A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article that highlighted the iPhone Visual Voicemail delays some users reported. Basically the problem was that your iPhone stopped alerting you of new voicemails. The only way to find out you had new voicemails was to reboot your iPhone, or by dialing “1” + Call to get your voicemails the old fashioned way.

My fellow Twitter friend @HifiSamurai shared a link to a ZDNet article this morning that explained why some of us don’t have Visual Voicemails anymore and how to fix it.

The problem started when we installed the iPhone tethering hack. The .ipcc file (carrier settings hack) also changed an option that disables Visual Voicemail. The solution is actually very simple.

On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This will reset your carrier settings but it will leave the tethering hack untouched.

Isn’t this a life saver? If you have little know iPhone tips or hacks, feel free to share 🙂

  • Kyle

    Its too bad that AT&T got their name trashed over Visual VM problems – when the problem all along was people monkeying with the iPhone. Notice the iPhone and AT&T weren’t to blame here – end users screwed it up on their own. Shocker.

  • Jacob

    @Kyle ATT anyways screwing their customers for a long rime. Especially iPhone customers. So some time users should acre them too. Kinda payback 🙂 I don’t use JB or hacked phone but I guess those who do it doing the right thing. There is no reason they charge u 30 a month for data n there is no use of it when u really need to use it. FU AT&T…. Period!

  • Kyle

    Some solid logic you got there LOL. By solid, I mean completely ridiculous. You and every other AT&T customer signed up for their service. You had time to evaluate and drop during the intro period. After that you could pony up the ETF and leave if you wanted. So you either couldn’t afford the ETF (maybe you shouldn’t have a cell phone) or you just like complaining about the trendy carrier everyone likes to complain about? Payback? I am confident AT&T is laughing to the bank while you think you are doing something and in reality are doing nothing at all. They aren’t hurt by your Visual Voicemail not working, you are moron. It only stopped working because you were too cheap to pay for tethering and decided to hack your iPhone and steal what wasn’t rightfully yours. They can charge whatever they want for data – you are the one for paying for it because you want the iPhone (supply/demand 101). Pretty much summed it up, eh? =)

  • Susan

    Before everyone starts placing blame here, I just want to put my two cents in. I’ve spent my whole day today on the phone with four different people at AT&T as well as a nice long visit to the AT&T store in person. Not only were all the things I’ve read to try that will certainly solve my problem (including the one in the above article) tried multiple times with no result, but by the time I left the AT&T store, the person helping me was experiencing the exact same problem with his own phone. He said that he had to assume that it was a problem with “the tower” and had nothing to do with my phone or his. So before you all go pointing fingers here, I’ve done no “monkeying” with my phone. Kyle, I had no trouble during my “intro” period and I’m not “too cheap” to pay for anything. And something tells me the guy at the AT&T store feels just as frustrated as I do right now since his visual voicemail is out as well.

  • Susan

    Okay, here’s an update. I spoke to AT&T again and was told that they are aware of the visual voicemail problem with iphones and are working to resolve it. I asked if she had any idea when it’s expected to be resolved and she said to call back on Sept. 30 (6 days away). So, it’s not us, folks.

  • Jacob

    @Kyle Are you getting paid from AT&T Moron?????

  • Got ta love this blog!
    Great job Sebastien.

  • Susan

    While I appreciate Sebastian’s efforts, his suggested fix does not work. We tried it several times yesterday along with a dozen or so other fixes with no result. According to the woman I spoke with last night at AT&T there is no fix. The problem is on their end, and so the solution will be as well.

  • Dork Weasel


    The problem isn’t that we Iphone users are too cheap to pay for tethering. The problem is AT&T simply doesn’t offer it! Don’t be a moron and wrongfully accuse before doing your research. And for the record, AT&T is an excellent carrier, love them to death. I just get frustrated when I can’t do the simplest of things like send MMS or tether to my laptop as I was able to with my old BB Bold. I pay the extra for it, always have. If AT&T had offered these two very basic features from the beginning, they likely would not be spending countless hours on the phone now trying to resolve the issue with the thousands of people who had not choice but to hack in order to get what they needed. Next time do your homework before spreading your hatred and contempt on blogs like this.

  • Susan

    Well, I didn’t do any hacking, have never tethered, and don’t even know what MMS means.

  • Susan

    Spent another lovely hour on the phone with AT&T, but still have no visual voicemail. The good news for some of you though is that this “fix” works for “about 95%” of the people with this problem, so have at it…

    There’s a profile by the name of BenM.at that needs to be deleted (removed).

    Remove BenM.at, Visual Voicemail issue

    To view profiles tap Settings – General – Profiles – Remove, BenM.at or AT&T USA

    Once in the Settings screen, tap General, tap Reset, and then tap Reset Network Settings.

    If this still does not correct the issue, you should perform a Backup and Restore on the iPhone.

  • Susan

    Okay, I’m back in business! If the above doesn’t work for you, try “Reset All Settings” instead of “Reset Network Settings.” If that doesn’t work, Backup and Restore on iTunes but as a “New” phone instead of your old one. That should do it. Apparently, when this new 3.1 update happened, it had a corrupt file in it (that BenM thing that they tried to remove first). Whew!

  • Dan E,


    Removing the ben.m file (tethering hack) fixed my voicemail issues


  • Greg

    Wanted to thank Susan for the fix. Seems you spent a week of your life getting visual voicemail back up. Sincerely appreciate it. I was ready to go back to my old Blackberry.

  • Susan

    Here’s an update…my visual voicemail went out yet again today. I went back to the AT&T store where I was “re-registered” in their system. This was done twice last week to no avail, but it worked today. Keep your fingers crossed for me! And the best of luck to you all!

  • Cal

    I have this problem for months and didt knoe whats the caused. Now i know…thank you! 🙂

  • Bozo

    Thanks Susan! Deleting the tethering profile fixed it for me (merely resetting the network settings as the main article recommends did not).

  • Tina

    Thank you Susan I followed your instructions and fixed my visual voicemail! ( instead of following the rediculous suggestion from my carrier which was to restore the iPhone and add back Apps one at a time to see which one may have nocked out my visual voicemail– would have been way too time consuming ) Thanks for the simple, quick fix after I spend a good portion of my morning on the phone unable to get it fixed. Thanks so much again!

  • RichieRich19857

    Susan thank you thank you thank you. AT&T told me they couldn’t help and Apple of course wants to charge me 200 for apple care. But that solution worked! You are a life saver!

  • Joe Mamma

    By removing the profile on the iphone you should receive visual voicemail. Settings>General>Profile. If a profile is available, remove it. Then turn your phone off (sleep>slide to off) then back on. Yes, most of the illegal features that you added to your device will work no more. AT&T is not to blame here. It is the customer’s that are mad because they use illegal services and clog up AT&T’s network and call in and gripe that their service is slow. This is quoted from the NY Times: It’s a data guzzler. Owners use them like minicomputers, which they are, and use them a lot. Not only do iPhone owners download applications, stream music and videos and browse the Web at higher rates than the average smartphone user, but the average iPhone owner can also use 10 times the network capacity used by the average smartphone user. That means that with legal services being used the normal user uses 10 as much as the average smart phone user. Throw in tethering and bam! system overload. So to me that makes the $30 per month for unlimited legal service very reasonable. Any comment would be appreciated.

  • Susan

    Joe Mamma, I never added any illegal features to my phone and neither did my dad or brothers, all of whom had this same problem. I suspect that the guy at the AT&T store who also had this problem hadn’t either. The service rep at AT&T who finally explained it to me on the phone told me that there was a corrupt file in that 3.1 update and that it was not the fault of any of the customers. Just fyi. It was not a system overload. It was a corrupt file.

  • Joe Mamma

    Thank you for your honesty Susan. The comment was in response to the people upset that their tethering was going to be deleted if the profile was removed. You were caught in the cross-fire. The 3.1 IPHONE update was not released by AT&T but by APPLE. The AT&T carrier update 5.5 with mms was supposed to remove the profile but was unsuccessful due to the various versions of the profile. The corrupt file was in the APPLE IPHONE update 3.0. Again not AT&T. By removing the profile then doing a reset network settings you will be able to receive your visual voicemail.

  • Joe Mamma

    Also if the mms is not working on your IPHONe and you are an honest person contact AT&T and ask then to check and make sure that your imei # is correct in all of their systems. With the carrier update if you owed an original IPHONE then upgraded to a 3G (s) which most of us have then there systems reverted to the original (non-mms) iphone.

  • madman

    Deleting the profile worked for me! Had 27 unheard voice mails – most of them business related lost two projects because of it). HUGE thanks from me to Susan!

  • Fateo

    Thanks Susan.

  • Thanks so muh Susan for taking the time to thoroughly investigate this problem.

    I am assuming my problem with visual voice mail was due to my trying the ben tethering trick. (Which btw, I never could get to work!!!)

    Because of my web site business, I really need tethering. Sometimes there is no wi-fi available to connect to, however if I could connect with my iPhone I could work from outside my without a problem. I understand AT&T offers this with other phones, and it really upsets me that I can not get this option on the iPhone. I don’t want to buy another type of phone because I am happy with everything else about the iPhone. (When I bought this phone tethering wasn’t an option for any phone…)

    I am wondering if anyone knows if it will be available on the iPhone? My understanding is that iPhone users in Europe do already have this option.

  • Christpher

    I installed PDANet yesterday and now my voicemail doesn’t work so I followed the above directions. I deleted the AT&T profile and reset networking and now it works awesome! I am running 3.1.2 by the way. Also my PDANet tethering was unafected by the reset. Thanks

  • Elysia

    Can’t thank you enough, Susan!

  • The guide at iphonefix.tk has all the iphone fixes including the voicemail delay fix. It tells you where to get parts if you need them or else just follow the picture instructions.

  • MaX

    Teathering should be free and part of the iPhone. We already pay for Internet so what difference does it make if we are looking at it on a larger screen by hooking the iPhone up to a computer? I’m happy with my iPhone but I think the teathing capability would bring in more customers and a great benefit to AT&T.

  • Kel

    Seriously, why do people always assume wrong. Just fixed this problem on my wife’s and never had issues with mine. This is a phone software issue. Last time I checked Apple made the software *duh*, so why do people with no computer background mostly blame the carrier? By the way, my background is computer science. AT&T doesn’t make the phones or software. Now, bet you can’t say “iPhone, iPod, iTunes, iPad, iWork, iMac” twenty times really fast.

  • Laura Lynd

    So I did what this article says and it sort of fixes it for a min. All of my voicemails will be shown in the visual voicemail spot but then if I get any new calls that I couldn’t answer or whatever it will just do the same thing again and I have to call my voicemail to see if I have any new ones. Also it doesn’t always ring when I get calls. Like my mom called me one morning and it was fine then a little later my grandma called and it never rang then my mom called again a little later and it didn’t ring for hers either but then she called one more time a little after that and it was fine. So is there anyway to fix this for good because I am trying to get a job and I really need my phone to be working right! lol Any help?

  • BarCode

    This is great, thanks! I’ve been having this problem for more than a year and this fixed it. Thanks