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Phone and Modem Options \windows\system\telephon.cpl

Configure your modem and telephony devices and choose dialing preferences.

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Control Panel [Printers and Other Hardware] Phone and Modem Options

Command Prompt telephon.cpl

Command Prompt control telephony


Although DSL and cable Internet access are rapidly making modems obsolete, they’re still used by more users than any other type of device to connect to the Internet and send computer-based faxes. These settings affect how Windows uses your modem(s):

Dialing Rules

Assuming your modem is properly installed (see the Modems tab), Windows will use these settings to determine how to dial. Click Edit to change the dialing rules for the selected location (see Figure 4-73). Multiple locations can be configured if you have a portable computer and need to dial out from within different area codes or from varying phone numbers with different dialing requirements.

Figure 4-73. If you use a portable computer, you may want to configure multiple locations for dialing

As you undoubtedly know, if you dial a phone number in your own area code, you usually don’t need to include the area code. For this reason, Windows needs to know which area code it’s in, as well as any special numbers that are required to dial outside lines, place international calls, place calling-card calls, or disable call waiting (so you won’t get interrupted by incoming calls).


Before a modem can be used with Network Connections (which replaces Dial-Up Networking, found in earlier versions of Windows) or with Microsoft’s fax service, it must be configured here. The items listed here are the same as those listed in the Modems branch in Device Manager (discussed earlier in this chapter), so if Windows has detected your modem through plug-and-play, for example, there’s probably nothing left to do here. If your modem doesn’t show up in the list, it’s probably not plug-and-play compliant; click Add to start the Add Hardware Wizard (discussed earlier in this chapter) to scan your system and install the appropriate drivers.

Select your modem from the list and click Properties to view the device’s Properties sheet, which is the same as the one in Device Manager. Of special interest here is the Diagnostics tab, which will communicate with your modem and provide troubleshooting data, and the Advanced tab, which allows you to specify a modem initialization string (refer to your modem’s documentation). Don’t waste your time trying to get an old modem to work with Windows XP; brand new plug-and-play PCI modems are ridiculously cheap and extremely easy to install.


The Advanced tab lists the telephony drivers currently installed on your system. Drivers can be added, removed, or configured here. Note that unless you use a telephony application, you’ll never need to touch these settings.


All of the settings in this dialog are also covered in Chapter 5.

See Also

“Control Panel”

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