How to record phone calls on iPhone, no jailbreak or additional apps required

By , Apr 1, 2016

iPhone 6 Wi-Fi Calling teaser 001

Apple’s gone to great lengths to guarantee the privacy of your phone calls. For instance, when you call someone or receive a call, audio from the call cannot be routed through AirPlay to a recording app, such as Vidyo. This is also why there’s a notable shortage of apps for recording phone calls in the App Store.

Jailbroken users have been able to easily record their phone calls for ages now, but what if you’re not jailbroken? As it turns out, there’s a nice workaround solution involving voicemail and the beauty of it is that there’s absolutely nothing Apple can do to stop you from employing this trick to record your phone calls like a pro.

What you need…

In short, the trick involves using your carrier’s voicemail as an audio recording tool, then exporting the recorded voicemail conversation through Phone’s Voicemail tab. This works for standard cellular phone calls, Wi-Fi Calling and FaceTime calls.

Your carrier must support the iPhone’s Visual Voicemail feature and three-way calling and an iPhone must be connected to a cellular data network. It’s also advisable that you disable the Call Waiting feature under Settings → Phone → Call Waiting.

Other carrier or network-specific restrictions may apply, such as the size of the Visual Voicemail inbox, the maximum duration of a single voicemail message and so forth.

And last but not least, your iPhone should be running iOS 9.0 or later because prior iOS versions cannot export voice memo recordings as audio files, which might be of concern if you plan on sending voicemails from the Phone app to the Voice Mail app for editing.

How to record phone calls on iPhone

1) Call a person on your iPhone.

2) When the call is established, tap Add Call on the Phone app’s screen.

iOS 9 Phone app Now Calling screen Add Call iPhone screenshot 001

3) Now call the phone number you’re ringing the person from. Because you’re already on the call, ringing your own number will take you straight to your voicemail, which is precisely what we want.

4) After the greeting message has been played and Visual Voicemail has started recording the call, tap the Merge Calls button on the calling screen.

iOS 9 Phone app Now Calling screen Merge Calls iPhone screenshot 001

The iPhone will merge your first call with the other one that went to your voicemail, meaning you’re now actually recording the conversation right into your voicemail.

5) End the call and then tap the Voicemail tab within the Phone app and wait until your recorded conversation appears in the interface as a voicemail message.

Tip: Your iPhone must be connected to your carrier’s cellular data network for new voicemails to be downloaded to the device.

6) Tap the recorded conversation and then hit the Share button.


7) Choose if you’d like to wirelessly send the audio file to your Mac via AirDrop, attach it to an iMessage or email message, send it to Notes or shoot the file to one of your favorite apps in iOS’s multi-purpose Share menu, like Dropbox.

Tip: You can transfer the recorded conversation to Apple’s stock Voice Memos app for further editing. Regardless of the sharing method used, your phone call conversation is now available to you as an audio file to do with it what you please.

And that’s all there’s to it, boys and girls!

What do you think about this nifty little tip?

Hat tip goes to Marc Settle.

Some caveats

A few caveats worth mentioning…

First of all, this method will record high-definition phone calls (HD Voice) in normal audio quality. Additionally, your voicemails are delivered to the device as M4A files, so you may need to convert them to MP3s in iTunes for better compatibility with other apps.

RELATED: How to share voicemails as notes or voice memos

For those wondering, this trick is remarkably similar to a phone call-recording app called TapeACall, which costs $9.99 in the App Store.

Is recording phone calls without consent legal where you live?

You should keep in mind that recording phone calls is illegal in some states and countries without explicit consent of the other party. Just something to keep in mind if you ever decide to record your phone conversations because doing so might land you into legal trouble, or your recording could be denied as legal evidence in court.

To be on the safe side, you should always unambiguously disclose to the other party that you are recording the call. A simple “Hey, you’ll be recorded during this conversation” should suffice. If the other party stays on the phone after hearing your warning, that is considered consent.

It’s for legal reasons why businesses must disclose before a conversation begins that “This call may be recorded for quality purposes.” Then, if you do not consent to being recorded, you hang up before a conversation takes place.

Make sense?

Dealing with voicemails

Speaking of voicemail, do learn how to change or reset your voicemail password, share and forward voicemail messages and rescue voicemails you deleted.

Need help? Ask iDB!

Were these tips helpful to you? Feel free to share your own tips in the comments. Not sure how to do certain things on your Apple device? Let us know at and a future tutorial might provide a solution.

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  • Vinnie Bones

    –written by D’Angelo Russell

    • Jayy


    • Savage!

    • Muhammad !


    • JayDee917

      Poor kid man…

  • TEchGeek2

    this is what iDB turns into after Jeff leaves? Recording phone calls is illegal without consent, didn’t see it mentioned in the article.

  • Sheketa

    Doesn’t work for me. It tells me to enter my password instead of giving me the greeting!

  • Jaba Haba

    i feel like this is a April fools joke,

    • It is not.

      • Jaba Haba

        but the process is so long. I’m pretty sure by the time you finish the whole voicemail thing. the person you are trying to record would have hang up the phone.

      • You should try it yourself. It takes no more than thirty seconds to launch another phone call into voicemail and merge the calls

      • The King

        I’d rather just wait to be jailbroken to use super recorder. It sounds like too much work

      • art hackett

        No risks there……

      • The King

        None I can think of

      • Rakshit Pithadia

        Some way of doing this is better than nothing.
        Thanks for the tip Christian!

      • Anonymous

        Im late to the post, but its post like this as why i come to idb! I use to rely on jailbreak tweaks for this kind if function. Sure do love it when there is a stock solution!!!

  • Jacob S

    Lol, I have been doing this method for a while. Though difference is that I’m not using carrier voicemail. I been using YouMail. I dial my own number and YouMail take me straight to voicemail. No need to disable call waiting in this case. Just make a 3 way conference call and you are all set. No need to take unnecessary extra steps.

  • Sam

    Or Call your voicemail 1st then call the other person then merge them 🙂

  • This doesn’t work on Verizon because Verizon voicemail doesn’t give you the option to leave a message when calling from your own number. 🙁

  • Jonathan

    Hmm, would this work on Android by any chance?

    • therealjjohnson

      It should, its really just conferencing a call. Never used an android device though so thats just speculation.

      • Jonathan

        I’ll definitely try this some time. I just ordered a Nexus 5x on Google’s Project Fi. Phone should be here tomorrow probably.

      • Bill

        There are tons of call recording apps in the play store for android to choose from, so no need to even try this trick. Just a heads up! 🙂

      • Jonathan

        Any recommendations?

      • Bill

        I have only tried one and it works well enough for me. It’s simply called Call Recorder and the company name is ‘lovekara’…it has a square yellow icon and currently a 4.3 rating in the play store. Hope this helps!

      • Jonathan

        Thank you! My phone is coming today, so I’ll check it out.

      • Alberto Espinal

        Hey Jony, did you go to the dark side?

      • Jonathan

        Not entirely. I still have my iOS devices and I’m still using them.

        Main reason I switched is because my second home screen page was filled with all Google apps. So, why not put the icing on the cake?

        So, I did. Nexus 7 2013 tablet was my test subject. I was quite pleased.

        I’m not leaving the Apple and jailbreak community though. Don’t worry.

  • therealjjohnson

    Does the voicemail cut off? Like after 5 mins or something? If you hear the “press # to hear your message and press 1 to send” would be kind of horrible.

    • haridsv

      Yes, this is what I was looking for under caveats, but I guess the author has no idea.

  • Eli Montoya

    People following this tutorial should stay on idb for more tech help.

  • Bruce Milyko

    On Sprint you can’t leave a message in your box if you dial your own number. You can only access the box to check your messages

  • Sharkey311

    Or you know, use your iPad or Apple Watch to record and put your phone on speaker when on a call.

    • Gregg

      Simple. Curious: would VoiceMemos work? If you launched it and pressed record, would it record the conversation? I guess I would need to try…