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Using Jabber Softphone on a Mac

Using the softphone feature, you can easily place, receive, and manage telephone calls using your computer or mobile device and an internet connection. University IT provides support for a softphone through the Jabber application, allowing you to simulate your Stanford telephone using your Mac.

The Jabber softphone feature is also available for Windows computers, and iOS and Android mobile devices.

Something to consider before getting started

The audio quality of a softphone connection — both what you hear and what the other person hears — is impacted by the microphone and speakers you are using. While most modern computers come with built-in microphones and speakers, you might want to invest in a high-quality headset to improve the audio quality. A headset can also reduce surrounding noise and increase privacy. Headset recommendations.

Place a call

You can place a softphone call in three ways:


  1. Click the person icon in the Jabber hub.
  2. Hover over the appropriate contact’s name and click the green phone icon. 
    The call is placed to the person’s Stanford telephone number.

For details on adding contacts to your Contacts list, see Managing Contacts.


  1. Type the person’s name in the Jabber hub Search or call field.
    It is best to type the name as completely as possible since Jabber will only display the first 15 matches.
  2. Hover over the appropriate contact’s name in the search results and click the green phone icon. 

    The call is placed to the person’s Stanford telephone number.


  1. Type the person’s phone number in the Jabber hub Search or call field.
    Important: When entering a non-Stanford number, you must enter a 9 first, then the rest of the number as you would from a telephone (e.g., 916509871234). With Stanford telephone numbers, you can dial the last five digits or the full seven or ten digit number.
  2. Click the green phone icon next to the Search or call field.

    The call is placed to the entered telephone number.

Receive a call

You must be logged in to the Jabber application to receive a call using your softphone. Settings affect a telephone number regardless if they are set on your desk phone or your softphone. So, for example, if your forward your desk phone to voicemail, your softphone is also forwarded to voicemail and you will not receive calls. Changing the setting on one also changes the setting on the other.

When you receive an incoming call, you’ll see a call window open on your computer screen.

  • Click Accept to accept the call.
  • Click Decline to forward the call to voicemail.

Forward and unforward calls

Forwarding sends calls coming to your Stanford phone number to your Stanford voicemail or any other phone number you choose. Unforwarding your calls make them ring on both your desk phone and softphone (when active). Forwarding or unforwarding your calls on your desk phone or softphone affects both phones.


  1. Click the monitor icon in the Jabber hub (bottom right).
  2. In the Forward Call to dropdown menu, either:
    Select among the listed numbers (numbers to which you’ve recently forwarded your calls) or
    Select New Number to enter another phone number.
        1. Enter a phone number, including 9, 1, area code and seven-digit phone number (e.g., 914159876543) and press enter on your keyboard.
        2. Select the new number in the Forward Calls to: drop down menu.


  1. Click the monitor icon in the Jabber hub (bottom right).
  2. In the Forward Call to dropdown menu, select Off to top forwarding your calls.

Place a call on hold

  1. Click the more icon (three dots) in the active call window.
    more icon
  2. Select Hold.
    The call is placed on hold. Click Resume to resume the call.

Note: When you place someone on hold, they will hear music. If you are on a conference call and answer a second line, the conference call is placed on hold and the conference attendees hear the hold music.

Transfer a call

Transferring allows you to transfer a call from your softphone to any other phone on the Stanford system.

  1. Click the more icon (three dots) in the active call window.
    more icon
  2. Select Transfer.
    This places the active call on hold.
  3. Type the name of the person or the phone number to which you want to transfer the call in the search box.
  4. Select the person or number when it appears in the search list.
    You are connected to that number.
  5. Press Transfer to complete the transfer.
  6. Click the red circle with an "x" icon.
Last modified August 15, 2023