Wondering how to set up voicemail on iPhone? Apple’s iOS operating system makes it easy to set up voicemail no matter if you have an older iPhone 6 or a brand new iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Voicemail used to be one of the biggest features of a mobile phone plan, but now it’s one of those features not many people use. As a matter of fact, as far back as 2014, NPR explored the reasons why millennials (and those who come after) hate the service.

The biggest reason voicemail has become so passed? There are just better, faster, more convenient ways to get a message to someone: like via text, iMessage, or WhatsApp. Voicemail also takes a relatively long time to access. You can quickly glance a text message, but with a voicemail you often have to log into to retrieve the message and then listen to the sender ramble for dozens of seconds about something they could have conveyed in a text message that takes two seconds to read.

As a matter of fact, some reports that have explored the decline of voicemail say the service is really only used by two types of people anymore: older parents and business people. But that still doesn’t lessen the annoyance of the receiver when they have to listen to the voicemail from mom and pop or the used car sales guy.

All that being said, as voicemail is still thing, and carriers do offer it with every account, iPhones support voicemail. Here’s what you need to know if you want to set it up.

How To Set Up Voicemail On iPhone

Setting up voicemail on an iPhone is pretty easy. These steps are specifically for iOS 14 and above, but they should be nearly identical for people who are still using older operating systems like iOS 12 or iOS 13.

Here’s how to set up voicemail on your iPhone:

  1. Tap the Phone app icon to open it. This is the green icon with the white old style phone receiver on it. The Phone app is by default in the dock at the bottom of your iPhone screen. It’ll be there unless you’ve moved it.
  2. In the bottom toolbar of the Phone app, tap the Voicemail icon. This looks like an old tape spool.
  3. If the screen is empty, it means you’ve already set up your voicemail on iPhone. You may even see voicemails listed if you’ve set it up before. If you haven’t set up voicemail, you’ll see a “Set Up” link. Tap it.
  4. Apple will ask you to create a voicemail password. This can be something like a 4-digit PIN. Create one and then enter it again when asked.
  5. After creating a PIN, you’ll be taken to a voicemail greeting screen. On this screen you can either select “Default” in which case a default generic message will be used to greet callers, of “Custom,” which lets you record your own greeting. Tap one of these options.
  6. If you tap Custom, you’ll then want to tap the “Record” button to record your own greeting. After you record it, you can press “Play” to play it back to see how it sounds.
  7. After you’ve selected either Default or Custom, tap the Done button.

Your iPhone now has voicemail set up.

iPhone’s Visual Voicemail

How To Set Up Voicemail On iPhone (The Fast & Easy Way)Pin

One cool iOS feature is called Visual Voicemail. This is Apple’s attempt to make voicemail less annoying. Visual Voicemail allows you to see a transcription of the voicemail the caller left. This transcription allows you to read their voicemail as if it were a text message.

Not all carriers support Visual Voicemail, but most major ones do. Visual Voicemail will work automatically as long as you’ve set up regular voicemail on your iPhone. 

Here’s how to access Visual Voicemail:

  1. Tap the Phone app icon to open it.
  2. In the bottom toolbar of the Phone app, tap the Voicemail icon.
  3. On the voicemail screen, you’ll see a list of all the voicemails people have left you. Tap any voicemail on the list.
  4. When you tap a voicemail on the list, it will expand to show a set of controls as well as the iOS transcription of the voicemail. If you want to read the transcription without hearing the voicemail, you can do that right here. 
  5. Alternately, you can tap the play button to hear the voicemail.

Save And Share Voicemails

How To Set Up Voicemail On iPhone (The Fast & Easy Way)Pin

Finally, the iPhone allows you to save and share voicemails (yeah, if you have to listen to it, why shouldn’t other people have too as well?). If you want to save or share a voicemail, do the following:

  1. Tap the Phone app icon to open it.
  2. In the bottom toolbar of the Phone app, tap the Voicemail icon.
  3. Tap the voicemail message you want to save, then tap the share button.
  4. In the Share popup that appears, you can tap the name of a friend you want to share the audio recording with or you can choose to save it to the Notes or Voice Memos app or save it to other apps.