Voicemail Not Working On iPhone? Fix

Are you having issues with visual voicemail on your iPhone? One of the commonly reported problems is that your voicemails and/or your voicemail transcripts are not showing up. Or sometimes it may seem that your voicemails have suddenly vanished. Sometimes you may see your voicemails but they won’t play. Sometimes, you may experience that voicemail stops working for no apparent reason following an iOS update. This article explains how you can troubleshoot thee issues.

The following is a handful of tips that you may try to troubleshoot voicemail issues with your iPhone.

Please note that you can use the visual voicemail feature if your carrier supports this, in the USA, most carriers, if not all, support this.

Have someone call you, can he or she leave a voicemail message? If not, make sure that you set up your voicemail (Phone > Voicemail). Another problem is that the inbox of your voicemails may be full, and sometimes seem full. You may need to delete some voicemails.

Greeting

On your iPhone, open the Phone app, tap the Voicemail tab and tap Greeting. What settings you have there? If it is Default, change it to Custom and it is Custom, change it to Default.

iPhone voicemail greeting

Restart the Phone app

You may be having this issue because the Phone app may not be working as expected. You may try restarting to the phone app to see if this helps:

  • If iPhone X or later: Go to your Home screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. If this is another iPhone model, double press the Home button. This will reveal the app switcher. Swipe left or right until you find the Phone app preview and swipe up on the preview. This will close the Phone app.
  • Now reopen the Phone app and test to see if you can see your voicemails.

Restart the Phone app

Reset your password

Try resetting your voicemail password. On your iPhone, you can do this easily. Here is how:

  • Go to Settings > Phone and tap Change Voicemail Password.
  • Enter a new password.
  • Tap Done. You will be asked to reenter the new password. Enter again and then tap Done.

Voicemail passwords

Update your iPhone

Make sure that the iOS software on your iPhone is up to date. Update to the latest version of iOS. You can update your iPhone wirelessly by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

You can also turn on automatic updates by turning on Automatic Updates (Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates).

Airplane Mode

On your iPhone, turn on Airplane Mode, wait for about a minute and turn it off. Airplane Mode will disable all of your device’s wireless functions. Turning on and off may fix your problem. If this does not work, also try this in the following order:

  1. Turn on Airplane Mode.
  2. Restart your phone (see the next section about how you can restart your phone).
  3. Then when your phone is on, turn off Airplane Mode now.

Restart

Restart your iPhone. Here is how you can restart your iPhone:

  • iPhone X, 11 or later: Press and hold the side (on the side of your iPhone) and the volume down or up buttons together until you see the red slider. Drag the slider. Wait for about a minute and then press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears. Turn on and off your iPhone X or 11
  • Other iPhone models: Press and hold the side or top button until you see the power off slider. Then drag the slider. Wait until your phone is completely turned off and then press and hold the side button to turn on your device back again. Restart iPhone models

Cellular connection

Make sure that your iPhone is connected to a cellular network. See this article, if you see a No Service error. Visual VoiceMails require a strong cellular connection to work effectively. You can check this easily. Turn off Wi-Fi on your iPhone (Settings > Wi-Fi) and call someone. If the call works, your cellular connection is working.

You may also try the following tips:

  • Settings > Cellular > and turn off Cellular Data. Wait for one minute. And then turn it on.
  • Remove your SIM card, and place it again. You need to open the SIM tray. To do that insert a paper clip into the tray hole. Gently pus the paper clip toward the phone. This will open the SIM tray. Remove SIM
  • See this article, if you see a No SIM card Installed message.
  • Contact your carrier. Maybe there are outages in your area that your carrier is experiencing.

Carrier settings

Update your carrier settings. You can check for pending carrier updates on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > About. If there is a carrier update, you will see an option to update. A popup will appear asking you if you want to update. Tap Update.

Carrier settings update

Carrier updates include updates from your carrier to add new features or enhance the performance.

Voicemail transcripts not working

If you voicemail transcripts are not working, or if you are getting an error message like “Transcription not Available”. Siri may be the cause. Follow the steps below:

  1. Settings > Siri & Search.
  2. Tap to turn off Listen for “Hey Siri”.
  3. And on iPhone X and later: turn off Press Side Button for Siri. On iPhone 8 and earlier:  turn off Press Home for Siri.
  4. Restart your phone.
  5. And now turn on these Siri settings by Settings > Siri & Search.

You may also want to troubleshoot if Siri is not working.

Reset network settings

On your iPhone, reset your Network Settings. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Please note that your network-related settings will be erased like your Wi-Fi passwords etc.

Reset network settings

Call voicemail directly

You can also check your voicemail messages by calling voicemail. Here is how you can do that on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Tap Keypad.
  3. Press and hold on the 1. This will call voicemail. Here is where you can check voicemails.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University.

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26 thoughts on “Voicemail Not Working On iPhone? Fix”

  1. Wife and I have been having issues with voicemails for over a month now. We have iPhone XS Max’s on AT&T.
    Our voicemails show up on the iphone sometimes a week late!
    The only ways to “force” it to look for new messages and show them on the phone is to either power the phone off and back on, or call into voicemail manually and enter the passcode…then the messages will suddenly appear.
    Have tried all the suggestions including resetting VM password and setting VM back up from scratch, resetting all network settings on phone, updating to the latest iOS, airplane mode on then off, cellular data off then on, etc.
    This is so frustrating! Especially when AT&T can do NOTHING about it and just denies there is anything wrong at their end and shrugs it off as a problem with the phone 🙁

    Reply
  2. I found that doing a Change Password worked for me. I had the same problem… when I sent to change it, AT&T no longer allows a 4-digit password. It has to be 6 or more. Once I did the password change on my iPhone, I have been getting voicemail immediately on being left.

    Reply
  3. Voicemails are being left but I’m not receiving notifications. Spent an hour with ATT tech support in Chat and they accomplished nothing, as far as I can tell. I can receive voicemails but there is no alert or notifications, nor do they appear till I call my (seemingly empty) mailbox and find them. Visual voicemails aren’t appearing either. Happening on both lines on our ATT account

    Reply
  4. I have my iPhone SE since April with no issues. Last week I stopped receiving voice mails- they appear hours- days later. I have called Att and they claim my VM was not set up… we reset it. Then the rep claimed it was due to the south tower repair- which she couldn’t speak further to. While on the phone with support the VM was reset and she was able to leave a voice message immediately which I did receive immediately. However days later I am again receiving messages from 9 am at 7 pm
    No updates pending. Plenty of storage. Turned phone off.
    Please help! This is also my work phone.

    Reply
  5. Ya’ll try this from the sprint chat helper: From the home screen, tap Phone.
    On the keypad, dial ##873283# and tap the Call button.
    Tap OK. The handset will search for profile updates and install them.
    Tap OK.
    The profile is now updated

    Reply
    • Amazing. I have literally spent over 20 hours on calls and chats with AT&T to not have it fixed and thus took 5 secs.

      Thank you so much.

      Reply
  6. Help. I have had my iPhone 6 for several years and as of this morning when people try to leave me a vm they hear that “cannot fine electronic voicemail -must punch in a 10 digit code to leave a message & that is not properly set up”

    Reply
  7. Stephen Collier… I’m having the same problem. And people are telling me that they DO leave messages. But on my phone, there is none. Like you, I don’t even have some of the drop down options provided in the fixes. What are we supposed to do? Can Apple please call me? Or send me an email?

    Reply
    • Deborah a Faddis,
      Did you ever find out what happened or get a reply back from someone? My phone is doing the same thing.

      Reply
    • my phone is doing the same thing – new phone – new service through AT&T – because verizion was so much more expensive – but at least all the features worked… We should have all the features work no make what carrier it is!

      Reply
  8. Voicemail not working. Tried everything. I have ATT and ATT had a problem months ago and I don’t have email for several months, but it didn’t affect my wife’s iPhone. I recently changed to a different ATT plan and now my voice mail is not working. I don’t even have some of the drop down options provided in the fixes.

    Reply

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