Knowing how to port a number to Google Voice can be useful, especially if you plan on continue using your old phone number for calling and texting.

Whether you plan to port your cell phone number to google Voice or transfer your landline number to Google Voice, you need to know how to port a number to Google Voice.

In this guide, you'll find out what does porting a number to Google Voice mean, the pros and cons of porting a number to Google Voice, and step-by-step instructions for how to do so with local carriers and Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) providers like Ooma, Skype and Vonage.

What does number porting mean?

When your port your number, it means that your existing phone number is transferred to another service provider.

(image credit: Small Biz Trends) When you port a number to Google Voice, you are transferring from your old service to Google Voice's.

That seems easy enough. When you do port a mobile number to google voice however, your new Google Voice number isn't so straightforward to use. Here's why you should and should not port a mobile number to Google Voice.

Why you should port number to Google Voice

There are many benefits for porting your number to Google Voice. Some of these benefits include:

The benefits of porting your number to Google Voice include these points.

It's a one-stop platform for fast, easy call control

When you port your number to Google Voice, you can control when your phone rings, how many phones you want to ring. A Google Voice number also allows you to change your mobile provider settings without having to sort out the mess with individual carriers.

Free texts and undo anytime you want

As a convenient hub to manage your calls that provides free texts and messages with the option for you to cancel ANYTIME you want, that's a huge plus for you to transfer your number to Google Voice.

Why you shouldn't port number to Google Voice

There are some issues with Google Voice you should take note of, however:

Porting a number to Google Voice isn't without some hiccups.

The porting process can be a hassle

After you have ported your mobile number to Google Voice, your current mobile service plan gets cancelled, and you will need to restart the service with a new number if you're looking to set up call forwarding to your new number.

Some carriers may not be prepared to assist you in porting your number to Google Voice. Google has a handy list of tips here, but be prepared for some unexpected issues.

It's not free

To port a mobile number to Google Voice, you'll also need to pay a one-time porting fee of 20 USD.

It's not well-integrated for non-android phones

And if you're using an iPhone, you will need to always toggle between your default phone dialer and Google Voice's in-app dialer in order to use your Google Voice number. For Android Users, this is automatically integrated so all you need is your phone dialer.

If you're on both Android and iOS and need a solution that works well across both platforms (and does not cost you that $20 porting fee!!), check out Phoner - Second Phone Number App which lets you port for free.

Other things you should look out for

If you are a small business looking to scale up business communications fast and cheaply, it's worthwhile for you to port your number to Google Voice.

Ported numbers to Google Voice can't be used together with Google Fi

If you're a Google Fi customer, your ported Google Voice number will not work with Google Fi

As Google puts it, activating Google Fi on your cell phone means you won't be able to use Google Voice on the same Google account you use with Google Fi.

Ported numbers need mobile data or WiFi to send texts

Because Google Voice sends and receives calls via the internet, you need mobile data or WiFi

Google Voice is a VoIP provider. Unlike carriers such as Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, Google Voice sends and receives calls and texts via the internet instead of traditional phone lines.  

Because you don't have an internet connection without data or WiFi, you won't be able to send or receive texts.

Ported numbers can forward texts to multiple numbers

Have multiple cell phones? Google Voice can forward texts to all of them

When you port your number to Google Voice, that number can be used to redirect any texts you may receive from your old ported number to your new number(s). This also works for calls, as Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land demonstrates,

(image credit) Your ported Google Voice number can forward texts and calls you receive to new phone numbers

How to port carrier numbers to Google Voice

If you're looking to port an AT&T number, a Verizon number or Sprint number to Google Voice, here's a step-by-step guide to walk you through the whole process: S

Step 1: Collect your billing account information from your current carrier first.  

You will need details such as your billing account number and PIN. Take a look at what different service providers need before you port your number over:

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint
Number you want to port Yes Yes Yes Yes
Account holder name Yes Yes Yes Yes
Account number Yes Yes Yes Yes
Last 4 digits of your social security PIN Yes Yes No No

If you're with Sprint, you will need your Sprint PIN or passcode instead.  This is either a 6 or 10-digit number.

Can't find this information? contact your relevant carrier here:


1. Verizon Support: https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/contact-us/

2. AT&T Support: https://www.att.com/support/contact-us

3. T-Mobile Support: https://www.t-mobile.com/contact-us

4. Sprint Support: https://www.sprint.com/en/support/contact-us.html

Step 2: Open Google Voice on your computer. Sign in with your Google account.

Go to Google Voice on your desktop or laptop. The homepage should appear like this.

Step 3: If you're using Google Voice for the first time, you will need to set up Voice first.

Pick a new number first. This new number will be replaced by your ported number after the porting process is complete.

Step 4: Click on the three-bar menu icon on the top left, and look for "Legacy Google Voice"

(image credit: Google) Google Voice looks a bit different from the Google you know, but that's all good.

When you click on "Legacy Google Voice", the interface that appears may seem a little dated. Do not worry though, you're on the right track.

Step 5: Click on the gear icon at the top right

(image credit: HowtoGeek) Look for the gear icon on the top right and click it

Step 6: Click on the "Phones" tab

(image credit: HowtoGeek) click on the tab that reads "Phones"

Step 7: Select  change/port beside your current phone number

(image credit: HowtoGeek) the Change/Port option is just below the tab list

Step 8: Choose the option "I want to use my mobile number"

(image credit: HowtoGeek) This pop-up will appear. Select I want to use my mobile number

Step 9: Choose the option "I want to use my mobile number"

(image credit: HowtoGeek) Another popup should appear. Key in the mobile number you want to port.

Another popup will then appear. Key in the mobile number you want to port to Google Voice. If your number can be ported, you then be asked to review a list of porting conditions.

Step 10: Review porting conditions and proceed to phone verification

(image credit: HowtoGeek) Take a close look at each of the porting conditions before clicking on the highlighted button

Be sure you are clear on what porting your phone number will do before you verify your phone. If there's something you are unsure, clarify it first before going forward here.

(image credit: HowtoGeek) Google Voice will then call your phone. The call will contain a verification code.

Step 11: Make payment

Here's where you need the information you had gotten from your carrier earlier. Fill in the relevant details to make your payment.

If you've already stored a credit card on hand with Google, Google Voice will automatically use it as your payment option. If you don't, you'll need to provide your credit card details.

And you're done! At this point, you can start setting up your Google Voice number to receive calls or check on the status of your porting process. Take note that mobile numbers take between 48 to 96 hours to successfully port over.


How to port VoIP numbers to Google Voice

If you're already with a VoIP provider, you may want to port a virtual phone number to Google Voice.

Whether you're looking to port a Vonage number to Google Voice or a number with another VoIP provider like Skype and Ooma, the steps to do so are the same as porting a number.

There are, however, a few things you will need to take note:

If you want to port a VoIP number to Google Voice, take note of these tips

Google Voice can only accept port-ins from mobile phone carriers like AT&T, Verizon and T-mobile.

Also, when you port your virtual phone number to a wireless carrier, the porting process will take about a week. This is excluding the several days' wait when you port that number from the carrier to Google Voice.

Summing up

So that's what porting a number to Google voice means, and how to port a number to Google Voice. With your Google Voice number set up, you can now make calls using your old phone number within the Google Voice app.

For even more information on how to port your number to Google Voice, as well as how to port your number out of Google Voice, be sure to check out this support page by Google.