How to Find a Phone Number Extension

by Rob Harris; Updated September 26, 2017
Phone extensions connect you to your party quickly.

Many businesses assign telephone extensions to their employees. These extensions allow callers to dial a main number, then enter a numeric code to be directly connected through the company's switchboard to the employee they need. Employees can also reach each other quickly through the switchboard system by dialing a coworker's extension alone. Finding a phone extension is an easy process.

Outside Callers

Step 1

Visit the website of the company for which your contact works. Most businesses have websites that list their main phone numbers. Some also include a staff listing (often under tabs such as "About Us" or "Contact Us") that show each employee's extension number.

Step 2

Call the company's main phone number. Listen for a prompt that asks you to use your phone's key pad to type in the first few letters of your contact's name. The system will give you a list of people who match the letters you entered.

Step 3

Choose the correct contact from the list. Alternatively, the company's automated system may list all employees' names and provide you with their extension numbers immediately following their names. Wait until you hear your contact's name and press the correct extension number.

Internal Callers

Step 1

Call a coworker from your extension if you need to know your own extension number. Ask the coworker to tell you what extension you are calling from. It should appear on his phone's screen.

Step 2

Check your employee intranet site for a list of all employees and their contact information, including their phone extensions.

Step 3

Find a list of employees in your employee handbook. This list should also contain extension numbers. If you don't have an employee handbook, search your computer files for an employee list.

Step 4

Dial "0" from your work phone. On most systems, this will direct you to the switchboard operator. Ask her for the extension number of the person you need to reach.


  • To save the extension in your cell phone, enter the main number, then "+" and "#," followed by the extension number. On many cell phones, this adds a pause between the main number and the extension number. Check your user manual for your phone's exact instructions.

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