Update: Google Lets You Keep Your Old Google Voice Number

google voice keep your old number Good news, everybody! If you or , 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).

buy your old google voice number

For 90 days, messages and calls to that number would automatically forward to your new primary Google Voice number.

retain your old google voice number after porting

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.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. billy

    March 29, 2012 at 8:19 am

    quick question regarding this. when you say “ported your primary number” do you mean that you can port your actual cell phone number to Google voice, so that you’ll never lose it?

    to clarify i have a cell phone number that I’ve had for 10+ years, originally with Verizon, and then recently ported to Sprint. are you saying that i can port this number to Google voice?

    if this is the case does porting your “sprint” cell phone number to Google voice cancel any contractual obligation to sprint? meaning i would have to pay an early termination fee? or does it somehow work in conjunction with sprint service so that you actually have cell service with sprint, but sprint just forwards all calls to the Google voice number?

    that would be great as i wouldn’t have to update any contacts with new numbers etc…

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