Voicemail is not working on your iPhone and you don’t know what to do. It’s incredibly frustrating when voicemail won’t work, especially if you were expecting an important phone call from a friend or family member. In this article, I’ll show you what to do when your iPhone won’t play voicemails so you can fix the problem for good.
What’s Wrong With My iPhone? Should I Call My Carrier?
At this point, we can’t be exactly sure what’s causing the problem. The voicemail you play in the Phone app on your iPhone is called Visual Voicemail, which downloads your voicemails from your carrier in the form of little audio files, similar to the music files you listen to inside the Music app.
When voicemail isn’t working, a lot of people assume that there’s a problem with their wireless carrier, so they immediately call Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or another carrier’s customer support. However, a lot of the time the problem is really caused by a software issue on the iPhone itself.
There are two main reasons why your iPhone won’t play voicemails:
- The Phone app on your iPhone isn’t working correctly; or
- Your iPhone isn’t downloading voicemails from your wireless carrier.
Our troubleshooting guide will help you diagnose and fix the reason why voicemail is not working on your iPhone!
Before We Begin…
Before we dive into the troubleshooting steps, make sure that you have Visual Voicemail set up on your iPhone. Open the Phone app on your iPhone and tap Voicemail in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. If you see “To retrieve a voicemail first set a password and greeting” on the screen as well as a button that says Set Up Now, then Visual Voicemail has not been set up on your iPhone.
To set up Visual Voicemail, tap Set Up Now. You’ll be prompted to enter and confirm a voicemail password. Next, you’ll have the option to choose the default voicemail greeting or record your own. If you want to record your own custom greeting, tap Custom. Once you’ve entered created your password and chosen your greeting, you’ll be able to receive voicemails and view them in the Phone app.
Pro tip: You can double-check to see if voicemail is set up on your iPhone by dialing and calling your own phone number in the Keypad of the Phone app, or by calling your iPhone using another phone.
Why Your iPhone Won’t Play Voicemails — The Fix!
Close And Reopen The Phone App
As I mentioned earlier, one of the common reasons why an iPhone won’t play voicemails is because the Phone app isn’t working properly. Closing and reopening the Phone app allows it to “shut down” and start again, which can sometimes fix a software glitch.
To close the Phone app, begin by double-pressing the Home button. This will open the App Switcher, which will display all the apps you currently have open on your iPhone. Use your finger to swipe up on the Phone app. You’ll know the Phone app is closed when it no longer appears in the App Switcher.
Turn Your iPhone Off And Back On
Sometimes, giving your iPhone a fresh start by turning it off and back on again can resolve a minor software issue. For instance, if the software of your iPhone crashed in the background, it may have caused the Phone app to malfunction.
To turn your iPhone off, press and hold the power button until you see the red power icon and slide to power off appear on the display of your iPhone. Using your finger, slide the red power icon from left to right. Wait about 30 seconds before turning your iPhone back on, just to make sure it completely shuts down.
Log In To Your Wireless Carrier Account And Change Your Voicemail Password
Some carriers require you to reset the voicemail password as a security precaution when you get a new iPhone. Sometimes, updating it manually online or by calling customer support can reset your iPhone’s connection to the voicemail server and fix the problem.
But I Thought iPhone Voicemail Didn’t Have A Password!
Your iPhone does have a voicemail password, but you only have to enter it once and many new iPhones set it up automatically. However, there still needs to be some form of authentication between your carrier and your iPhone to download your voicemails. Even though you don’t see it, your voicemail password still exists.
How To Change Your Voicemail Password If Verizon Is Your Carrier
If Verizon is your wireless carrier, you can change your voicemail password from your iPhone by calling (800)-922-0204. You’ll reach an automated customer service menu which will allow you to change your voicemail password. To learn more, check out Verizon’s support article on the topic.
How To Change Your Voicemail Password If AT&T Is Your Carrier
If AT&T is your wireless carrier, you can change your voicemail password by calling (800)-331-0500 from your iPhone. You’ll reach AT&T’s automated customer service menu which will ask for your phone number and billing zip code. A few seconds later, the message “Password Incorrect – Enter Voicemail Password” will appear on the display of your iPhone. Enter the last seven digits of your cellphone number to change your voicemail password.
I strongly recommend that you read AT&T’s support article on changing your voicemail password before attempting to do so.
Reset Your Voicemail Password If Sprint Is Your Carrier
Reset Network Settings
When you reset network settings, all of your iPhone’s Wi-Fi and cellular network settings will be erased. This includes your Virtual Private Network (VPN) settings, your Bluetooth devices, and your Wi-Fi networks — so make sure you write down your passwords first! We do this step because it can be very difficult to track down the exact source of a software problem, so we reset all network settings.
To Reset Network Settings, begin by opening the Settings app. Next, tap General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings and enter your passcode. Your iPhone will reset network settings and restart itself.
Voicemail Problem: Fixed!
You’ve fixed the problem with your iPhone and now you’re able to listen to your voicemails again! Make sure your friends and family know what to do when their iPhones won’t play voicemails by sharing this article on social media. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave a comment down below if you have any other questions about your iPhone.