How to Set Up Voicemail and Visual Voicemail on an iPhone

Gone are the days of regular old voicemail, especially on iPhones. With the Visual Voicemail feature, you can now easily see all your voicemails and choose which ones to listen to, share, or delete without having to call a number first. Additionally, depending on your iPhone model and location, you may even be able to read transcripts of your voicemails through the voicemail-to-text feature. To make sure you have access to these convenient features, it’s important to know how to set them up properly.

Sign Up for Visual Voicemail

Almost every cellular service provider in North America supports Apple’s Visual Voicemail, including many smaller carriers. If you’re unsure, Apple provides a comprehensive list of carriers and the features they support. Keep in mind that not every plan includes Visual Voicemail by default, and some carriers may charge extra for it. To avoid any confusion, make sure to set up iPhone Visual Voicemail as part of your plan. If you purchased your iPhone directly from your carrier, they usually set it up automatically. However, if you’re bringing your own iPhone to a new carrier, you may need to be more specific about your requirements.

Setting Up Voicemail on Your iPhone

Once you have a plan that supports Visual Voicemail, setting it up is straightforward. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open the Phone app, located at the bottom of your iPhone home screen.
  2. Tap the Voicemail button in the bottom-right corner. This is also where you’ll access your voicemail messages once everything is set up.

how to set up voicemail on an iphone button ios 15 phone app
Image: Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

  1. On the screen that appears, you’ll see instructions on how to set up Visual Voicemail. If you see a Call voicemail button instead or get automatically directed to your basic voicemail service, it means you haven’t subscribed to Visual Voicemail properly. In this case, contact your carrier to ensure you have the correct service added to your plan.
  2. Tap “Set up now” to begin configuring your Visual Voicemail service.
READ  What is SSL Encryption for Emails?

how to set up voicemail on an iphone visual ios 15
Image: Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

  1. When prompted, enter a passcode for your voicemail service. You’ll need this passcode to access your voicemail messages from another phone or when your iPhone can’t connect to the Visual Voicemail service.
  2. After selecting and confirming your passcode, choose how you want callers to be greeted when they reach your voicemail. You can use the default greeting or record a custom one.

how to set up voicemail on an iphone record visual greeting ios 15
Image: Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

  1. If you opt for a custom greeting, tap the Record button to start recording. Tap Stop when you’re done. You can play the recording, re-record it, or save it.
  2. Once you’re satisfied with your greeting, tap Save.

Listening to Visual Voicemail Messages on Your iPhone

After configuring Visual Voicemail, new voicemail messages will appear in the Phone app, similar to how emails appear in your Inbox. To listen to these messages:

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Tap the Voicemail button in the bottom-right corner. You’ll see a list of received voicemail messages, marked with a blue dot for new messages.

how to set up voicemail on an iphone visual listening ios 15
Image: Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

  1. Tap on a voicemail message to listen to it. New messages will play automatically, while previously heard messages will show a playback button. From the expanded view, you can switch between earpiece and speakerphone, call the person back, share the voicemail, open the contact details, or delete the message.

how to set up voicemail on an iphone access visual with siri
Image: Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Accessing Visual Voicemail Messages with Siri

An excellent feature of Visual Voicemail is its compatibility with Siri. You can ask Siri to play back your messages from specific callers or dates. Here are a few examples of what you can say to Siri:

  • “Hey Siri, listen to my new voicemail messages.”
  • “Hey Siri, listen to my voicemail messages from Tim Cook.”
  • “Hey Siri, listen to my voicemail messages from November 25th.”
  • “Hey Siri, listen to my new voicemail messages from today.”
READ  How to Easily Delete Multiple iCloud Emails on Your Computer

If you specifically ask for new voicemail messages, Siri will only play them if there are any matching your request. However, if you ask Siri to “listen to voicemail messages” without specifying “new,” it will inform you if there are no new messages and offer to play back your saved messages instead.

Accessing Visual Voicemail from Another Phone

You can also access Apple’s Visual Voicemail service by dialing your own mobile number on another phone. Follow these steps:

  1. Using another phone, dial your mobile number.
  2. When you hear your voicemail greeting, press * or # to bypass it.
  3. Enter your voicemail password.
  4. Follow the verbal instructions to listen to your voicemail messages. The specific steps may vary depending on your carrier.

Note that Visual Voicemail requires a data connection. If your cellular data is off or there’s no nearby Wi-Fi network, you won’t have access to Visual Voicemail. In this case, the Voicemail screen will show a message stating that Visual Voicemail is unavailable, along with a Call voicemail button that lets you dial into your voicemail directly.

how to set up voicemail on an iphone visual unavailable
Image: Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Changing Your Voicemail Greeting

You can change your voicemail greeting at any time, even after setting up Visual Voicemail. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Tap the Voicemail button in the bottom-right corner.
  3. Tap Greeting in the top-right corner.
  4. If you have a Dual SIM configuration, choose the line for which you want to update the greeting.
  5. On the next screen, you’ll see your current greeting settings.
  6. If you’re using a custom greeting, you can listen to or record a new one. To switch back to the default greeting, tap Default.
  7. If you’re using the default greeting, you can switch to a custom greeting by tapping Custom. Tap the Record button to start recording, Stop when you’re finished, and Play to listen. You can re-record as well.
  8. Once you’re satisfied with your greeting, tap Save in the top-right corner.
READ  How to Obtain a New Mailbox Key from the Post Office?

Using Visual Voicemail Transcription

Additionally, if you’ve set up Visual Voicemail, you may have access to Voicemail Transcription. This feature attempts to translate your voicemail messages into readable text using Siri’s on-device intelligence. Although not perfect, it can save you time, especially for simple messages like a request for a callback. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Tap the Voicemail button in the bottom-right corner.
  3. Select a voicemail message you want to open. If Voicemail Transcription is working correctly, you’ll see a transcript below the playback button. If the message couldn’t be transcribed, it will show “Unable to transcribe this message.” For longer transcripts, scroll to read the entire content.
  4. At the bottom of the transcript, there are buttons to offer feedback on the transcription’s usefulness. Tapping these buttons will notify Apple and give you the option to submit or cancel sending the voicemail for analysis.

how to set up voicemail on an iphone visual transcription ios 15
Image: Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Setting Up Basic Voicemail

In cases where Visual Voicemail isn’t supported or preferred, you can still use your iPhone with a basic voicemail service. The setup process varies among carriers. Here’s a brief overview for major U.S. carriers:

Remember that some carriers may offer additional features or voicemail upgrades for an extra cost, but these are not necessary for visual voicemail.

With this guide, you’ll be able to set up and make the most of voicemail and Visual Voicemail features on your iPhone. Enjoy the convenience and ease of managing your voicemail messages efficiently!

Related Posts