Why Is iPhone's Voicemail Transcription Not Working?

Having issues using voicemail transcription on your iPhone? Learn how to resolve those issues.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Voicemail transcription works on iPhone 6S or later, including iPhone SE. If you want to try and get voicemail transcription working on your iPhone now, we recommend resetting your network settings. However, we will show you various ways to fix the problem. 

Related: How to Change Voicemail Greeting on iPhone (2022)

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How to Reset Your Network Settings

Frequently, resetting your network settings can help correct mysterious bugs, and voicemail transcription not working is no exception. You’ll need to re-enter your Wi-Fi passwords and re-pair your Bluetooth devices after your network settings have reset. Here's how to rest your network settings to fix voicemail transcription not working.

  1. Open the Settings app.

    Open Settings
  2. Tap General.

    Tap General
  3. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.

    Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone
  4. Select Reset.

     Tap Reset
  5. Choose Reset Network Settings.

    Reset Network Settings
  6. Enter your passcode.

    Enter Passcode
  7. Tap Reset Network Settings to confirm.

    Reset Network Settings

How to Reset Siri in Settings

Siri plays an important role in voicemail transcriptions. Therefore, your voicemail transcription may not be working due to Siri being turned off on your iPhone. Even if Siri is turned on, you can reset the feature. 

  1. Go to Settings.

    Open Settings
  2. Go to Siri & Search.

    Tap Siri & Search
  3. Turn off toggle for Listen for "Hey Siri".

    Toggle Hey Siri off
  4. Turn off toggle for Press Side Button for Siri.

    Toggle Press Side Button for Siri off
  5. Turn back on the toggle for Press Side Button for Siri.

    Toggle Press Side Button for Siri back on
  6. Turn off your iPhone and then on again.

    Restart iPhone
  7. Go to the Phone app.

    Tap Phone
  8. Go to Voicemail.

    Tap Voicemail
  9. Tap a voicemail message to find transcription.

    Tap voicemail message
  10. Check voicemails.

    View transcription

If you see voicemail transcriptions in a selected voicemail, then resetting Siri has worked for you!

How to Check Siri's Language

Although checking Siri's language shouldn't affect voicemail transcriptions, it has helped many users with troubleshooting the feature.

  1. Go to Settings.

    Open Settings
  2. Go to Siri & Search.

    Tap Siri & Search
  3. Tap Language.

    Tap Language
  4. Set language to English (United States) if necessary.

    Tap English (United States)
  5. Tap Siri Voice.

    Tap Siri Voice
  6. Set voice to American.

    Select American

How to Update iOS & Carrier Settings

If you have an iPhone that voicemail transcription works on, make sure you've updated to the latest iOS. Oftentimes, updates to iOS fix errors that occurred with the last iOS software release. These errors can sometimes affect features such as voicemail transcriptions. Also, outdated carrier settings can cause voicemail transcription problems since the data comes through your carrier.  To find out more about new iOS features, sign up for our Tip of the Day newsletter.

  1. Open the Settings app.

    Open Settings
  2. Go to General.

    Tap General
  3. Go to Software Update.

  4. Wait for iPhone to look for updates.

  5. Return to General settings.

    Tap General
  6. Go to About.

  7. Wait for 30 seconds on the screen, and your iPhone will prompt you to update Carrier Settings if there is an update. 

After your carrier settings have been updated, check your voicemail again to see if you see voicemail transcriptions.

How to Edit Voicemail Greeting to Fix Voicemail Transcriptions

While this might not seem like the most obvious way to get your voicemail transcriptions working, some people have had luck changing their voicemail greeting. Here's how to try this unorthodox method out for yourself:

  1. Open the Phone app.

    Tap Phone
  2. Go to the Voicemail tab.

    Tap Voicemail
  3. Tap Greeting.

    Tap Greeting
  4. Tap Default or create a Custom greeting.

  5. Record a new voicemail greeting, then tap Save.

    Tap Save

Now you can check your voicemail to see if your transcriptions are working again. Be sure to check out our article on how to react to a text message on your iPhone.

How to Let Apple Know the Voicemail Transcription Was Bad

If your problem with voicemail transcriptions is just that they're inaccurate: welcome to the club. If you want to let Apple know about the bad quality of your voicemail transcriptions, you can do that easily right in your voicemails.

  1. Tap on a voicemail to read the transcription.

    Select voicemail
  2. Beneath the transcription, you should see "Was this transcription useful or not useful?" Tap useful or not useful, depending on how the voicemail transcription was.

    Tap "not useful"
  3. A pop-up will let you know what will be sent to Apple for improving the service. Tap Submit to accept or Cancel to change your mind.

    Tap Submit

If you’ve tried something else that fixed voicemail transcription for you, let us know in the comments. We expect Apple will address the problems with voicemail transcription in future updates. Also, be sure to read our article on how to make a ringtone for your iPhone with a voice memo

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Author Details

Kenya Smith's picture

Author Details

Kenya Smith

Kenya Smith is a Feature Web Writer for iPhone Life. She has a bachelor's degree in Strategic Communication and has written articles for two newspapers in her home state of Virginia. She also won first place in non-daily column writing for the 2019 and 2020 Virginia Press Association Awards.