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Video:How to Configure Google Voice

with Shane Murphy

See how to setup Google Voice and learn how to use it's basic features.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Configure Google Voice

Hi, I’m Shane Murphy, your technology Guru for About.com. Today we’ll review all the steps for setting up Google Voice for your email and phone accounts.

What You'll Need

Before you begin, you’ll need handy at least one of the phones that you’ll be using the service on, your emailed invite, and a Gmail account.

New or Old Phone Number?

You’ll also need to decide whether you’ll want to get a new phone number, which allows you access to all of Google Voice’s features, or their more limited service which allows you to use your old phone number normally. Definitely take the time to consider the pro’s and con’s of getting a new number and the additional features you’ll receive.

Once you make your decision, you’ll have limited options for changing your mind, so read the fine print carefully. Check out Google’s short videos and explanations for all of the details on each feature.

Search for an Available Phone Number

If you chose to make a new number, then Google will first prompt you to do so. If you are keeping your old number, then you’ll skip this step.

First enter in the desired area code, then use Google’s number and letter search to find the best phone number you can. This will probably take several minutes as you try different possibilities. When you’re ready, select the number and hit “continue”.

Enter a Pin

Now it will prompt you to enter a 4 digit number as your account PIN. Enter it twice, accept their terms of service, and hit “Continue”.

Enter an Existing Phone Number

Next it will need an original phone number to connect to the account. Enter one and again hit continue. Google will now need to verify that this is in fact your phone. Prompt Google to call you and then answer your phone; this usually takes just a few seconds. Simply enter the two digit number; Google will now invite you to setup your voicemail and configure other settings. You can do this now or save it for later.

Setup Your Phone for Google Voice

Finally, Google will need to setup your phone for Google Voice. Call the supplied number, exactly as it is shown. You’ll hear a few beeps and then the call will end. After that simply hit continue and you’ll be taken to the Google Voice main page, which you’ll notice looks very similar to your Gmail inbox.

The left hand column has tabs that organize the digital records for your calls, texts, and voicemails, allowing you to view them in the main column, just like your inbox. The “SMS” and “Call” buttons at the top allow you to initiate these from your computer.

Adjust Your Settings

Click on the settings in the top right to manage your account. There are a ton of options contained in these tabs for you to customize, but there are a couple important ones to point out.

You can add new phone numbers to the account at the bottom of the “phones” tab.

Google will automatically change your normal answering machine message to their system standard. Go to the “Voicemail and SMS” tab in order to change back to your original message or input something else.

As a default, Google will ask callers to your Google Voice number to say their names for call screening. Click the box in the call screening row to disable this.

Google doesn’t offer phone support for voice or their other products. If you’re having trouble with any step in the process, the fastest way to find the answer is to look around Google’s help center for posts on the same issue.

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