Change How Windows Dials Phone Numbers

Updated: October 14, 2010

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 7

When you run a program that requires Windows to connect using a dial-up modem, it needs the complete phone number, as well as instructions about how to dial that number. Depending on where you are dialing from, you might or might not need to dial a long distance access number or the area code. You might be in a location that requires that you dial 9 (or some other number) to access an outside line before you can dial the destination number. You might also need to access the network of an alternative phone carrier.

Windows supports all of these features by providing:

  • Locations. A location is associated with the place from which you are dialing. You can create locations for your home, your work, or a location from which you always want to use a calling card.

  • Dialing rules. Rules specify how a specific phone number is dialed from a specific location. For example, a rule might specify that from a specific location you must always dial 9 first, in order to access an outside line.

  • Area code rules. Area code rules specify how phone numbers are to be dialed from your current area code into other area codes or within your area code.

  • Calling cards. Calling cards allow you to enter the information required for Windows to connect to a specific phone carrier, including identification information, such as an account number and a personal identification number (PIN) that grants you access to that network.

One important related item is configuring the modem properties to properly interact with the phone system at your location. Use your modem and Internet Service Provider (ISP) documentation to ensure that the modem is configured correctly.

To complete this task, you can perform the following procedures:

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