Why Is My Voicemail Unavailable on iPhone

Voicemail on phone

Are you having trouble with receiving voicemails on your iPhone? We have just the guide for you.

Quick Answer

There are a couple of reasons why your voicemail is unavailable. Maybe you didn’t set it up when you got your device, or it’s been disabled in the settings.

Let’s take a look at several ways to fix it.

Table of Contents



  1. How To Fix an Unavailable Voicemail on Your iPhone
    • Tip #1: Ensure Your Voicemail Is Set-Up
    • Tip #2: Make Sure Your Device Is Running on the Latest iOS
    • Tip #3: Ensure Your Carrier Settings Are Up to Date
    • Tip #4: Make Sure You Have Good Cellular / Wi-Fi Connection
    • Tip #5: Reset Your Phone App
    • Tip #6: Try Resetting All Network Settings
    • Tip #7: Ensure Your Date and Time Zone Are Correctly Set
    • Tip #8: Restore Phone to Factory Settings
  2. Final Thoughts

How To Fix an Unavailable Voicemail on Your iPhone

As mentioned earlier, it’s possible that your voicemail has not been set up on your phone, or it got disabled in settings. Here are several ways to make it available.

Tip #1: Ensure Your Voicemail Is Set-Up

 iPhones do not have the voicemail feature activated, so it will not work if you didn’t set it up beforehand. 

  1. Tap on the Phone app on your Home Screen.
  2. Locate the Voicemail tab and tap on it.
  3. Select “Set Up“.
  4. Create a password in the pop-up.
  5. Click on “Done“.

After the final step, you should choose a default or custom greeting. Going with a default greeting will provide you with many options.

If the issue persists, try changing your voicemail password.

  1. Access your iPhone’s Settings.
  2. Tap on Phone.
  3. Select “Change Voicemail Password“.

Tip #2: Make Sure Your Device Is Running on the Latest iOS

When your iOS is outdated, your apps or settings tend to malfunction. To update your iOS to the latest version, follow the steps below.

  1. Access your iPhone’s Settings.
  2. Search for General and tap on it.
  3. Select “Software Update“.
  4. Choose “Automatic Updates“.
  5. Turn on “Download iOS Updates“.
  6. Select “Install iOS Updates“.

Enabling automatic updates will ensure that you never miss a software update.

Tip #3: Ensure Your Carrier Settings Are Up to Date

 An outdated carrier setting could also be a problem. The instructions below will guide you through updating your carrier settings.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Click General.
  3. Select “About“.
  4. Use the on-screen prompts to update the settings.

Tip #4: Make Sure You Have Good Cellular / Wi-Fi Connection

Another reason why you may encounter difficulties setting up your voicemail is if you have a poor carrier or internet connection. 

 The following steps will help rectify this issue.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap on “Mobile Data” and toggle the switch on if you’re using a cellular connection.
  3. Select “Wi-Fi” and ensure you’re connected to a secure network if you’re using Wi-Fi.

 If that doesn’t work, activate Airplane Mode for a few seconds, then disable it. Doing this will disconnect all your connections, then refresh them.

 Follow the steps below to turn your Airplane Mode on and off.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Turn on the Airplane Mode feature.
  3. Wait for 20 seconds, then turn it back off.

You could also follow these steps.

  1. If you are using an iPhone 8 and below, swipe up your screen to access the Airplane Mode icon. Swipe down from the top of your screen if your device is an iPhone X or a newer model.
  2. Locate the plane icon and tap it.
  3. After 15 to 20 seconds, tap it to disable it.

If this is the issue, it should fix your voicemail problem shortly after implementing the last step. 

Additionally, check if your carrier connection is strong and working fine. Your voicemail might not be functioning because your carrier network connection is weak.

At the top left of your phone’s screen, there might be a No Service Error“. This could be a problem with your SIM card, and what this error means is that you are not connected to your carrier. 

To fix or clear up this problem, follow these steps.

  1. Take out your SIM card.
  2. Gently blow air into the tray and slot to remove any dust or particles keeping your device from connecting to the SIM.
  3. Put the SIM back in your device and power on.

Tip #5: Reset Your Phone App

Although it’s uncommon for a Phone app to glitch, this shouldn’t be ruled out as a possible cause of your voicemail issues.

Try resetting your Phone app to see if it’s the reason why your voicemail is unavailable or inactive. 

If you’re using an iPhone X or a newer model, follow the steps below to reset your phone app. 

  1. From the Home Screen, swipe up to open the App Switcher.
  2. Locate the Phone app by swiping to the left or right.
  3. From the bottom of your iPhone’s screen, swipe up.
  4. Relaunch the Phone app.

For iPhone models released before the X series:

  1. Press the Home button twice to use the App Switcher.
  2. Locate the Phone app by swiping to the left or right
  3. From the bottom of your iPhone’s screen, swipe up.
  4. Relaunch the Phone app.

To check if you were able to fix your voicemail, call yourself with another device.

Tip #6: Try Resetting All Network Settings

Tampering with your network settings can also cause an unavailable voicemail feature. You might’ve done this knowingly or unknowingly. A quick fix to this is resetting all your network settings. 

Warning

Resetting your network settings will cause your iPhone to forget all joined Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth devices, and VPN configurations.

To reset network settings on iOS 14, check out the instructions below.

  1. Open your Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap “Reset“.
  4. Choose the “Reset Network Settings” menu.

On iOS 15, here are the steps.

  1. Go to Settings > General.
  2. Select “Transfer and Reset“.
  3. Tap “Reset“.
  4. Choose the “Reset Network Settings” menu.

Whichever step you follow will require you to enter your Apple passcode before proceeding.

Tip #7: Ensure Your Date and Time Zone Are Correctly Set

An incorrectly set date or time can cause a couple of features and even applications not to work. 

Check if your date and time are correct. If they aren’t, use the steps below to set it correctly. 

  1. Access your Settings.
  2. Search for General and tap on it.
  3. Locate the “Date & Time” menu.
  4. Select “Turn on Automatically“.

The steps above will reset your time zone to the right one.

Tip #8: Restore Phone to Factory Settings

Are you still having trouble with your voicemail? Try a factory reset. This should be the last thing you attempt because this will result in your data loss. Ensure you back up all your data before going down this route. 

After you back up your files, follow the steps provided below to do a factory reset. 

If your device is running the iOS 14 software, use the steps below to do a factory reset.

  1. Go to Settings > General.
  2. Select “Reset“.
  3. Tap the “Erase All Content & Settings” menu.
  4. Input your Apple passcode in the pop-up.
  5. Click “Confirm“.

If your device is running the iOS 15 software, use the steps below to do a factory reset.

  1. Go to Settings > General.
  2. Tap “Transfer and Reset“.
  3. Choose “Reset All Content & Settings“.

Final Thoughts

If you’re still unable to activate your voicemail after implementing all the fixes listed above, contact your carrier to complain.

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