See a Blank Red Dot on the Phone Icon? It’s Your iPhone Voicemail, Here’s the Fix
If you’ve recently made a change to your iPhone service or SIM card, you may notice a mysterious red blank dot on the “Phone” app of the iPhone home screen. Typically that little blank red dot means you have voicemail, but the iPhone can’t retrieve it, and it usually occurs in one of the following scenarios: the iPhone has just been restored or reset, the iPhone has a new SIM card inserted into it with a different phone number or service plan, or the associated phone voicemail password has been changed.
Because this is almost always an indicator of a login error with your voicemail, the solution is usually* as simple as logging in with the proper voicemail password. Note the usually*, because sometimes it can be indicative of network issues as well, but more on that in a moment. First, let’s trigger the voicemail login dialog so that you can be sure that you’re using the proper password associated with the iPhones voicemail account:
- Head to the “Settings” app on your iPhone and go to the “Phone” section
- Scroll down and tap on “Change Voicemail Password” – this should trigger a voicemail login popup alert where you can enter the proper voicemail password, enter the correct password
- The blank red dot icon should now turn into a regular notification badge with a number in it, indicating how many new voicemails are available on the iPhone
Voicemail should work as normal and the blank icon will disappear… unless of course you have a network error.
* If you know for certain that the voicemail password is correct and the “Voicemail” tab in the Phone app shows a Visual Voicemail unavailable error, you can typically fix that by resetting Network Settings. You’ll likely want to confirm the voicemail password is correct as well, otherwise the visual voicemail error can continue to appear even after resetting your network settings.
Finally, you may also see that blank dot if you’re using call forwarding, or you’re in a very limited reception area, where there’s just enough reception to ping your phone that voicemail has arrived, but not enough reception to download the visual voicemail, or to even reliably make a call to your voicemail provider. That’s a bit less common these days unless you’re deep in the wilderness somewhere, but it can happen. For the most situations, that blank dot is just a simple connection issue, whether with the login or network.