Turn Google voicemail on or off

With Google voicemail, you can read transcriptions of your voicemails, listen to voicemail clips, search through past voicemails, and share voicemails.

Turn on Google voicemail for your phone

By setting up Google voicemail for your mobile phone, you will get all your voicemails in your Google Voice inbox when callers call either your Google Voice number or your mobile phone number.

  1. On your computer, open Google Voice.
  2. At the top right, click Settings .
  3. Click Settings, then choose the Phones tab.
  4. Click Add another phone.
  5. Enter the name and number of your phone, and select Mobile as the phone type.
  6. Click Save.
  7. You will be prompted to verify your phone number. Click Connect and Google Voice will call your phone. Verify your phone by entering the code that appears in the “Verify your Phone” pop-up window.
  8. Click Activate Google voicemail on this phone.
  9. Follow the instructions to turn on Google voicemail. These will be different depending on your carrier.
Additional help for Verizon Wireless customers

If you are having trouble configuring Google voicemail on Verizon, you can make the switch manually by dialing these three activation codes:

  • *71[Your Google Voice number]
  • *90[Your Google Voice number]
  • *92[Your Google Voice number]
Turn off Google voicemail for your phone

To switch back to your phone's default voicemail, turn off Google voicemail:

  1. On your computer, open Google Voice.
  2. At the top right, click Settings .
  3. Click Settings, then choose the Phones tab.
  4. Find the forwarding phone where you don't want Google voicemail, then click Deactivate Google voicemail on this phone.
  5. Follow the instructions to turn off Google voicemail. These will be different depending on your carrier.

Deleting your phone from your Google Voice settings will not prevent your voicemails from going to Google voicemail. To use your carrier's voicemail, you must deactivate Google voicemail with the steps above.

If you've deleted your Google account and are unable to deactivate Google Voicemail, call your carrier and ask them to remove "conditional call forwarding" from your account.

Ways to access Google voicemail

Check voicemail in Google Voice on web or mobile

Read transcriptions of your voicemails or listen to the voicemails in Google Voice on the web or from your mobile phone.

Check your voicemail on a computer

  1. On your computer, open Google Voice.
  2. On the left, click Inbox.
  3. Messages you haven't read yet are highlighted and bolded. Read the transcription of the message, or click the play button to listen to the voicemail.

Check your voicemail on mobile

  1. On your phone, open Google Voice Google Voice app icon.
  2. At the top, open the dropdown menu and touch Inbox.
  3. Messages you haven't read yet are bolded. Touch a message to open
  4. Read the transcription of the message, or click the play button to listen to the voicemail audio.
Check voicemail by calling your Google Voice number

You can check your Google voicemail by calling your Google number from one of your forwarding phones.

By default, if you're calling from your mobile forwarding phone, you'll be connected directly to your Google voicemail, meaning you won't have to press the star key (*) or enter a PIN. This direct access is turned off by default for all home and work forwarding phones.

Turn direct access to Google voicemail on or off

  1. On your computer, open Google Voice.
  2. At the top right, click Settings .
  3. Click Settings, then choose the Phones tab.
  4. Find the forwarding phone you want to edit, then click the Edit button.
  5. Click Show advanced settings.
  6. Under "Voicemail Access," select Yes
  7. Select whether you want to require a PIN code to be entered when calling your Google number from that phone:
    • PIN required, if you would like additional safety.
    • PIN not required, if you would like additional convenience.

If you select No under "Voicemail Access," your phone will not directly connect to the Google voicemail system when calling your Google number. Instead, you will have to press the star key (*) during the greeting and enter your PIN to access the Google voicemail system from this phone.

Listen to Google voicemails in your Gmail inbox

You can listen to your voicemail messages directly in Gmail using an experimental lab feature.

This lab will add an audio player to the bottom of all Google Voice voicemail notifications you receive in Gmail. You can press the play icon to listen to your messages right in the email thread.

Turn on the Google Voice lab in Gmail

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings Gear icon.
  3. Choose Settings, then open the Labs tab.
  4. Find the Google Voice player, and select Enable.
  5. At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.

Risks of experimental labs

Since Gmail labs are experimental features, it's important to keep the following things in mind about these features:

  • They may break at any time.
  • They may disappear temporarily or permanently.
  • They may work so well that they graduate and become regular features.

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Megan is a Google Voice expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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