did you port your cell phone numbers to Google Voice when you first signed up? It’s not going to work if you did. In order for this setup to work, your GV numbers has to be independent of your phones’ native numbers (i.e. you can’t use your phones’ native numbers as your GV numbers). Right now, you should have 4 separate phone numbers: your primary phone’s native, your burner phone’s native, GV1 and GV2.

      • Dan Weiss

        No, I did not port my numbers to GV. I have 4 phone numbers. They are both set to non mobile descriptors (Home and Work)
        As in your example, I tried to have my primary cell added to GV. In the Phone tab, I select “Add another phone”. I give it a name and enter my primary phones number. I leave the pin number selection as is. I press the save button. A popup box appears; Number in use. +11235551212: Cell phone numbers cannot be shared across Google Voice accounts.

        I have 2 options. Cancel or “Reclaim this number”. Those options lead nowhere. Or, I can “x” the box which then disassapears. This leaves the new number there, but “unverified”. The screen looks similar to this:
        (in a yellow box)
        This phone must be verified before it can be used with this account. Verify now.

        New Phone (Verizon)
        (123) 555-1212 – Mobile
        ¤ Notify me of new voicemails via text
        {EDIT} {DELETE}

        That is where I am stuck. If I select “Verify” the number gets reclaimed. There are no other choices.

        • Here’s the problem:
          New Phone (Verizon)
          (123) 555-1212 – Mobile

          (123) 555-1212 was added to GV as “mobile”. It needs to be added as either “home” or “work” phone type. You should be able to click “Edit” and change the phone type from the drop-down.

          In order for the setup to work, all of the phone numbers added to the GVs must be marked as either “home” or “work” phone type — any phone number marked as “mobile” will break the setup.

          • Dan Weiss

            We’ll, not. That is what GV assigns to it. I have them marked as Home (GV1) and Work (GV2). GV is putting that “Mobile” tag after the phone number and I have no control over it. I have triple checked the ‘type’ on both. If I Edit them they have Home and Work respectively as the types. Neither are typed as Mobile. Now, they were originally. Maybe somewhere in their huge database GV remembers this and will not change them even though they say Home and Work on the main screen.?? If you would like some screen shots, I’d be glad to give them to you privately.

          • Hmm, in this case I’m not sure if I can help any further. I would not be surprised if Google does have such a database, and there is no telling if Google would ever change or lock down how Google Voice (or any of their services) works. May be try deleting the attached numbers and start the linking process from scratch again.

  • Dave Harkins

    So far everything seems to be working the way I’d like. I’m working on fixing on small issue now, however, this was a great tutorial and work around. Now I can use 3 numbers on the same phone, almost flawlessly.

  • ng

    Great article! very helpful! Finally, I found a solution to have 2 google numbers route to the same cell phone. Thank you so much for posting this article 🙂

  • wise0nex

    You’re genius!!

  • JJJones

    I just tried this. What you can do is after adding the number to both accounts go into the settings and change it from home or work to cell. It will then tell you that you can’t use one cell number on multiple accounts. AFter this you will receive texts from both numbers

  • jasonfuller

    I’m not entirely sure I understood the problems and caveats of your hack as I found your instructional a bit confusing. Why dose porting a number to google voice nullify this hack? When you port a number to google voice, you get a new number for your physical mobile device, else you won’t have service on that physical device. Thus it seems likely this should work if I were to use a google voice account with a google assigned number as well as a google account which I ported my number to as log as you choose a new non-Google generated number for both accounts to forward to.

    Also, what stops one from using a gmail filter to forwarding the SMS messages originating from google voice to the SMS email address your provider sends you?

    Finally, with respect to making your instructional less confusing I offer the following suggestions:

    1) When writing up a technical how-to it’s best to be consistent with your terminology ; I found my self rereading several of your instructions because you’d talk about a mobile phone in one sentence, and a cell phone in another and my brain wasn’t sure if these were different devices (one could be a tablet soft phone – hence a mobile but not a cell).

    2) It’s helpful to indicate some text as belonging to title of fields; ie ‘add your mobile number as a forward-to phone again’ would become ‘add your mobile number to the “forward calls to” section again.’ You did do this in other instance, but also had trouble with consistency mixing quotes and italics for the same field types (‘If your mobile number is already linked to one Google Voice number and is marked as “Mobile”, change that to Home or Work phone type…’)


    • In regards to porting —
      In the past (when the post was first written more than 2 years ago) if the GV number was actually the ported mobile number, this setup didn’t work. That’s why I advised not to port your mobile number over. However things could have changed, and if you’ve tried porting your mobile number to become a GV number and still able to forward multiple GV numbers to your mobile phone, please let us know.

      In regards to SMS forwarding —
      You can certainly forward your GV SMS to another email address (one that your service provider provides for SMS). If you can reply to the GV SMS via your service provider’s SMS email, that’s great! It is not mentioned in the post because it doesn’t works for all providers, and I only included info that (should) work for most.

      And please note that this post is by no means the “be all and end all” tutorial on GV forwarding… It’s just a post based on my own experience working with GV. Google changes things all the time, and I will try to update the post as things change or more information (hacks, if you will) become available.

      • jasonfuller

        Thanks. 🙂 I bookmarked the post and will be sure to follow-up if I I try pointing my account with a ported number as well as a different account to my phone (wasn’t actually what I was looking for when I stumbled on this, but something I was interested in previously).

  • Pingback: How to Have Two GV Numbers Connected with One Phone, and Why You Might Want To - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education()

  • Lauren Annamarie Miltner

    What is I already have one of my GV numbers set up and it is already listed as”mobile”? I don’t see anywhere to change that under setting…. meh 🙁

    • Under Phone tab, you should see a list of phone numbers you’re forwarding your GV calls to. Under each of these numbers, there should be an “Edit” button as well as “Delete”. Click the “Edit” button, that should take you to the page where you can change the phone type (as in 1st screenshot)

  • mikehardin63

    I went to a verizon store to start this process today. Asked for their cheapest prepaid phone. They told me to go to Walmart. Walmart had a $15 Verizon prepaid phone that included $10 of airtime. With an e911 fee and sales tax it was $16.88. I signed up for the $1.99/day plan, since you only pay for the days you use, and I hope to only actually use it 5 days or less before it ports from Verizon to Google. That’s only $37 with the Google porting fee. And the Obihai device is now $38 on Amazon. Hopefully I’ll be able to get something online for my old vonage device. We will see. I’m going through this first for the vonage line at my office. If all goes smoothly I’ll repeat for the vonage line at home.

  • Jeremy

    Unfortunately, I was going through the wizard and set the mobile # as the same as my other GV account. I’m now flagged and inputting the # into the Work or Home field does not work. Seems the only alternative is to create a new Google Account and start over…

  • sreynolds

    I have three GV linked to one cell phone. This article says you can only do 2.

    • Would you mind sharing how you got it to work?

  • Raquel Mangual

    So glad I found this article. I have two Google Voice numbers that I need to link to one cellphone and it worked! You just saved me a ton of money by not having to get another cellphone with service. Thanks again!