How do I answer an incoming call on Google Voice?

What is Google Voice?

Google Voice is a phone service from Google that provides a phone number for calling, texting, and voicemail. Users can have a single Google Voice number that rings multiple phones, sends texts from any device, and records voicemail transcripts.

According to market research firms HG Data and Enlyft, Google Voice has around 1-2% market share in the VoIP and unified communications space, with over 1 million business users as of 2022. Key competitors include RingCentral, Vonage, Nextiva, and Ooma.

The service launched in 2009 and replaced GrandCentral, which Google acquired in 2007. It is available to users in the US and Canada. Google Voice includes features like call screening, blocking, and recording. It integrates with other Google services like Gmail, Hangouts, and Voice Assistant.

Receiving calls on Google Voice

When someone calls your Google Voice number, the call will ring simultaneously on all your linked devices and phones (1). This allows you to answer the call from whichever device is most convenient for you at the time. For example, if you are at your computer, you can answer the Google Voice call right on your computer using the Google Voice website or desktop app. Or if you are away from your computer, the call will also ring on your mobile phone so you can answer it there.

If you do not answer an incoming Google Voice call, it will go to voicemail where the caller can leave a message. Your voicemail works just like traditional voicemail – you will get a notification of any missed calls and new voicemails, and you can access and manage your voicemail through the Google Voice website or mobile app.


Answering on a mobile device

When you get an incoming call on your Google Voice number, the call will ring on your linked mobile device if you have the Google Voice app installed and setup. To answer the call on your mobile device:

Open the Google Voice app when a call comes in (source). The app will display the incoming call notification.

Tap Answer to answer the call and begin speaking with the caller (source).

Tap Ignore to send the call directly to your voicemail. The caller will hear your personal voicemail greeting and be able to leave a message.

Answering on the Web

When using Google Voice on the web, answering incoming calls is simple and straightforward. A pop-up will appear on your screen when a call comes in to your Google Voice number. The pop-up will display the caller’s name or number and give you two options:

Click “Answer” to answer the call. This will launch the Google Voice call widget which allows you to talk through your computer’s microphone and speakers.

Click “Ignore” to send the call directly to voicemail. The caller will hear your Google Voice voicemail greeting and be able to leave a message.

So when a call comes in, just look for the pop-up alert on your screen and choose whether to answer or ignore. With the Google Voice web interface, managing incoming calls is quick and easy.


Answering on Google Hangouts

In order to answer Google Voice calls using the Hangouts app, you’ll first need to install Hangouts on your mobile device or computer.

Once Hangouts is installed and linked to your Google Voice account, incoming calls to your Google Voice number will ring directly in the Hangouts app.

When a Google Voice call comes in, you will see the caller ID and have the option to tap “Answer” to answer the call or “Decline” to send the call to voicemail.

Hangouts allows you to easily manage Google Voice calls alongside your other conversations in one centralized app. With Hangouts enabled, you don’t need to have the Voice app open to receive calls.

To get started with Hangouts, visit this Google support page for instructions on linking Hangouts and Google Voice.

Managing multiple incoming calls

If you receive multiple incoming calls at the same time on Google Voice, you have a few options for managing them:

If a second call comes in while you are already on another call, you’ll hear a beep to notify you of the new incoming call. You can put the first call on hold and answer the other call by tapping the “Hold & Accept” button on your mobile device or clicking the “Hold & Answer” button in the web interface. This allows you to toggle between both calls.

Alternatively, you can ignore the new incoming call, which sends it directly to your voicemail. The caller will hear your Google Voice voicemail greeting and be able to leave a message.

You can also configure Do Not Disturb mode in your Google Voice settings, which will prevent any incoming calls from ringing on your end and send them straight to voicemail instead. This can be useful if you need to focus without phone call interruptions.

Overall, Google Voice provides helpful options for managing multiple incoming calls at once. You can smoothly toggle between calls, let calls go to voicemail, or block calls altogether with Do Not Disturb mode.

Using Do Not Disturb

One of the easiest ways to manage incoming calls on Google Voice is to enable Do Not Disturb (DND). When DND is turned on, all incoming calls will go directly to your voicemail without ringing any of your linked devices [1]. This can be useful if you are busy, sleeping, or simply don’t want to be disturbed.

Enabling DND is straightforward – just open the Google Voice app and toggle on the “Do Not Disturb” switch. You can choose to enable DND indefinitely or on a schedule, like only during certain hours. Just remember to turn DND off when you want to start receiving calls again.

The benefit of using Google Voice’s DND rather than your phone’s native DND is that it will send all calls directly to Google voicemail. This way you won’t miss any Google Voice calls just because your phone was silenced. DND gives you control over when and how Google Voice rings without missing what matters.

Blocking unwanted callers

If you’re receiving calls from numbers you don’t want to hear from, you can block them on Google Voice so they go straight to voicemail.

To block a number in Google Voice:

  1. Open the Google Voice website and log into your account.
  2. Click on the settings icon (shaped like a gear) in the top right corner.
  3. Select “Blocked numbers” from the menu.
  4. Enter the phone number you want to block. Make sure to include the country code if blocking an international number.
  5. Click the “Block” button to confirm.

Once a number is blocked, any calls from that number will go directly to voicemail. You won’t receive any notifications of attempted calls. The caller will hear a standard voicemail greeting saying you’re unavailable.

To unblock a number, go back to the Blocked numbers page in settings and click “Unblock.” The number will then be able to call you again normally.

Blocking unwanted callers can help reduce distractions and nuisance calls. It ensures you only receive Google Voice calls that you want to answer.

Forwarding Calls

One of the most useful features of Google Voice is the ability to forward calls to another number. This allows you to receive your Google Voice calls even when you can’t answer the Google Voice app directly.

You can forward Google Voice calls to another number by following these steps:

  1. Open the Google Voice app and go to Settings > Making and receiving calls
  2. Enter the telephone number you want to forward calls to. This can be a mobile number, landline, or VoIP number.
  3. Tap “Turn on call forwarding” to enable it.

Once enabled, all calls to your Google Voice number will ring the number you entered. You can still answer in the Google Voice app as well if you have it installed on your device.

Call forwarding allows you to stay connected and never miss an important business or personal call. You can disable call forwarding at any time in the Google Voice settings. For more details, visit the Google Voice help center.


In summary, there are several ways to answer incoming calls on Google Voice, depending on whether you want to answer on your mobile device, in the web interface, or using Google Hangouts. Some of the key methods include:

  • On mobile, open the Google Voice app and tap ‘Answer’ when a call comes in.
  • In the browser, click the green ‘Answer’ button when a call notification pops up.
  • In Hangouts, incoming calls will ring like a normal phone call that you can pick up.

When juggling multiple incoming calls, features like Do Not Disturb or call forwarding can help route calls efficiently. Blocking unwanted callers is another option to manage incoming calls.

To learn more about making the most of Google Voice for your calling needs, check out Google’s support site or this guide to desk phones that work with the service. With some practice, you’ll be adept at managing incoming calls in Google Voice.

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