How to Record a Call with Google Voice

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It is always fun to record your voice calls, and in certain cases it is important. However, recording phone calls is not that easy and straightforward. Google Voice makes it quite easy both to record the calls and to access them later. Here is how to proceed. 

Enable Call Recording 

You can record your calls on any device, be it your computer, smartphone or any portable device. Google Voice has the specificity of being able to ring a number of phones upon receiving a call, so the option is open on all devices.

Since the recording mechanism is server-based, there isn't anything more you need in terms of hardware or software. 

Google does not have call recording enabled by default. People using touchscreen devices may accidentally start recording a call without them knowing (yes it is that simple) by the touch of a finger. For this reason, you need to enable call recording. 

Log in to your Google Voice account online.

On the top right region, click the icon showing a gear, bringing down a drop down menu.

On that menu, select ‘Settings’.

Look for ‘Call Options’ and check it by clicking.

Even though call recording is now enabled, your calls with not automatically be recorded.

Recording a Call

To record a call, press 4 on the dial tab while the call is on. To stop the recording, press 4 again. The part of the conversation between your two presses of 4 will be automatically saved on the Google server. 

Accessing Your Recorded File

You can very easily access any recorded call after you log on to your account.

Select the 'Recorded' menu item on the left. This will display a list of your recorded calls, each of them being identified with a timestamp, i.e. the date and time of the recording, along with the duration. You can play it right there or, more interestingly, choose to email it to someone, download it to your computer or device (note that when you record a call, it is not saved on your device but on the server), or embed it within a page.

The menu button on the top right corner gives all these options. 

Call Recording and Privacy

While all this is very nice and easy, it does pose a serious (to my taste) privacy problem. 

When you call someone on their Google Voice number, they can record your conversation without you knowing. This is stored on Google's server and can so easily be spread to other places. Enough to make you very apprehensive about making calls to Google Voice numbers. So, if you have this apprehensive, make sure you can trust the people you are calling, or else be mindful of what you say. You may also want to look up the number to know whether you will be ringing a Google Voice account. This is quite difficult because many people port their numbers to GV. 

If you are considering recording a phone call, it is important to inform your interlocutor of this prior to the call, and get their consent. Besides, in many countries, it is illegal to record private conversations without the prior consent of all parties concerned. 

Read more on call recording and all its implications.