Voicemail Not Working on iPhone: Here Are 15 Solutions

Cellular Network

If you’ve chanced upon this page, you’re probably asking “Why is my voicemail not working on my iPhone?” and stressing a bit. The latter is a typical reaction when we find issues with our phones. However, voicemail not working on an iPhone is common, so there is no need to worry. Furthermore, there are numerous ways to fix the problem, and all it might take is a small change.


Inside This Article

  1. What to Do When Visual Voicemail is Not Working on Your iPhone
    1. Dial Your Voicemail Number
    2. Check if Voicemail is Active
    3. Disable Call Forwarding
    4. Empty Your Voicemail Inbox
    5. Close Then Relaunch Phone App
    6. Activate and Deactivate Airplane Mode
    7. Enable Data for Visual Voicemail
    8. Restart Your iPhone
    9. Activate Wi-Fi Calling
    10. Reset Your Voicemail Password
    11. Upgrade Your iPhone’s OS
    12. Update Carrier Settings
    13. Revert to Default Network Settings
    14. Downgrade Your iPhone’s OS
    15. Contact Your Mobile Carrier or Apple Support


What to Do When Voicemail is Not Working on Your iPhone

Voicemail not working on an iPhone is a common problem
Photo by Taylor Grote on Unsplash

To help you remedy the issue fast, here are the 15 best fixes for when voicemail is not working on an iPhone.

1. Dial Your Voicemail Number

Voicemail not working on an iPhone usually needs a diagnosis. The problem could be that people can leave messages via your voicemail, but you just aren’t receiving them. On the other hand, it might be that people can’t contact your voicemail at all. Sometimes, the bug could be due to something concerning your mobile carrier.

To pinpoint the problem precisely, we recommend calling your voicemail number. Do it by launching the iOS Phone app (telephone icon) and navigating to the Keypad section. On the keypad, long-press number one to contact your voicemail. If your voicemail is working fine, you should hear all your saved voicemails.


2. Check If Voicemail is Active

Your voicemail should be set up properly for it to work
Photo by Bagus Hernawan on Unsplash

Your iPhone going straight to voicemail is one thing, but it’s another thing when you find that voicemail is not working on your iPhone. However, in both scenarios, it is important to make sure early on that the voicemail was set up properly. If not configured correctly, that would be the reason why it cannot be used.

To check and re-setup the feature, get to your iPhone’s Phone app and check out its “Voicemail” option. There, you’ll see whether the voicemail on your device is enabled or not. If not, you can tap “Set Up Now” to begin setting it up and adding your voicemail password.


3. Disable Call Forwarding

Voicemail not working on an iPhone usually occurs because call forwarding is on. The said feature forwards all incoming calls to a different number, so your iPhone never rings or receives voicemail messages. Thus, disable call forwarding by following these steps:

1. Press the Settings icon on your iOS app dashboard.
2. On the menu, navigate to Phone.
3. Select Call Forwarding afterward.
4. Swipe the call forwarding toggle to the left (off status) if it is on.

Once call forwarding is deactivated, try contacting your voicemail again or have someone else call you. The voicemail that is not working on the iPhone should be fixed now.


4. Empty Your Voicemail Inbox

Voicemail not working on an iPhone may be caused by a full inbox
Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

Like email, voicemails get stored in an inbox. That is great for keeping records and listening to messages later when you have more time. However, like any service that stores messages, the voicemail inbox can get too full. Once this happens, you might stop receiving voicemails altogether.

We understand that this might not be a problem in the latest iPhones. After all, the said gadgets come with plenty of storage. However, the voicemail inbox has limited space, so it doesn’t necessarily rely on your phone’s overall capacity. Moreover, it usually becomes problematic if you’re often receiving prank calls.

If your voicemail inbox is too full, you can delete previous calls easily. Do the following:

1. Access the Phone app.
2. Select Voicemail afterward.
3. Tap Edit on the interface’s top-right section.
4. Choose the voicemail messages you wish to erase.
5. Once you’ve selected everything, hit Delete on the lower-right section.

Afterward, your voicemail inbox should have enough space to receive new calls. You can check if the voicemail is still not working on your iPhone by redialing. If the issue remains, head to the next fix.


5. Close Then Relaunch Phone App

If your iPhone voicemail is not working, there is a chance you can fix the problem by reloading the Phone app. That should refresh most of its settings and make it run more smoothly. Here’s an easy walkthrough:

1. Swipe up from the lower end of your phone’s display and pause midway.
2. Swipe left or right through the app switcher to find the Phone app among all open apps.

App Switcher
Photo from Apple Support

3. Once you spot the Phone app, close it by dragging its preview upwards.
4. Quickly swipe up from the display’s lower portion to revert to the home screen.
5. Launch the Phone app the usual way.

After the Phone app gets relaunched, you can test if the voicemail is now working on the iPhone. If it is fine already, chances are, the app was only having minor software problems.


6. Activate and Deactivate Airplane Mode

Activating then deactivating Airplane Mode can usually solve problems related to cellular service. Unfortunately, it does not always fix voicemail when it is not working on an iPhone.

Nonetheless, it’s still worth trying since there’s a chance it could help. Also, this fix is fairly easy and doesn’t alter or harm your phone whatsoever. Here’s a quick walkthrough on activating and deactivating Airplane Mode:

1. From your iPhone display’s top-right section, swipe down to see the Control Center.
2. Press the Airplane button on the top-left portion.
3. Remain in Airplane Mode for two minutes.
4. Disable Airplane Mode via the button you pressed in step 2.
5. Wait until your cellular radio reconnects.
6. Redial your voicemail.


7. Enable Data for Visual Voicemail

If you’ve already had visual voicemail set up, the problem may be data-related. That’s because cellular data is required for visual voicemail to work. The lack of cellular data is sometimes also the cause for visual voicemail not working on Android. To enable your cellular data, do the following:

1. From your gadget’s home dashboard, navigate to Settings.
2. On the Settings interface, press Cellular.
3. Select Cellular Data to switch the feature on.

Note that activating the feature will deplete the amount of data you have left on your plan. Of course, this isn’t a problem with an unlimited plan. However, if your mobile data allotment is finite, you can opt to reduce data usage instead.


8. Restart Your iPhone

If your iPhone 13 voicemail is not working (or if it’s bugging out on any other iPhone model), a restart might solve the problem. That resets all of the iPhone’s settings, refreshes apps, clears cache, and gives your phone a fresh start. It’s a simple solution and one that can resolve most software bugs that aren’t serious.

Proceed with these steps on an iPhone X, 11, 12, or 13:

1. Touch and hold any of the iPhone’s volume buttons and the power button at once.
2. Stop pressing the said controls once the gadget displays the power slider.
3. Wait 30 seconds for complete shutdown.
4. Wake your iPhone again via its power button.

After these, you can check again whether voicemail will now work on the iPhone or not.


9. Activate Wi-Fi Calling

Wi-Fi calling needs to be on for voicemail to work
Photo by Franck on Unsplash

Poor cellular reception might also be why the voicemail is not working on your iPhone. In this case, the issue isn’t your voicemail. It’s just that you’re not receiving calls in general because other people can’t reach you.

You can resolve this quickly by turning on Wi-Fi calling on your iPhone. Afterward, the phone should get better reception and more stable audio quality, and your voicemails should download much faster. To activate Wi-Fi calling, here is the quick tutorial you need:

1. Access the Settings app from your gadget’s home interface.
2. Pick Phone among the menu options.
3. Check out the Wi-Fi Calling option.
4. Choose Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone” afterward.

This process should turn on Wi-Fi calling on your phone. Hence, you should receive calls as long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi.


10. Reset Your Voicemail Password

Perhaps you’ve already finished your voicemail setup in the past. Despite that, the voicemail not working on the iPhone is still an issue for you. In this scenario, it might be worth resetting your voicemail passcode via the steps below:

1. Check out the Phone option on your gadget’s Settings interface.
2. Tap Change Voicemail Password afterward.
3. Think of and set a new password.

Note that you can always reach out to your mobile carrier if you forget your voicemail password. Once you do, you can easily change your voicemail password with their help.


11. Upgrade Your iPhone’s OS

OS updates can remedy voicemail issues
Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

iPhone software updates are crucial to the health of your phone. They can eliminate bugs and improve your phone’s overall performance. If you find that voicemail is not working on your iPhone, it’s worth checking for iOS updates. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Head to your gadget’s Settings app.
2. On the menu, search for and press General.
3. Press Software Update among the options you see.
4. Press the sole iOS update shown or choose among the multiple iOS versions available.
5. Once you’ve decided on the update to get, hit Install Now or Download and Install then Install Now.
*Seeing the second option means you have to key in your passcode afterward.

If there’s no software update available, your device is on the latest version. In this case, it’s best to proceed with the next solution to fix your voicemail that’s not working on your iPhone.


12. Update Carrier Settings

Carrier updates may fix issues regarding voicemail too
Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Are you still looking for a fix for when voicemail is not working on your iPhone? If yes, check out your carrier’s updates. Voicemail is a feature people usually avail of from their carrier. Like most software features, a carrier’s voicemail will sometimes have updates. Thus, you can check for updates by doing the following:

1. Make your iPhone go online via a Wi-Fi or cellular network.
2. Boot up its Settings app.
3. Swipe up and press General.
4. Hit the About option afterward.
5. Scroll up the interface until you see Carrier.
6. Next to Carrier, you should see if an update is available
*If all you see are its settings or the version number, your carrier settings are up to date.

If there’s a carrier update and you got it already, try dialing your voicemail to see if it will now work.


13. Revert to Default Network Settings

Now, we’re onto the last-resort fixes for when voicemail is not working on your iPhone. The first of those is to make your network settings revert to the default configurations. However, note that it tampers with your data. It will delete every Wi-Fi network and passcode you have saved. Hence, be sure you’re okay with re-entering all your settings before doing this reset. If you’ve understood the repercussions, here are the steps:

1. Head to your iPhone’s Settings interface.
2. Check out the option labeled General.
3. Once you see the General options, tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
4. Hit Reset down the menu.
5. Go for the Reset Network Settings option and verify the action.

Finished with the reset? You should now retry dialing your voicemail to see if the problem is now solved.


14. Downgrade Your iPhone’s OS

Another last-resort fix, which is applicable if your iPhone voicemail is not working after updating, is an OS downgrade. It will come with several caveats. Downgrading requires you to reset your phone to factory settings, which will delete all your data (e.g. files, photos, messages).

If you’re fine with this, we recommend backing up your data in iCloud or on a PC or another device before proceeding. You’ll have to restore the data once the downgrade is finished.

All set to downgrade your OS? Refer to this complete guide:

1. Make sure you’ve backed up your data to iCloud or a separate device.
2. Download on your PC or Mac the previous (and correct) iOS version for your iPhone model via this website.

  • Check out iPhone on the device list.
  • Pick your iPhone model afterward.
  • Pick the older software version you need to download.
  • Hit the Download button.
  • Hit Allow on the confirmation pop-up.

3. Link your phone to your laptop or desktop via a cable.
4. Make your iPhone enter Recovery Mode afterward.
5. Access Finder (Mac) or File Explorer (PC).
6. Long-press on the Option button (Mac) or Shift key (PC).
7. Hit the Restore button.
8. Pick the file you previously downloaded.
9. Click Open afterward.
10. Hit Agree if you’re fine with the Terms and Conditions presented.

After the steps above, restore your previous backup on your iPhone. Also, don’t forget to immediately test voicemail to know if it is now working on your iPhone.


15. Contact Your Mobile Carrier or Apple Support

If none of the many fixes worked, it’s time to call your cellular carrier or get in touch with Apple Support. You can contact your cellular carrier first to ensure your account has no problems. If there’s no issue, then it might be an Apple-related problem. In this case, you’ll have to contact Apple via its website or go to a nearby Apple Store.


The Bottom Line

Most of the time, voicemail not working on an iPhone isn’t a huge problem. You can usually resolve it by simply updating your OS, restarting your phone, or refreshing your network. However, you might need to downgrade your phone and conduct a factory reset if worse comes to worst. Whichever method you tried, we hope this guide has been helpful and you’ve successfully restored your voicemail.