iPhone and iPad

How to Set Up Voicemail on the iPhone

Kris Wouk 23-01-2020

Voicemail is such an integral part of using a modern phone that we tend not to think about it much. At least, you don’t think about it until you switch cellular providers and you need to set up voicemail on your phone. Maybe you even forgot that setting up voicemail is something you have to do.


Getting voicemail set up on your iPhone is a simple process. The only problem is that the process can be different depending on which carrier you use. That’s why we’ve gathered everything you need to know about using voicemail on your iPhone here.

Getting Started With Voicemail on iPhone

For the most part, setting up voicemail is the same, no matter which carrier you use. We’ll go through the basic steps first, then look at any carrier-specific quirks you may run into.

The first step you need to take is opening the Phone app. Assuming you haven’t re-arranged your home screen, the icon will appear in the dock at the bottom of your screen. If for some reason you can’t find it, you can search for it. Swipe down from the middle of your screen and search for “phone” in the search bar at the top.

Once you’ve opened the app, tap the Voicemail icon at the bottom-right of the screen. You’ll see a message letting you know that you need to set up your voicemail before you can use it. Tap the button labeled Set Up Now to begin.


If you’ve used Apple’s visual voicemail service before, you’ll see a prompt to enter your password. Otherwise, you need to create a password and enter it twice. Once you’ve done this, tap Done.

Next, you’ll see the greeting screen. Here you can either record a custom greeting or select Default to use your carrier’s default voicemail message. To record your own, tap Custom, then hit the Record button to start recording.

Play back your message to make sure you’re happy with it, then tap Done at the top of the screen.


Now your phone is ready to use Apple’s visual voicemail feature, assuming your carrier supports it. If you run into trouble, we’ll tackle that later on.

Setting Up AT&T Voicemail on Your iPhone

If you’re wondering how to set up voicemail on the iPhone as an AT&T customer, it’s a little different. To access the company’s voicemail service, you need to go through a bit of setup. Start by pressing and holding 1 on the number pad in the Keypad section of the Phone app.

Assuming you already have voicemail with AT&T, enter your password. Your voicemail greeting and all your old messages will transfer to your iPhone. If you’re a new AT&T customer, follow the prompts to create your password and leave your voicemail greeting.

Setting Up Voicemail on Your iPhone for Verizon and T-Mobile

For Verizon or T-Mobile customers, setting up voicemail on your iPhone is easy. If you’ve followed our steps above, you’re already done.


Both T-Mobile and Verizon direct you to Apple’s basic voicemail instructions to get started.

Setting Up Sprint Voicemail on Your iPhone

As with AT&T, you need to go through an extra setup step with Sprint. Press and hold 1 on the dial pad in the Phone app to begin.

For a new voicemail box, you need to create a four to 10 digit passcode. Then you need to record your name. After you’ve done this, you can choose between recording a personal greeting or using the standard greeting. Finally, you can choose whether to enable One-Touch Access to your voicemail.


Make sure to do this all without hanging up or canceling the process. If you don’t go through all the steps, you’ll have to repeat everything again.

Setting Up Voicemail on Your iPhone For Other Carriers

Outside of the major carriers above, you may use another like Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, or Straight Talk Wireless. Most of these are Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO). This means they use one of the major carriers above as their backbone instead of setting up their own infrastructure.

This is good news, because it means setting up voicemail is similar to one of the above approaches. In most cases, your carrier will have instructions for setting up your voicemail. If not, your best bet is to follow Apple’s instructions for setting up voicemail on your iPhone.

Troubleshooting Apple Visual Voicemail

Visual voicemail is a handy feature, especially if you deal with a lot of voice messages. While support on Android is iffy to the point that there are many third-party visual voicemail apps to make it work, support on the iPhone is much better.

Apple supports visual voicemail on the iPhone for most, but not all, carriers in the United States and Canada. To see if the iPhone supports visual voicemail for your carrier, check Apple’s detailed breakdown of carrier support.

If your carrier supports it, the setup process will automatically configure visual voicemail. If you’re having trouble with visual voicemail not working, try checking for a carrier-bundle update by going to Settings > General > About. If an update is available, a notification will let you know.

Assuming you’ve tried the above and still run into trouble, you can try resetting the network settings on your iPhone. To do this, go to Settings, then General, then Reset. Here, tap Reset Network Settings.

This only takes a moment and may solve your problem. However, keep in mind that doing so will reset your saved Wi-Fi networks, any VPN configurations, and similar network settings.

Finally, there are a few other areas to check. Try calling someone to make sure you have a cellular connection. If this fails, that could explain why visual voicemail isn’t working. You can also try calling your own number to make sure that your voicemail is fully set up.

By the way, we’ve also showed how to record a phone call on your iPhone How to Record a Phone Call on an iPhone Wondering how to record a phone call on iPhone? Here are several methods to record phone conversations on iPhone for free. Read More if you need to do that.

Setting Up a New iPhone?

If you’re setting up voicemail, it usually means that you’ve either switched providers or just got a new phone. If you’re the proud owner of a new iPhone, you should be all ready to use voicemail, but that doesn’t mean you’re finished setting up.

To get the most out of your phone, there are a few tweaks, changes, and other bits and pieces of setup to get out of the way. Not a fan of tinkering with your phone? Just take a look at our guide to the tweaks you should make to a new iPhone 9 Important Tweaks to Make When You Get a New iPhone Just got a new iPhone? Here are some essential tweaks you should make right away. Read More .

Related topics: Call Management, iPhone Tips, Voicemail.

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