How to get my voicemail settings back to normal?

iOS & iPadOS

Perhaps this is something new to the 5s that I am just now running into. I didn't check why I had no new voicemails until I got a call from someone that always leaves a voicemail. On my iPhone 4 and on every other iPhone I've encountered up to and including a 5c, the voicemail tab was the same and the phone owner was notified when a new voicemail was available. I discovered that my voice mailbox was full, so don't know if this is an artifact of that or something new. Now, I have a button to call voicemail and have to login and deal with the voicemail system as if dialing in from another phone. I can't keep mails on my phone, get no notifications of new messages, nothing. Is there a way to go back to getting notified in the notification center when I get a new voicemail, being able to listen to and relisten to voicemails actually on my phone and all of that? I really, really dislike having to hit the call button, login and deal with the tedious external voicemail system and hope that this is not the only way to do things now. It makes me feel like I've jumped back over a decade to my old Virgin Mobile flip phone, except even clumsier.

Any info would be greatly appreciated. I've looked around in settings, but am not finding any place under phone or general to change the settings. Perhaps I've just missed it, I hope.





Submitted by allseed on Tuesday, April 29, 2014

there is a phone settings group in settings under a button called phone. there is a phone notification item in the notification center. both items have a fair amount of behaviour settings. It is common to need to reset your phone password when setting up a new phone.

I didn't have to redo the password setup. My password works just fine. The problem is that, in the past, I could listen to the voicemails on my phone. Under the voicemail tab there was a similar setup to that of text messages where I could go through the list and listen to them and could do things like delete messages and all of that. Now the voicemail tqab has two buttons. One says visual voicemail and informs me that visual voicemails are not currently avaialable, the second says call voicemail. Double tapping on thqat control accesses my voicemail box as if I called in from an external phone. I have to enter my password and deal with the numpad navigation center. This is a massive step backwards from what I had previously on my iPhone 4 where I only had to enter the passcode if i dialed in from another phone. Under the phone tab in settings, the only r4eference to my voicemail is the button to change the voicemail passcode. I will have to check out the phone section in the control center and find out what options lie there, because there are no options under the phone section of the settings.



Submitted by Isaac Hebert (not verified) on Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Weird when I go in to my phone app under voicemail I see visual voicemail is currently unavailable too but I also see deleted messages wheir you can go and clear the messages that you have deleted.

Submitted by Blindcat on Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In reply to by Isaac Hebert (not verified)

I think something odd happened, something that has to do with the coincidence of my voicemail box filling up with saved messages at the same time that I got my 5s and set it up, or maybe just to do with the former since nothing else changed on the phone once I restored from the backup of my iPhone 4, other than the inclusion of new functions and all of that. The big problem seems to be that I can't find any options to change things that will have an efffect. If I click the Call Voicemail button in the voicemail tab, it just accesses the external voicemail box, under phone in general, the only option with any bearing on voicemail is the button to change the voicemail password. I can't find any options in either the control center or notification center that seem to do anything. I wish I could just set the mailbox up again as if it were brand new, but I don't have any idea how to do that with one that is already set up. This has to be one of the oddest things I have yet encountered since getting an iPhone.



Submitted by Justin on Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I've never seen this issue pop up before. If I get a voicemail notification, then I listen to the message, then delete it, and then if there are any voicemails left over that are old ones, I will hit the clear all button. Visual voicemail works fine, and has worked fine since I got my first iPhone back in 2011. I've never had any issues with this. It kind of sounds like something went wrong in the restore process on the phone's side of things, but I'm not exactly sure.

Submitted by Blindcat on Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In reply to by Justin

Yes, this definitely is setting new precedence for strange. Nothing I do seems to work. Except for the visual voicemails, what you describe is exactly how I dealt with voicemail until this happened. The reason visual voicemails are unavailable for me is that they cost extra with my Verizon plan and I don't pay for them. I just tried changing the voicemail password under phone in my settings just to find out if that might reset things, and all I get is an error message that voicemail is not available at this time and that I should try again later. So, no help there. Nothing I do when the phone accesses the external voicemail system has helped.

What is really interesting is that my mother got a new iPhone 5c for her birthday just about two weeks before I got my 5s. She also uses Verizon and moved from an Android phone. Her voicemail tab looks and functions exactly as mine did on my iPhone 4 and how I expected things to function.

I am not sure there is anything left that I can do on the phone myself. at this point I am wondering if getting Verizon to reset my voicemail box so I can set it up again as if new might work. I am still hoping for some ray of inspiration to come along and lead me to a solution that doesn't require dealing with technical support, but if I must, I must.

Thanks for all of the suggestions and input.



Submitted by Justin on Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hi Chris,
I think your best beet is going into the verizon store and seeing if they will reset the box. I've dealt with verizon in my local city, and they seem very understanding about my blindness and they're very willing to help me if I need it. Like you said this is very strange and should go away with a reset of your voicemail box.

Submitted by Robert Gregory on Monday, August 31, 2015

I used to listen to my messages by just pressing on my visual voicemail...I've just updated iOS and changed providers and now I have to phone to get messages...frustrating...

Submitted by Usman on Monday, August 31, 2015

Unfortunately folks, this is a paid feature with most cariers. Nothing anyone can do about that so if it is that big of a deal, you could always subscribe to the service. Frankly, I believe it is worth the money.

Submitted by Bahzad on Monday, August 31, 2015

If I'm not mistaken, the problem you're encountering deals directly with the visual voicemail function on the iPhone. Since visual voicemail was disabled on your device, accessing messages has to be done through the keypad. If the issue happened during the time when your visual voicemail was working, then you might need to reach your service provider to see if they can investigate it. In the meantime, I found an Apple support page discussing trouble shooting tips for situations like these. The article's title is explanatory enough: "Get Help With Visual Voicemail on your iPhone." Best of luck.

Submitted by Blindcat on Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The problem turned out to be very simple and only required onne setting change. It also did not cost me a fee nor an increase in my bill.

The poster who advised checking the cellular data setting was correct. As soon as I turned data back on, things went back to normal.

Thanks again to all.


Submitted by Karen Mendy on Friday, September 18, 2015

I tried just about everything and was ready to go buy a NON-APPLE phone. Finally, my brain functioned and I went to iTunes on my Mac Pro laptop and used my last iPhone backup to restore my phone. Everything is working properly and I even got it together on the iCloud. Hallelujah!