ITS Service Desk

How To Forward Your Phone

Staff and faculty can forward their desk phone to another extension or to an external number (i.e. cell phone).


Before doing this, we must make it clear that while forwarding your office telephone to an outside phone number (i.e. cell phone) is possible, it's not ideal. With this setup, when someone calls in from the outside, the call is forwarded to your external phone which takes up two telephone lines for the duration of that one call. The college has a finite number of lines for use with incoming and outgoing telephone calls. If by chance, all of those lines are used up, then no one will be able to make or receive a phone call until someone else hangs up.

So, please consider just allowing your incoming calls to go to voice mail. Also know that each time a voice message is left on an employee's office phone, the employee immediately receives an email with the voice message attached. We hope that this arrangement will work well for most situations.

Understanding the limitations of our phone lines, if you still wish to forward your phone to an external number, use the information below.


Use this information to forward your phone to either another campus extension or to an external number. To do this, first make sure you have the Shoretel 480 phone. It looks like this:


If you're not at your phone, there is no way for you to do this yourself. Just send your request to the Service Desk.

Forwarding your phone is done with the "Availability" setting. By default, this is set to "Available" on all desk phones. By changing that from "Available" to "Custom", you can indicate the phone number to forward to.

Go into the following settings on the phone (you may be prompted for your voicemail password):

Options ► Availability ► Custom


When you get to the "Custom" setting, you'll see three options:

  • Forward calls — set this to "Always"
  • Always dest. — set this to the extension or phone number to forward to; use the "Clear" button to clear the entry; if you're forwarding to an external number use this format: 19205551212
  • Simulring — ignore this

When done, click "Back" then "OK" then "Exit".

Be sure to test it. Just call your office phone from another phone.

If you want to immediately forward your phone to voice mail without ringing, forward your phone to ext 8001.

Caller ID

When an incoming call is forwarded to your own phone, like your cell phone, you'll see the caller ID info of the original caller as if they had called your cell phone directly. In other words, you won't be able to tell the difference between calls made directly to your cell phone, and calls that were forwarded from your office phone.

Voice Mail

When an incoming call is forwarded to your own phone, like your cell phone, and you don't answer, the call will then go to your cell phone voice mail, not your office phone voice mail. Once transferred, there's no way to pull it back to the campus phone system to leave a message.

Test It

When this is done, be sure to test it! We're finding out that in some circumstances, when you call the office extension, it transfers to the cell phone but then the cell carrier immediately disconnects the call. This seems to be happening on phones with U.S. Cellular and Sprint. Though we've tested a number of times with Verizon phones and it works fine.

Have more questions? Submit a request