Cisco Unified IP Phone 8961, 9951, and 9971 Troubleshooting Guide

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The Cisco Unified IP Phone 8961, 9951, and 9971 Troubleshooting Guide 8.5 provides you with the information you frequently ask to understand and use the Cisco Unified IP Phones 8961, 9951, and 9971.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why can't I see all the active calls on my phone?

A. When there are more calls than available session buttons on the phone, you can scroll using the Navigation pad to see them. Calls are sorted from oldest to newest, with the oldest call at the top of the list.

Q. How do I redirect an incoming call when I am on a call?

A. To redirect an incoming (ringing) call while on another call, use the Navigation pad to highlight the incoming call, and then press the Divert softkey. (Otherwise pressing the Divert softkey will redirect the current, active call.)

Q. If I’m on a call, how can I silence the ringing of an incoming call?

A. You can silence the incoming (ringing) call by pressing the Volume button down once, and then let the incoming call go to the target number (voicemail or predetermined number set up the system administrator).

Q. How can I resume a call that is on hold?

A. To resume a call on hold, you can use any of the following methods:

  • Press the pulsing green session button.
  • Press the call session on the phone display (For the Cisco Unified IP Phone 9971 only).
  • Press the Resume softkey.
  • Highlight the call by using the Navigation pad and press the Select softkey. Note that pressing the Hold button again does not resume the call.

Q. What is the difference between the buttons on the left and those on the right of the screen?

A. Your phone has feature buttons on the left and call session buttons on the right. Use the feature buttons to access features (such as speed dial) or select a phone line. Use call session buttons to perform call-related tasks, such as making a new call, resuming a held call, or checking your voicemail.

Q. Why do the softkeys keep changing?

A. Softkeys act on the selected (highlighted) call or menu item only. Which softkeys are displayed depends on the call or item you have selected.

Q. What is the best way to look at calls when I have a shared line or multiple lines?

A. If you have a shared line or multiple lines, it is recommended that you use the All Calls feature to view calls. When you press the All Calls button (on the left), all calls for all your lines are listed on the phone screen in chronological order (oldest first). (If you do not have an All Calls button, ask your system administrator to set up this feature.)

Q. Why does my call disappear after I accidently press a button?

A. If you are on a call and press a button for another line, your line view will change. Your current call disappears from view and calls for the newly selected line are displayed. To redisplay the call you are on, select the line it is on or press All Calls.

Q. How do I check missed calls on my phone?

A. To check missed calls on your phone you must:

1. Press the Applications button

2. Select Call History. (Use the Navigation pad and Select button to scroll and select.)

3. Press the Missed softkey.

Q. How do I exit from a running application?

A. To exit from a running applications you must:

1. Press the Applications button File:193054.JPEG.

2. Select Running Applications. (Use the Navigation pad and Select button to scroll and select.)

3. Select a running application and press the Close App softkey to close the application. When prompted, save your changes.

4. Press the Exit softkey end the running application. If you do not exit a running application, it will persist in the background.

Q. How do I connect two calls and then drop from the line myself?

A. When you are on an active call (not on hold), do the following:

1. Press the Transfer button [[Image:]] and enter the transfer recipient’s phone number in one of these ways:

  • Press the session button of a held call.
  • Enter the transfer recipient’s phone number.
  • Scroll to a Call History record and press the Call softkey.
  • Press a speed-dial button.
  • Press the Speed Dial softkey, enter a speed-dial number or highlight the number you want to call, and press the Speed Dial softkey again.
  • Press the Active Calls softkey and select a held call. (The transfer completes immediately.)

2. Press the Transfer button again. (You do not have to wait for the recipient to answer to complete the transfer.)

Q. What does the Swap softkey do?

A. The Swap softkey allows you to toggle between two calls before completing the transfer or creating a conference. This allows you to consult privately with the party or parties on each call before combining the calls into a conference.

Q. Can I cancel a conference or transfer procedure after I have started it?

A. Yes, before completing a conference or transfer, you can press the Release button 193062.JPG or Cancel softkey to cancel it.

Q. How can I combine two calls on hold into a single conference call?

A. Make sure that one of the calls is active (not on hold). If both calls are on hold, resume one call, then:

1. Press the Conference button 193065.JPG.

2. Press the line button for the other (held) call.

The conference begins. (The conference is established on the line that had the active call.)

Q. Should I mount my Cisco Unified Video Camera on my phone or on my computer monitor?

A. For casual video calling, a camera mounted directly on the phone is recommended. If you plan to turn to face your computer monitor often (for example, if you are presenting slides), a camera mounted on monitor might be preferable. Experiment with both and see what works best for you.

If you prefer to mount your camera on your computer monitor, ask your system administrator for a camera mounting clip and USB extension cable.

Q. How can I keep my Cisco Unified Video Camera secure to prevent theft?

A. If you are concerned about theft, you can place the camera in a locked drawer when not in use. If you plan to remove the camera regularly for this reason, consider attaching the camera to a USB extension cable (available from your system administrator) rather than mounting the camera directly on the phone.

Connecting and disconnecting the camera is easy and neither resets the phone nor disrupts the audio portion of an active call. However, you may find connecting and disconnecting the camera easier if a USB cable is used rather than directly removing and reattaching the camera to the phone.

Note that the Cisco wall mount kit contains a security mechanism which locks the camera to the phone.

Q. Not all calls present video on my phone. Why not?

A. To see an image of the other party on your phone screen, the other party’s phone must support video and the other party must have a camera installed and enabled on his or her phone. During conference calls, the conference system in use during the call must support video conferencing.

Q. What does the Preview softkey do?

A. If you have a Cisco Unified Video Camera installed on your phone, you can press the Preview softkey to see the view from your camera when you are not in a video call. Try using Preview before making video calls to help set up and position your camera effectively.

Q. What happens to video when I put a call on hold?

A. Video transmission is muted (blocked) until you resume the call.

Q. What does the different light colors on my Cisco Unified Video Camera indicate?

A. The colors indicate video transmission states as follows:

  • Green—Your video is transmitting.
  • Red—Your video is muted.

Q. How can I close the shutter on my Cisco Unified Video Camera?

A. Close the camera shutter by rotating the camera lens clockwise. Rotate counter-clockwise to open the shutter again.

Q. Why does video from my Cisco Unified Video Camera appear too dark (or too light)?

A. Lighting conditions (such as windows and ceiling lights) within the camera’s field of view affect the brightness. Try moving the camera to see if the brightness improves. You can also adjust the brightness setting.

Troubleshooting Tips

Problem: Hold button does not resume a held call.

When I press the Hold button 194618.JPG to resume a call, nothing happens

Possible Cause

This is as designed. The Hold button is not a toggle.


Use any of the following methods:

  • Press the pulsing green session button.
  • Press the call session on the phone display (For the Cisco Unified IP Phone 9971 only).
  • Press the Resume softkey.

Highlight the call by using the Navigation pad and press the Select softkey.

Problem: Missing the All Calls button.

I would like to use the All Calls button but it is not on my phone.

Possible Cause

It has not been set up by your system administrator.


Ask your system administrator to enable the All Calls feature for you.

Personal Directory

Problem: Cannot sign in to Personal Directory

You are unable to sign in to your personal directory.

Possible Cause

Your PIN needs to be reset.

You are using your password to sign in, not your personal identification number (PIN).


See your system administrator.

Use your PIN, not your password.

User Options

Problem: Cannot access User Options web pages

You are unable to access your user options web pages.

Possible Cause

Your password needs to be reset.


See your system administrator.

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