Can I change Google Voice notification sound?

Google Voice is Google’s telephony service that offers users a phone number and allows them to make and receive calls, send and receive messages, and more. Notifications are sent to users for missed calls, voicemails, and new text messages which come with a default notification sound.

The default Google Voice notification sound on most devices is a simple tone, and there is no built in option to customize or change this sound. Many users find the default sound too simple or would prefer to have different alerts for different types of Google Voice notifications. This leads to the issue of whether it’s possible to change the notification sounds used for Google Voice on various devices or platforms.

Checking Current Notification Settings

To check your current Google Voice notification settings in the app, follow these steps:

On Android, open the Google Voice app and tap Menu > Settings. Go to Calls and view the “Get email alerts for missed calls” setting. This is usually enabled by default to send notifications for missed calls.

On iPhone, open the Google Voice app and tap Settings at the top right. Go to Calls and view the “Get email alerts for missed calls” setting. Like on Android, this is typically turned on by default to deliver notifications.

The default notification sound setting is usually whatever your phone’s default notification tone is. You can customize this to use a different sound, which we’ll cover next.

Customizing Notification Sounds on Android

You can customize the notification sounds for Google Voice on your Android device by following these steps:

  1. Open the Google Voice app
  2. Tap on the menu icon in the top left corner
  3. Select Settings
  4. Scroll down and tap on Notifications
  5. Tap on Incoming message notifications
  6. Browse the ringtone options and select a custom sound

The Google Voice app provides several preset notification sounds to choose from. You can also select a sound file saved on your device, such as an MP3 or other audio file, to set a custom notification ringtone.

Additionally, when customizing notifications for individual contacts, you have the option to enable a special vibration pattern for incoming calls and messages.

Customizing Notification Sounds on iPhone

You can customize the notification sound for Google Voice on your iPhone by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone
  2. Tap on Notifications > Google Voice
  3. Under “Sounds,” select your preferred notification sound option. You can choose the default sound, no sound, or select another sound from your iPhone’s ringtones

By default, Google Voice notifications on iPhone use the default notification sound. You have a few options for customizing this:

  • Choose “None” to mute Google Voice notifications and have them come through silently
  • Choose from any of the default iPhone notification sound options
  • Select any song from your iPhone’s music library to use as your custom Google Voice notification sound

After customizing the sound here, Google Voice will now use this sound specifically when you receive new message notifications. Keep in mind you may need to restart your phone or the Google Voice app for changes to take effect.

Using Custom Ringtones as Notification Sounds

When selecting a notification sound on Google Voice for an incoming text or call, you are not limited to the default sounds available in the app. There are several ways to use custom ringtones as notification sounds for Google Voice.

Some of the best tools for creating your own custom ringtones include: Garageband, Android Ringtone Maker, and Zedge.

With these tools, you can select a song or audio file to trim and set as a ringtone. The key is the file type – the best format for ringtones is .m4r (iPhone) or .m4a (Android). The file size should also be limited to around 30 seconds.

Once you have your custom ringtone file exported, you can go into your notification settings on Google Voice and choose that sound as the incoming ringtone. You’ll then hear your custom tone for texts, calls, and other Google Voice notifications moving forward.

Setting Custom Sounds for Contacts

You can set custom notification sounds for individual contacts in Google Voice. This allows you to identify callers based on the unique sound when receiving a Google Voice notification from that contact. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Google Voice app on your Android or iPhone device.
  2. Tap on the conversation thread for the contact you want to customize.
  3. Tap on the overflow menu icon (3 dots in upper right corner on Android, down arrow on iPhone).
  4. Select “Notifications”.
  5. Under “Sound”, choose the desired custom sound for this contact’s notifications.
  6. Tap “Back” or “Done” to save the setting.

Now when that contact calls or sends a text through Google Voice, you will hear the unique sound you selected. This provides a simple way to identify callers without even needing to look at your phone.

If you run into issues getting a custom sound to work properly for a particular contact, try the troubleshooting tips mentioned later in this guide.

Troubleshooting Notification Sound Issues

Common notification sound problems include the sound not playing at all or playing the wrong sound. Here are a few troubleshooting steps to fix these issues:

Issue: Notification sound is not playing or too quiet
– Check your device volume settings and make sure media volume is turned up. The Phone or Ring volume level does not affect notification sounds.
– Check the notification sound customization settings in Settings or your Google Voice app to make sure you have a sound selected and the volume level set to an audible level.

– Confirm that your loudspeaker is working properly by playing another media file.
– Restart your device and check again for the notification sound.

Issue: Wrong sound plays for Google Voice notifications
– Navigate to the notification settings in the Google Voice app and reselect your notification sound.
– If applicable, make sure Per Contact Ringtones is not enabled, as this may cause intermittent issues with selected notification sounds playing.
– Clear the app cache and data for Google Voice (Settings > Apps > select Google Voice > Clear Cache/Data) to reset notification settings.

Clearing the app cache and data can resolve temporary issues with notification sounds caused by corrupt app data. Only clear data if sounds are persistently not working properly as this will reset your configured notification preferences.

Alternative Notification Options

There are additional ways to customize your Google Voice notifications besides just the sound. You have the ability to control the more subtle notifications like lights and vibrations on your phone as well.

On Android phones, you can customize all your notification settings for any app using your phone’s built-in settings. For example, open the Settings app and go to Apps & Notifications > Notifications. Here you can set notification behaviors like lights, sounds, vibrations, popups, etc. for Google Voice and other apps.

On iPhones, open the Settings app and go to Notifications to customize behaviors for each app. You can enable/disable sound, vibration, lock screen and notification center banners, and more based on your preferences.

So if you don’t need audible alerts for every Google Voice notification but still want a visual cue, you can set the notifications to vibrate or briefly light up your phone without making a sound. You can also disable certain notifications entirely if you find them unnecessary.

By combining the app’s built-in notification customizations with your phone’s system settings, you have numerous options to tweak your notifications exactly how you want them.


Google Voice has some limitations compared to full messaging apps when it comes to customizing notification sounds:

  • You can only set one custom notification sound across the entire Google Voice app – you cannot set custom sounds for individual contacts or message threads. In comparison, messaging apps like WhatsApp allow custom notification tones on a per-contact basis
  • There are limitations on the type and length of audio files you can use for custom notification sounds in Google Voice. Most messaging apps support setting ringtones or audio files of any length as custom notification sounds
  • According to Google’s documentation, there may be restrictions or blocking of calling/messaging capabilities in Google Voice under certain conditions, which could potentially affect custom notification sounds

So while Google Voice allows some basic customization of notification sounds, it lacks more advanced features available in dedicated messaging apps. The restrictions are likely due to Google Voice’s primary focus on call management, voicemail, and basic text messaging rather than advanced messaging capabilities.


To summarize, Google Voice provides several options to customize notification sounds on both Android and iPhone devices. The key steps include:

  • Opening the Google Voice settings and navigating to the “Notifications” section
  • On Android, tapping on “Incoming call notifications” to browse ringtone options
  • On iPhone, scrolling to the notification settings for texts, calls, voicemails etc. and selecting a new sound
  • Setting custom sounds for individual contacts as an alternative option
  • Troubleshooting any issues like checking notification settings at the system level

The main takeaways are that custom sounds can be set globally at the app level or per message type or contact. There are restrictions based on operating system, but overall Google Voice provides flexibility to personalize notifications across Android and iOS. With some tweaking of these sound settings, you can ensure you never miss an important Google Voice alert.

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