How to Check Voicemail Messages on Android

In our previous two lessons on Android phones, we explained how to set up a voicemail account and how to pick the perfect greeting for callers when you can't take a call. That's great and all, but you probably want to know how to retrieve your voicemail messages so that you can know what the people who called you actually wanted! Don't worry; we'll be teaching you how to do just that in this tutorial.

To listen to your voicemail messages on an Android phone:

  1. Turn on your phone and open the Phone app.
  2. Call your voicemail system.
  3. Enter your voicemail system passcode.
  4. Tap the key that allows you to check messages.
  5. Listen to each message and tap the corresponding key to replay it, delete it, or save it.
  6. Press End Call when you’re finished.

The keys you have to press for these instructions will vary based on who your telecom carrier is, so we’re going to add a little more detail below, in case our quick steps aren't enough for you to go on. We’ve also got a "cheat sheet" of voicemail commands for different carriers, so be sure to scroll down and check that out.

How to listen to your voicemail messages on Android

1. Power up your phone and open the Phone app.

Press and hold the power button for your phone to turn it on. Then, once you unlock your main screen, tap the Phone app to launch it.

Android Phone app icon

2. Access the dial pad.

You'll need to bring up the Phone app's dial pad, as if you were going to call an actual person. To do this, tap the dial pad icon near the bottom of the screen.

Dial pad in phone app

3. Call your voicemail system.

Call your voicemail account by typing in its phone number with the keys on the dial pad, and then pressing the green Call button. Or, as a shortcut, you can just press and hold the 1 key.

Dial voicemail number

4. Provide your voicemail system's password.

You will be prompted to enter the passcode to your voicemail account, if you have set one (which, hopefully, you have). Use the keys on the dial pad to type it in.

Enter password for voicemail

5. Check your voicemail inbox.

Once you're in your voicemail system, you may have to do things slightly differently than how they're done in this tutorial, depending on your telecom carrier and/or voicemail client. However, the general options that you'll have should be pretty similar.

Anyway, the first thing you should do is tap the key on the dial pad that lets you check your messages. In this case, it's 1.

Tap dial pad key to check voicemail messages

6. After listening to each message, decide what you want to do with it.

The most recent voicemail message that you've received should start playing. When it finishes, you will be given some choices about what you want to do with the message. Usually, these will include deleting the message, saving it, finding out more information about it, and so on. Press the key on the dial pad that corresponds to what you want to do.

In this case, you can press 7 to delete the message or 9 to save it. Or, if you want further options for what you can do with the message, press 0.

Tap key to delete or save message

Deleting or saving the message will cause the next most recent voicemail message to start playing. From there, go back to the beginning of this step.

However, if you choose to listen to more options for the current message, you will be given additional choices. These usually include replaying the message, finding out more information about the message (including when it was sent and by whom), or cancelling checking your messages and returning to your voicemail system's main menu.

Android voicemail screen - more options

Again, just press the key on the dial pad that represents the option that you want. In this case, you can press 4 to replay the message, 5 to hear more information about the message, or * to quit reviewing messages and go back to the main menu on your voicemail system. Unless you choose this last option, you will return to the beginning of this step.

7. When you're finished, hang up to exit your voicemail system.

When there are no other messages for you to check, or you're otherwise done checking your voicemail, press the red End Call button to exit your voicemail system and hang up the call.

End Call button

That’s more or less how it’s done! Because the options can vary by carrier, we’ve got a cheat sheet for you below. If you use a popular cell phone carrier, these are the buttons you’ll need to press when checking your voicemail messages.

Popular telecom carrier voicemail shortcuts

Carrier Save Message Delete Message Repeat Message
T-Mobile Press 9 Press 7 Press 1
Verizon Press 9 Press 7 Press 4
AT&T Press 3 Press 2 Press 1
Rogers Press 9 Press 7 Enter "11"
Bell Press 9 Press 7 Press 4
Telus Press 9 Press 7 Press 1
Virgin Mobile Press 3 Press 2 Press 1


Those are the basics of playing voicemails on your Android phone! Keep an eye out for our series of blog posts and articles that explain other neat tricks that you can do with your Android voicemail, such as how to set up a good voicemail greeting. Or check out the rest of our course on Android calling and voicemail to master all of the details of calling on your phone, and using its voicemail service!

How to Record/Change Your Voicemail Greeting

We know that you can't – or don't always want to – take phone calls as soon as you get them. You may be in the middle of something important, or in a social situation where answering your phone would be rude. Or your phone may just simply be in a spot where you can't get to it quickly, like in another room, in a backpack or purse, or maybe just back at the house because you forgot it!

Whatever the reason, you need to be able to let people who call you know how they can get in touch with you, or at least get their message to you. That's what voicemail greetings are for! In this lesson, we'll show you how to set one up on your Android phone, whether you want a standard greeting for simplicity and functionality or a custom greeting that adds a personal touch.

If you haven't activated the voicemail system for your Android phone yet, you can learn how to do that in our tutorial here.

How to record or change your Android voicemail greeting in 10 simple steps

1. Turn on your phone and launch the Phone app.

Turn the power on for your phone. Then, tap the Phone app.

Phone app icon

2. Open the dial pad.

Tap the dial pad icon near the bottom of the screen to bring up your phone's dial pad.

Phone app dial pad

3. Call your voicemail.

Using the dial pad, type in the phone number assigned to your voicemail account, and then press the green Call button. Or, just press and hold the 1 key if that's easier.

Dial voicemail number

4. Enter your voicemail password.

If you have set a password lock for your voicemail account, you will be prompted to key it in. Use the dial pad to do so.

Enter password

5. Go to your voicemail settings.

Once you are in your voicemail system, the specific options that you have – and the keys on the dial pad that you have to press to access them – will differ slightly, depending on your telecom carrier. However, the general process should be similar to the one described from here on out.

Anyway, start by tapping the key on the dial pad that corresponds to your personal settings. In this case, it's 4.

Tap personal settings button on dial pad

6. Access your greeting or recorded name settings.

Next, press the key on the dial pad that corresponds to options for your greeting or recorded name. In this case, it's 3.

Press key to change greeting

7. Edit your voicemail greeting.

Now, press the dial pad key for changing or recording your voicemail greeting. It's 1 in this case.

Change or record voicemail greeting

8. Select a standard greeting, or create a custom one.

You will usually be given the choice to either select a standard greeting or record a custom one. Press the key on the dial pad that represents what you want to do. In this case, you press 1 if you want a standard greeting or 2 if you want a custom greeting.

Choose standard or custom greeting

If you select a standard greeting, you may be allowed to choose from different variations. For example, in this case, you can press 1 on the dial pad to leave a greeting with your recorded name, or press 2 to leave a greeting with your phone number.

Select style of greeting

If you choose to record a custom greeting, wait for the prompt tone to sound, and then speak your greeting. When you're finished, press the designated key on the keypad (in this case, #) to stop the recording.

Record custom greeting

Stuck with regards to what to say? We have articles with tips on recording a formal voicemail greeting to show off your professionalism, or recording a funny greeting if you want to leave your family and friends in stitches.

After recording your custom greeting, you will usually have several options. For instance, you can play it back to see if you like how it sounds, re-record the greeting if you don't like it (in this instance, go back and repeat step 10), or confirm the greeting if you're satisfied with it.

Press the key on the dial pad that corresponds with what you want to do. In this case, you can press 1 to replay the greeting, * to re-record it, or # to keep it.

Tap dial pad to replay or record greeting

9. Hang up.

Once you've selected a greeting, press the red End Call button to hang up and exit your voicemail system.

Press End Call button to exit voicemail


There you have it! You now know the basic steps for changing your voicemail greeting on your Android phone. Whether you think a standard greeting will do, or want a custom one for some personal flair, you're all ready to set one up! Next up, we'll go over how to actually check your voicemail.

How to Set Up Voicemail on an Android Phone

Before the advent of today's high-tech mobile phones, you often had to have a specialized business landline phone – or even a separate answering machine – to keep track of missed calls. Now, though, you can access your voicemail messages from a device that fits in your pocket! Here's the thing, though: it takes a bit of prep work first.

This lesson will demonstrate to get a voicemail account up and running on your Android-powered smartphone. First, we'll cover how to adjust your voicemail account's general settings so that it's set up the right way from the get-go. Then, we'll show you how to actually put the account into service.

Setting up voicemail on an Android phone

1. Start your phone up and launch the Phone app.

Turn on your phone and tap the Phone app. It's usually in the default menu along the bottom of the screen.

Android Phone app

2. Access your additional phone options.

In the top-right corner of the screen, tap the More Options button (the three vertical dots), and then tap Settings.

More Options button

3. Choose to adjust your call settings.

Next, tap Calls in the menu that appears.

Call settings button

4. Select to manage your voicemail settings.

When you reach the "Call Settings" menu, tap Voicemail.

Voicemail settings button

5. Select what service handles your voicemail, what phone number directs to it, and what sound or vibration notifies you of a message.

The next menu lets you modify various aspects of your voicemail.

Voicemail settings modification menu

Tapping Service lets you choose what system handles your voicemail. It could be your telecom carrier's default system, or it could be a third-party app that you installed.

Tapping Setup lets you change some of the basic ways your voicemail works, such as what phone number you have to call to activate or access it.

Tap Sound to select the tone that plays when you receive a voicemail message.

You can also set your phone to vibrate when you get a voicemail message. Simply tap Vibrate to mark or unmark the check box beside it, enabling it or disabling it (respectively).

Okay! Now you have your voicemail set up the way you want it. So how do you actually get it activated now? Well, for most Android phones, you will have to call an account set up by your telecom provider. We'll cover how to do that in the next section.

Activating voicemail on an Android phone

1. Turn on the power for your phone and open the Phone app.

Turn your phone on and tap the Phone app, as if you were going to call a person.

Phone app icon

2. Open the dial pad so that you can enter your voicemail system's number.

Next, tap the dial pad icon in the bottom-middle of the screen.

Call dial pad

3. Call your voicemail system's number, or just press and hold "1."

Now, tap the numbers on the dial pad to dial the number associated with your voicemail account; you can find this in the Setup menu that we mentioned when discussing how to set up your voicemail. Then press the green Call button.

Or, if that's too much of a hassle, you can simply press and hold the 1 key.

Dial number for voicemail

4. Finish configuring your voicemail by recording your name, selecting a greeting, and setting a passcode.

The process from here might vary slightly, since each telecom carrier handles voicemail a little bit differently than the others. However, while the order and specific execution of steps may differ, the general steps you have to go through are largely the same.

For one, you'll have to record your name so that people who call your voicemail know who they've called. Simply follow the prompts that you hear to record it.

For another, you will have to select your voicemail greeting. Press the designated key on the dial pad to select either a generic or custom greeting. Then follow the prompts to choose or record your greeting. We have some tips you can follow if you want to record a professional-sounding voicemail greeting, or if you want a funny one instead.

Finally, you will have to select a passcode option. Press the designated key on the dial pad to select whether or not you want to put a password lock on your voicemail account, if you are given this choice. (If you are, we would recommend using a password… or else anyone who uses your phone or knows your voicemail number can listen to your voicemails!) If you choose to set a passcode lock, or are prompted to do so automatically, follow the instructions to dial in and confirm a passcode.

Tips for setting up voicemail on an Android phone

1. Check with your telecom carrier for the specific details of your voicemail plan.

Before trying to go through the process of setting up and activating your voicemail system, you should make sure that you actually have one first! Some carriers may include a voicemail system with your other mobile services, while others may require you to pay extra money to add it to your plan.

Look through either the carrier contract information that you likely received with your phone, or your online account with that carrier (if you have one), to see if a voicemail system is included in your current plan. If you're still not sure, call your telecom carrier directly and ask them.

Bell voicemail plan options

Also note that some carriers may offer multiple voicemail system options, each with different capabilities and limitations. For instance, they may vary in how many messages they can hold, how long each message can be, or how long they store saved messages. In short, be sure to familiarize yourself with what your voicemail can (and can't) do before you set it up.

2. After you set up your voicemail system, test if it's working properly by calling yourself.

An easy way to check if you've set your voicemail system up properly is with a do-it-yourself test call. Simply borrow a friend or family member's phone, call your Android phone's number, and then let the call go through to your voicemail system. This will let you check whether your recorded name and greeting are working the way you want them to work. You should also leave a test message so that you can make sure your voicemail storage is working properly. For instructions on how to check your voicemail, click here.

3. If you're having trouble with your voicemail system, contact your telecom provider for help.

If you're sure that you have a voicemail system on your current phone plan, but are having difficulty accessing it or setting it up, let your telecom carrier know. Call them, send them an email, or have a look through their online troubleshooting guides to see if you can get some help or a solution for your problem. You may even be able to get help with things like resetting your voicemail password or recovering lost messages.


That's everything you need to do to set up and activate a voicemail account on your Android smartphone! Next, we'll cover what you need to do if you want to change your voicemail greeting.