OnStar Hands-Free Calling Tips and Commands

Posted on August 15, 2012

Just push the button for Hands-Free Calling.

OnStar Hands-Free Calling1 is easy, convenient and, when you have remaining prepaid minutes, it’s always ready when you need it. Plus it helps keep you connected responsibly.

Here are a few commands and troubleshooting tips to make using your OnStar Hands-Free Calling effortless:



Use of minutes

Hands-Free Calling minutes are used only when you place or receive calls via the Voice Command button, or access the Virtual Advisor for traffic, stock or other automated updates. Your minutes are never used when you push the blue OnStar button or red emergency button, speak to an Advisor, or use Turn-by-Turn Navigation.

Purchasing minutes

You can purchase minutes by pushing your blue OnStar button, calling 1-888-466-7827, or visiting onstar.com. When you purchase a new prepaid minute package, your existing minutes will roll over and be added to your purchased minutes. Most purchased minutes are good for one full year, or until your OnStar subscription ends, whichever date comes first. You can also roll over any active unused minutes to a new OnStar-equipped vehicle.

Your OnStar Hands-Free Calling number

To hear your OnStar Hands-Free Calling number, simply push the Voice Command button in your vehicle. When you hear "OnStar ready," say "My number." If you don't hear your number, push the blue button for an Advisor or call us at 1-888-466-7827. OnStar’s policy is to provide a local number for your vehicle. If you received a number that's not local, contact OnStar for a new local number.

Receiving a call

When someone calls you in your vehicle, you will hear a ring and see the Green System Status light flashing. Simply push the Voice Command button to answer. Push it again to end the call.

Unwanted calls

If you're getting unwanted calls, you can ask an Advisor for a different Hands-Free Calling number. Have your account number or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) ready.

Hands-Free Calling doesn't respond

Your system may have shut off the Voice Feedback setting that responds to your commands. To turn it on, simply push your Voice Command button. After the system beeps, say "Voice Feedback." You'll hear "Voice Feedback on" and "Ready." You will then receive verification from the system as you use it to place calls. If you still encounter difficulties with this or any other Voice Recognition issue, push the OnStar button or call 1-888-466-7827 for further assistance.



Available voice commands

  • “Yes,” “No” or “OK.”
  • “Dial” to dial numbers.
  • “Call” to speed dial using stored name tags.
  • “Store” to store numbers for speed dialing.
  • “Store last number” to store the last number dialed.
  • “Redial” to dial the last number called.
  • “Directory” to play all stored name tags.
  • “Help” or “OnStar help” to hear a list of all commands.
  • “Clear” if a mistake is made when saying numbers. The command clears out the last set of numbers spoken. Or push the Voice Command button and start over.
  • “Delete” to delete a name tag. The system will ask for the name tag to be deleted.
  • “Delete all name tags” to delete every name stored, including Turn-by-Turn name tags.
  • “Cancel” to return to the “OnStar ready” prompt or exit Hands-Free Calling.
  • “Go back” to go back to the previous step.
  • “Minutes” to check minute status, the number of minutes available or to add more minutes.
  • “Verify or Add” to verify the number of minutes available or to add more minutes.
  • “Goodbye” to exit Hands-Free Calling.

Voice dialing/recognition tips

The system is affected by noises inside and outside the vehicle. If you're having trouble dialing, it may be necessary to emphasize certain sounds. Try these tips to improve dialing and voice recognition accuracy:

  • Numbers must be said in sets of three or four. Saying a single digit or two digits can confuse the system.
  • If the system does not understand "zero," emphasize the "r" sound or saying "oh."
  • Emphasize the "n" sound at the end of the word “one.”
  • Say the digit “2” softer and emphasize the "t" sound at the beginning.
  • Emphasize the "l" sound in “Dial” to reduce confusion with the word call.
  • Emphasize the hard "k" sound in “Call.”
  • When storing a number with a name tag, use two words or two-syllable words.
  • Say “pound key” for the # key.
  • Say “star key” for the * key.
  • Before pushing the Voice Command button, ask passengers to be quiet. Additional voices can confuse the voice recognition system.
  • Be sure windows are up and fan is set on low.
  • Voice recognition works best from the driver’s seat position.

Advisor Record feature

Hands-Free Calling instructions, driving directions or information given during a call with an OnStar Advisor can be recorded, and the stored information can be played back later.During an OnStar call, push the Voice Command button. The system will beep and start recording.

  • To stop recording, push the Voice Command button again. The system will beep again (ends recording).
  • To recall recorded information, push the Voice Command button. When the system responds with “OnStar ready” and the talk-tone, say “Advisor playback.” The recorded information will play.
  • To pause the playback, push the Voice Command button again.
  • To continue, push the Voice Command button and say “Advisor playback.” OnStar will respond, “Please say play or resume.”
  • Say “Resume” to continue playback from where the recorded information was previously stopped. Say “Play” to start at the beginning.

Comment below to tell us whom you call the most with OnStar Hands-Free Calling.


1 Hands-Free Calling requires an existing OnStar service contract and available minutes. Not available in certain markets. Visit onstar.com for coverage map, details and system limitations.