iPhone Voicemails - The Complete Guide 2024

Everything you need to know about iPhone voicemails

Last Updated :  |  Author: Dev Team

The complete guide to iPhone Voice Mails


Standard Voicemail and Visual Voicemail have been available on iPhones since the days of the very first iPhones in 2007. However, with the release of iOS 17, Apple has introduced two new types of voicemail: Live Voicemail and FaceTime Voicemail.

This guide will explain the differences between these four types of voicemails, how to set them up and access them, as well as how to save your voicemails to your phone or on your computer.

1. Different Types of Voicemails on iPhone

You may be surprised to hear that there are actually a few different types of voicemail that you can make and receive on iPhone. Let's take a look at each:

1.1. Visual Voicemail

Visual Voicemail is a service which enables you to access voicemails on your device without needing to call your mobile carrier. You can access Visual Voicemails directly through the Phone app on your iPhone.

This allows you to choose exactly which voicemail you want to listen to, save or delete - rather than having to listen back through a list of voicemails after dialling your voicemail number.

Whether you have access to Visual Voicemail depends on the wireless carrier you are with, as well as your location. Check whether your carrier/location supports Visual Voicemail.

1.2. Live Voicemail

Apple introduced the new feature Live Voicemail with iOS 17.

This feature enables a visual, real-time transcription of incoming voicemails on your iPhone. So, if you can't take a call and send it to voicemail, you'll see the message being left, on your screen, as it is being left for you. Cool, right?

Another great point to note about Live Voicemail is that the audio and the transcription are saved to your iPhone Phone app - even if you don't have Visual Voicemail.

At the time of writing, Live Voicemail is only available in English in the United States and Canada.

1.3. Standard Voicemail

If you don't have Visual Voicemail and/or Live Voicemail on your iPhone, regular voicemails will not be stored in your iPhone's Phone app.

Instead, to access and listen to your voicemails, you'll need to call your carrier's voicemail service. This is not as convenient as the services above, because you won't be able to easily choose which voicemails to listen to, save or delete.

Note: Different carriers offer different voicemail support. For example, they may offer only a limited space to store your voicemails (meaning you may lose older voicemails after a time).

1.4. FaceTime Voicemail

Another fantastic new feature introduced in iOS 17 was FaceTime video messages. Now, when a FaceTime video call is missed, the caller can choose to leave a video message. This makes for a much richer voicemail experience and means that a time-sensitive video can be taken, even if a call cannot be taken at the time.

Both the sender and the receiver can choose to save the FaceTime voicemail as a video to their iPhone.

This feature is available on devices using iOS17 and higher.

If it was a FaceTime audio call which was missed, you can leave a voicemail, just like with a standard call. FaceTime voicemail requires the recipient to have Live Voicemail turned on.

2. How to Set up Voicemail on iPhone

If you've been using iPhone for a while, it's likely that you are already set up with Voicemail. However, if you've not used it before on your iPhone, you'll need to set it up.

We'll cover how to initially set up your Voicemail inbox on iPhone, how to turn on Live Voicemail and how to activate Visual Voicemail. No further setup is required to receive FaceTime voicemails.

2.1. How to set up voicemail on iPhone

  1. Open the Phone app on your iPhone, then tap 'Voicemail'.
  2. Tap 'Set Up Now' and create a password when prompted. Setting up voicemail on iPhone
  3. Choose to use the Default greeting or choose 'Custom' to record your own greeting.
  4. Finally, tap Done.

2.2. How to Turn On Live Voicemail

Live Voicemail is on by default on devices using iOS 17 and later if your language and region are supported by the feature (at the time of writing, Live Voicemail is only available in English in the United States and Canada.).

To enable/disable Live Voicemail on iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select the Phone app, then tap Live Voicemail.
    Turning on Live Voicemail on iPhone
  3. Tap to toggle Live Voicemail on or off.

2.3. How to activate Visual Voicemail

For many carriers, the standard set-up steps are all that is required to get started with Visual Voicemail if it's included in your plan. However, for some carriers, you may need to manually enable Visual Voicemail on your device before you can manage your voicemails on your device.

For example, EE users are required to send a text message from their device to enable Visual Voicemail.

If you are unsure whether you need to perform extra steps to set up Visual Voicemail, contact your carrier.

3. Accessing Different Types of Voicemails on iPhone

3.1. Viewing Visual Voicemail and Live Voicemail on your iPhone

To do this, simply open the Phone app on your iPhone, then tap 'Voicemail'.

All your received voicemails will be listed here, from the newest one to the oldest one. Each entry will show the contact's name or number the voicemail was sent from, the date it was sent, and the duration of the voicemail.

Accessing voicemail on iPhone

Tap a voicemail entry in the list to access it. Then, you'll be able to access these options:

  • Tap the play button to listen to your voicemail. You can use the speaker icon to toggle the loudspeaker if you don't want to hold the device to your ear.
  • Tap the phone icon to call the contact back who left the voicemail.
  • Tap the bin/trash icon to delete the voicemail.
  • Use the share icon to save or share your voicemail.
Viewing a voicemail on iPhone

3.2. Accessing Standard Voicemail on your iPhone

If you don't have Visual or Live Voicemail, to access standard voicemails on iPhone, open the Phone app, select 'Voicemail', and then tap 'Call' next to 'Carrier Voicemail'. You'll then be put through to your carrier's voicemail service, allowing you to listen to your voicemails.

Follow the steps voiced during the phone call to navigate your voicemails and options.

3.3. Viewing FaceTime Voicemail on your iPhone

Open the FaceTime app on your iPhone to see your FaceTime call history. If there was a missed FaceTime call on your device, and the caller left a video/audio message, it will be shown as part of the call log entry.

  • Select the 'Voicemail' block in the call log to view a recorded Live Voicemail in the Phone app on your iPhone.
    These messages are left if the call was a FaceTime audio call, and you have Live Voicemail turned on.

  • Or select the 'Video' block in your FaceTime call log to view a recorded FaceTime Video Message.
    These messages are left if the call was a FaceTime video call.

Viewing FaceTime voicemails on iPhone
  • Tap the Play icon to watch the video message the caller left for you.
  • Tap 'Save' to save the video to your iPhone camera roll.
  • The 'Message' button will open a message to the contact who left the voicemail.
  • The 'FaceTime' button will open a FaceTime call back to the contact.

4. How to Save Voicemails on Your iPhone

You can save a voicemail to your iPhone to keep it safe, share it with someone else, or export it to your computer.

Follow these steps to save a voicemail on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Phone app on your iPhone and tap Voicemail.
  2. Select the voicemail you want to save.
  3. Tap the Share icon.
  4. Choose where you want to save the voicemail to.
    • You can share the voicemail directly with a contact via Messages, WhatsApp, Mail etc.
    • Or save the voicemail to a location like the Files app on your iPhone, or your Dropbox account. The voicemail will be saved as an MP4 file at your desired location.
    Saving voicemails on iPhone

Saving FaceTime Video Messages

If you missed a FaceTime video call and the caller left you a video message, open FaceTime on your iPhone and tap the 'Video' you received. Then, tap 'Save' to save the video to your Photos app.

5. How to Transfer Voicemails from iPhone to Computer

Voicemails often contain important information, but some carriers have limits on storage capacity. For instance, Verizon has a storage limit of 20-40 voicemails. If you exceed this limit, you risk losing voicemails that haven't been backed up. To avoid this, it's a good idea to export your iPhone voicemails to your computer for safekeeping.

For a convenient way to export content from your iPhone to a computer, we recommend using TouchCopy software. TouchCopy, available for both PC and Mac, enables you to copy not only voicemails but also other valuable content such as messages, photos, contacts, call logs, and more from your iPhone to your computer.

Download iconFree TouchCopy Download

5.1. How to export voicemails from iPhone to PC or Mac

  1. Open TouchCopy on your computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone to the computer using your USB cable.
  3. Click the Voice Mail feature.
  4. Select the voicemails you want to export.
  5. Click 'Save to PC' or 'Copy to Mac'.
Save iPhone voice mails to computer using TouchCopy

The voicemails will be saved as .amr files to your chosen location on your computer. To listen to your saved voicemails, you can use a free app like AMR Player on PC, or QuickTime on Mac (comes preinstalled on Macs).

5.2. Export FaceTime video messages to computer

If you have saved some FaceTime video messages to your iPhone Photos app, you can access these videos in TouchCopy.

To do this, click the 'Photos' section in TouchCopy, then click the 'Videos' tab to view all the videos stored on your iPhone. Click to select the video messages from FaceTime, then click to save to your PC or Mac.

Exporting FaceTime video message to computer

Find out more about how to save photos and videos from iPhone to computer with TouchCopy.

6. How to Delete and Manage Deleted Voicemails on iPhone

The guide wouldn't be complete without looking at how to deal with deleting voicemails. Let's see how to delete voicemails from an iPhone, how to restore voicemails which have been recently deleted and finally how to recover deleted voicemails from a backup.

6.1. How to delete voicemails on iPhone

Over time, your voicemail inbox may become very long and bloated. As such, you may want to delete some old and unimportant voicemails. Here's how to permanently delete voicemails on iPhone:

  1. Open the Phone app on your iPhone and tap Voicemail.
  2. Tap Edit then select the voicemails you want to delete.
  3. Tap Delete.
    Deleting voicemails on iPhone
  4. Scroll to the bottom of your list of voicemails and tap 'Deleted Messages'. Here you'll find any voicemails you've marked for deletion but have not yet been permanently deleted.
  5. Permanently delete voicemails:
    • Swipe left on a single voicemail to delete it.
    • Tap 'Clear All' to delete all entries.

6.2. How to restore recently deleted voicemails

Recently Deleted voicemails may only remain on your device for a matter of days, depending on your wireless carrier.

If you accidentally deleted a voicemail or need to retrieve one that you deleted a few days ago, you can do this on your iPhone itself.

  1. On your iPhone, open the Phone app and tap 'Voicemail'.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and tap 'Deleted Messages'.
  3. Tap a voicemail that you want to restore.
  4. Tap the bin/trash icon with a line through it. Restoring recently deleted voicemails on iPhone
  5. Your voicemail will return to your main voicemail list.

6.3. How to recover deleted iPhone voicemails

If you have permanently deleted voicemails, you'll no longer be able to access them on your iPhone itself.

However, you may still be able to get a hold of those important voicemails if you need them back. The two ways this can be done is to extract the voicemails from a backup of your iPhone which was made while the iPhone contained the voicemails; or failing that your wireless carrier may still have the voicemails stored to share with you.

How to recover deleted voicemails from an iPhone backup

To retrieve and transfer content from an iPhone backup to your computer, you'll require specialized software such as iBackup Extractor. This tool enables access to Voicemails, Call History, Messages, Photos, and other data stored in any locally stored iPhone backups on your computer.

You can get the free trial of iBackup Extractor to see if your backup contains the voicemails you need, and even copy a few voicemails for free.

Download iconFree iBackup Extractor Download
  1. Open iBackup Extractor on your PC or Mac.
  2. Select the iPhone backup you want to access.
  3. Click 'Voice Mail' from the list of categories.
  4. Select the voicemails you want to extract from the backup.
  5. Click "Save to PC" or "Copy to Mac".
Recovering voicemail from an iPhone

Your saved voicemails will then be available for you to listen to, whenever you want to on your computer.

What to do if your deleted voicemails are not backed up?

If you don't have a backup of your iPhone containing the voicemails you need, you can try contacting your wireless carrier. They may still have the voicemail stored in their system.

Make sure you contact your wireless carrier as soon as you can, as the longer you leave it, the more chance that the voicemail will be permanently deleted.

Extra: How to Change a Voicemail Greeting on iPhone

If callers are put through to your voicemail, the greeting is what they hear before being able to leave you a message.

How to record a custom voicemail greeting on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Phone app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the Voicemail tab at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap Greeting, then choose 'Custom'.
  4. Tap Record and make your greeting. Once done, tap Stop.
    Changing voicemail greeting on iPhone
    • You can play back your recording by pressing 'Play', to check that you are happy with it.
  5. Tap Save to apply your new custom greeting.

"Why can't I change my greeting?"

Custom Greetings are not supported by all carriers or in all countries/regions.


Congratulations! You've now mastered the art of managing voicemails on your iPhone. From setting up your voicemail to efficiently organizing and responding to messages, you are now in complete control of your communication experience.

We covered setting up voicemails, creating a custom greeting, accessing voicemails, saving them to your device or a computer, and deleting them. These skills will not only save you time but also ensure that you never miss an important message again.

Thanks for reading!


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