Group Voicemail (how to?)


I know this has been touch on in the past, however i can find a full resolution to this (and all messages were from about 2013), i have freepBS Distro version

Ring group, rings all extensions, however if no answer then i need a group voicemail. Thing is i cant find ANY setting to create one (which surprises me as ALL Cisco PBX do it and so does GrandStream), so how would you propose i create a voicemail that has a generic button that goes to that one box?

Currently (and not tested), i have the below.
Virtual Account setup (199), with voicemail
Ring Group (200) with “Destination with no answer” to 199

Possible Problems: (as not tested yet)

  • I cant find any option in “Destination with no answer” that allows to forward to a voice mailbox (seems like a faily major oversight to me, Cisco UC320 has this over 5 years ago)
  • How to set 199 to never ring and throw all calls in to the voicemail box of that exentiosn (thus hacking the fact the system doenst have a “Group Voicemail box”).
  • I would set account 199 as account 2 with a line button number 2 being “Voicemail” on account 2 on all phones meaning they all should get a flashy light when 199 get a voicemail and then when ANYONE clears this voicemail that box will be empty meaning all account “2” voicemail status would clear.


Many Thanks

Look into “Voicemail Blasting” under the “applications” menu .

Documented in the wiki at:-


Do not want to COPY the voicemail to many people, MUST be one mailbox they all can see (hence GROUP voicemail)

Copy 1 message in to 10 people mailboxes will likely get that client to get 10 calls back (real bad idea), 1 mailbox stops this and is what the client wants, once 1 person clears that message 9 other people cant do anything as its no longer in the group mailbox. This is a real basic function which sunrises me its not in freePBX, that said i had to hound Grandstream to fix theirs about 1-2 years ago as it had issues.

Many Thanks

Then simply add BLF buttons to monitor the “hints” the “Group” voicemail extension.


Are you proposing my original design (as laid out above) is good and the best solution?

Its not been tested, ive also read there maybe issues with the mailbox saying its not active as theirs no real phone attached to it.

Using a BLF wouldnt interact with the MWI on ths phone?

I assume using a LINE button that monitors voicemail of that second line would interact with the MWI, also meaning if you hit the LINE 2 you get the voicemail of that one mailbox (that all other phones line 2 also have access to).

Many Thanks

Either is a solution, depends on your needs, the voicemail hinting has long been an option in FreePBX, but the per phone implementation of an apparent “Busy Lamp Field” that correctly calls back on press would be a variable feast, maybe in your “EPM” maybe the old fashioned way in the phone’s configs.


I’ll look in to the “hinting”, ive not seen this before, however just read about it.

Will have a play…

How are suggestions given to freePBX to have features looked at to be integrated (such as a “Destination with no answer” going to a voicemail?

Many Thanks

Well as far as I know that is already in Extensions, RingGroups and Queues, does that not work for you?

The way I have always done it in the past:
Create virtual account with voicemail. (199)
Ring group 200 destination if no answer -> voicemail-> 199 (unavailable)

On the phone, instead of adding account two. Change the voicemail button dial string from *97 to *98199

No need for a second account, will update the MWI on the phone and opens the mailbox when you press the button.

Your problems:
I don’t understand what you mean destination for voicemail… You select voicemail first, then a second field will pop up and let you select from the enabled voicemail boxes.
the default behavior of a virtual extension with voicemail enabled is to go straight to voicemail. But don’t destination calls to extension 199, send the destination to the voicemail of 199.
By setting voicemail to *98199 on account 1 you will get MWI.

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Oh I forgot that to make MWI work you change the mailbox field in the extension setup from [email protected] to [email protected]

If the employees need their own mailboxes then leave that as is and just add a BLF to *98199

If they don’t, change all 3 fields at the bottom of their extensions from “unavailable message if enabled” to voicemail->199 (unavailable)

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Found it, i missed the scroll bar on the tight side…

The above sounds good, will play with this soon, i prefer the BLF = *98199, less configuration and easier to fix when things go wrong… All users have there own mailbox as well, its purely another group mailbox, so assuming BLF *98199 also does the MWI in there own phone then this should work well.

I have a few other problems to iron out for compatibility…

Start with:-

Then it’s up to your phones.

This was already enabled in the version i have.

when you created virtual extension 199 did you enable voicemail on it. if you have, you should be able in your ring group destination to select voicemail -> ext 199 busy, unavailable, no msg, instructions only.

to monitor the box, you have several options.

  1. do what you suggest
  2. set up a blf to monitor the mailbox and to provide direct access to the mail box

I found a simple method long ago that worked great, but I’m sure it’s not supported by Sangoma or any other organization.

I have done a few installations where a group of users needed to share the same voicemail mailbox. The last one was a dentist office where three support staff needed to share the same ‘general’ voicemail mailbox.

I use a ‘trick’ at the filesystem level to symbolically link the actual mailbox directory to additional users’ mailbox directories:

BLF monitoring of a voicemail mailbox is also useful and easy, but it’s not the same thing.

Good luck,


Thanks dicko

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