How to Forward Your iPhone Voicemails to Google Voice

Yesterday my iPhone notified me I had 14 voicemails within the last 6 days. Why didn’t it notify me of the new voicemails as they came? I have no idea. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really pissed at my iPhone. Not only had I missed important voicemails that I should have received days ago, but it wasn’t the first time this had happened to me.

Like every normal person of the 21st century, I went to Twitter and started bitching about it. Within a few minutes I received replies from people telling me I should let Google Voice take over my iPhone. I already use Google Voice but I don’t want it to completely replace my normal line. Then someone told me I could actually replace my iPhone voicemails with Google Voice voicemails by forwarding my iPhone voicemails to Google Voice.

After doing a bit of research, this made complete sense to me and I decided to give it a go…

Why replace your iPhone voicemails with Google Voice

I never knew you were able to do that, but there is a very easy way to forward your iPhone voicemails to Google Voice. Why would you want to do that?

  • To avoid having the issue I mentioned above = to be sure you will be notified of new voicemails
  • To be notified by email and/or SMS of new voicemails
  • To receive a transcript of your new voicemails by email and/or SMS

Why not replace your iPhone voicemails with Google Voice

If you love visual voicemail and can’t live without it, then this will not work for you. Visual voicemail will be completely useless after you set up Google Voice as your voicemail manager.

I personally couldn’t care less about visual voicemail. I just want my voicemail as they come. That’s what matters to me.

How does that work?

Before getting to the actual step by step tutorial, let me explain you how this works.

We will basically tell Google Voice to take over your voicemails. When someone calls your iPhone, the phone will ring normally, then instead of going to your normal voicemails, it will be forwarded to Google Voice. From there Google Voice will store the voicemail online, notify you via email/SMS, send you a transcribe of the email and a link to play the voicemail.

It will all be done seamlessly. The person leaving you the voicemail will have no idea of what happened.

How to forward your iPhone voicemails to Google Voice

Step 1: Obviously you need a Google Voice account. GV is only available in the US at this time. If you don’t have an account yet, go to Google Voice and set up your free account.

Step 2: In Google Voice, go to Settings > Voice Settings > Phones > Next to your iPhone phone number, click “Activate Google voicemail on this phone”.

Step 3: A window will pop up asking you to dial *004*555-555-5555# (replace this fake phone number with your Google Voice number).

Step 4: Dial this on your iPhone and hit “call”. You will get a message on your iPhone saying the setting activation succeeded. Just hit “Dismiss”.

Step 5: Go back to Google Voice website and click “Done” on the pop up window.

Step 6: Now we’re going to make sure you get notified and get a transcribe when you get new voicemails. In Google Voice, go to Settings > Voice Settings > Voicemail & Text.

Step 7: Under “Voicemail Notifications”, you can choose to get notified via email, text message, or both. Under “Voicemail Transcripts”, you can choose to get your voicemails transcribed as well.

That’s it! Now when someone leaves a voicemail, Google Voice will handle it all and will alert you within seconds. I just set this up yesterday on my iPhone and so far, I couldn’t be happier with the results. No more voicemail notifications days later. And I get to receive a transcribe of all voicemails I get. This is priceless.

How to deactivate voicemail forwarding to Google Voice

If you want to deactivate Google Voice voicemails, go to Settings > Voice Settings > Phones. Next to your iPhone phone number, click “Deactivate Google voicemail on this phone”. This window will pop up. Follow the instructions by dialing ##004# and hitting “Call” on your iPhone, and everything will be back to normal.

If you have any question or comment, please feel free to ask.