How do I use Google Voice for voicemail on Android?

What is Google Voice?

Google Voice is a free calling and voicemail service from Google. It gives you a phone number that rings multiple phones, sends calls to voicemail, and transcribes voicemail messages into text (

With Google Voice, you get a free phone number that works on smartphones and computers. When someone calls your Google Voice number, you can answer on whichever device is most convenient for you. Google Voice also provides features like call screening, voicemail transcription, call blocking, and more (

In summary, Google Voice gives you a virtual phone number to use for calling, texting, and voicemail management. It syncs across devices so you can seamlessly transition calls and messages between your phone, tablet, and computer.

Benefits of using Google Voice for voicemail

One of the key benefits of using Google Voice for voicemail is getting transcribed voicemails. Google Voice uses automated speech recognition to convert your voicemails into text transcripts.

This makes it much easier to quickly scan through and read your voicemail messages. You can see the gist of each voicemail without having to actually listen to the recording.

The transcription also enables features like searching through your voicemail history. You can look for keywords to find that one voicemail you need.

According to Google Voice: 5 Reasons to Use It, 5 Reasons to Think Twice, Google Voice’s voicemail transcriptions are generally accurate, though they may miss some details.

Overall, having written transcripts of your voicemails makes them much easier to manage and review on your phone.

Set up Google Voice on Android

To start using Google Voice for voicemail on your Android device, you’ll first need to download the Google Voice app. You can find the app in the Google Play Store by searching for “Google Voice” or using this direct link: Google Voice on the Play Store.

Once downloaded, open the Google Voice app and sign into your Google account. If you don’t already have a Google Voice number, you’ll be prompted to get one during the setup process. Google Voice will provide you with a free phone number that can be used to make and receive calls as well as send and receive text messages.

After getting your Google Voice number, the app will walk you through options for linking your mobile number, configuring voicemail, and more. We’ll cover additional setup steps in the following sections.

Link your phone number to Google Voice

To link your existing phone number to Google Voice, you’ll need to add the number in the Google Voice app. This connects your number to your Google Voice account so you can receive calls and voicemails through the app.

To add your number in the Android Google Voice app:[1]

  1. Open the Google Voice app.
  2. Tap the menu icon in the top left corner.
  3. Go to Settings > Devices & numbers.
  4. Tap “New linked number.”
  5. Enter your existing 10-digit phone number.
  6. Verify the number through a call or text from Google.

Once your number is verified and linked, all calls and texts to that number will be handled through your Google Voice account. You’ll be able to receive voicemails, missed calls, transcriptions, and more.

Configure voicemail settings

To use Google Voice for your Android voicemail, you need to configure your device to forward calls to Google Voice when you can’t answer. This allows Google Voice to record voicemail messages when calls go to voicemail.

On your Android device, open the Phone app and go to Settings. Look for an option like “Calling accounts” or “Calls” and select it.

Find your mobile number and tap on it. Look for a setting called “Voicemail” or “Voicemail service”. Tap on it.

Change the voicemail service to Google Voice by selecting it. This will forward unanswered calls to your Google Voice number to record voicemail.

You can also enable voicemail display options here, like transcribing voicemails into text. Save your settings when complete.

Now when a call goes to voicemail on your Android device, Google Voice will answer and record the message. You can listen and manage voicemails in the Google Voice app.


Receive calls and voicemails

When someone calls your Google Voice number, the call will ring your linked Android phone number and the Google Voice app simultaneously. This allows you to answer the call on either your regular phone number or through the Voice app.

To ensure incoming calls properly ring both numbers:

– Make sure your Android phone is configured to receive calls normally, with ringer volume turned up.

– Confirm the Google Voice app is installed, open, and signed into your account. The app needs to remain open in the background to receive calls.

– Verify your Google Voice settings have “Incoming phone calls” enabled under “Phones” in the app menu.

– Check that Do Not Disturb mode is disabled, as this can block ringing.

– If calls only ring one number, toggle your Google Voice “Incoming phone calls” setting off/on to re-trigger call routing.

When incoming calls go to voicemail, the voicemail recording will be accessible in your Google Voice account. You can listen and respond to voicemails through the mobile app or by logging into

If your Android phone rings but the Google Voice app doesn’t, check the troubleshooting tips here. Make sure the Voice app is allowed to run in the background and has proper notifications enabled.

Listen to voicemails

To listen to your Google Voice voicemails on Android:

1. Open the Google Voice app. This is the app with the white icon that says “Google Voice” in blue and red.

2. At the bottom of the app, tap “Voicemail.” Any unread voicemails will be in bold.

3. Tap on a voicemail recording to select it. This will bring up the voicemail details.

4. Tap the play icon (a right-facing triangle) to begin playback of the voicemail recording.

The Google Voice app allows you to easily access and listen to any saved voicemail messages directly on your Android device. With just a few taps, you can hear all of your new and saved voicemails.

Source: Check your voicemail in Google Voice – Android

Read transcribed voicemail

One of the most useful features of Google Voice is that it can provide text transcripts of your voicemails. When you receive a new voicemail, Google Voice uses speech recognition technology to detect the words spoken and convert the audio into text. This text transcript is then sent to your Gmail inbox.

To read your voicemail transcripts, open the email from Google Voice in Gmail. The transcript will appear in the body of the email. You can quickly skim through it to get an idea of who called and what they said without having to listen to the full voicemail audio.

The transcription won’t be 100% perfect. Google Voice may misinterpret some words, especially with background noise. But it provides a helpful summary so you can decide if the voicemail is worth listening to in full. You can even search for keywords in the transcript to find specific voicemails.

According to Google’s support article Check your voicemail in Google Voice, transcriptions may not be available in certain languages or for very short voicemails under 3 seconds.

Overall, the voicemail transcription feature makes it quicker and easier to manage voicemails. You can skim through the transcripts to get the key details without having to play every single recording.

Replying and sharing

Google Voice gives you several options for responding to voicemails you receive:

You can call the person back directly from the voicemail by tapping the Call back button.

You can send a text reply to the caller by tapping the Reply button and typing a message. This is useful for a quick acknowledgement or response.

You can forward a transcript or recording of the voicemail to share it with someone else. Tap the More options icon (three dots) and choose Forward as email or Forward as text.

You can also save the voicemail recording or transcript if you want to reference it later. Tap More options and select Save transcript or Save recording.

Being able to respond by call, text, or forward the voicemail makes it easy to handle voicemails you receive through Google Voice. It prevents you from having to manually dial back or type in the person’s number.


Here are some common issues and solutions for troubleshooting Google Voice voicemail on Android:

Voicemail not being received

If you are not receiving voicemails in Google Voice, first check that your phone is correctly linked and set up to forward calls to your Google Voice number. Open the Google Voice app, go to settings, and confirm your phone is selected under “Phones.” You can also try unlinking and relinking your phone number [1].

Another cause could be if your mobile carrier provides voicemail services. You will need to disable the carrier voicemail and enable unconditional call forwarding to your Google Voice number. Contact your carrier for help disabling their voicemail service.

Voicemail greeting issues

If your personal greeting is not being played, open the Google Voice app and ensure a custom greeting is enabled under settings. Make sure to save any changes after recording a new greeting. As a workaround, you can re-record your greeting and save again [2].

Check that the Google Voice app has microphone permissions enabled. You can also try reinstalling the app if issues persist.

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