How to adjust 'ring time' - ie. time before answerphone cuts in (on FP3+ android OS)

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Those are so-called USSD codes in a GSM mobile network.

**61*555*11*60# seems syntactically correct according to the Wikipedia list, question is whether 555 is correct for you, says regarding voicemail …

"For EE network customers - dial 555
For Vodafone network business customers - dial 121
For O2 network business customers - dial 901"

**61*101**60# just omits the 11 for the bearer service “voice” (effectively setting this to “all”) and uses 101 as voicemail number. Perhaps try this one with 555 instead?

Anyway, *#61**# should display the current status of the setting according to Wikipedia (and it works for me), does it give you anything?

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Dear Elk
Thanks for your note. Your test *#61**# does work, tells me I have 20 seconds ring time. Sadly your main suggestion:
**61*101**60# just omits the 11 for the bearer service “voice” (effectively setting this to “all”) and uses 101 as voicemail number. Perhaps try this one with 555 instead? - doesn’t work.
I wonder if I might have something turned off that is affecting ‘normal service’? I have just about every option where there is a choice switched off in an attempt to de-googlise and prevent data capture.
Thank you for your input regardless.

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That means your phone can dial USSD codes and display the answer of the mobile network just fine in general.

That should mean it’s “simply” the wrong code in the eyes of the mobile network.
The Phone Co-op have to provide you with the correct one for their mobile network setup, but they seem unsure about it themselves :man_shrugging: .

It’s a mobile network thing I think, not something on the phone.
As long as the phone can dial the codes and they get executed (like the simple one which works), the phone should be fine, as the codes get executed and answered by the mobile network.

Which number do you call to check your voicemail?

Thanks for this. My voicemail number is +44 7870 020555

So the 555 would be correct, if we take into account this old info …

If you have WiFi calling enabled, does disabling it make a difference?
Or setting the network type to 2G?

Thanks for your continued support. I have tried both ideas, switching off wifi calling and selected 2G … same outcome, same error message.

Since the status display code worked …
##61**# would switch off call divert when not answered according to Wikipedia.
At this point I would consider this as a workaround to at least not miss the calls for the time being. If the code works, that is.

Wikipedia also lists a 002 code for handling all diversions.
Carefully starting with the status again, does *#002**# give you something?
If that gives a valid status, perhaps you could try **002*555*11*60# or **002*555**60#.

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Thanks, I have been able to switch off call forwarding with this code. Please could you suggest a code to turn forwarding back on in case I need it?.
I will experiment with the 002 versions in the meantime

Dear Elk
Thank you for your help. I have tried both ‘002’ options … they both turn on the call forwarding although it remains at 20 seconds.
At least now I can turn off and on the call forwarding feature - I think I will have to live with that. I really appreciate the time you have taken trying to figure this out. It’s a shame it remains unresolved, but a workable solution of sorts. Thanks again. John

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That’s curious. Then it would seem your mobile network doesn’t allow to set a different time than the default. But that’s just my deduction from this, I’m not a mobile network technician.

Aha. Maybe a mobile network (EE) default.
Having just tested more thoroughly, I find that nothing changes, whatever code I put in … the ring time remains at 20 seconds and the answering service cuts in … whether call forwarding is stated as being switched off or on.
I give up.

I had no idea the call forwarding delay could be configured. It’s been bothering me for 20 years, never have time to drag the thing out and take the call. Now set to 30", brill. Thanks for raising the point.
Mind you, not that simple to set, it’s a method from 30 years back. I don’t understand why they can’t include this sort of thing in the account configuration web page. Maybe some providers do!

Nota - With my provider, the delay has to be set between 5 and 30s. So if yours has the same restrictions, and you set 60, the request would likely be ignored.

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Maybe you could share how you did it and what network you are using, as it seems there are a number of methods and some networks don’t respond to any.

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Sure, Amoun.
I’m a subscriber of the French provider Free. I have a FP3+ running the default Android 10 distribution updated a few weeks ago (2021-02-05). After reading the above posts I did a quick search and came up with a “how-to” page, cited in my previous post, not published on the official support website of Free, but on that of an independent users’ organisation.

To send the code strings I used the default Phone app, composing the strings as though they were telephone numbers, and using the green “call” button to send.

The following code string functioned correctly to verify the current status of the service : *#61#
I get a pop-up reply on the screen :
“Call forwarding
Voice: +33695600011 after 30 seconds”

Voice presumably refers to the Bearer Service (see the USSD codes Wikipedia page).

The following code string allowed me to set the call forwarding delay to 30s. As I noted above, this is the maximum allowed by Free (according to the users’ tutorial):

  • where +33695600011 is the number of the Free voicemail service. This is the number my phone calls when I pick up my voicemail.
    Each user needs to be sure of using the correct number as advertised by the provider (or check your phone’s configuration). If your provider uses a shortened number like 555 or 121 that should work.

As I understand the syntax,

  • **61* is an instruction to activate the call forwarding service - call divert when not answered
  • the phone number is the number you want the calls diverted to
  • **30# indicates no value for the Bearer Service and then the delay (the No Reply Condition Timer) and ends the string.

This seems to conform to the USSD codes as set out in the Wikipedia page indicated by AnotherElk. Remember that the Bearer Service (BS) can be left blank, which gives you the two asterisks after the diversion destination number, but those two asterisks must be there to conform to the syntax.

Finally, as I said in an earlier post, this is old technology, that typically requires strict conformity with syntax rules. There’s plenty of opportunity for error, which would simply result in the request being ignored.


Thank you for your detailed response :slight_smile:

Hi @jroldie69 ,
On my phone, which is a pretty standard configuration, there’s a simpler way (if not necessarily quicker) of turning call forwarding on and off. It’s a service provided by the default dialler app, that presents basic options in a comprehensible form and automatically relays your choices, presumably thanks to info already available to the app (such as your voicemail number).

To use this service just follow this Ariadne’s Thread …

  • Open the dialler (Phone) app
  • In the 3-dot menu choose Settings, and then Calling accounts
  • Tap on the name of your mobile provider
  • Choose GSM call settings > Call forwarding > Voice
    Wait for a few seconds while your phone checks the current settings … you will then hopefully see the current status for “Always forward”(1), “When busy”, “When unanswered” and “When unreachable”.
    All you need to do is to tap on “When unanswered” to turn that option on or off.

There’s no way of setting the Timer but at least it’s a more intuitive method than composing the USSD codes yourself.

(1) In normal circumstances, “Always forward” should be off. If it’s on, your phone will never receive any calls.

General remark : don’t forget that call forwarding can use numbers other than the voicemail. For example if you have an assistant or colleague you can divert calls to their number when your line is busy or unreachable. Could be very handy.

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Very interesting, thanks. There are so many options in the OS that get overlooked, but this is not the same as extending the ring time :slight_smile: All the options are off on my device but I often find myself running for the phone as I’m often working some distance from it.

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Thank you for your considerate and detailed response. I have done as you suggested … it didn’t happen quite in that order, but I’d never have found it otherwise. Many thanks.



To my mind, one of the problems is the seeming absence of comprehensive, properly ordered and properly indexed documentation. I’m a professional of this domain and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to persuade people of the importance of this. They shrug their shoulders and say, “use the search”.

Well, search engines can only get you so far, and for a specific subject are often time-wasting compared with a properly structured documentation. Also they’re often distorted by social media and commercial issues, so you don’t necessarily see a reliable answer at first.

Example and also case in point: I just visited Android Help to see how quickly I could come up with the info I posted this morning about using the Dialler app to change call forwarding. This is really going to the horse’s mouth.

There’s no structured interface at all that I can see.

The search engine ? Worse than poor. And we’re talking “powered by Google” here. This should be the best there is, technically speaking. Google talking about Google. Well, I typed in “call forwarding” (I can’t think of anything better than the terms used in the interface itself …) What do I get? Switch to an new Android phone, transfer files, find lock or erase, change app permissions … nothing that remotely corresponds to the function I’m looking for.

And if I put “call forwarding” within inverted commas to specify exact string, I get just one reply about “incorrect punctuation on voice to text”.

PATHETIC. I conclude that the Android documentation by Google contains no reference at all to the function we’re talking about.


Edit: typo