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First time configuration of 3CX

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First time configuration of 3CX


Upgrading From a Previous Version of 3CX

Recording Quota

See Also


Once 3CX is installed, it needs to be configured for your network. The 3CX PBX Web Configuration Tool obtains important network and security settings and configures 3CX accordingly. To run it, enter the IP of the machine 3CX is installed on, followed by port 5015 (eg. in a browser on another machine. Alternatively, you can run the configuration tool from the command line by selecting option (2).

After launching the 3CX PBX Web Configuration Tool you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Installation type: Whether you are creating a new installation of 3CX or if you wish to restore an existing configuration. You can choose to:
  • “Create a new install” and get your free licence key from the displayed URL. Copy and paste the free PBX edition licence key. If you have lost your license key, you can obtain it again here. If you already have a 3CX licence key, copy and paste the key here and select “Next”.

IMPORTANT: Partners & Customers that already have commercial/NFR licence keys should use their existing key during installation. Don’t use a licence key twice, as your old install will be overwritten.

  • “Restore an existing backup configuration ”if you have a backup configuration to restore. Select “Upload backup file” to choose your backup configuration file and then select “Next”.See also upgrading from a previous version.

  1. 3CX Management Console Credentials: Specify the username and password to access the 3CX Management Console. Make sure to choose a strong username and password combination to prevent unauthorised access to your PBX. The username and password are both case sensitive. Enter your password again to verify and select “Next”.

  1. Confirm your Public IP Address. Select “Yes” to confirm or “No” to enter your public IP manually (In case your HTTP traffic is routed via a different network - be sure to enter the correct one!). Select “Next” to proceed.

  1. Public IP Type: Specify whether your public IP is static or dynamic. For professional use, a static IP (which does not change) is required. For residential use or evaluation purposes, you can use a dynamic IP. A dynamic IP will change at certain intervals. Although 3CX will detect the IP change and update the FQDN accordingly, your calls will not route until it does so. Select your public IP type and then select “Next”.

  1. 3CX requires a fully resolvable FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) and a matching SSL certificate for security. This allows 3CX to work seamlessly in and out of the office. For easy setup, you can choose a 3CX supplied FQDN and Let’s encrypt certificate. This is provided FREE of charge for the first year and requires valid 3CX maintenance in subsequent years. If you wish, you can configure your own FQDN and upload your own SSL certificate. IMPORTANT: the FQDN/Subdomain you choose will be linked to your licence key.
  • I need a 3CX FQDN: You will be prompted for your preferred domain suffix based on your Domain Group Selection. The configuration tool will then setup your FQDN on the 3CX DNS servers and proceed to generate a trusted SSL certificate via the Let’s Encrypt service. 3CX provides this service free of charge for the first year and as part of the maintenance package for subsequent years
  • I have my own FQDN: (Available only in Pro and Enterprise Licences). You will have to create an FQDN and configure your DNS accordingly, as well as upload your own trusted SSL certificate. If you are not familiar with this, do not choose this option! You will be asked for a pfx, cer or crt file and optional passwords. Note we no longer support self signed certificates. In this case you must specify whether you have a DNS server which you can manage or not (for example Microsoft DNS):
  • I manage my DNS, use single FQDN - In this case we recommend using a single FQDN, for example: “”. The FQDN must resolve on your LAN to the machine on which 3CX Phone System is installed, and from the internet it must resolve to your Public IP. You will need to use “Split DNS” on your router/DNS Server. More information on how to Create FQDN using Split DNS.
  • I do not manage my DNS, use a separate External FQDN/Local IP or FQDN, for example / or pbx.interobit.local. If you do not have access to your DNS server, specify a separate external FQDN a local IP or local FQDN internally. The external FQDN will be used for devices connecting from outside the LAN. The local IP / local FQDN will be used for internal devices.

  1. After selecting “I need a 3CX FQDN” you will be prompted to select the FQDN Name, Domain Group and preferred domain suffix.

  1. Select which ports you wish to use for the Web Management console and for VoIP services (SIP and Tunnel ports). 3CX will detect whether you are using NAT or not based on your IP. If you are behind a NAT you will have to configure your firewall / router accordingly. More information here.

  1. Select the network interface which is connected to the internet / public IP you specified. If you have multiple interfaces ensure this interface is the one with the default gateway configured. (In case the 3CX host features a private and direct wan interface and users will connect to this installation locally and remotely, select the internal interface, which will not have the default gateway configured, and alter the following setting after the installation “Settings ⇒ Network ⇒ Tab:Public IP ⇒ Section:Network Card Interface” to the public interface IP address)
  2. The FQDN and SSL Certificates will be generated, downloaded from Let’s Encrypt and installed to the 3CX Web server. Click “Next”.
  3. Extension Length - Choose the number of digits that extension numbers should have. This cannot be altered later. Click “Next.”
  4. Administrator Email - Enter the Administrator Email Address that will receive notifications. Click “Next.”

  1. Select “3CX SMTP Server”. This is the quickest option because you need to configure nothing as this SMTP is a service offered by 3CX. If you have your own SMTP server or you use any one of the email providers listed in the SMTP Providers dropdown, select your SMTP and configure it accordingly. Click “Next”.
  2. Region and Time Zone - Select your country and time zone and click “Next.”
  3. Operator & Voice Mail Extensions - Create an Operator Extension (Enter name and email address). This will be the default destination for inbound calls. Now select a VoiceMail Extension number - users will retrieve their voicemail on this number. Click “Next.”
  4. Countries calls can be made to - Specify the countries or regions to which you want to allow calls to. Calls to countries which are not selected will be blocked. This feature reduces the risk of VoIP toll fraud. Click “Next.”
  5. Select Language - 3CX ships with a US English prompt set by default. Prompts are recorded voice files that are played by the system to callers and users of the system. For example, when a user picks up their voicemail, the system prompts will instruct the user what buttons to press in order to hear or delete voice messages. You can select a different prompt set from the drop down.

  1. Registration - During initial setup, you entered the licence that you either purchased or obtained when downloading 3CX. Check that your Company, Contact Name, E-mail, Telephone, Country and optional Reseller Name are correct. These details are reviewed by 3CX prior to activating your free maintenance. If you need to correct the details, enter them and click “Finish”. Note: If you run DPI (Deep Packet Inspection), licence key activations will be rejected for security purposes. 3CX is now configured and you can start to create extensions.

  1. The configuration tool will now configure 3CX and start the services. This may take some time. Once done, a confirmation page will be shown with important information. Make a screenshot and/or print this information - it can not be retrieved afterwards! Now you can login to the management console.

Upgrading From a Previous Version of 3CX

To upgrade from a previous version of 3CX:

  1. Make a backup of your current configuration using the 3CX Backup and restore tool.
  2. Tick the options to include in your backup, then choose where to save your backup. Warning: Do not choose to store the backup inside any of the 3CX Phone System installation folders as these folders are removed during the uninstall process.
  3. Uninstall the current version from the “Windows Control Panel > Programs and Features”.
  4. Now download the 3CX Phone System v15 of choice.
  5. Proceed with the installation.
  6. Restore your configuration when prompted.

Backups from Version 14 and higher are supported. Anything below Version 14 needs to be converted to Version 14 first in order to be restored. Very old backups need to follow the below conversion path:

  • If you are running v9 or v10 you must upgrade to v11 SP4a first, then to v12 SP6.1, V12.5 and finally to V14 SP3.    
  • If v12 SP 6.1 you must go to v12.5, then V14 SP3
  • If v12.5 SP2 you must go to v14 SP3
  • From v14 SP3 you can go to v15(.5) directly.

Backups from previous versions can only be restored during the installation of the PBX.

Old Version Download Links (to be used only for migration purposes):

Recording Quota

After upgrading to 15(.5) the recording quota will be set to 5GB. For installations with more recordings or customers requiring a higher recording volume navigate to “Recordings”“Quota” and set the Quota as needed.

See Also

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