Forwarding old extension # to phone(s) on new extension


We’ve recently expanded from using 3 digit extensions to 4, and would like to keep the historical extension active for some of the more popular employees.

What I would like to happen is for callers dialling the old extension, the behaviour is exactly the same as for the 4 digit one. I’ve seen a few posters here accept some solutions, but none are working for me, mainly due to our sales team having Follow Me set up to dial their cellphones.

  • Custom Technology with SIP dial entry
  • Rings only the specified extension, doesn’t obey Follow Me or Voice Mail.
  • Ring Group for the old number
  • Also doesn’t obey Follow Me, probably not VM either
  • Can’t be dialled from the IVR
  • Dummy extension with Follow Me to the new number
  • Doesn’t chain to the Follow Me number on the next extension

I’m currently running FreePBX 4.211.64-1 (I can upgrade this in the near future, if that would help) Are there any methods I’m missing, or just need to tweak something for what I’ve already tried?


Utilize the SIP Alias field in the extension. That essentially creates a duplicate dialplan path

Brilliant, thanks! That’s working great - there even looks to be protection so I don’t try to overwrite an existing extension.

Just out of curiosity, is this a single-entry field? The documentation I found doesn’t specify either way, but my experiments with various delimiters seems to indicate that it is.

Oh, looks like my elation was premature. The SIP Alias field appears to work only for calls internal to the PBX, not for external callers. (The majority of callers, in this case).
Edit: or internal users dialling via the IVR. I guess it works only when directly dialled from internal extensions.

Is there a way I can make the SIP Alias field work for external calls? Or yet another alternative method I haven’t tried?


Were the DIDs changed also?


I’m not sure whether you’re referring to entries under the “Assigned DID/CID” section, or the Incoming Route, but in either case the answer is no. I just added a number to the “SIP Alias” field.

Ok. Guess I’m not explaining my question fully…

Say in the past, you wanted to access ext 456 from the PSTN? How did you do that?

Now…You’ve replaced ext 456 with 4 digit 3456. How do you access that?

How were your inbound routes set up with 3 digit, and how are they set up with 4 digit?


Oh! Callers have always dialled the extension at the IVR, while internal users could direct dial from their phone. I haven’t touched the inbound route since initial setup - it’s always had a blank DID number.

I didn’t realize that there was a difference between dialling an extension / ring group directly from a phone, and dialling it from the IVR. It feels like forever since I initially set it up, and I see the IVR has a “Direct Dial” option to allow/disallow extension dialling. I suppose Aliases aren’t included as an option.

One way of doing this, there may be others.
Create invisible IVR options. Create the option on the menu but don’t mention it in the recording.

If the old extension was “345” you would create an IVR menu option of “345”. That option would then point to the “NEW” extension.

You would have to do this for each extension. That could be a lot of work, depending on how many you have.


One way to manipulate that would be in:-


which you need to create, it would be included first in your



Thanks, the IVR method makes sense - I used it as a quick fix to get the sales people off my back for a while. :slight_smile: The only downside is that it’s only available on one IVR leaf at a time, not all of 'em… and I suppose that it isn’t useable via other modules, but that at least is obvious to me.

I probably had Follow Me on the brain, but I went back to the fake Extension method and added a Virtual Extension, assigned to “None” default user, and set the “No Answer” field to the extension I wanted to duplicate.
In my first testing, it looks to obey Follow Me, can be dialled from the IVR, and has proper voicemail handling. Is this an obvious thing I overlooked, or is there a drawback lurking here too?

One more idea:

Create a custom extension with your old extension number. Then in the custom dial field, put Local/[email protected] where NNNN is the new 4 digit extension.