Slider 2TryLearn MoreSlash your Phone bills - Slider Image

Use SIP trunks, WebRTC & Apps

Slash your Phone Bill by 80%

Course Content - Intermediate

Extension Profiles and Forwarding Rules


Welcome to the online training series from 3CX. This module will focus on the Extension Profiles and the Forwarding rules of the extensions in 3CX.


This module will focus on the call flows coming in to an extension, as well as the forwarding destinations a call can be sent to.

We will see the different ways to change an extensions profile state and the various forwarding rule options available in each of these profile states.

Rules always have exceptions and in 3CX it’s not different. Exceptions to the forwarding rules can be set, and we will see how this is done.


In 3CX, the different extension profiles define the extensions readiness state.

For example, in the Available and the 1st custom profile state, the extension will ring before activating the forwarding rule.

However, in the Away, Do not Disturb  and the 2nd Custom profile statuses the extension will not ring, and the forwarding rules will be triggered immediately.


There are various ways of changing the profile state of an extension.

Using the 3CX Clients, as well as the 3CX web Client, changing the profile state is a breeze, by using the drop down menu to change the profile state. With these clients, it is also easy to change the forwarding rules of the extension, thus not requiring the admin to intervene whenever a change is required.

With the 3CX Web Client, it is also possible to delegate the changing of an extensions profile status to another extension, by granting the relevant Receptionist Rights to an extension.

If the extension users are not using the 3CX clients, and only have an IP phone at their disposal, they will be able to change the profile status of their extension using dial codes. The default dial code for changing the extension status is *3. This is followed by a digit of 0-4 which will denote the respective status.

0 is Available
1 is Away
2 is Do not Disturb
3 id the 1st custom profile state
4 is the 2nd custom profile state.

If an IP Phone has a DND button, pressing this will toggle between the Available and Do not Disturb states.

Consequently, the IP Phones can have BLF buttons configured to change the profile state of the extension, in addition to the above states. Each profile status will need its own BLF key to be configured.

Changing an extensions profile state automatically is possible, based on the time of the day. This is covered in more detail in the Time Based Scheduling module.

The Extensions page in the 3CX Management Console has a STATUS button which can be used to change the status of a single or multiple extensions simultaneously.

Finally, the status of an extension can be changed from within the voicemail menu. So even if someone is not using a 3CX client, or is not in the office to use their IP Phone, or is not even connected to the internet, they can call in to the voicemail system, authenticate, and use the voicemail system options to change the status of their extension.


When the extensions profile state is set to Available or the 1st Custom status, the extension will initially ring when a call is coming to the extension.

There is a configured timeout, which by default is 20 seconds, and when this timeout has been reached, the forwarding rules will be triggered.

The options which are available as forwarding rules after the timeout has been reached are:

Send the call to a voicemail box, whether this is the own extensions voicemail box, another extensions voicemail box, or to be sent as a group voicemail message to the extensions which are members of a Ring Group or a Queue. The Group Voicemail is only via email, however, so each of the configured extensions in the Ring Group or queue will receive an email, with the voicemail as an attachment and not a voicemail, in the traditional sense.

A call can be sent to an external number, or to the configured mobile number of the extension.

Alternatively, the call can be forwarded to an internal extension, whether this is a user or system extension.

Another available option is to end the call if it is not answered within the configured timeout.

It is possible to have a different call forwarding for a call originating from within the PBX or coming from an external location.

Other options which are available in the forwarding rules section are the ability for the mobile phone of the extensions user to ring simultaneously, as the extension is ringing. This will assume that a mobile number is configured. If a mobile number is not configured, the PBX will urge you to configure a number.

From here, the ability to accept multiple calls is also configured. This is also known as Call Waiting, where a 2nd call coming in to the extension will ring the extension and not ring busy to the caller.

When selecting a profile state it is possible to select whether this state will log an extension in or out of the queues automatically. This is covered in more detail in the Call queues module.

Consequently the ability to accept calls in a ring group call, similarly to the queues is able to be toggled from here.


In the Away, Do not Disturb and 2nd Custom profile state, the forwarding options are basically the same as the Available states, with the following minor differences.

First, there is no ring timeout. The forwarding rules are triggered automatically, without delay.

Also, forwarding to an external number and a mobile number will also have the rebound functionality available. This allows an extension user to screen the caller ID of a deflected call, and choose to either answer the call or divert to voicemail.

Another difference is the Call Deflection, or 302 diversion, which allows the PBX to tell the provider deflect the call to the final destination and not have the PBX forward the call itself.


When selecting an extension profile, it is also possible deviate away from the default voicemail greeting defined on the extension, and have a custom prompt for each different profile state.

If the prompt is pre-recorded and will be uploaded to the PBX, it is imperative that this be uploaded in the supported audio format of 3CX, being a WAV file, encoded as PCM, 8kHz, 16 bit, Mono.


The saying goes that for every rule, there are exceptions. This also applies to the forwarding rules of 3CX.

It is possible to have a certain number of exceptions, 15 in actual fact, that will allow you to bypass the rules for certain Caller IDs, as well as during certain times.

The start symbol can be used as a wildcard to grab certain area codes, for example, and process calls direct to an extension differently.

Just note that the ordering of the rules is very important, just like in the inbound and outbound rules. 3CX checks the rules in a top down fashion, just like a waterfall.


There are 5 different extension profiles available in 3CX. The Available, Away and Do Not Disturb profiles are auto switching, and in addition to being able to be chosen on demand, can be switched automatically based on the time of the day. There are also 2 customisable statuses. The 1st custom profile state is identical to the “Available” status, with the only difference being that this state is persistent, meaning that if you choose this, the extension will stay in this status, until you go and change it manually. It will not be subject to the automatic switching of the profile state, like the “Available” status.

The same applies to the “Custom 2” profile state. It is identical to the “Do not Disturb” profile.

This is covered in more detail in the Time Based Scheduling module.

[SLIDE 10]

This is a graphical overview of the call flow coming in to an extension.

When a call comes in to an extension, it will check if there are any exceptions which need to be processed, based on the caller ID of the incoming call.

It will then see the status of the extension. It will ring the extension if the Available or Custom 1 profile state is selected. If the extension does not answer, it will then forward the call according to its origin, if it is an internally or externally originating call.

If the away, Do not Disturb or 2nd Custom profile states are chosen the call will be forwarded immediately, based on the configured forwarding rules.

[SLIDE 11]

Finishing off, it is very important to mention, that there are certain scenarios that the forwarding rules do not apply. The forwarding rules do not always apply when a call is coming in to an extension from a Ring Group or a Queue.

When an incoming call is coming in through a Ring Group or a Call Queue, the forwarding rules will be ignored when the extension is in the Available state. If Ring my Mobile Simultaneously is selected however, the mobile number of the extension will ring.

When an extension is in the Away or Do not disturb status, the calls will only be forwarded to a mobile number or an external number, unless the rebound feature is selected.

[SLIDE 12]

Thank you, and goodbye!

Free for up to 1 year! Select preferred deployment:


for Linux on a $200 appliance or as a VM

Get the ISO


for Windows as a VM

Download the setup file

On the cloud

In your Google, Amazon, Azure account

Take the PBX Express