How to Send Voice Messages on iPhone

Speak your message instead of typing it

What to Know

  • In the Messages app, tap and hold the audio icon while speaking. Release your finger and tap the up arrow.
  • Open the Voice Memos app and tap record. When finished, tap stop. Tap the three dots icon and select Share.

This article explains two easy ways to send voice messages on your iPhone. You can create and share an audio message using the Messages and Voice Memos apps. This option is convenient if speaking is quicker and easier than typing or if you want your recipient to hear your voice.

Create and Send a Voice Message With Messages

Typing text messages can be time-consuming if you have a lot to say. And with autocorrect, you never know what might be typed by mistake. But by sending a voice message in the Messages app, you can say exactly what you want to your recipient.

  1. Open the Messages app on your iPhone. If you have an existing conversation with your recipient, select it to open it. If not, tap the New Message icon on the top right and enter the recipient in the To field.

    Message app icon on iPhone with New Message icon highlighted
  2. On the right side of the text message field at the bottom, tap and hold the audio icon. Speak your message while holding the icon. When you finish, release your finger.

  3. Tap the play button icon in the gray area to the right to hear your message. If you want to cancel or re-record it, tap the X on the left of the message. 

  4. Tap the up arrow in the gray area on the right to send your voice message on its way.

    New audio message screen showing record, play, delete and send controls

    When your recipient receives the message, they tap the Play button to listen.

    Drawbacks With Using Messages

    Here are a couple of disadvantages to using Messages for your voice message.

    • As an iPhone user, you cannot currently send voice messages using the Messages app to other smartphones like Android. 
    • By default, audio messages expire two minutes after you listen to them and are automatically removed. Your recipient can tap Keep to hold onto your message or disable the expiration by going to Settings > Messages.

    If your recipient isn’t an iPhone user or you want to avoid the possible expiration of your audio message, consider sharing your message using Voice Memos.

    Create and Send a Voice Message With Voice Memos

    The Voice Memos app is excellent for capturing audio notes, speakers during a meeting, and more. Since you can easily share a voice recording from the app, this is a solid alternative to the Messages app on iPhone.

  5. Open Voice Memos on your iPhone and tap (don’t hold) the red Record button at the bottom. 

  6. Speak your message. You’ll see the duration of the recording as you speak.

  7. When you finish with your message, tap the red Stop button.

    Voice Memos app on iPhone showing record and stop buttons
  8. The recording pops to the top section of the screen. You can tap the Play button to have a listen.

    To share, tap the three dots next to the name of the recording.


    If you want to rename the recording before you share it, tap the current title and type in the new one.

  9. Select Share.

  10. Choose a sharing option from the Share Sheet. Depending on your iPhone's sharing options, you can send the audio message in a text message, email, or shared storage service like Dropbox.

    Voice Memos app showing three-dot icon, Share selection and options

    When you send a recording using Voice Memos, it will be formatted as an M4A file. So your recipient can use whichever audio player they have to open it and listen.

    Rest your fingers, say everything you need to say, or let your family hear your kids say hello with voice messages on your iPhone.

  • How do I compose text messages on iPhone with my voice?

    First, enable voice dictation for iOS. In the Messages app, tap and hold the microphone icon on the keyboard to record your message.

  • How do I stop sending voice messages automatically?

    Go to the Settings app > Messages > Audio Messages and tap the Raise to Listen switch to disable it. You can still send audio messages manually.

  • How do I record a voicemail greeting on iPhone?

    Open the Phone app and tap Voicemail > Greeting > Custom > Record to record your iPhone greeting. When you're done, tap Stop and Save.

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