How To Delete A Voicemail

Voicemails can quickly clog up your Voicemail or Phone app, and when there are too many of them to handle, it can be quite a chore to go through them. Keeping on top of deleting or saving voicemails can save you tons of time in the future, and whilst voicemails are typically deleted automatically after 30 days, deleting them yourself is a proactive way of staying organized.

To learn how to delete a voicemail on Android or iOS smartphones, follow our tutorials below. For all other information, or if you have further questions, please see our FAQ section at the end of this article.

How to delete a voicemail (Android)

  1. From your Android smartphone’s app folder or homepage, open up the ‘Phone’ app you use to call your contacts
  2. Press and hold ‘1’ on the phone’s keypad – this will automatically ring your mobile network provider’s voicemail service
  3. Listen to the recorded voice on the line, it will instruct you which buttons to press to access your voicemails
    1. Typically pressing ‘1’ takes you to your new voicemails. 
    2. Another number may take you to your folder of saved voicemails.
  4. To delete a voicemail, you have to first listen to it (though if you already know the number to press to delete it, you can press this at any time during the recording to immediately delete the voicemail).
  5. Once you’ve finished listening to the voicemail, the automated voice will tell you which number you need to press to delete it. Often the number is ‘3’. Press the number to delete the voicemail.
    1. Note: You can use the other numbers as described to play the voicemail again, save it, and so on.
  6. Repeat as necessary for all voicemails you wish to delete through this voicemail line.

How to delete a voicemail (iOS)

  1. From your Apple smartphone’s app folder or homepage, open up the ‘Phone’ app you use to call your contacts
  2. Next, tap on the ‘Voicemail’ tab
  3. From the Voicemail tab, locate the voicemail message you wish to delete (you can play the voicemail first, to make sure it’s the right one), and swipe the voicemail message to the left.
  4. You will see a ‘Delete’ button appear next to the unwanted message, tap this ‘Delete’ icon to delete the voicemail.
  5. Repeat as necessary for all voicemails you wish to delete.

And that’s all there is to it! If you want to know how to delete multiple messages at once, or how to permanently delete voicemails from the ‘Deleted’ folder, see our FAQs below.


Why would I want to delete a voicemail?

Voicemails are the recordings left for you by people who have tried to call you when you didn’t answer or were unavailable. Voicemails are typically accessed through the default Phone app but may be controlled via a third-party app you’ve installed.

There is any number of reasons you might want to delete a voicemail, but the most obvious is simply that, having listened to the message and understood it, you no longer need it anymore. You might, however, delete voicemails for more complex reasons: such as deleting voicemails you’d saved from an ex or creating more space on your phone (if using a third-party app).

Whatever your reason for wanting to delete voicemails, we’re here to help. To learn how to do so, simply follow our instructions above.

How long are voicemails kept for?

Voicemails are stored by your mobile carrier/network for 14 days, or until you open and listen to them (or make some other action, such as deleting them). Once opened, a voicemail will sit in your mailbox for an additional 30 days, after which time it shall be deleted by the carrier/network.

You can, of course, choose to save voicemails instead. Once you’ve listened to a message, your carrier’s voicemail automation will tell you the numbers you need to press to listen to the voicemail again, to delete it, or to save it. If you press the number corresponding to ‘save’, then your voicemail will be kept for another 30 days.

‘Saving’ is, however, not permanent. If you wish to permanently keep a voicemail, you’ll have to repeat the ‘saving’ process once a month, every month.

Can I recover an accidentally deleted voicemail?

The answer to this question depends on the app you use to listen to your voicemails. If you have a specific app for voicemails, then you should be able to recover deleted voicemails. To do so, access the app, and then locate ‘Deleted Voicemails’ or the ‘Deleted’ folder and tap on it. Once inside the folder, tap and hold the voicemail you wish to recover, and once highlighted, select the ‘recover’ option. The recovered voicemail will be returned to your main mailbox.

If, however, you are using the standard ‘Phone’ app which comes with your phone, and only access voicemails by dialing the voicemail number through the ‘Phone’ app, then there is, unfortunately, no option to recover accidentally deleted voicemails. 

On Apple iPhones, you can recover deleted voicemails through the Phone app itself. Open the app, then tap ‘Voicemail’. Scroll down to the bottom of the list of voicemails, and tap on ‘Deleted Voicemails’. Then, tap and hold to highlight all of the voicemails you wish to recover and select the ‘Recover’/’Restore’ option.

Can I delete multiple voicemails at once?

Depending on the device you’re using, or your mobile carrier, yes, it’s totally possible to delete multiple voicemails at once. On iOS devices, simply open the Phone app, tap the ‘Voicemail’ tab, and then tap ‘Edit’. Now, tap each of the voicemails you wish to delete simultaneously until you’ve highlighted your chosen selection. Lastly, tap the red ‘Delete’ button(s). 

On Android devices that access voicemails through the Phone app, however, you must delete voicemails one at a time.

Does deleting voicemails delete them permanently?

This depends on the app or carrier or phone OS you’re using. Android phones which utilize only the default Phone app will permanently delete any voicemails you choose to delete. However, additional voicemail apps downloaded from the app store will often store deleted voicemails in a deleted folder for a set amount of time. This is to allow you time to recover the files if you change your mind.

Similarly, the iOS Phone app keeps deleted voicemails in a deleted folder as standard, deleting them permanently only after a set period of time. You can permanently delete any voicemails you want to via iOS or non-default Android voicemail apps by accessing this deleted folder and choosing to permanently delete the voicemails found there.