I have an iPhone 4S running iOS 8.1.2. I used iTunes to create a backup for it.

I just got an iPhone 5S (also running iOS 8.1.2), and I restored the 4S backup onto it. However none of the voicemails on the 4S were restored in the process.

I entered my voicemail password on the 5S and it didn't download any voicemails. Apparently AT&T doesn't keep voicemails on their servers after you download them.

All the voicemails are still saved on the 4S. Is there any way to transfer those voicemails onto the 5S?

2 Answers 2


I think we’ve established that at the time this question was asked, you were left at the mercy of your carrier. There were workarounds, such as plugging an AUX cable into a computer and recording those voicemails, but many of them were rather cumbersome or lossy (or they cost money).

Thankfully, starting with iOS 9, Apple added the option to convert Voicemails to Voice Memos (on carriers that support Visual Voicemail).

Simply open the Share Sheet on a voicemail you want to save, then select Voice Memos.

Share Voicemail

Voice Memos are supposed to sync via iCloud (although my results have been spotty with that one), and my experience has been that they get included in your iTunes and iCloud backups as well.

You can also save your voicemails to iCloud Drive, AirDrop them from your old iPhone to your new (although that requires at least an iPhone 5), etc.

I don’t know how relevant this question still is to the OP, but if they kept their old iPhone 4s, it is eligible to upgrade to iOS 9, and therefore transfer those voicemails that have been sitting around all this time.


See what you can access Here

You may be in trouble if AT&T isn't automatically displaying them. I have in the past been saved by them, where it auto-populatd all my voicemails after upgrading my phone. However, I also know from personal experience that saved or deleted messages aren't retained after a threshold, but they are retained in your backup. However, i'm not sure your end goal isn't possible without a backup, i know you can save them to your computer, but retransferring them back to your phone as a voicemail will not happen. Why your voicemails weren't restored is a complexity of it's own. It's part of the core backup process so why it was omitted in the restore? who knows

Regardless, there are tutorials out there that can get your through locating your backup references. but I suggest you save your own personal time, and if it's worth the money get a third party app that will take care of all the hard work in transferring them as audible audio files you can play on all audio players. The only reason I know is because my grandpap passed away and I wanted to save a voice mail that got lost in translation of upgrading so I downloaded iExplorer. Handles all the heavy work for you, but unfortunately it costs money. I'm sure years after my incident there are widely more available options that are free

  • That's why you may be in trouble if AT$T isn't displaying them
    – soulshined
    Dec 30, 2014 at 18:17
  • Turns out the backup does store voicemails, but they don't get restored onto a new phone for some reason (apparently they can only be restored to the same phone). Jan 3, 2015 at 8:50

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