An iPhone held in a person's hand
To set up a voicemail on an iPhone, open the Phone app, tap "Voicemail," and hit "Set Up Now." You must pick a voicemail password, and you can set a custom greeting if you like.

When you get your first iPhone, setting up voicemail is essential. You want to make sure that if you miss a call, your caller can leave a message. Here’s how you can set up voicemail and check your messages on iPhone.

Once you get your voicemail ready, you can adjust your notifications, so you know when a message is waiting. We’ll show you this as well as how to listen to a message, change the password if needed, and even re-record the greeting.

Set Up Voicemail on iPhone

Setting up voicemail on iPhone is a simple process that takes place in the Phone app. Open Phone and tap the Voicemail tab at the bottom.

Phone app, Voicemail tab

Select “Set Up Now,” create a voicemail password, and choose if you want a Default or Custom greeting. If you pick Custom, you can record your own greeting by simply following the prompts.

And that’s all there is to it!

RELATED: How to Set Up Voicemail on Android

Listen to Your Voicemail Messages

To access your voicemail and listen to your messages, head to the Voicemail tab in the Phone app. You’ll see a list of messages you’ve received as long as your carrier supports Visual Voicemail.

Select a message and tap the Play button to listen to it. If your wireless carrier also supports the Voicemail Transcription feature, you’ll also see your message transcribed to text. This is handy for a quick view of the message.

Voicemail messages on iPhone

Note: Visit the Apple Support page to see which voicemail features are supported in your region and for your carrier.

You’ll see a few other buttons for the voicemail message on the right side. Tap the speaker icon to hear the message in speaker mode, the phone icon to call the number back, or the trash can icon to delete the message.

You’ll also notice a share button on the top right you can use to send or share the message using your iPhone Share Sheet options. And finally, you have an info icon (small letter “i”) for details about the call or caller.

Voicemail message actions on iPhone

Adjust the Voicemail Notifications

When you have a new voicemail, you’ll see a badge app icon on the Phone app by default. You can change this by going to Settings > Phone > Notifications. This number displays all notifications from the Phone app including missed calls and voicemails.

RELATED: How to Make Notifications Actually Display on iPhone

When you open the Phone app, you’ll see a number on the Voicemail tab for the number of unplayed messages you have.

You can also set up an alert when you receive a new voicemail. Open Settings and select “Sounds & Haptics.” Pick “New Voicemail” under Sounds and Vibration Patterns.

Tap “Vibration” at the top to choose a pattern and select one of the Alert Tones or Ringtones at the bottom for the sound. Tap “Back” on the top left to save and exit.

Sounds and Haptics, New Voicemail alert options

Change the Voicemail Password

If you want to change the password you set up initially for voicemail, you can do this in the Settings app as well. Select “Phone,” pick “Change Voicemail Password,” enter the new password, and tap “Done.”

Change Voicemail Password on iPhone

Note: If you forgot your current voicemail password, contact your wireless carrier.

Record a New Voicemail Greeting

You may also want to change the greeting you recorded for your voicemail. Open the Phone app, select the Voicemail tab, and tap “Greeting” on the top left.

Tap the Play button to hear your current greeting. To record your own, select “Custom,” press “Record” to start, “Stop” to finish, and then “Save” to use the greeting.

Record a new voicemail greeting

As you can see, setting up voicemail on iPhone is easy and worth a few minutes of your time so callers can leave you a message when you’re unavailable to answer. When you get messages you a voicemail you want to keep, learn how to save your iPhone voicemails.

For additional help with calls on your iPhone, learn more about the Silence Unknown Callers feature for reducing spam calls or how to enable full-screen incoming calls.

RELATED: How to Silence Unknown Callers to Stop Robocall Spam on iPhone

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
Read Full Bio »