iPhone and iPad

How to Record a Phone Call on an iPhone

Tim Brookes 09-11-2018

As you may know, there’s no built-in way to record phone calls using your iPhone. As a result of country and state-specific laws, Apple doesn’t make it particularly easy to record a phone call.


However, it’s not impossible. You can record iPhone phone calls using some workarounds.

If you’re going to use any of these methods, make sure you notify the person on the other end of the call that they’re being recorded. Provided they know and consent, there’s little chance of landing yourself in hot water.

Use Speaker Mode and Record iPhone Calls Using Another Device

Recording with Audacity

This is probably the quickest, easiest, and “dirtiest” way of recording a phone call from your iPhone. You’ll need another device with a microphone that can record (like an iPad, computer, or portable recording device) to make it work. Check out our microphone recommendations The Best Mic for Podcasting Starting a new podcast? You're going to need a good microphone! Here are your options for the best mic for podcasting. Read More if you don’t have anything else for this.

Provided you’re in a quiet environment and can use your iPhone’s speakerphone, it couldn’t be simpler to pull off:

  1. Call your contact and tap on the Speaker icon. If you have Bluetooth headphones connected, you’ll need to select the iPhone speaker from the list.
  2. Notify the other party that you’ll be recording the conversation. On your external recorder, start recording.
  3. Place the phone close enough to the microphone so that when you speak, it picks up your voice clearly too.
  4. Save the recording when your phone call is finished.

On an iOS device, you can record the call using Apple’s Voice Memos app. On a Mac or PC, we’d recommend free audio editing and recording workhorse Audacity.

Record Incoming iPhone Calls Using Google Voice

Google Voice

Google Voice is a free voicemail and calling service How to Make a VoIP Phone With Google Voice Using Google Voice, you can turn any inactive phone into a fully functional VoIP phone for free. Here's everything you need to know to get started. Read More available in the US and Canada. It provides you with a free US phone number, voicemail inbox, and the ability to make calls both domestically (free) and internationally (as per Google’s rates).

Use of Google Voice requires the Google Voice app, which is available for the web, plus Android and iOS devices. One perk of the app is its ability to allow you to record phone calls. Before you can do this, you’ll need to take some time setting up the service:

  1. Download the Google Voice app for iPhone, open it, and sign in using your Google account.
  2. Tap Search and select the phone number you want to associate with your Google Voice account.
  3. Confirm your number, then hit Next until you’re asked to enter your phone number.
  4. Enter your iPhone’s phone number, confirm, then wait for a verification code.
  5. Verify your new Google Voice account using the code you just received.

There’s one final step you need to complete before you can record calls. Log into the Google Voice website using your Google account. Now click on the three-dot icon on the left-hand side of the page, and select Settings. Under Calls, enable Incoming call options.

Now when you receive a phone call via your Google Voice account, you’ll be able to press the 4 key on your iPhone to start recording the conversation. When you do this, Google will notify the other party that they are being recorded. You’ll find your recording in your Google Voice inbox, where you can download it for safekeeping.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to record an outgoing phone call using Google Voice.

Use a Third-Party Service to Record iPhone Messages

There are all manner of third party iPhone call recorders 5 Call Recording Apps for iPhone That Actually Work Due to Apple’s security-focused approach, iOS apps cannot directly record phone calls on an iPhone. What can you do? Read More available. These services are not free, and either charge a flat rate for unlimited use or a per-minute rate using credit. These generally all work using the same method:

  1. First download and launch your chosen call recorder app on your iPhone.
  2. Start calling a contact or other number you wish to record.
  3. The app will place your call using the provider’s servers, which also records the conversation.
  4. You can then download the recording from the server once the call has completed.

There are a few issues with this method. The first is that caller ID won’t match your number for the person you’re calling. They probably won’t know who you are—or worse, will get an Unknown Number depending on where you live, and who you’re calling.

The other is the obvious security issue of having a service record your calls for you. If the subject of your calls is sensitive in nature, you’re best off avoiding this method. If you’re simply recording calls so you can refer back to something later, this is less of a concern.

Record an iPhone Call Using Your Voicemail

This final method depends largely on your carrier for whether it works and precisely how useful it is. First you need to check whether your carrier allows you to download your voicemail messages 3 Easy Ways to Back Up Your iPhone Voicemails If you have important voicemails that you want to save for later, there are a handful of nifty methods you can use to make the process as easy as pie. Read More (a feature introduced in iOS 9).

Launch the Phone app on your iPhone and tap on the Voicemail tab in the bottom-right corner. If you see a list of voicemail messages appear, that’s great! You can download them and keep them on your device, so this method has some use to you.

iPhone Voicemail

If you only see a Call Voicemail option, bad luck. You can still try this method, but your recording will be stuck in your carrier’s voicemail inbox. You’ll need to find another way to save it externally, perhaps using the speakerphone method we discussed above.

To go ahead with this method, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Call your contact and notify them you want to record the call. Ask them to hold the line for a second.
  2. On your iPhone, tap the Add Call button to start a three-way conversation.
  3. Call your own phone number. If it goes well, you should get straight to your own voicemail inbox.
  4. Wait for the voicemail greeting to finish, then tap Merge Calls to start the conference.

Your conversation should record as a message you can retrieve from your voicemail inbox. If you’re able to see your individual voicemail messages under the Phone app, you can download the call for safekeeping.

My cheap Australian carrier wouldn’t let me record using the three-way voicemail trick, nor did I have any way of downloading the message. Your mileage may vary, but if it works, it’s a free voice recorder—so it’s worth remembering!

Which iPhone Call Recording Method Works for You?

The two most reliable ways of recording a phone call on your iPhone are using the speakerphone method, or paying for a third-party service to record the call for you. In either case, you should always make sure you notify the other party that you are recording them to stay on the right side of the law.

Ready to learn about call forwarding on iPhone and Android How to Use Call Forwarding on iPhone and Android Want to set up call forwarding on your smartphone? Here's how to use and troubleshoot this handy feature on Android and iOS. Read More next? We’ve also covered how to record your iPhone’s screen How to Record Your iPhone Screen Here's how to screen record on iPhone with the built-in screen recording tool, as well as some great third-party apps. Read More . And when you’re getting unsolicited calls, here’s how you can block someone’s number on your iPhone How to Unblock a Number on an iPhone We explain how to unblock a number on iPhone, whether you want to let someone contact you again or reveal hidden caller names. Read More .

Explore more about: Call Management, iPhone Tricks, Record Audio.

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