Good news, everybody! If you ported your number to Google Voice or integrated your Sprint account with Google Voice, you get to keep your old phone number after all. Previously, Google Voice users had a single number associated with their Google Voice accounts. Wiring Google Voice together with your actual phone involved a mildly complicated system of forwarding rules. That is until early this year, when Google Voice rolled out the aforementioned methods for consolidating your Google Voice / Mobile / Landline into a single number. Initially, when you ported your number or integrated Google Voice with Sprint, your old dedicated Google Voice number would disappear after 90 days. But now, Google has announced that you have option to keep it forever. Here’s how it works:
How to Keep Your Old Google Voice Number
After porting your primary number to Google Voice, you’ll notice that your old Google Voice number still shows up when you go into Voice Settings (Click the Gear in the top-right hand corner).
For 90 days, messages and calls to that number would automatically forward to your new primary Google Voice number.
Now, you’ll see a little link next to your old number that reads: “make permanent.” Click it and you’ll have the option to keep it forever for the low, low price of $20. That is, $20 on top of what you may have already paid to port your number to Google Voice in the first place for a total of $40.
What happens after that? Now, calls to your old Google Voice number will be forwarded to your primary number. Same for messages. However, on your outgoing calls, your primary number will show up in caller ID. If you wanted any different behavior than that, then well, you shouldn’t have ported your number in the first place.
If you decide not to keep your old Google Voice number, no biggie. It’ll work for 90 days, and after that, Google will send you a list of contacts who are still using your old number so you can update them.
Yet another groovy step towards Google world domination—for better or worse. As an avid Google Voice user, I think this is a positive development, although I haven’t personally ported my number. But for the next generation of cell phone users, it’s nice to know that Google Voice is gearing up to be more than an add-on service. Just as Gmail has replaced many personal and professional primary email addresses, it looks like Google Voice could be the new standard for the tech-savvy in-crowd.
Full disclosure: The second screenshot is indeed doctored for illustrative purposes—as I mentioned, I haven’t ported my number. Your actual Google Voice settings screen may look different.