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7961 On/Off Hook Issue


We have had a lot of on/off hook issues with this model of phone. I was wondering if there could be a setting either in CME (through the CLI) or on the phone itself that would cause a 7961 to ignore the status of the on/off hook trigger underneath the handset. Here are two brief scenarios that the users experience with the phones:

  1. Inbound call rings to a 7961. User picks up the hand set and hears nothing. User sees the line ring on the hard button to the right of the screen. User hits the button and is able to answer the call. According to the description, the user is then able to talk through the handset.
  2. User goes to make an outbound call. User picks up the handset and hears no dial tone. Enters the number they desire to contact, then presses the "dial" option on the bottom of the screen and the call completes the outbound call. Users are used to picking up the handset and simply dialing like an analogue phone from home.

Any help offered is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

19 Replies 19

Aaron Harrison
VIP Alumni
VIP Alumni


Check the 'auto line select' property of the handset in CCMAdmin.



Please rate helpful posts..

Aaron Please remember to rate helpful posts to identify useful responses, and mark 'Answered' if appropriate!

Rob Huffman
Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame


This could also be a hardware problem with the Hookswitch. After deploying Cisco IP Phones for the last few years we (and many others) have found this to be the most common hardware problem. There is a "Best Practice" for cleaning the Hookswitch contacts (link below) that does work . Usually the phone has to be replaced/RMA'd.

BestPractices for Cleaning and Troubleshooting Cisco IP Phone Hookswitch

From this interesting Tech note;

Hope this helps!


Yeah, we have RMA'd a lot of 7961 phones as well and typically this is what I have done in the past. Recently I started second guessing whether or not this was the best and fastest fix for the end users. Thanks Aaron and Rob, I am going to dig deeper into this with the info you provided. I'll post what was decided to be done.

We have had many many 7941 and 7961 phones with a similar issue.  What I've been doing is taking the phones apart (which likely voids the warranty) and stretching out the spring that works the hook switch.  I think what happens is that this spring loses tension over time and needs to be stretched out so that the hook is fully deployed when the handset is lifted. See attached pics of the spring.

The symptoms I hear from users are:

     - sometimes disconnected from calls in the middle of a call

     - can't make a call with the handset/must use the speakerphone

     - pick up the handset to answer a call, and it goes to speakerphone

I have used this method to fix more than 30 phones.  What I'm looking for is a place where I can buy these springs.  I've had one phone where the spring just won't keep it's tension regardless of how much I stretch it.  I'd rather not resort to putting self-adhesive "dots" on the hook switch.  Anyone know where I can buy these springs?

Saying the failure rate is 4% is insane.  This problem accounts for at least 50 percent of my issues with these phones.  The design is horrible and to say it is self cleaning is comical.  I have found the best fix for this is to add an additional spring.  


jfink... how did you do?

thomaso, did you find a place?

I began to see these issues on our 7961s over the last year and popping up more and more often. I tried both the cleaning and the stretching to no avail in most cases... or it fails again after a days/weeks. I googled "cisco hookswitch" in google images and found both the contact and the spring for between 6 and 14$ to purchase. My supplier offers an 80$ fix also...

We have had this trouble for quite some time and have cleaned the contacts under the hookswitch, but on some phones that do not get a lot of use, we have been very successful in replacing the little rubber button contact that we can purchase inexpensively (about $1 each at

It is easy to replace and they haven't had any problems since.



These are old posts, but I have this problem on a number of phones and was wondering one thing - I noticed hat the rubber gasket you mention is hard to get back on after you remove it.  Wondering if the replacements are easier...the four rubber posts won't squeeze back in the holes well on the ones that are in there originally.  Wondering if the new ones are as hard to get seated before I go buy them or if you found a way to get them to squeeze in.

Yes, they were terrible.  The latest batch of rubber gaskets (we call them rubber eyeballs) we bought were vastly improved, they have a very thin extension on the end that slides through the hole and allows you to pull the rest of it through easily.  I hope I attached the picture correctly.

Thanks.  I did find a link where Leslie Long recommended to use the spring to push the rubber gasket back in place and it works great - see pic attached and link below.

I took one of the 7961 phones apart, removed the rubber flap and then put it back on and it was easy doing it that way.

I don't know if we got them at the same place as the original replacements.  But take a look around and make sure you get the ones with the step down.

I ordered the feet and the springs from:

You can basically order any part for your 79xx phones through this site.  I got the parts quickly, and they all appear new.

It's been a while since I've looked at this post. After seeing those last two links, I have made an order with both companies and I am going to attempt to see if I can fix the issue myself. I'll let everyone know when I get the parts.


the place I work for would not approve purchasing these parts, but they approved purchasing extended warranties for all near 200 phones... We have RMA-ed about 20 of these phones in the last 90 days and CISCO has processed them very quickly and without issues.

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