Online CenturyLink Voice Mail user guide

Use these step-by-step instructions to set up your service, create a password and record a greeting. If you're familiar with the basics, maybe you need to know how to access your mailbox, change your ring cycle or send group messages.

Voice Mail User Guides

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For a printable reference guide, download the CenturyLink Voice Mail user guide. Updated 11/19/2019

Step 1: Start up your service

To set up your voice mail, press 98 from your home phone or call the retrieval number from your welcome letter.

Don't have your welcome letter handy? You can find out your retrieval number by calling our automated help system at 1-800-669-7676.

Voice prompts will guide you through the steps. Take your time. Go ahead and experiment! You can always back up, change or erase anything you don't want.

Step 2: Create your password

It can be any number 4 to 15 digits long. Be sure to make note of your password, because you'll need it to access your messages in the future.

Step 3: Record a name to identify your mailbox

For instance, "Smith Residence" or "Jason and Kathy."

Step 4: Choose a voice mail greeting

Press 1 to select the standard greeting with phone number:
"At the tone, please record your message to [your phone number]."

Press 2 for the standard greeting with your name: 
"At the tone, please record your message to [your mailbox's name]."

Press 3 to record a personalized greeting, up to 3 minutes long. For example: 
"You've reached Jason & Kathy. We can't get to the phone right now, but if you leave a message we'll call you back."

Activating your phone's "message waiting" light

If your phone or Caller ID unit has a message indicator light that isn't lighting up, let us know. Call 1-800-669-7676, and we can get it activated.

Checking your messages and getting into your mailbox

Choose one of these ways to access your mailbox, and follow the voice prompts you hear.

Press 98 from your home phone only.

*98 message retrieval may not be available in all areas.


Call your home phone number and press .


Call the CenturyLink Voice Mail retrieval number from any phone.

The retrieval number is located on your welcome letter, or you can get it by calling our automated help system at 1-800-669-7676.

Changing your ring cycle

Change the number of rings before a call goes to voice mail (also known as a "ring cycle") by calling our automated help system at 1-800-669-7676.

Getting to know the keypad commands

You can control message playback by pressing the desired number under the commands shown on the left in GREEN.

You can rewind to catch something you didn't hear by pressing 1. For extra control, press 11 (or 1 twice) to rewind to the beginning of a message, 3 3 or (or 3 twice) to skip to the end.

Can hardly hear the message? Turn up the volume by pressing 9.

Someone's talking too fast? Slow it down with 4.

Want to skip the messages that aren't for you? Just press # and cruise on by.

After you listen to each message, the commands shown above in BLUE are available.

Choose 7 to erase the message, 9 to save it for later, or # to skip it.

Save time with 88 Call Return. Just press 88 after listening to a message to automatically dial the number of the person who called. No more scratch paper or listening to the message over and over to get the number! This time saver is FREE and is available for most local calls.(However, it does not work if the caller has Caller ID Blocking.)

Replying to (or forwarding) messages

Here are a couple of special things you can try with other people who also have CenturyLink Voice Mail. (Some limitations may apply depending upon customer phone facilities.)

Press 6 after listening to a message to forward a copy of it to another person's voice mailbox. For example, you get a message at home that you want to forward to your neighbor, or your children share time in 2 households. Whenever a message arrives for them, just press 6  to forward it on.

Press 8 to send a reply message directly back to the person who called you. Let's say it's late at night and you don't want to ring the person's phone. Maybe you just don't want to talk right now, but you still want to answer their message. No problem! Just press 8 to automatically leave a reply message in that person's voice mailbox.

From the main menu, select 2 to record and send a message directly to another CenturyLink mailbox without ringing their phone. Or, you can even record a message for someone in your household and send it to your own number. (Some limitations may apply depending upon customer phone facilities.)

You will be prompted through these steps:

  1. Enter the destination mailbox number or group number, then press # This is the phone number of the person you're sending to. If the person doesn't have CenturyLink Voice Mail, the system will tell you it can't deliver the message.
  2. Enter another destination mailbox number or group number, then press # or just press #
  3. Record your message after the tone, then press #
  4. Press # to send now, or press 1 to add a delivery option (e.g., 3 for Private, 2 for Urgent, 6 for delivery confirmation.)

Managing your "new message waiting" notification

From the main menu, select 4 (Mailbox Options) and then press 1.

If your new message notification doesn't seem to be working, try this:

  • If you have messages but aren't being notified, enter your mailbox, go to Mailbox Options (option 4), and select Notification Options (option 1). Follow the prompts to make sure Message Waiting Indication is ON.
  • If your new message indicator remains ON after you have cleared your messages, enter your mailbox, go to Mailbox Options (option 4), and select Notifications (option 1). Follow the prompts to turn the feature on and off two or three times. Be sure you end with Message Waiting Indication ON.

Using advanced shortcuts

From the main menu, select 4 (mailbox options) and then press 3 (security options).

These helpful options can be turned OFF and ON to get your messages faster.

Press 3 to skip PIN - turn ON or 1 to change PIN.

Skip the password and you won't have to enter your password when you're checking your messages from your home phone. Remember though, for your protection, you still need to enter your password anytime you're checking messages away from home.

From the main menu, select 4 (Mailbox Options), then press 2 (hands free and time saver options).

Press 1 to turn Autoplay ON and OFF.

When autoplay is turned ON and you call to listen to your messages, the messages will immediately start playing. If autoplay is OFF, then you will be presented with the main menu options to select from (e.g., 1 - listen, 2 - send).

Press 3 (voicemail preferences) and then press 1 to turn Date and Time ON and OFF  (turn off playing of voicemail headers).

Turn OFF the date and time so you don't hear them automatically. Whenever you really need to know, you can always press 5 during or after the message.

Sending group messages 

From the main menu, select 4 (Mailbox Options) and then press 4.

Communicate the same information to a group of people at once -- the reunion plans, the soccer game time, work-at-home associates -- you get the idea! Since this feature only works with other CenturyLink Voice Mail users, you'll need to ask the others in your group if they also have this service.

First, you have to make a list of phone numbers for everyone in your group. You can store up to 15 different groups with up to 25 people in each group.

From the main menu, choose 4 for Mailbox Options, then:

  1. Choose 4 for Group Lists, then 1 to create a List.
  2. Number this list 11-25, then record a name for it and press #.
  3. Enter the phone numbers of your group members one at a time.

Now you can send a message to this group. Go to Main Menu 2 and follow the Send instructions, entering the Group List number (11-25) for the destination, then press #.

Creating extension mailboxes

From the main menu, select 4 (mailbox options) and then press 5.

This service gives you one main mailbox plus three personal extensions so that different household members can receive private messages. Additional fees apply. For information, see the Extension Mailboxes user guide.

Retrieving messages from another CenturyLink box

From the main menu, press 5 (Leave this mailbox and log on as another subscriber.)

This is a handy feature if you're checking messages away from home. Let's say you're dialing your retrieval number from a neighbor's phone, who also has CenturyLink Voice Mail. As soon as you hear their voice mail prompts, press  and enter your 10-digit phone number and password to access your mailbox.

Save it for later. For a printable reference guide, download the CenturyLink Voice Mail user guide.

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