I have a couple of voicemail messages on my iPhone 11 that I really want to save forever. Is there a way to export them so I can ensure I never accidentally delete them from my phone?
Used to be that exporting voicemail messages was quite difficult and required third-party software to dig through an iPhone backup file on your computer. That’s changed on the iPhone and it’s surprisingly easy to share a voicemail message with someone via email, text message, or, of course, save it as a file for later archiving. You do need to know where to look and you’ll want to be familiar with the basic sharing icon on the iPhone, but hopefully, you’ve got those all figured out by now.
Some articles suggest that you won’t be able to accomplish this if you don’t have “visual voicemail” enabled, but that’s not quite accurate: Visual Voicemail is how you see each of your messages in the “Voicemail” area of the Phone app: If you can see the message you want to save, you can export it. I’ll demonstrate that by disabling Visual Voicemail (it requires a cellular connection, it can’t use Wi-Fi, so turning off cellular accomplishes the task). With Visual Voicemail off, you won’t receive notification of incoming voicemail messages at all, so they definitely won’t show up on the Voicemail page in the app. Get back in cellular range and the new voicemails will appear!
IOS VOICEMAIL BASICS ON AN IPHONE
All the action takes place in the Phone app, which you use so often that you probably forget it’s a separate application! Tap on the Voicemail icon along the bottom to get into your Voicemail area. If you have messages, they’ll appear similar to this:
Notice that Visual Voicemail is unavailable but the display still works just fine.
Tip: Notice that you can update your voicemail greeting by tapping on “Edit” on the very top of the screen? Handy to know if you haven’t changed it in a long time (or have a celebrity pal who can record it for you).
Where it’s easy to go wrong here is if you tap on the “i” information icon on the far right. Seems logical, but it brings up options and choices related to the phone number, not the actual message:
None of these are actually related to the voicemail message itself. Confusing. So where are those options? Within the voicemail display of the individual message. If I back up and tap anywhere else on the voice message entry, it opens up and shows a transcript of the message, along with a number of other options:
That looks more promising! In fact, the share icon that we seek has finally shown up: The square with the upward pointing arrow.
HOW TO SHARE AN IPHONE VOICEMAIL MESSAGE
At this point, simply tap on the share icon and you’ll be presented with a wide variety of options:
Sharing it to a recent contact via Messages is easiest and you can see it includes individuals, ad hoc groups and larger text message circles. The fun and very Mac way to copy a message to a nearby Mac computer, however, is to use AirDrop. As long as both devices are logged in to the same Apple account and both have Bluetooth enabled, it’s as easy as tapping on the device on the subsequent page:
If you’d prefer sending the voicemail message file via email, that’s easily done too. For example, if I tap on “Gmail” it instantly creates a new message with the audio file attached, ready to address and send:
And that’s it. Lots of ways to easily share or save your voicemail messages on your iPhone, as long as you start with the right button, that share square!
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about the iPhone and iOS since the very first iPhone was released. I’ve also owned every major iPhone model! Please check out my iPhone help articles while you’re visiting. Thanks!