31 Aug 2011
By Larry Sixsmith

HOW TO: Extend the Ring Time for MessageBank on my mobile


It is a lazy Sunday night. I’m resting peacefully on the lounge watching the Sunday night movie and the phone rings. UGH the phone is in the kitchen, why on earth did I leave it there? Pulling myself off the lounge and running into the kitchen, meanwhile the call goes to MessageBank. How many times have we all just missed that call?

While I don’t carry a hand bag, I have witnessed another scenario: the lady and the bottomless handbag. Rummaging.  Again the call goes to MessageBank. On both these occasions the call may have gone through to MessageBank prematurely.

While MessageBank is such a valuable tool for us all, not getting to the phone before a call is diverted to MessageBank can be most frustrating.

Never fear help is here.

There are three conditional call forwarding settings (Busy, No Answer, No Reply) to Mobile MessageBank. The default ring time for each of these diversions is 15 seconds.

If you would like to extend this default time the following easy steps will assist you in doing so.

Please note there are 4 ring times and they must be in five second increments: 15(default), 20, 25 and 30 seconds.

To extend the ring time simply enter

* * 61 * 1 0 1 * 11 *  (number of seconds: 15, 20, 25 or 30) #

and press SEND or CALL.

For example, to set the ring time to 25 seconds before it diverts to MessageBank, you would enter the following key sequence into your phone:

* * 6 1 * 1 0 1 * 11* 2 5 #

and press SEND or CALL.

If you set the ring time to 30 seconds and find this is too long, you simply repeat the process with the desired length.

If you are wanting to re-set the ring time to default (15 seconds) enter # # 0 0 4 #

Maybe now, with this at hand, there will be just that little less frustration in the world.

Related ‘How To’ posts:


Posts: 14


  1. Gaz says:

    This is a good how to.

    Can you now do one explaining how to have the default, non personalised voicemail greeting?

    Nobody at telstra seems to know how to do it even after being assured it has been changed when i have called and asked for it be changed.

    It is possible, it has been done for me before but was reset when my contract was renewed.

    • Larry Sixsmith (Telstra Employee) says:

      Hi Gaz,
      Thanks for your question and sorry on the delay in getting back to you.
      I’m not sure if I will do a full “How To” on this. I will seek further advice, however you had me stumped on this for a while. The only means to have the default greeting is by cancelling the existing MessageBank and re-instate it. To do this you will need to call 125111(free call from Telstra Mobile) and when prompted say, MessageBank. You will then be given other options, the option you will need is “consultant” and request this to happen. The approximate turn around time is 3 hours. After the 3 hours have passed it is recommended to turn you phone off and then on and you will have the default greeting. Remember to extend your ring time(see above) if you wish.
      Let me know how you go.

  2. Jules Vovos (Telstra Employee) says:

    Great! Always wondered about that. When my mobile’s in my handbag and rings -- I always miss it by 2 seconds

  3. Larry Sixsmith (Telstra Employee) says:

    Hi Scott,
    I have tried it several times from different computers and worked ok.
    Here is the full link for you.

  4. It took a couple of calls, but I’ve managed to have all of the answering services disabled, such that my iPhone now just rings and rings and rings. No message bank, or Voice2txt, or any announcement. The phone just rings, and then after about 70 seconds, it just rings out.

    If someone wants to reach me, they can send me a text, an email, or try again.

  5. Rod says:

    Thanks very much. This was driving me nuts!

  6. DT says:

    None of the above worked for me. I called telstra and then i had to have my CFO authenticate me before i could change this setting! Apparently i was changing a setting on the account -- what a load of crap!
    Fact is that everytime I miss a call (due to a 15 sec ring tone -rings twice!) then I have to use message bank and then return the call. So Telstra wins both times.
    Why Telstra is prepared to annoy its “customers” to make money in this way is appauling to me.
    I now feel better for wasting the 30minutes that i dont have now in my life

  7. Allan Marshall says:

    The extend ringtime code does not work anymore. How do I get it extended now.

  8. Greg says:

    When you log into my account it should have a link to the help page of message bank telling you how to extend the call forwarding time out period

  9. jeremy says:

    awsome finally got it . been putting up with short ring time for 2 years

  10. JOE says:

    Thanks for the heads up on how to extend the ring time…problem is that its not permanent. each time you turn your phone off, it defaults back to the 15 seconds again, that’s even more frustrating..

    • Nick says:

      Joe that sounds pretty strange.
      The reason I say that is because the setting is at the network level which is why you need to type in ** and #

      It could be that your phone is sending the command to make it ring for 15 seconds each time you turn it on which would be possible however an odd feature to have.

      Does it do it when you set it to “offline” mode?

  11. TMT says:

    I have tried this process at least 12 times and have rung the testra help line who told me to do the same thing and I keep getting a voice message that says the number I am trying to call is not connected?? not sure where to go from here/

    • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

      Hi TMT. Have you tried asking on CrowdSupport? You can click to ‘Ask the Crowd’ in a forum or you can go through to our ’24/7 Facebook page’. There are two options to contact us here as these links get you straight through to people who can help – you’ve come through to our corporate blog site here and I’d highly recommend using one of these new avenues to get directly in touch with Telstra about a specific product issue.

    • Jules Vovos (Telstra employee) says:

      One of my friends was having trouble and with extending ring time on his phone. We rang Telstra mobile faults together and from memory we got Telstra mobile faults to make the setting change. We then had faults stay online whilst we tested that it worked. May I suggest you get Telstra mobile faults to do it for you and test it and don’t let them go until you are confident it has worked. Best of Luck

    • Lucien says:


  12. Nick says:

    If you are getting a message saying \the number is not connected\ then you are not typing it into your phone correctly.

    * is the button on the left of the zero
    # is the button on the right of the zero

    On some phones if you push the * button too quickly to get the second * you will get a + which will not work.

    Typing anything into your phone which starts with ** and ends in # tells the phone that you want to make a request to the network and not make a phone call so if you are making a phone call (Which you are as you are being told that number is not connected) then you are typing something in wrong.

    • Denise says:

      The same thing happens to me. I am told that the number is not connected. I definitely typed **61*101**25# as it says above

  13. Joe says:

    Thank Nick, I can confirm that the phone does ring for what ever time I ask it to wether it be 20 or 30 seconds no problem when doing the change from my mobile. But when i turn off my mobile or change battries, it resets back to the 15 second default, so it must be at the exchange end if im accessing at network level. My colleagues have tried the same thing, on their phones, which are all different but we all use telstra and have the same problem.

  14. Maurice says:

    I have a iphone 4S -- How can I set-up call forward to another phone number after a specific amount of rings? I don’t want phone calls diverted to myvoice mail.

  15. Maurice says:

    thank you for your reply Nick

    How do I replace 101 with the number ?

  16. Clinton says:

    how do i extend my ring time to 5 minutes

    • Wolfgang says:

      Hi Clinton, I would need your help. My mob phone is an Atrix in a Telstra contract.
      First: I tried to extend my ring time till forwarded to message bank -- **61*101*11*30# -- the phone is ringing ongoing 15 sec and goes to 101 message bank. What can I do?
      Second: I can not conect to the internet with the phone. Went to the Telstra shop didn’t get any help. Was told it is set up right on Telstra side. Should contact Motorola. Contacted Motorola and they are telling me it is not their fault it is Telstra problem. So I am siting between chairs. What can I do?



  17. Denise says:

    I typed it correctly as shown further up this page and I also got the message to say that the number is not connected.

  18. Peter Cornish says:

    * * 61 * 1 0 1 * * (number of seconds: 15, 20, 25 or 30) #
    Doesn’t work. The operator says that the number is not connected etc……..
    I have ensured that the *’s aren’t replaced by +’s

  19. Eran says:

    Can I extend the ring time BEYOND 30 secs?

    I would prefer it to be 45 or 60 seconds.

    If I can do this, I assume I just type in 45 or 60 as my number of seconds?

    If not, why not?

    If not, is there an alternative option to achieve this result?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Leigh Price (Blog Editor) says:

      Hi Eran -- I believe you can extend the ring time to a maximum of 60 seconds, exactly as you’ve described.

      • Ann says:

        I tried to extend the ring time by entering 45 or 60 for the seconds number. I am informed that the “parameters are invalid”. So how can I extend the ring time beyond 30 seconds?

  20. denise says:

    I found the answer elsewhere on the net.
    The number to call is
    and this one worked to give me 30 seconds to answer my phone

    • Jim Fitzgerald says:

      Thanks Denise, it worked for me too. Now all Telstra needs to do is put the correct information on their web site. How hard is that!

      • Leigh Price (Blog Editor) says:

        Thanks Denise and Jim. I’ve updated the blog post above.

    • Jean Norris says:

      That’s exactly what I is and it wouldn’t oblige. My post is down further.
      Jean Morris

    • Jean Morris says:

      Eureka. That works BECAUSE the instructions on this site are wrong regarding the number of asterisks. Thanks Denise

  21. Eran says:

    Hello Leigh.

    Thanks for your response.

    When I tried setting it to 60 secs, the following error message came back:

    “Call forwarding Connection problem or invalid MMI code.
    when no reply for All Basic Services.”

    Any suggestions?


  22. Kylie says:

    Your original post still has double * in between the numbers. The only double is at the beginning. Thanks though.

    • Jim says:

      That’s right Kylie, and the example is also incorrect. Strewth Telstra, it’s no wonder you cop so much flak.

  23. Dorothy says:

    So, the number to call is actually

    **61*101*11*(number of seconds: 15, 20, 25 or 30)#

    not what is at the top of this page. This works on my iPhone 5.

  24. Darlene says:

    I am able to extendthe ring, however when it rings out the message says this ‘the number you have called is not available from this service’ I’m assuming because it is diverting to messagebank 101 -- which i dont have, my phone diverts it to sms.
    What number do I put in instead of 101 to get it to do this again?

  25. julieo says:

    none of these solutions works on my phone:( Any other ideas?..apart from calling telstra which will only put me in a bad mood!!

  26. Jean Norris says:

    having trouble extending the ring time. I do **61**101**11**30# and it says requested service unknown. What is my mistake?

  27. Jean Morris says:

    These are the instructions (cut and pasted) from above are both wrong.
    * * 61 * 1 0 1 * * 11 * (number of seconds: 15, 20, 25 or 30) #
    Wrong because of two asterisks between 101 and 11 (only one)
    * * 6 1 * 1 0 1 * * 2 5 #
    Wrong because 11 is omitted and it has two asterisks instead of one
    Thankyou Dorothy for looking elsewhere and giving the correct instructions in your post. Don’t say call live chat. Fix the page here please Telstra. Jean

    • Gigi [Telstra Staff] says:

      Thanks Jean (and Dorothy) have updated!

    • Jean Morris says:

      Dear Telstra: In my opinion you have corrected the first instruction on the page but not the second. (check the number of asterisks and the absence of the 11 again).
      The first, **61*101*11*30# works fine for me now. It won’t accept any longer than 30 seconds.
      Best of luck with fixing the page fellas.

  28. Eran says:

    Why can’t we extend longer than 30 seconds?

    That’s still not long enough for my needs.

  29. carolyn says:

    So is this what I put in to my phone to extend the ring to 30 seconds ..

  30. Jean Morris says:

    also then press call.

  31. Daniel says:

    Awesome thanks so much for posting this.

    I generally run through the apartment knocking things over with cats fleeing in fear and still miss it.


  32. Jean Morris says:

    The instructions above have now all been fixed I see. Well done. It was nice to have this forum to support each other and help Telstra a little bit.
    Daniel, I wouldn’t have missed out on hearing about your scattering cats for quids! Ha ha ha ha.

  33. Paul says:

    These instructions didn’t work for me unless I omitted the first * -- So I used *61*101*11*(number of seconds)#

  34. Grandma says:

    Can you please tell me how to Bcc myself on iPhone and iPad before sending emails??

    • Ian [Telstra Community Manager] says:

      Hey there,
      If you click on the ‘CC/BCC,’ text in the second line while creating a new email it will display cc and bcc fields. Then you can add your email into the bcc field.

  35. Derek says:

    Could Telstra please explain why 15 seconds is the default. I don’t know anyone who thinks this is long enough. As a previous post noted, it only seems to be of benefit to Telstra. What is the benefit to the customer of such a short ring time.

    • Gigi [Telstra Staff] says:

      Hi Derek,

      The 15 second ring time is a balance between how long it takes a person to answer a call and how long the caller is prepared to have a call go unanswered. Customers can easily change the length of their ring time to 20, 25 or 30 seconds, information on how do to this is listed above. :)

  36. charmaine says:

    I have found this informaton to extend my ringing time utterly useless, wasste of time and money. Going through the process I am stopped with a Telstra message advising that I do not have this facility and to ph Telstra. Like I have time to think of this between business hours. Every line should be equipped with this facility. Thank you, yes I am cranky. Another point why is the oldest comments first and one has to scroll down, down, down to reach the most recent comment. Scrolled from 2011 to 2013. Thank you another time waster, and I am a Telstra customer. Yep, I am cranky.

  37. Nick says:

    OK, tried **61*101*11*30# and got at the end of the test call the service you are trying to use is not connected. Bit more searching & I came up with #61# which cancels call forward to message bank, leaves 30 second ring time, and reverts to 10 second free message to text service.

  38. Ellen says:

    None of these options work for me. Keep getting Unexpected response from network error message. Number of stars, with or without the 11, makes no difference on my Samsung Galaxy S2 4G. Why can’t we just change it through a menu option like every other phone I have had in the past?

  39. Peter says:

    Thanks everyone for the help.

  40. Alan says:

    I dont know ? people that just cant communicate or read instructions properly Telstra is a communications agency ?

    the first instructions are perfectly fine read instructions properly its like peter telling paul who tells fred who has got it exactly wrong!
    people who do not know what an asterisk ( * ) or hash ( # )
    is or how many or where to put them.
    point **61*101*11*30#
    no spaces between any characters works the first time and every time unless you have made a typo
    make sure the 11 is entered before the times required
    **61*101*11*15or20or25or30and then # send !!!!!

    most importantly a message on your phone will appear
    and is best to turn your phone on then off again to make sure it is set its just like an update on your computer needs to be turned off and re -- started so all the settings remain on your device ok !! hope this helps

  41. Paul Dimmick says:

    It is ridiculous that when I ask “How do I extend my mobile ring time?” Telstra sends me here to read this rubbish. A long litany of people having the same problem, even “Telstra Employees” talking about it, but the instructions given by Telstra do not work. Telstra, work out how to do this and publish clear instructions that do work.

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