How to Change Number of Rings Before an Answering Machine Picks up

Written by ehow electronics editor
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If you aren't going to be home or you don't plan to answer your phone at a certain time, you may choose to adjust the number of times the phone rings so that the answering machine picks up almost immediately. At other times, you will want to increase the number of rings so that you have more time to get to the phone before the machine picks up.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Answering machine
  • Owner's manual

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  1. 1

    Press the "On/Off" button on the answering machine to turn it on. You can only access the answering machine's functions when it is on.

  2. 2

    Decide on the number of rings you would like to set the system for. You can set the machine to pick up after one to seven rings or you can set it to "SA," which is a toll saver function. If you are retrieving your messages remotely, the machine will answer after four rings if you have no messages and after two rings if you do. (This is designed to save you some money if you are making a long-distance call to check your messages--if your phone rings three times, you can hang up with no charges.)

  3. 3

    Locate the "Change" button on the answering machine and press it to begin.

  4. 4

    Press the "Setup" button. You should hear an automated voice say "Number of rings." When you hear this, release the button. The message counter should now be displaying the current number of rings.

  5. 5

    Change the number of rings. Press "Skip/Scan" to increase the number of rings up to seven or press "Repeat/Scan" to decrease the number of rings.

  6. 6

    Press "Setup" when you have finished adjusting the ring setting.

  7. 7

    Note that if your answering machine is full, the phone will ring 10 times before it picks up. Be sure to free up enough space on your answering machine to avoid missing calls.

Tips and warnings

  • The buttons on your machine may be labeled differently. If so, check the manual that came with your answering machine for more information and directions on how to change the number of rings.
  • Be aware that callers cannot leave messages that last more than three minutes. The answering machine will disconnect at that point.
  • The machine will also disconnect if the caller pauses for more than seven seconds in the middle of leaving a message.
  • The call will be disconnected if the memory fills up before the caller has finished recording a message.

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