How to Record a Call With Google Voice

Recording calls is convenient and risky

It's fun to record your voice calls, and in some cases, it's important. But it isn't usually straightforward. Google Voice makes it easy to record calls and access them later.

woman wearing headset
Jens Schmidt / Getty Images 

How to Record a Call With Google Voice 

You can record your calls on any device, be it your computer, smartphone, or any portable device. Google Voice can 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 doesn't enable call recording by default to prevent people who use touchscreen devices from accidentally recording a call without realizing it (yes, it's that simple). For this reason, you need to enable call recording before you can use it.

  1. Log in to your Google Voice account online.

  2. Click the Gear icon at the top of the screen to open the Settings menu.

  3. Select Calls in the left sidebar.

  4. Turn on Incoming Call Options to enable voice recording.

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

  5. To record a call, press 4 on the dial tab after everyone is on the call. To stop the recording, press 4 again.

    The part of the conversation between the two presses of 4 is automatically saved on the Google server. 

Accessing Your Recorded File

Access any recorded call by logging on to your account. Select the Recorded menu item to display a list of your recorded calls, each of them being identified with a timestamp and the duration of the recording. You can play it right there or choose to email it to someone, download it to your computer or device, or embed it within a page. The menu button in the top right corner lists all these options. 

Call Recording and Privacy

While all this is easy and convenient, it does pose a serious privacy problem. 

When you call someone on their Google Voice number, they can record your conversation without you knowing it. The recording is stored on Google's server and can easily be spread to other places. The risk is enough to make some callers apprehensive about making calls to Google Voice numbers. If you're concerned, make sure you can trust the people you're calling or be mindful of what you say. You may also want to look up a number to know whether you're ringing a Google Voice account. This is difficult because many people port their numbers. 

If you're considering recording a phone call, inform the other party of this prior to the call and get their consent. In many countries and in some U.S. states, it's illegal to record private conversations without the prior consent of all parties concerned. 

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