I'd like to keep my mobile number private & give out the Google voice number for business.

Is it possible to see the caller number for a google voice call, but set it so that it is in silent mode?

I don't want to silence the phone if the call is to my private number. This is to ensure that I do not miss a call if my private number is dialed (it is an emergency number due to medical reasons). But since I am in a lot of meetings etc, I want to keep it on silent for all other calls. I hope this makes sense.

I have looked around online, but cannot figure out a way to do this. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately, this is not possible with setting Google Voice to forward the caller number to your phone.

When someone calls you using your Google Voice number and you set it up to go straight to your phone, the system spoofs the caller's number and sends it to your phone; the VoIP part of the call ends when Voice connects your caller to you, it's your basic forwarding service.

You cannot control any part of that with the settings from either the webapp or the Andorid app.

EDIT: There's a potential solution to this, depending on whether your emergency contacts have fixed numbers or not. You can set your default ringtone to "None", but for those contacts who do have your number, assign an actual ringtone to them and keep your phone's ringer on loud. Of course, this would not include emergency calls from numbers that you would not know, like hospitals or police stations.

  • 1
    Since Google Voice calls themselves can't be differentiated from standard calls (They both reach your phone over the same protocol), an alternative option may be to set your default ringtone to something silent, and add a custom ringtone to numbers you expect urgent calls from.
    – dotVezz
    Nov 4, 2013 at 18:33
  • I added that EDIT right as you commented. Thanks, though, added to my answer.
    – WoF
    Nov 4, 2013 at 18:34

You could get a second google voice number that you also forward to your phone, and use that as your emergency number. So you would never give out your real cell, just your normal GV to everyone and your emergency GV to specific people.

On the emergency GV number, change the settings in GV so that it doesn't display the caller number but instead shows just the emergency GV number as incoming. Then, set a specific ringtone for that emergency number. You won't know exactly who is calling, but assuming you only hand out the emergency number to a few people, it won't matter. It's an emergency.

Note that to link your phone to two google voice accounts, you must specify the real cell number as a home number on both accounts. Otherwise, adding the real cell on one GV account removes it from the other. The downside to specifying the real cell as a Home number instead of a Cell number is that you won't be able to forward text messages to a Home number (though you can still use the Google Voice app to send and receive messages).

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