Before cellphones were widely affordable, and most people used landlines as their primary method of communication, leaving voice messages on answering machines was common. A person coming home to find that recognizable blinking light on their machine and pressing the button to hear what messages they had accumulated during the day was a part of their routine.
With the advent of smartphones like your iPhone, those days are mostly over, and voicemail has taken the place of the answering machine. It’s crucial that you know how to set up voicemail on your iPhone, so let’s talk about how to do so right now.
Setting Up Voicemail on Your iPhone
Before we get into how you would set up your iPhone’s voicemail, let’s talk about when it’s most appropriate to use it. The most obvious reason why you need voicemail is if you don’t actually have your iPhone on you. There are some individuals who hardly ever have their iPhones more than a couple of feet away from them. However, others like to come home after a hard day’s work, set their phone down, and then spend some time with the family. They don’t want to be accessible, at least for a little while.
Of course, even if they don’t have their phone on them, there might be a valid reason why someone is trying to reach them. If might be a babysitter trying to tell them they can’t watch the kids that night. A relative could be reaching out with some family news, or perhaps it’s the doctor’s office telling them an appointment is being rescheduled. All of those are situations where you’ll want to call the person back as soon as possible. Having the voicemail set up correctly will allow you to do that the next time you notice that you’ve missed a call.
It might also be that you have your iPhone on you, but at the moment when someone is calling, it’s inconvenient for you to take it. You could be in a movie with the sound on your phone turned off, in which case you might send the call straight to voicemail. You may be in the middle of an activity with friends or family.
Our smartphones have made it so that we are almost always accessible, much more so than what used to be the case. Still, it is appropriate that we are unreachable sometimes. When someone gets your voicemail, they should have no problem leaving a message, knowing that you’ll get back to them at a time of your choosing.
The Voicemail Feature
When you get an iPhone, and you have a number assigned to it, then as soon as you get through the process of setting up the phone, it will be able to record voicemails if someone leaves you one. You do not need to take any action. The phone will be set to ring a certain number of times. Then, if you don’t answer, an automated voice will come on the line and tell whoever is calling that they can leave a message.
When you pick up the phone, you’ll see a message prominently featured on the screen. It will tell you the number that called, and there will be a little green phone icon indicating that they left you a voicemail. If the person who called was in your contact list, then their name will appear. If they weren’t one of your contacts, then it will be just the number.
To listen to the voicemail that they left, you can swipe right on the message in the middle of your screen. At that point, you’ll be taken directly to a list of your messages, if there are more than one. You can listen to them in order. The most recent one will be at the top of the list. If there’s just one, it will be on the top of the screen.
You can press the Play arrow, and then hold the phone up to your ear to hear the message. If you like, you can also hit Speaker, in which case you’ll be able to listen to the message without having to hold the phone near your ear. If you do that, though, you should be sure that the message does not contain any sensitive information, especially if there are others in the room with you. You can then replay the message if you missed any of it. You can save it to your archive if you like, or you can erase it.
The one other way you can listen to your messages is if you access your phone with either your passcode or Face ID, depending on what generation of iPhone you have and your preferences. If you do that, then on your Homepage, you should see a little double loop icon, like a tape recorder, next to the green phone icon at the bottom of the screen. If you tap it, then it will take you to the list of recent voicemails. You can then go ahead and listen to them.
Personalized Message for Your Voicemail
Much like the old-style answering machine for landlines, you might prefer to have a personalized message from you so that the person calling will know for sure that they reached the right number. To do that, start at your Home screen. Tap the green phone icon you see at the bottom of the screen, and then hit Voicemail. You should see an option to Set Up Now.
Enter a passcode so that you can access your voicemail in the future. It will have to be between 4 and 6 digits in length. Enter the passcode a second time, and then press Done. Now, you can press Custom and start recording a greeting.
If Set Up Now doesn’t appear, then that means your phone has been set to the automated voicemail option. You can change it whenever you like, though. All you have to do is tap Greeting, which should be at the top-left of the screen. Tap Record, and then speak slowly and clearly into the phone so that your message is recorded. When you are finished, hit Stop. Then, tap either Save or Done, depending on which generation of iPhone you have.
That’s all there is to it. You can record and save a new message for your iPhone whenever you like. You might want a different, time-specific one if you’re going on a trip or vacation. You can tell people how long you’ll be inaccessible, and then, when you get back, you can erase that message and leave a more general one. You can also switch back to the automated version whenever you like if you’re more comfortable with that.