Recover Deleted Voicemail on an iPhone
If you accidentally deleted a voicemail on an iPhone, you can usually retrieve these messages by looking through a somewhat unknown “Deleted Messages” list that is part of the Phone app in iOS. Though this feature is little known, it’s quite easy to use, and if you’re hoping to find old or deleted voicemails on the iPhone this is the first place you should look.
How to Recover Deleted Voicemail Messages from iPhone
You can often access deleted voicemail messages directly on the iPhone itself, making it possible to find trashed voicemail messages on any iPhone:
- Tap on Phone and “Voicemail” as usual
- Scroll all the way to the bottom of the voice messages list and look for and tap onto “Deleted Messages”
- Find and select the voicemail you want to listen to or recover:
- Play: Tap on the voicemail message and then the play button to listen to it, or
- Recover: Tap on the message and then choose “Undelete” to move the voicemail back to the stored list and out of Deleted Messages
It doesn’t matter what version of iOS the iPhone is running, so long as the iPhone supports visual voicemail they can be possibly found here.
The iPhone will actually store all deleted voicemails in this list as long as you haven’t gone through here before and selected “Clear All” – which permanently trashes all deleted messages – making it fairly easy to recover voicemail that you’ve deleted from the main messages list.
Finding Voicemail Files on the iPhone Filesystem
Users with the means to access physical files on the iPhone filesystem can recover the actual ‘.amr’ voicemail files as well, either from backups or from the phone itself using more technical measures (whether through third party apps, sftp, jailbreaking, etc). For the technical solution, these iPhone voicemails are stored as numerous .amr files on the phone itself at the following directory path:
Again, it’s important to mention that directory isn’t available to users without using a third party tool, or without using ftp to access a jailbroken iPhone. The messages are also contained within the standard iPhone backup which is stored locally on the synced computer, but they’re not easily read or listened to since they are contained within database files much like the SMS files. Advanced users can still extract the files, however.
I’ve had an iPhone since they first came out, but I wasn’t aware of this feature until @atinirao mentioned it in a tweet. Great tip!