Using Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

Get previews of your messages without having to listen to them

iPhone dialpad screen


cnythzl / Getty Images

The iPhone's Visual Voicemail feature makes it possible to see all of your messages and choose the order you listen to them in. Instead of having to listen to your messages in the order you received them — and not necessarily know who they were from until you heard them — you can see all of your messages and transcriptions of their contents.

Here's how to use the iPhone's Visual Voicemail feature.

These instructions apply to iPhones running iOS 10 or later. Check Apple's list of wireless carriers to see if yours supports Visual Voicemail.

How to Use Visual Voicemail on the iPhone

To see and preview voicemails on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Phone app, and then tap the Voicemail tab at the bottom of the screen.

    The voicemail tab in the Phone app
  2. The Voicemail tab will list all of the messages in your inbox, along with the phone number of the person who left them, when they arrived, and how long they are. Tap one to expand the window. Under Voicemail Beta, you'll find an approximate transcription of the message that you can review to see its contents.

    A transcription of a voicemail on an iPhone
  3. The iPhone's transcriptions aren't always accurate enough to get the full meaning of the message across. Tap the Play button to listen to the voicemail. Tap Speaker to output the audio to the external speakers (instead of the earpiece), Call Back to return the call, or Delete to erase the file.

    Playing or managing a voicemail on an iPhone
  4. You can also share the voicemail using the Share button in the upper-right corner. Doing so will open a menu that will let you forward the file via text message or email or save it to a storage system like Dropbox or your Voice Memos app.

    Sharing or saving a voicemail on iPhone
  5. Voicemails will stay on your phone until you delete them.

How to Change Your iPhone's Voicemail Greeting

You can customize your voicemail greeting to change what people hear when they call. To change it

  1. Open the Phone app, and then tap the Voicemail tab. Tap Greeting in the upper-left corner.

    Voicemail greeting button on an iPhone
  2. To record your greeting, tap Custom. Tap Record to make your recording, and then tap Stop to end. Tap Save to save it.

    Recording a new voicemail greeting on an iPhone
  3. You can preview your recording by tapping the Play button after you finish (but before you save).

How to Change your Voicemail Password

You can lock access to your voicemails behind a passcode that your iPhone will ask for before you can listen to recordings. To set one up or change it, go to Settings > Phone > Change Voicemail Password. Enter a new password, and then tap Done to save your changes.

The voicemail password only restricts access when you dial a number to check your messages. It won't secure the voicemail when you use your Phone app.

Your voicemail password is a number between four and 10 digits long.

Changing voicemail password on an iPhone