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I have two new iPhone 15 Pros, each of which has a different phone line. I pay for two phones and two lines in order to keep them completely independent of each other, but most of my other data is the same on both phones — contacts, notes, photos, especially.

Since iOS 17.4 (more or less), I find that voicemail for either of the lines shows up on both phones. It is not behavior configured by my phone provider. Based on what Apple Support agents tell me, this is a new feature, introduced by design, and there is no way to turn it off except by registering two separate Apple IDs, one for each line.

That seems to me a very serious design flaw — I can't tell which line a call came in on, and I may now inadvertently return calls on the wrong number. Setting up a second Apple ID and then having to remember remember which is which, and to check two email accounts instead of one (can't link the same email to two different IDs), and remember two passwords, and be sure everything is properly shared between the two accounts — that's a lot of overhead to impose on users, for a change that when you think about it makes no sense unless it's optional and users can elect to opt in.

One doesn't necessarily want identical copies of all your email to go to all of your email addresses, or identical copies of all your postal mail to go to all of your home and business and vacation postal mailing addresses. So why would you want your voicemail to show up on devices that may be unrelated to line the caller dialed in on? Apple can make this feature optional if it must, but to mandate the feature?

No changes to Settings have changed this behavior, including:

  • iPhone => My Number: each phone has only its own single number assigned
  • iPhone => Calls on Other Devices: Off, and also shown as Off` if I click on the option
  • FaceTime => Off, OR
  • FaceTime => On, AND You can be reached by FaceTime at: (no phone numbers checked), OR
  • FaceTime => On, AND You can be reached by FaceTime at: (only the line for that phone checked)
  • Apple ID => iCloud => Apps using iCloud => iPhone => Off

I am currently on iOS 17.4.1, and I noticed the behavior first after upgrading to 17.4.

This behavior should be opt-in, and should not require registering for a separate Apple ID for each phone line, which increases overhead and risk of error for the user.

Questions:

  1. Does anyone know a workaround to restore earlier functionality — voicemail kept separate on different lines on the same Apple ID account?

  2. Does anyone know how to persuade Apple to fix this buggish feature soon?

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  • Do you have "Live Voicemail" enabled in Phone settings?
    – Ezekiel
    Commented May 9 at 1:52
  • I have two lines on the same phone and they are clearly delineated, including voicemails. However there might be an edge case here where you've chosen to have two DIFFERENT phones with the same account, instead of one phone with two lines.
    – Ezekiel
    Commented May 9 at 1:52
  • Are the voicemails ACTUALLY being shared, or is the shared AppleID blending the two? Voicemail is a function of the carrier, not of Apple or the device. So if you dial into either or both voicemail boxes at the carrier, are they still separated? Apple somehow copying voicemails back and forth on the carrier's systems sounds very unlikely. Commented May 9 at 2:18
  • This is a documented issue with the release of iOS 17. See iOS 17 Merged Voicemail Issue
    – Allan
    Commented May 9 at 3:42
  • @Ezekiel Does anyone use Live Voicemail? That was another of the broken iOS 17 features I immediately disabled. Commented May 9 at 15:24

1 Answer 1

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Try this workaround... Disable your Phone in iCloud so that the messages are forced to go to each individual device and not be merged in iCloud.

Go into Settings → Apple ID → iCloud → (Apps Using iCloud) Show All → Phone. Toggle Phone to "off"

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1
  • As shown in my original post, that setting is indeed already off. Commented May 10 at 2:06

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