Your Call Has Been Forwarded: What Does It Mean?

your call has been forwarded

When calling someone, you may get an immediate message that your call has been forwarded, or it may ring a few times before getting this message and then going to voicemail. So what does ‘Your call has been forwarded’ mean?

This message could mean the person has intentionally sent your call to voicemail because they don’t want to take your call, or they are away from their phone or out of cell range.

We’ll go through the common reasons why you can get this message, and also deal with some ways to try checking whether you’ve been blocked or the person just doesn’t have access to their phone right now.

Does ‘Your Call Has Been Forwarded’ Mean You Are Blocked?

Just because you get a recorded message saying your call has been forwarded does not mean you have been blocked. It could be that someone has manually forwarded your call because they’re busy, or even that their phone is off.

If you’re still getting connected to a voicemail, it may just be that the phone has run out of battery but the number is still active.

A voicemail account is tied directly to an active account, so if they’ve disconnected their account or had it go inactive due to nonpayment, you’ll get a different recorded message rather than the standard call forwarding message.

Some carriers will send the call to call forwarding without a recorded message, and some will, so don’t take it too literally.

Call forwarding just refers to the call being sent to a different system as opposed to the phone system, as instead your message or details will be recorded rather than being put through to the other person as a phone call.

If the phone goes to voicemail without ringing at all, this however could be a sign that you’re blocked, but it equally could be their phone is off. 

Consider also that your number may have been added to their blacklist. Blacklisting can happen on the phone side or on the provider side. There are even specialty spam and blacklisting apps that manage this for you that are quite popular.

The former is generally a one touch function and as it is designed to block spam calls as well, the person who blacklisted you likely won’t receive any notifications from you at all, be that missed call notifications, texts, or even notifications that you’ve left a voicemail.

Keep in mind that airplane mode will mean that the cell connection to the phone is off, meaning you’ll be forwarded straight to voicemail in most situations. 

A really common situation where your call gets forwarded is when it is a work phone. If someone is on a call with a phone, then they have to answer work calls, but once they’re off call they can forward it to a different number or destination.

What To Do When Your Call Has Been Forwarded?

Leaving a voicemail in most cases is the best course of action, because if they’re busy, a voicemail will prompt them to call you back. If you’re blocked, then nothing you do is really going to increase your chances of getting a call back.

It may also be worth sending a message with a short summary of what the call was about, as personally, I like to know what type of phone call I’m getting into rather than ‘cold calling’ someone back.

Otherwise, you can try ringing them and hiding your caller ID so that it comes up as a hidden or private number.

This may prompt them to pick up the call but don’t do this too soon after you made the first call, if they’re smart enough to block you, they’re going to be aware of the common ways that people react when trying to find out if they’re blocked.

Also, if someone is not keen on talking to people so much that they block them, then the chances of them picking up a hidden number are possibly quite low.

Try calling during business hours or lunchtime to increase your chances of success. Weekend or late night calls are almost certainly not a good idea if you want them to pick up a hidden number.

Otherwise, you can contact someone else who has their number and who you don’t think will be blocked, and ask them to call the person who you think has blocked you and have an innocent chat to see whether they get through or not.

As it’s always possible that they may have blocked you by mistake, get this neutral party to casually mention that ‘X has been trying to reach you, could you call them back?’ as a way to gauge their reaction.

Keep in mind that if someone has blocked you but then you find out about it, it is a very awkward situation. Generally, if someone is blocking you, it’s best to stay out of it as they’re likely not interested in talking to you.

How to Set Up ‘Your Call Has Been Forwarded’ Message?

It’s best to search online using call forwarding and the name of your phone model or cell carrier network. This should send you to specific instructions on how to set this up, as this is a very common feature that most users want to know how to do.

Generally, it involves calling a number and then typing in the inputs as instructed, and you’ll get a recorded message system that will inform you that the call forwarding has been set up, and it may even prompt you to record a message to be played to anyone.

Some phones may require you to use a certain combination of numbers and symbols, generally starting with a * or #. Again, you should be directed to a recorded message which will inform you whether this was successful or not.

If you’re on an iPhone and your connection is through the GSM network, then you can go to Settings and then tap Phone, from there you can select Call Forwarding.

If you’re unable to follow the instructions or can’t find any, it would be best to contact your carrier via their help or support line as they’ll be able to take you through the steps. 

I’d recommend using a different phone to call them on so the phone you want to set up the call forwarding message on is free to use while you get the step by step instructions told to you.

How Can You Tell if Somebody Blocked Your Number?

Telling whether someone has blocked you is hard due to the way cell companies set up their systems. It’s not obvious whether someone has blocked you or they’re just out of cell range or have their phone off.

This is a feature rather than a bug, as cell companies have decided that it is better to be ambiguous in this area due to people sometimes acting irrationally once they have found out they are blocked. If it is unclear if you’re blocked, then it’s harder to get angry about it.

Further, if it is easy to tell if you are blocked, this makes spam marketing and cold calling more efficient as they know not to try your number anymore.

So the choice was made to protect people’s privacy and choices by making it almost impossible to work out whether you’re blocked or the person is just not answering.

It’s worth sending a message to them to confirm, as sometimes people put on a do not disturb mode or similar without realizing it.

Remember that the blocking or voicemail function is going to operate subtly different between phone or carrier. 

If someone is just dodging your calls via the ignore button, you can generally expect the phone to ring once or twice before they hit it and you’re sent to voicemail.

The number of rings a call makes before it goes to voicemail is customizable and dynamic, so it may send you to voicemail a set amount of rings (say five). 

You can tell if this is the case by ringing again, and counting the amount of rings a call does before it gets sent to voicemail as it will decrease per call with some carriers. 

If you find that each time you call, the amount of rings is getting lower, then likely you’re not blocked and instead they’re just busy.

However, a call getting dumped straight into a recorded message every single time when you know their phone is on and working is very suspicious, and could indicate that your number has been blocked.

While unlikely, if someone dislikes you enough to block you, they may find it uncomfortable that you are still trying to call them, and they could feel that they are getting harassed.

RELATED: Your Boyfriend’s Phone Goes Straight to Voicemail: Meaning

What Happens if You Text Someone That Blocked You?

For some networks or phones, you may not be able to send text messages to someone who has blocked you, or leave a voicemail.

Or they may get it as usual, but given the limited functions of SMS, you won’t be able to see if they’re received or read it or not.

You can get around this by using a 3rd party app that has a ‘read’ function, a good one being Messenger or Instagram, as once they read the message you’ll be able to tell.

In the end, it is going to depend a lot on the individual carrier you are dealing with, but generally, you’ll be able to text someone that has blocked you, you just won’t get any indication that it has not reached them as it gets blocked before it reaches them.

  • Laura is a co-founder of Computer Zilla and an author. Her favorite topics are gaming related, but she is also obsessed with smart home gadgets. Probably that’s why she always says that her favorite pet is her robot vacuum cleaner Nunu.