How to set up voicemail on iPhone – the 3 easy steps you need to know

Unsure on how to set up voicemail on iPhone? We’ve got you covered with this quick guide

a person using an iphone
(Image credit: getty images)

Knowing how to set up voicemail on iPhone is a crucial skill. You might think voicemail is a dying art in the age of instant messages, but doing this is still extremely important, especially if you have a separate work phone.

'With the elevation of the digital age, traditional forms of phone technology such as Voicemail have been on a recent decline,' says Troy Staddon, director of tech retailer The Techout. 'However, having access to these messages remains useful. Returning calls, prioritizing messages, and comprehending information left on Voicemail is super beneficial when you have missed the initial interaction.'

'With more of us working from home than ever before, a communicative voicemail can be key to alerting clients or colleagues to your availability, and when they can expect a response,' adds Len Leeson, founder of mobile phone marketplace, Mozillion. 'We’re all working on different schedules thanks to the rise of flexible working, and so setting up a custom voicemail can be a great way to inform people of your working hours, and how they can reach you best if not via phone call.'

You might know how to set up voicemail on Android, but iPhone is slightly different. Here’s everything you need to know to set up your iPhone voicemail, including how to optimize your greeting and check your voicemail from another phone.

How to set up voicemail on iPhone in 3 easy steps

1. Open up the voicemail screen

'Starting from the home screen, first head to the Phone app on your iPhone, and then to the Voicemail button in the far right of the screen,' says Len at Mozillion. 'If you’re setting up your voicemail or the first time, you will likely be directed to the Voicemail system automatically.'

2. Set up the voicemail

'The display scene will show text reading, "To retrieve a voicemail, first set up a password and greeting",' says Troy at The Techout (opens in new tab). 'Press the setup button to start this process. Then create a voicemail password – passwords need to be 4-6 digits long.'

3. Record your voicemail greeting

'The default greeting is an automated message created by your iPhone providing the caller instructions on how to leave a message or call later,' says Troy. 'If you select custom, you can record a personalized greeting to help callers know how to contact you if you miss the call.

'Once you begin recording, a red line will indicate how much time you have left. You have multiple attempts at recording the custom greeting, so do not worry about getting it correct the first time,' he says. 'To hear the whole greeting back, press play on the right-hand side.'

'Need inspiration for a custom message?' Troy asks. 'Here is one that is commonly used and works in most scenarios: "Hi, you have reached (Name). Sorry, I can’t come to the phone right now, please leave a message, and I will get back to you as soon as possible! Thank you."

'If you have chosen your selected greeting, press save, and your Voicemail is ready to go! To double-check that your voicemail works, have someone call your phone,' says Troy.

How to check your iPhone voicemail on your own phone

'When a caller has left you a voicemail, you can access these messages on the voicemail tab in the call app,' says Troy. 'Your device will automatically organize them with the most recently received message at the top.' 

'Your iPhone will show the name of the contact or number, the date of the message and its length, perfect for consumers who have a busy schedule and need to access their Voicemail quickly and efficiently. 

'If you would like to remove any messages, you can swipe right on the message and tap delete. Or, if you would like to delete multiple messages at once, tap edit > select the messages you want to delete > press delete,' Troy advises.

How to check your iPhone voicemail from another phone

'Accessing your Voicemail on another device is extremely useful when you do not have your original iPhone with you, had someone contact you on a different phone, or if your phone is damaged,' says Troy. 'This hack is fantastic for consumers who have multiple phones for their work or lifestyle.'

To do this: 'Simply dial your own number on the other phone, press either * or # (depending on which carrier you are with) to bypass your greeting, and then enter your voicemail password,' advises Len at Mozillion (opens in new tab).

How to make your voicemail greeting more effective

Rather than using the automated greeting, recording a custom greeting allows you to clearly explain how best to reach you and when you will be on your phone and able to take calls.

'Let people know to only leave a voicemail if urgent, leaving any non-urgent inquiries to be answered via other means of communication and helping you to prioritize who to get back to more easily,' Len says.

'State your working hours, and update it when you’re out of office, so that expectations are set as to when someone might expect to receive a response to non-urgent inquiries.

Len adds: 'Speak clearly in your voicemail greeting and avoid including too much detail in order not to confuse the caller.'

Olivia Emily

Olivia Emily is one of the most exciting new talents in consumer lifestyle journalism. Currently finishing off a Masters in Journalism at the City University, London, she has quickly proved herself at being adept on reporting on new interiors trends. A regular contributor to Livingetc, she is brilliant at being able to decode information for our audience.