How to Undelete Voicemails on the iPhone

how to undelete iphone voicemails
Recovering deleted voicemails in iOS 8.

Just like the iPhone's Visual Voicemail made listening to your voicemail easier and better, Visual Voicemail also makes it easier to undelete voicemails on the iPhone than on earlier cellphones. 

When you delete a voicemail on the iPhone, it's not necessarily gone. Instead, it's moved into a Deleted Messages section, kind of like the trash or recycle bin on your desktop computer. And, just like on your computer, those files aren't actually deleted until you empty the trash or recycle bin (more on how to do that later in the article). 

If you've deleted a voicemail and would now like it back, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Phone app to open it
  2. Tap the Voicemail icon in the bottom right
  3. If you have deleted messages that can be recovered, you'll see a menu at or near the bottom of the list labeled Deleted Messages. Tap it
  4. This is a list of all the voicemails you've deleted that are still on your phone and can be undeleted. Tap the voicemail you want to undelete. In iOS 7 and up, this will reveal some options beneath the voicemail. In iOS 6 or earlier the selected voicemail will be highlighted.
  5. In iOS 7 and up, tap Undelete beneath the selected voicemail. In iOS 6 or earlier tap Undelete at the bottom left of the screen.
  6. Tap the Voicemail menu in the top left to be returned to the main Visual Voicemail screen. The voicemail you just undeleted will be present—safe, sound, and ready for listening. (A version of this same process can be used to recover deleted photos, too.)

When You Won't Be Able to Undelete Voicemail

While undeleting voicemail is pretty easy on the iPhone, there are some cases in which you won't be able to save your old voicemails by following these instructions.

I mentioned earlier that the Deleted Messages section of the iPhone is like the trash or recycle bin on a desktop computer and that files stay there until they're emptied. While there's no "empty" button on the iPhone, it clears deleted voicemails from its memory when you sync your iPhone with your computer. 

So, as long as you haven't synced your phone since you last marked a voicemail for deletion, you should be able to get it back. If a voicemail doesn't appear in the Deleted Messages section, though, it's likely gone for good. 

In that case, your best bet is to try one of the desktop programs that let you browse your iPhone's hidden files. The way these programs find hidden files is inconsistent, so they're no guarantee of success, but you may be able to find some voicemails that way.

How to Permanently Delete iPhone Voicemails

You may want to more quickly delete voicemails so that you're confident they're really gone and can't be recovered. As noted above, voicemails marked for deletion are fully deleted when you sync your phone. You can also clear these voicemails without syncing by following these steps:

  1. Tap Phone.
  2. Tap Voicemail.
  3. Tap Deleted Messages.
  4. Tap Clear All in the top right corner.
  5. Tap Clear All in the pop-up menu.