BT Freestyle 3200 – “Not Possible” – How to fix

I keep having a problem with our BT Freestyle where one of the handsets reports “Not Possible” when you try to do anything. It’s an easy problem to fix (the first time I rang the helpline, subsequent times I’ve searched the internet), but I need to look it up each time so I thought I’d give the instructions here in case the solution disappears from the site I found it on, and so that I can help anyone else with the problem.

The solution is simple:

  • On the base station press and hold the “Find” button.
  • Turn the base station off at the wall, and back on again (while still holding the “Find” button).
  • Let go of the “Find” button.
  • The handsets should display “Searching” for a while, until going back to normal. It should now work.

All contacts and settings will be kept.

I think I have the problem because the signal strength is not great to one of the handsets – it’s that one that always fails.

I hope this helped someone. Please let me know if this doesn’t work for you (or even if it did!).

35 responses to “BT Freestyle 3200 – “Not Possible” – How to fix”

  1. Just a quick note to say ‘Thanks’ Rob,

    Saved me potentially hours of frustration with my BT Freestyle. Followed your instructions and all back working again within 60 seconds!

    Thanks agan,


  2. perfect solution. many thanks. saved calling useless/expensive helplines or buying another device

  3. Fantastic! Both subsidiary sets had gone to ‘engaged’ mode,; I tried the ‘Find’ solution and it worked. saved me a lot of temper (and money).
    Well done Rob!

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Worked like a charm, and phone that’s been out of commission for ages is back in service. I’ve pasted your instructions into my owner’s manual. But why didn’t they include this in the handbook in the first place?

    Best regards


  5. Cheers Rob
    Many Thanks Handset dead for weeks was going to bin it decided to google it as a last attempt before buying a new quad pack stumbled across your post.
    Once again many thanks and kindest regards Colin

  6. Thanks for this.
    In fact for me it was not necessary to press the Find button, just powering off and on the base station was sufficient.
    Simple and effective, but not in the user guide!

  7. Brilliant, two of my three handsets had this problem and I was about to go out and but a new system. You have saved me lost of time and money.
    Many thanks.

  8. Top man, Rob!

    First handset conked out weeks ago and second one went earlier today.

    Was about to dump but fixed two minutes after following your advice!

    Thanks again!!!

  9. Thanks Rob. My mum had this problem with one handset and your solution fixed it in less than a minute. I’ve earned brownie points by the score!.

  10. Absolutely great. God bless you for this. I am a seller and have had so many returns as handsets could not be registered but this has seriously saved me. I can’t be thankful enough. Many thanks.

  11. Thanks, phone now fixed. No mention of the “not possible” message in the BT User Guide so you have saved the day.

  12. Rob, in 2009 you posted a solution. 2014 that solution is still working for frustrated phone owners of BT Freestyle 750. thank you very very much!

  13. Spot on! Cheers Rob. Save me having to go out & buy 2 new handsets as only 1 had the fault and they’re still really good handsets. Although have gone through several recharchable batteries but over 6 years mind. Good to know people out there sharing this info so we don’t make mistakes and throw stuff away 🙂

  14. Magic – I spent ages trawling through 45 pages of the user’s manual without success. Your tip solved it in seconds – many thanks

  15. Thanks a lot for your help, it’s been bugging me for the last two months, finally it worked. The BT website is rubbish, it does not give proper Solutions

  16. Thanks- I have done this but it’s still saying ‘not possible’ – any ideas? thanks e

  17. Your answer to the Not Possible problem saved us hours of stress and irritation. Thank you so much.

  18. Hi Rob – thank you so much for your information. We are self isolating – now the time of the Coronavirus. You really helped us.

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