Cisco Phones

Below, under 'How do I ...?', are links to many phone-related questions that come to the Help Desk:

For Voicemail FAQs

NOTE: For Voicemail FAQs, go to the /wiki/spaces/PHONES/pages/20382247, which has answers to common voicemail-related questions.

How do I ...?

Get a phone / phone extension for a new employee?

When a new employee is processed by HR or the Provost, a Swarthmore username and Banner (employee) ID number is created - and a notification is sent to their hiring supervisor. The hiring supervisor receives the new employee's username, Banner ID number, and a link to request resources (such as phone / phone extension assignment, computer assignment, access to  networked resources, etc). Cisco phones and phone extensions should be requested by the hiring supervisor via the emailed form link. Once the form is submitted, a request for phone / extension assignment is forwarded to the Help Desk and Telephone Administrator.

Get a phone / phone extension for a student?

No phone service is provided for students.  However, all publicly available phones (classrooms, halls, etc.) are able to make local calls (on-campus / to the Ville), and long distance calls via a calling card.

Set up my voicemail account?

If you are a new employee, check with your hiring supervisor, to see if a phone / extension was requested for you. Once the request has been processed, and your voicemail account created, you will receive an email from the Telephone Administrator, which will contain your assigned phone number, temporary voicemail PIN, and instructions for setting up your voicemail account. For more information about voicemail, go to the Voice Mail, how do I ... page. 

Navigate / use my new phone?

Make a phone call?

Pick up the receiver and listen for a dial tone, or press the Speaker Phonebutton:

  • For off-campus calls, dial # + 10-digit phone number (includes "1" + area code).
  • For on-campus calls, just dial the 4-digit extension.
  • For international calls, dial #, the US country exit code (011) + country code + city code + number of the telephone you are calling.  Calls to Canada, and many Caribbean Islands, are dialed the same many as US long distance calls.

Change my ringtone?

If you hear static when the phone rings, choosing a different ringtone should solve that problem.

  1. Press Applicationsbutton on your phone.
  2. Use the Navigation Ringto navigate over to Applications.
  3. Press the big silver circle to enter the Applications menu.
  4. Scroll down to select Ringtone.
  5. Press the Play soft key button to test the various ringtones.
  6. Press the Select soft key button to choose and confirm the new ringtone.
  7. Press the Exit soft key button to finish.

Transfer a call?

During a phone call, press the Transfer soft key, dial the extension you would like to transfer to, and then press the Transfer soft key button again.

Create a conference call?

  1. Dial or answer an incoming call.
  2. Once connected, press the More soft key (series of 2-3 dots).
  3. Press the Conference soft key.
  4. Dial the next number.
  5. Use the Navigation Ring to select the previous call and highlight it.
  6. Press the Conference soft key again to have all callers online for the conference call.

Host a Meet Me conference?

  1. Lift the handset to get a dial tone.

  2. Press the More soft key (series of 2-3 dots).
  3. Press the Meet me soft key - you will hear two beep.
  4. Enter the pre-assigned Meet me code.
  5. Wait for people to call in, and then press Join to have them join the conference.

Check messages?

A red light on the phone's handset indicates a new message.  There will also be a Messages icon with number of messages below it, on the left side of your LCD screen.

  1. Press the Messages button.
  2. Follow audio prompts.

To check messages from off campus, or another phone:

  1. Dial 610-328-8004 (or 8004 from an on-campus phone), and follow the prompts.
  2. Enter your Extension (User ID) + "#" key.
  3. Enter your PIN + "#" key.

Activate call forwarding?

From a Cisco phone, while your phone is hung up, you can activate Call Forwarding for your primary extension (top button) by pressing the More soft key button (a series of 2-3 dots) and then the Forward All soft key.  For other extensions on your phone, you'll need to do it with the extension highlighted and dial tone activated, or by logging into your Cisco Self Care Portal.  After selecting Forward All, enter the following:

  • To an on campus extension, enter the four-digit extension.
  • To an off campus number, press followed by 1+area code+7-digit phone number.
    • Note: to forward calls to a cell phone number, the Call Forwarding service needs to be configured for LD (Long Distance).  This service is configured separately from the phone extension.

  • Voice mail, press * followed by 4-digit extension

To deactivate, press the Forward All button again.

To Forward Calls from off-campus or another phone, log into your Cisco Self Care Portal:

Note: From off campus, you'll need to connect to VPN, before going to the Self Care Portal web page.  If you get a certificate warning the first time you log into your Cisco Self Care Portal, accept the certificate and add an exception for our website

  1. In a web browser, go to
  2. Log in with your Swarthmore network credentials.
  3. Click the Phones tab.
  4. In the left navigation pane, click Call Forwarding.
  5. Click the phone number for which you want to set up call forwarding.
  6. Click Advanced calling rules.
  7. Use the drop-down list boxes to configure call forwarding options for both internal and external calls.  Remember to include "#" + "1" for off campus calls, including cell phone numbers.  On campus phone numbers only need the 4-digit extension.
  8. Click Save.

Answer a second call while on the phone?

Press the Answer soft key. This will place the first call on hold while you answer the second call.  When you are finished with the call, press the Resume soft key to bring back the first call.  To switch between calls, use the navigation keys to select the call you want, then press the Resume soft key (which will place the other call on hold).

Get a list of missed calls, received calls or calls that I've placed?

List of All Calls:

  • On right-hand side of the LCD screen, press button next to the Clock icon.

  • No Clock icon?  Press button next to icon of Handset with Arrow above it and number below it.  This is the number of missed calls you received.
  • Alternately, press the Applicationsbutton on your phone.  Use arrow keys around big silver circle to navigate over to Recent and press the big silver circle to select it.  Next, select the line you want to check

List of Missed Calls:

  • On right-hand side of the LCD screen, press key next to Handset with Arrow above it and number below it  icon.  This is the number of missed calls you received.

  • No matching icon?  You do not have any recently missed calls, but can still see the list.

  • Press key next to the Clock icon.

  • Press the Missed Calls soft key.

The phone keeps a list of the last 99 calls in whichever category you're interested in.

Redial last number called?

  • On campus extension, press the Redial soft key

  • Automatically turns on speaker for hands-free calling, or you can lift the handset

  • Off campus phone number, browse to the phone number

  • Press the More soft key (series of 2-3 dots).

  • Press EditDial to add # or (#1) to the beginning of the phone number

  • Press Call, then pick up the handset

Use the Corporate Directory to look up a phone extension?

  • Press the Contactsbutton on your phone (button with Book icon).

  • Use the Navigation button (blue ring around big silver circle) to choose Corporate Directory.  The Corporate Directory is a directory of all faculty and staff who currently work on campus. You can search the directory by either first name, last name or telephone extension.

  • The Personal Directory function is not enabled at this time.

Set Speed Dial and Abbreviated Dial numbers?

Associated with your Cisco IP phone are a total of 100 speed dial and abbreviated dial numbers.

Speed dials are phone numbers associated with physical buttons to the right of the screen on a Cisco IP phone, and must be available (not have an extension assigned to it) in order to be used as a speed dial. You can pick up the handset and press the speed dial button to dial the associated party. Contact the Help Desk if you'd like to configure one of these buttons.

Abbreviated Dial numbers are associated with the number buttons, and are used in conjunction with the AbbrDial soft key on the Cisco phone.

Your phone can be configured through your Cisco Unified CM Options web page. Note: the first time you connect you may get a certificate warning. Click accept certificate.

  1. In a web browser, go to
  2. Login with your Swarthmore network credentials
  3. Choose User Options > Device (top left of web page)
  4. Choose a phone from the Name drop-down menu
  5. Click Speed Dials
  6. Enter a number and label for an Abbreviated Dialing code
  7. Click Save

To use abbreviated dial on your phone, enter the abbreviated dial number you wish to call BEFORE picking up the handset. Then press the AbbrDial button and lift the receiver. The phone call will be underway.

For Individuals with more than one telephone

If you have more than one phone associated with your account, at step 4 above, you need to select which phone you want to modify. Each phone has a separate Abbreviated Dial list that must be configured. The phones are identified by a unique MAC address that begins with SEP followed by numbers. You can determine which number is associated with each of your phones by using the Applications button on each phone. Follow these steps:

  1. Press the Applicationsbutton on your phone.
  2. Scroll down and select Model Information.
  3. Press the Select soft key button
  4. Prepend "SEP" to the number displayed under MAC Address to create the identifier you will need to select in step 4 above.

Find the MAC address?

The phones are identified by a unique MAC address. You can determine which number is associated with each of your phones by using the Applicationsbutton. Follow these steps:

  1. Press the Applicationsbutton on your phone.
  2. Use arrow keys around big silver circle to navigate over to Admin Applications and press the big silver circle.
  3. Press the big silver circle to enter the Ethernet Setup menu.
  4. The MAC address is the third option in the list.

Know what kind of phone I have?

Most faculty and staff are assigned a Cisco 8841, a 5-line phone capable of supporting five separate phone extensions and / or speed dials.  Phones located in classrooms and labs, or wall-mounted in campus buildings are a Cisco 7821, which is a 2-line phone.  Offices that need more than five lines have a Cisco 8851 with attached expansion module, allowing for an additional 18 lines.  Cisco 7821 wall phones, located in all the dorms, can only make local area calls, and are used to provide InformaCast messages.

Log into my Cisco Self Care Portal?

The Self Care Portal allows you to manage the following phone features through a web browser: Call Forwarding (for any extension on your phone), Speed and Abbreviated Dials, Call History, update the phone's location (description). From off-campus, you'll need to connect to VPN, before going to the Self Care Portal web page.

Note: the first time you connect you may get a certificate warning. Click accept certificate.

  1. In a web browser, go to
    • If you get an error, try typing the web address into the browser bar, or using copy and paste

  2. Login with your Swarthmore network credentials
  3. From off-campus, make sure you are first connected to VPN

Find an on-campus phone prefix?


Prefix Exchanges

Extension Range



7320 - 8699



1120 - 5799



6800 - 6899



6000 - 6499

Ways you can contact ITS or find information:

ITS Support Portal:
Phone: x4357 (HELP) or 610-328-8513
Check out our remote resources at
Check our homepage at