How to Permanently Save Voicemails on an iPhone


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Voicemails can provide us with digital memories of days and important moments in our lives that were experienced with another person. Perhaps you have a voicemail of your grandma singing “Happy Birthday.” Maybe it’s a message of a fiance saying how much they love you. Maybe it’s your mom wishing you good luck before an important interview.

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These messages are like verbal pictures, snapshots of our lives. Naturally, you may want to save some of these voicemails as a way to remember the moments or the people who shared them with you. If you have an iPhone, you can now save these voicemails permanently so you can listen to the messages again when you need a smile or a verbal hug.

Steps for Permanently Saving a Voicemail on an iPhone

If you want to save voicemails to your iPhone, follow the steps below to keep them securely on your phone. Since there are numerous versions of Apple iOS in use, these instructions will apply to iOS 9 or later.

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Confirm that you have Visual Voicemail

In Visual Voicemail mode, you can see a list of all the voicemails you’ve received. If you open an app and click on a message to retrieve your voicemails instead of calling a number to listen to them, then you have Visual Voicemail.

If you don’t have Visual Voicemail, you’ll need to contact your carrier and inquire about compatible apps or whether they have the download available for you. The following steps require Visual Voicemail, as saving a voicemail other ways is much more cumbersome and time-consuming.

Open the phone app

Open the Apple Phone app you use when making phone calls, checking your voicemail, or sending texts.

Select “Voicemail”

When you open the phone app, you’ll see a tab labeled “voicemail” in the bottom right corner of the screen. Tap this to open.

Select the message you want

Once you see a list of voicemails, tap the message you want to save. 

Tap the “share” icon

Once the message is chosen, you need to tap the “share” icon. This looks like a box with an arrow pointing up and out of the box from the top.

Choose the file destination

When you tap “share,” a pop-up window will appear with options for sharing the voicemail. You can add it to your notes app, save it to your phone as a voice memo, or share it with a contact by sending it through the messages app.

Confirm file location

Once you have saved the file, navigate to the correct location to double-check that it finished saving. For example, open up “voice memo” and check to see that the latest memo is the voicemail you just saved.

Steps for Downloading a Voicemail From Your iPhone for Free

If you’re switching phones, changing plans, or simply want a hard drive backup of voicemails, you might want to download them to a computer. Here are the steps to take for getting a voicemail off your iPhone for free.

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From an iPhone to a Mac

Transferring your voicemails from an iPhone to a Mac will be the simplest and fastest method of backing up your messages. To do this, you’ll need to do the following.

Turn on AirDrop

AirDrop is Apple’s answer to sharing data and media files across phones and computers in the most painless manner possible. Turn on AirDrop on both your phone and your Mac.

Open Visual Voicemail

Open your phone app, then select voicemail. At this point, you’ll see a list of all the voicemails you’ve received.

Select the voicemail 

Tap on the voicemail you want to move to your computer, then tap the “share” icon that looks like a box with an arrow coming out of the top.

Share the voicemail

When you click the “share” icon, you’ll be given multiple options. Choose AirDrop and the voicemail will be transferred to your computer via AirDrop. Once on your computer, you can choose the destination file.

From an iPhone to a PC

Transferring voicemail from an iPhone to a PC takes a few more steps, but it’s still doable. Here is what you need to do.

Choose a third-party app

Historically, Apple doesn’t play nice with non-Apple products. This remains true and doesn’t look to be changing any time soon. Because of this, there is no equivalent of AirDrop that is compatible with PCs and iPhones. Instead, you’ll need to choose a third-party app that can communicate between your iPhone and PC.

Most apps will walk you through a similar process outlined in the following steps.

Load the app 

Some third-party apps need to be loaded onto your computer and your phone, others only need to be on your computer. Either way, ensure that you have enough space on your devices to download and then run the app.

Connect the phone to your computer

To create a hard connection between your phone and computer, you’ll need to utilize a USB cord that plugs into both devices.

Select files you want to move

At this point, the app will be able to read what’s on your phone. Select the folders or individual files, such as voicemails, that you want to save and move to your computer.

Transfer files

Once you select the files, you’ll choose the option to transfer them to your computer. Before the transfer begins, you’ll also select the file path where they’ll be placed. Most computers automatically place files into the “Downloads” folder unless you choose a different location.

Confirm file transfer

Once the files are finished, you’ll see a pop-up screen that says the file transfer is complete. At this point, you can double-check by opening the destination folder where you chose to transfer the files and confirming that they’re there. 

Steps for Downloading a Voicemail From Your iPhone Using a Paid Service

If you have a lot of voicemails or you simply don’t want to DIY the voicemail transfer, you could choose a paid service. Here are the steps you’ll go through when using a premium transfer service.

Choose service provider

Several reputable service providers offer data transfer services, but one of the best is the Best Buy Geek Squad. They offer data transfer services and will perform the needed tasks right in front of you while you wait. Feel like browsing the store while the transfer occurs? You can leave it with the tech experts while you shop and pick it up when you’re done.

Take your iPhone and Mac or PC

For in-person data transfer services to work, the tech support team will need both your iPhone and the device you want the voicemails saved to. So, if you want to transfer them from your phone to your Mac or your Windows laptop, you’ll need to take both the phone and the computer to the store.

Explain what you need

The Geek Squad are pros at data transfer. While you could have them simply transfer your voicemails, you also have the option of transferring all of your phone’s contents while they’re at it. If you haven’t backed up your phone in a while, this could be the best option.

Watch and wait

If you take your phone to the Geek Squad, they’ll do the work while you’re standing there. Depending on how many voicemail files you want to move over, the process could range from a few minutes to an hour or more. All in all, it shouldn’t take very long to achieve the desired results.

Confirm backup

Once the data transfer is complete, you’ll be shown where the files are located on your computer. Check to make sure all the voicemails you want backed up have been transferred to their new destination.

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Where Can You Store a Saved Voicemail From Your iPhone?

Figuring out where to save your voicemail is just as important as learning how to get them from your phone to a secondary device. Here are the places we recommend when you need to store important documents.

Your computer

Taking voicemails off your phone or copying them to another location is an important way to save them for posterity. When you copy them, however, where do you keep them? Some programs, like those mentioned above, create a copy of the voicemail file directly onto your computer hard drive. 

Storing an important file on your computer hard drive is acceptable, but it shouldn’t be the only place you store a file. This should be utilized along with the following suggestions.

Cloud storage

To ensure your important documents such as photos and voicemails are safe from theft and computer crashes, you should store the files in cloud storage. There are plenty of cloud storage options available today such as Google Drive, DropBox, and OneDrive. These clouds are compatible with any OS and can be accessed in a variety of ways. They don’t limit you to accessing it through Apple-only products and you can easily transfer files from one storage option to another.

Google Drive, DropBox, and OneDrive all have free and paid versions, so if you only have a few files you need to store, you can do so for free. Even if you have hundreds of files, these cloud storage companies have a range of budget-friendly options.

An SD card or USB drive

For a third and final backup method, consider placing files on a dedicated SD or USB drive that you keep in a secure location. This backup option is simply to keep a copy of the file in case your other backup methods fail. 

Keep the SD card or USB drive in a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box in your local bank.

What Can You Do With a Saved Voicemail From Your iPhone?

You can incorporate digital files such as photographs and voicemails into numerous keepsake items to remember loved ones who died. Here are a few of our favorite ways to incorporate voicemails into keepsake items.

Memory box

A memory box is where you can place special items that remind you of a loved one such as photographs, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and ticket stubs. If you want to place voicemails into a memory box, simply copy them onto an SD or USB drive and place the drive in the box. Then, when you want, you can pull them out and play them on your phone or computer.

Voice recorder picture frame

A picture frame is a perfect way to keep someone you love close by. Place their picture into a voice recorder frame and save the voicemail to the frame. Now, whenever you miss their voice, you can press a button on the picture frame and hear the voicemail they left you.

Keepsake stuffed animal

This option is popular with children and can help kids keep the memory of their grandparents or parents close by. If you have a voicemail that a parent or grandparent left for a child, you can copy the recording to the voice recorder stuffed animal. The child can play the recording any time they miss their grandparent or parent.

Capturing Voicemail Messages Forever

By saving cherished voicemail messages, you can keep the memory of an event and your loved one with you for all time. Whether you keep the file in the cloud until you’re ready to pull it out or you add it to a keepsake item, you’ll never have to be without the voice of your loved one.

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