When you’re busy working or focusing on something important, the last thing you want is an unwanted call. And when that call turns out to be spam, it’s frustrating to have to deal with such a nuisance. But with the launch of iOS 17 at WWDC (2023), you’ll have a more efficient solution for dealing with unexpected calls, namely Live Voicemail, a feature that stays one step ahead of you by providing a live transcription of incoming voicemail messages.

how to use live voicemail on iphone

With Live Voicemail, you can now listen to incoming voicemail messages in real-time as they’re recorded. This feature provides a more interactive and faster way to stay connected with your callers. All of these incredible features will be available once you update to iOS 17, which is currently in beta testing. iPhone users can expect this update to be available in September of this year.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use Live Voicemail on iPhone and everything you need to know about Live Voicemail. We’ll explore the benefits of the feature, understand what Live Voicemail is, and learn how to use it effectively. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

What’s “Live Voicemail” on iPhone?

The iPhone’s live voicemail feature allows you to receive and save voicemails from callers you can not reach for various reasons. This feature allows you to read a transcribed version of the voicemail message sent by one of your contacts or callers in real-time.

The main purpose of this feature is to make sure that you do not miss any important messages. If the voicemail is urgent or requires immediate attention, you can answer the call while the caller is still on the line, or you can decline the call and call back later. It essentially works like a digital answering machine and provides a convenient way to manage your voicemail.

With Visual Voicemail, you can easily manage your voicemails right from the iPhone app. You can listen to all voicemails, delete them or save them for later use. Some providers offer Live Voicemail, which lets you listen to voicemails in real-time as they are recorded. Another feature, live voicemail transcription, converts voice messages to text format so you can read them instead of listening to them.

This feature is especially useful since it offers an interactive and efficient experience. It lets you stay connected with your contacts and manage your messages seamlessly on your iPhone.

Benefits of Live Voicemail

Live voicemail is a newly introduced feature in iOS 17 that provides a number of benefits for managing and accessing voicemail messages. Here are some benefits of enabling this feature on your iPhone.

  • Real-time Access: Live Voicemail provides instant access to voicemail messages as they are recorded, ensuring up-to-date information without delay.
  • Convenient accessibility: Live Voicemail provides a convenient way to access your voicemails directly on your iPhone screen. Through this visual interface, you can easily scroll through your voicemails and select which ones you want to listen to or manage.
  • Playback control: Live Voicemail gives you full control over how you listen to your voicemail messages. You can pause, rewind, or fast-forward a message, giving you the ability to listen to it at your own pace.
  • Effective organization: Live Voicemail provides an interactive and user-friendly interface that improves the organization and management of your voicemail. You can mark messages as read or unread, delete unwanted messages, and save important messages for future reference.
  • Transcription capability: Depending on your iPhone model and supported version, Live Voicemail can transcribe your voicemail messages into text format. This transcription feature allows you to read the messages instead of listening to them, which can be helpful in situations where listening to audio messages is not possible.
  • Time-saving efficiency: With Live Voicemail, you save time by not having to listen to every voice message. Instead, you can quickly access the message you want, allowing you to prioritize and respond to messages more efficiently.
  • Caller Identification: Enabling Live Voicemail has the added benefit of displaying caller information, including name and number. This feature helps you identify unknown callers who are not in your contact or voicemail list.
  • Personalization options: Live Voicemail provides the ability to personalize your voicemail greeting. You can create a custom message for callers to hear when you are unavailable, conveying important information or setting expectations for the caller.

Please note that the exact features and functions of Live Voicemail may vary depending on the iPhone model, iOS version, and carrier compatibility. Apple is continuously improving and refining its voicemail system with each new iPhone version so that future iPhone models may offer additional features or enhancements.

How to Use Live Voicemail on iPhone?

The live voicemail feature is usually enabled by default in iOS 17. However, if you find that it’s not enabled on your phone, you can easily set it up with the following simple steps.

Step 1: Enable Live Voicemail in Settings/h3>

1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.

2. Select Phone.


3. Scroll down and tap Live Voicemail.

4. Turn on the toggle switch to the right of Live Voicemail.

toggle right to live voicemail

Great! Now you are ready to go. From now on, every voicemail you receive on your iPhone will be automatically transcribed in real time.

Step 2: Use Live Voicemail on iPhone

Once you have activated the live voicemail feature, you do not need to do anything else, as messages sent to voicemail are automatically transcribed. The transcription will be displayed on your phone screen while the message is being recorded in real time. Only after the voicemail has been recorded can you access it in the Voicemail section of your call log.

The image below shows what it looks like in real time when you receive a live voicemail on your iPhone.


Enjoy the following features of Live Voicemail on your iPhone:

1. When you receive a call, you can send it to voicemail directly by tapping the “Voicemail” option that appears on your screen.

2. Select the Message icon to send a message to the contact who left the voicemail.

3. Depending on the content of the voicemail, you can answer the call if you want.

Follow the steps below to retrieve a current voicemail message.

1. Open the Phone app.

2. Tap Voicemail in the bottom bar.


3. Now click Voicemail under a call that has been sent to voicemail.

4. Once opened, you can play and preview the message in real time, and a transcription of the message is also displayed.

5. To listen to the voicemail, simply tap the play icon.

6. If you want to delete a voicemail, click the Delete icon.

7. To listen to the voicemail message through your phone’s speaker, press the speaker icon.

8. If you want to call the person who left you the voicemail, tap the Call icon.

Step 3: Update The Passcode For Your Voicemail on Your iPhone

After configuring the Live Voicemail feature on your iPhone, you have the option to change your passcode at any time to increase security. The following steps describe the simple procedure to change your passcode.

1. First, locate the Settings app on the home screen of your iPhone. If you can not find it, you can swipe left to access your app library.

2. Once you open the settings, find the “Phone” icon and tap on it.


3. In the phone settings, find and select the “Voicemail Password” option. If you have multiple lines, select the appropriate line (e.g., Primary, Secondary, 888-888-8888) if you are using an eSIM with a second line.

4. Next, you will be prompted to enter your current password for verification. When prompted, enter the current password to continue.

5. Now enter your new desired password, which should consist of 4 to 6 digits, and tap the “Done” button to confirm.

6. To ensure accuracy, enter the newly set password again and tap the “Done” icon to save the changes.


Step 4: Listen to Voicemail on Your iPhone

When you receive a voicemail from a caller, you will see a badge next to the voicemail icon in the Phone app. This icon displays a number that indicates the total number of unheard voicemail messages waiting for your attention.

1. Open the Phone app on your iPhone.

2. Look for the “Voicemail” option in the lower right corner and tap it.


3. Select a voicemail message to access the playback options.

4. If you prefer to listen to the message through your phone’s speaker, tap the speaker icon. The icon appears blue when the voicemail is playing loudly and white when it can only be heard when you hold the phone to your ear.

listen to voicemail

5. Tap the Play button to listen to the selected voicemail.

6. To pause the message at any time, tap the Pause button.

7. If you want to rewind or fast-forward the voice message, drag the slider to the left or right accordingly.

Step 5: Record Your Voicemail Greetings

Live Voicemail includes a convenient feature offered by the network that allows you to leave personalized greetings for your callers. Occasionally, these announcements can inadvertently convey the wrong signals so that your caller mistakes them for the wrong number. For this very reason, you have the option to create a custom greeting for the contacts in your list to ensure clearer communication with your callers. To do that, follow the steps below.

1. Open the Phone app.

2. Tap Voicemail at the bottom right of your screen.

3. Tap the greeting icon that appears in the upper left corner of the screen.


4. Select the Custom icon by tapping on it.

5. Start the recording process by clicking the Record button when you are ready to create your custom greeting.

6. To make sure you are satisfied, tap Play to listen to your greeting and confirm that it meets your expectations.

7. When you are satisfied with your customized greeting, click Save to finalize and save it.


Step 6: Share Voicemail on Your iPhone

If you simply do nothing, all voicemails on your iPhone will be preserved. However, there is no absolute guarantee that they will be preserved indefinitely. If your phone gets damaged or lost, there is a risk that all data, including your valuable voicemails, will be lost.

To increase security, it is recommended that you store your voicemails in a cloud-based service like iCloud or Dropbox. This way, you can make sure that they are kept safe. Also, you can use a third-party app to share your audio recordings with others conveniently.

1. Launch the Phone app on your iPhone.

2. Look for the voicemail icon in the bottom right corner of the screen and tap it.

3. Select a voicemail message from your caller by tapping on it.

4. Tap the Share icon at the top of the message. This icon is represented by a square with an arrow pointing up.

share voicemail

5. Select the desired service or destination where you want to share or save the audio file. The voicemail is saved or transferred as an m4a file.


The Live Voicemail feature in iOS offers a number of good features to filter out important calls, send messages, and also stay connected without having to go through the trouble of answering every other call you receive on your phone. Live Voicemail is probably worth a try when it becomes generally available with iOS 17 later in September.

FAQs about Live Voicemail on iPhones

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Yes, Live Voicemail is a free feature that comes with the iOS 17 update. It is included in the standard version of iOS 17, so you do not need to pay for a subscription or download a separate app to use it.

Live Voicemail is a feature that requires a reliable internet or cellular connection to transcribe voicemails in real-time. Unfortunately, you cannot listen to live voicemails if you have a poor internet connection.

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