Stop that ringing! How to prevent the iPhone from forwarding calls

telephone operators

The headphone jack has remained largely unchanged since it started being used for telephone switchboards.

Credit: National Archives

Reader Graham Lee’s iPhone is making its presence a little too well known. He writes:

I’m running iOS 8 on my iPhone along with a couple of iPads and an iPod touch. I also have Yosemite on my Mac. At first I was impressed by the feature that lets my iPhone ring through to my other devices, but now when I receive a call, the whole house fills with ringtones and my work is interrupted when it happens. Is there anything I can do to shut up some of these devices?

Certainly. If you want to stop forwarding entirely, you can do so by tapping Settings on your iPhone, tapping FaceTime, and then flicking the iPhone Cellular Calls switch to off. You can always enable it again later if you want the feature back.

ipad facetime option

You can choose whether or not you want your device to make and receive iPhone calls.

But you can disable it for individual devices as well. To prevent a call being passed off to an iOS device, pick up that device, tap Settings > FaceTime and disable the switch next to the iPhone Cellular Calls entry. This will stop that device from receiving calls passed to it by your iPhone. (It will also prevent you from making phone calls from your device via your iPhone.)

text forwarding

When it comes to text messages, iOS is for flexible in regard to configuration.

On your Mac, launch FaceTime, open its preferences, and in the Settings tab disable the iPhone Cellular Calls option. As with an iOS device, this prevents your Mac from making and receiving calls.

While we’re on the subject of things being passed around, let’s talk about Text Message Forwarding. This is the feature implemented under iOS 8.1 that lets SMS messages received by your iPhone (on the same Wi-Fi network as your other devices) pass those messages to another device.

This feature is more configurable than iPhone call forwarding. To configure it tap Settings on your iPhone and then tap Messages. Tap the Text Message Forwarding entry and you’ll see a list of devices linked to your Apple ID that you can forward messages to. Just enable the switch next to each device that you’d like to be part of the texting party.

Have a question of your own? Drop a line to mac911@macworld.com.

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