How to Get a Gmail Phone Number
Gmail supports inbound and outbound calling using its Google Chat sidebar and your Google Voice number. If you don't have a Google Voice account, you can upgrade for free and create your own personal Google Voice number. You can use the Google Chat dialer to place outbound calls directly from Gmail. You can also forward your inbound calls to Google Chat so that you can answer calls in Gmail.
Creating a Google Voice Number
Sign in to Google Voice. Open the Google Voice website (link in Resources). Sign in with the Google account you use to access Gmail. Your Google Voice number will be associated with this account.
Verify your existing phone number. Click the "I Want a New Number" button. Enter your existing phone number, such as your mobile number, to use for verification with your Google Voice account. Click "Call Me Now" to have Google call your phone. Answer the call and then use your device's keypad to enter the verification code that appears on the website. The call disconnects after verification.
Select your Google Voice number. Select an area code and then choose one of the available phone numbers. You can enter a word to base your number off of or create a new one, if available. After you've selected your area code and number, click the "Continue" button.
Select a PIN. Enter a PIN into the "PIN" field. This PIN will give you access to your Google Voice account by phone. This PIN is not needed to place phone calls in Gmail, however.
Placing Calls in Gmail
Sign in to the Gmail website. Make sure you sign in using the same Google account you used to create your Google Voice number.
Open the dialer. Click the "Call Phone" button, which resembles an icon of a phone, from your Google Chat list in the left sidebar. A Call box appears at the bottom of the page.
Enter the phone number you wish to call into the "Search or Dial" field and then click the "Call" button.
Receiving Calls in Gmail
Place an outbound call. You must make at least one outbound call from Gmail before you can begin receiving calls.
Open Google Voice Settings. Sign in to Google Voice, click the Settings button, which resembles a gear icon, in the top-right and then click "Settings." You can manage all of your Google Voice settings using the options on each tab under Settings.
Forward calls to Google Chat. Check the box next to "Google Chat" under Forward Calls To on the Phones tab. Your changes are automatically saved.
Accept an inbound call. When you receive a phone call while using Gmail, a call window appears playing a ring tone. Click the "Answer" button to accept the call. Alternatively, you can ignore a call by clicking the "Ignore" button, or screen a call by clicking the "Screen" button. Screened calls allow you to listen to a caller who is leaving a voice mail.
Tips & Warnings
- Your computer must have a working microphone and speakers, or a headset, in order to use Google Voice on your PC.
- Google Voice calling is free when placing and receiving calls from the United States.
- You can transfer your call to the forwarding phone you have connected to Google voice while in the middle of a call. Press the "*" button on the dialer's keypad and then answer the call on your phone to make the switch.
- You can also enable your account to send and receive text messages in Gmail. Sign in to the Google Voice website, click the "Settings" gear icon, "Settings" and then the "Voicemail & Text" tab. Check the "Forward Text Messages to my Email" in the Text Forwarding section and then click "Save Changes."