How to Set Up Voicemail on Your iPhone

How to Set Up Voicemail on Your iPhone

I noticed this weekend that a lot of my friends don’t have their voicemails set up. After thinking about it, I wasn’t sure if I even had one with a custom greeting—but setting up a voicemail on an iPhone isn’t actually hard at all.

How to set up voicemail on iPhone

First, navigate to your home screen and tap on the phone button. It’s a green button with a phone on it that takes you to a dial pad, with additional tabs for your recent calls, contacts, and favorites. In the bottom right, you’ll see a label for voicemail. Tap that. (It’s usually in the bottom row of apps on your home screen. Mine is shown below, but bear in mind that mine is pink because I customized it, which you can do by following the steps outlined here.)

The phone button will be on the bottom of the home screen.
Credit: Lindsey Ellefson

If you don’t have a voicemail set up at all, you’ll see a screen that says “To retrieve a voicemail first set up a password and greeting.” Tap “Set Up Now” and you’ll be prompted to create a password. Both the password and greeting can be changed later, which we’ll go over in a bit.

How to set up a voicemail greeting on iPhone

If you just set up your voicemail and created the password, you’ll be taken to a screen to set up your greeting. If you already have a voicemail, you can access this screen by pressing “Greeting” in the top right corner. 

From there, you’ll choose if you want the default message to play when someone calls or you want to record (or re-record) a custom one. Default will just be an automated voice saying the owner of the number isn’t available. Custom is, well, custom, and you can say whatever you want in the pre-recorded greeting. 

The screen where you’ll review your greeting.
Credit: Lindsey Ellefson

If you select custom, you’ll be able to press “play,” “stop,” or “record.” Recording a new one will overwrite the old one, which you can review by hitting “play.” 

Other iPhone voicemail settings

Your iPhone’s voicemail options are pretty customizable beyond just setting up your password and greeting. 

In Settings, navigate to Phone and scroll past the section on calls. There, you can toggle on Live Voicemail, which transcribes your incoming messages so you can read them without listening to them. You can also set your phone to immediately field numbers from unknown callers, who will be silenced on your end and head straight to voicemail. 

Voicemail preferences located in Settings.
Credit: Lindsey Ellefson

At the end of the list, you’ll see an option to change your voicemail password, so you don’t have to keep the one you selected when you set it up. 


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