Voicemail not working on iPhone can significantly affect your ability to connect with people who matter to you. For instance, suppose you couldn't answer someone's call. In that case, you may want to see if they left an important message in your voicemail inbox. If you accidentally deleted your voicemail, you might want to restore the voicemail to your iPhone.

But if the voicemail is mysteriously not working, there will be no way to listen to the message. You'll also be unable to read voicemail-to-text transcriptions. That especially happens when the voicemail icon disappears.

Not being able to read or listen to voicemails can be very frustrating for anyone who frequently uses Voicemail. This article offers the solutions you need to fix this problem immediately.

In this article

Part 1 Voicemail Not Working on iPhone: Easy Troubleshooting Tips

As stated, discovering that voicemail is not working on your iPhone can be disappointing. It's even worse if you have no idea what to do to escape the situation. But it doesn't have to get there. Here are tried and tested tricks to troubleshoot voicemail on any iPhone:

  • Restart Your iPhone

A minor software issue can trigger an iPhone voicemail unavailable situation. Restarting the device helps fix this and many other system bugs and glitches. A restart may be all your voicemail needs to work normally.

To restart an iPhone, go to Settings > General > Shut Down and then slide to switch the device off.

shut down iphone through settings to restart

That will power down the device. Please wait 10 seconds, then turn it back on by holding the side button until the Apple logo appears. If the device doesn't respond and you can't power it down, use these steps to force-restart your iPhone.

  • Ensure Voicemail is Set Up

Another reason voicemail does not work on iPhones is because it needs to be set up. You might have recently changed a carrier or plan with the same carrier but forgot to configure the voicemail. Here's what to do:

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Choose Voicemail at the bottom of the screen. That will open a 'Set Up' screen.
  3. Tap Set Up Now. Create a password, choose a greeting (Default or Custom), and tap Done.
set up voicemail on iphone in a few simple steps

Your iPhone is now ready to receive voicemail messages. You'll have to record a new greeting if you select the Custom greeting option. To do that:

  1. Tap Record to begin recording, then Stop to end it.
  2. Hit the Save button in the top right of the screen to make this recording your new greeting.
customize voicemail greetings in three simple steps

To turn on Live Voicemail (for iOS 17 and later), go to Settings > Phone > Live Voicemail. Tap to enable Live Voicemail. You'll now be all set to receive real-time transcription as someone leaves you a message. Or you can pick up the call as they're leaving the voicemail!

turn on live voicemail on iphone
  • Change Voicemail Password

A simple system issue could also cause an iPhone visual voicemail not working. Changing the password is straightforward and may do the trick.

To change your voicemail password, go to Settings > Phone > Change Voicemail Password.

change your voicemail password through the phone settings

Contact your phone carrier if you forgot your password. You can do that by logging into their website or mobile app. Or, you can contact their customer service and explain your problem.

  • Check If Call Forwarding is On

If the Call Forwarding feature is enabled, your calls are being directed to a different number. That's why you're not getting voicemails on your iPhone. The feature is turned off by default. But sometimes, you can accidentally turn it on while playing around with the settings.

To check if Call Forwarding is one:

  1. Go to Settings > Phone.
  2. Scroll down to the Calls section, then tap Call Forwarding.
  3. If the toggle is green, switch it to OFF to appear gray.
check if call forwarding is on and turn it off
  • Restart the Phone App

Is the Call Forwarding off, but you still find voicemails not showing up on your iPhone? The Phone app may be malfunctioning due to a minor software issue. In this case, you can force-close the app, reopen it, and see what happens.

To force-close your iPhone's Phone app:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen. A floating window of every open app will appear.
  2. Swipe right or left to locate the Phone app.
  3. Once you find it, swipe it up to close it.
  4. Exit to the main screen and tap the app's icon again to reopen it.
  • Turn Cellular Data Off and then Back On

Another trick to fix an iPhone voicemail not showing up issue is to turn cellular data off and then back on. The reason your voicemail doesn't work may be due to an error with your cellular data plan.

To resolve it, go to Settings > Cellular > toggle the Cellular Data option off and then back on.

turn cellular data off and then back on
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Note: You can achieve the same results by turning on Airplane mode and then turning it off after a few seconds.

Now check if your voicemail is working. You can call your phone from another iPhone. If you get a voicemail, the problem is resolved.

  • Enable Wi-Fi Calling

Your visual 'voicemail currently unavailable' problem may be due to a poor cellular connection. That's especially true if you get missed call notifications without the iPhone ringing.

You can fix this by enabling Wi-Fi calling on your phone. It gives you a better connection, allowing voicemails to download quickly. Wi-Fi calling can also help you receive better audio quality and cut down the number of missed calls.

To turn on Wi-Fi calling:

  1. Go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone to enable the feature. You'll now be able to call or receive a call if you're connected to Wi-Fi in an area without cellular coverage.
turn on wi-fi calling on iphone to fix voicemail problem
  • Check for Updates

Some iPhone features may be temporarily inactivated until an iOS update is applied. You may have turned off automatic updates. So, check and manually download any available updates. Any problem with your current iOS may be fixed after the update.

That may be the solution to the iPhone not receiving voicemail hitch. To check for updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update. You'll see if there are any available updates.

check for updates to fix voicemail not working issue
  • Reset Network Settings

If your iPhone is not showing voicemails after trying the previous fixes, it's time to reset the network settings. Resetting the network settings helps if you're facing issues with your network. A common symptom of this is getting missed calls without your iPhone ringing.

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Note: This action will reset all your network settings. That includes Wi-Fi networks and passwords.

1. To reset network settings, go to Settings > General > scroll to the bottom and choose Transfer or Reset iPhone.

2. Tap Reset, then Reset Network Settings to confirm.

reset network settings to fix voicemail issues on iphone
  • Delete Unnecessary Voicemail

If you're not receiving voicemail on your iPhone, chances are that your Voicemail box is full. Though most modern iPhones have plenty of space, voicemail has limited storage and can fill quickly. That's particularly true for someone who gets a lot of spam calls.

You can delete previous voicemails or back them up to your computer to free up space for more. See how to do that below. Once you've backed up essential voicemails:

  1. Open the Phone app and tap Voicemail.
  2. Tap Edit in the top right corner. Choose the voicemail messages you wish to delete.
  3. Tap Delete in the bottom right corner to remove the messages and free up the space you need. You should be able to get voicemails after this.
empty voicemail box on iphone to fix voicemail problems
  • Check for Carrier Settings Update

Your carrier settings may need updating. That's probably why your voice message is not working on your iPhone. Updating may help fix any issues, including not getting voicemails.

Typically, these updates are installed automatically. But sometimes, your phone may have failed for whatever reason. To manually update your carrier settings, ensure your iPhone is connected to a cellular network or Wi-Fi. After that:

  1. Go to Settings > General > About. Scroll down and tap Carrier.
  2. If any update is available, you'll see an option to install the update.
check for carrier settings to resolve voicemail not working on iphone

Part 2 Back Up Your Voicemail Messages With a Few Clicks

Sometimes, you are required to delete some voicemail messages to free up space for new messages. Some of these voicemails could be records of special moments that you wouldn't want to lose. While you can back them up to iCloud, you may need more iCloud storage. Wondershare MobileTrans - Backup & Restore helps users back up their important voicemail messages to any computer.

The software is easy and secure for anyone to use. It supports more than 18 data types. You can also backup your other sensitive files. These include photos, videos, WhatsApp messages, and documents. MobileTrans is your go-to software whenever you need to back up your iPhone to a computer.

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Follow the easy steps below to back up your precious voicemail data.

  1. Install MobileTrans on your Windows computer or Mac.
  2. Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable.
  3. Launch MobileTrans software and click Backup & Restore on the home page.
    open mobiletrans and choose the backup & restore mode
  4. Choose Backup under the Phone Backup & Restore option.
    choose the backup option under phone backup & restore
  5. Once your iPhone is detected, MobileTrans will display all its various files. Choose the files you need to back up (you can select many other files besides voicemails).
    select files to backup to your computer with mobiletrans
  6. Click Start and wait as the MobileTrans backs up your iPhone data. It will finish in a few minutes. Disconnect the phone once you get a "Backup Completed" message on the screen.
    disconnect your iphone once mobiletrans completes backing up your files

Should you require your backups to be restored to the iPhone, you can quickly restore the files from the MobileTrans backup file. The steps are a walk in the park!

  1. Connect your iPhone (with a USB cable) to the computer with the backup.
  2. Open MobileTrans and go to the Backup & Restore mode.
  3. Choose Restore under Phone Backup & Restore.
    choose the restore option to restore your backups with mobiletrans
  4. Select files to restore to your iPhone. That is if you backed up multiple files, e.g., voicemails, photos, videos, and documents.
select files to restore to your iphone from mobiletrans backup file

5. Click Start and wait. The backup restore process will be complete in a few minutes.

disconnect your iphone once mobiletrans restores your backup


There are many possible reasons why voicemail is not working on your iPhone. The solution to this absurd issue depends on the cause. Sometimes, you can fix it by restarting the device or the phone app.

Other times, you can resolve it by simply turning off cellular data and then turning it back on. Hopefully, one of the above solutions will fix your problem. If not, don't hesitate to contact your phone carrier for further assistance.

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  • How Do I Call My Voicemail?
    To call your voicemail, dial 1 on the phone. If you wish to call from a different phone, call your number, then wait until the call goes to voicemail. Press the pound key ('#') when it gets to voicemail. On some phones, you can call voicemail by simply holding the 1 button for a few seconds.
  • What Are the Steps to Set Up Voicemail on iPhone 15 Pro?
    To set up voicemail on iPhone 15 Pro, open the Phone app, tap Voicemail, tap Set Up Now to create a password, and tap Done. You can use the default greeting or customize your own by tapping Custom. If you want a custom greeting, tap Record to record and Stop to end it. Tap Done.
  • Where is the Voicemail App on iPhone?
    The Voicemail on iPhone comes integrated into the Phone app. So, the Voicemail is the Phone app. To access Voicemail, tap the Phone app and choose the Voicemail icon to view messages. If you can't find the Phone app on the home screen, swipe left to open the App Library.
Rafael Kaminski
Rafael Kaminski Jan 12, 24
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