How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages

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How To Save Your Treasured #Voicemail Messages

Your mission is to learn how to back up all of those voicemail messages you’ve been saving and resaving, so that you can keep them safe and sound without worrying about losing them.   
When we first started writing our books, I was really surprised to hear how many people have old voicemails on their phones and answering machines that they keep resaving over and over again for sentimental reasons. 
For some people it’s the news of a new arrival to the family, or a job offer they’d been waiting for.  For others it’s the last message or the old voicemail greeting of a loved one who’s passed away. The problem with trying to save voicemail messages this way, is that one hiccup from a cell phone carrier or badly timed power outage and that message will be gone forever.  
That’s what happened to one woman.  When her fifteen year old son unexpectedly died in his sleep, she couldn’t bear to erase the greeting on his cell phone’s voicemail. So she kept his phone and service, just so she could call every once in a while to hear his voice.   Until one day when her cell phone carrier changed storage systems and lost his voicemail greeting.  
She was absolutely beside herself.  
Thankfully, weeks later, the cell phone carrier found the greeting, put it on a CD and sent it to her.  But when a recording is THAT important, you can’t just leave it up to chance, hoping that it never gets erased.   And backing it up is so easy to do, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it months ago! 
Do you have a message that you want to save?  
Well the first thing you have to do is to figure out what method is best. 
Usually old messages are in one of three places.  
  • Your smartphone or cell phone’s voicemail
  • A digital answering machine or landline voicemail system
  • Or an answering machine that uses a cassette tape

Let’s Start With Your Android Smartphone’s Voicmail   

In general, most Android smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy or LG have an option within the voicemail to save the message to your Dropbox, iCloud or One Drive. That’s the easiest method, because your phone will save the recording for you, usually as an MP3. 
Or you can save the file and email it to yourself.
Once the file is on your computer, store the message to your backup files as well as a portable hard drive for safe keeping.

Saving A Voicmail From Your iPhone

Saving a voicemail on your iPhone is simple. In fact, it’s as easy as sharing a photo. 
Click on the voicemail you want to save. 
Tap the share button on the upper right corner of your screen.  Then choose where you want to save it.  

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You can email it to yourself, save it to your files (including iCloud) or to other file sharing services like Dropbox.  In this instance, I decided to save it to iCloud.  

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At the top you’ll see that your voicemail is about to be saved as an MP4 file.  Just choose the file where you want to save it and tap “add”.  That’s it, your voicemail is saved!
Why did I choose iCloud?  Because it’s a great way to save your voicemail in multiple locations.  More locations means less of a  chance the voicemail will accidentally be deleted.  Not only does saving your voicemail to iCloud mean you’ve saved your message to the cloud, but from there, you can download it to your Mac or PC, transfer it to one or more portable hard drives or flash drives.  You can even email it to other locations or other people for safekeeping.
If the message you want to save is someone’s voicemail greeting, you won’t be able to save it by sharing it.  In that case, the best way to save it is to play it out loud on speakerphone and record it using a tape or audio recorder.  See that section below for details.

What If You Have An Older Cell Phone That Doesn’t Let You Save Your Messages As Files?

  • You can turn it into an MP3  (we’ll cover this one in a minute)
  • Or you can call your cellphone carrier and ask them how to download a voice mail from your particular phone.
  • Or you can play the message on speakerphone and record it onto a digital recorder as an MP3 

What if Your Message Is On A Cassette Tape? 

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The easiest way to archive it is to simply save the tape.  Which would be fine if this was just a simple message.  Since it’s not, and since cassettes have a habit of breaking, you really need to back up the message and save it to your computer as an MP3, for safekeeping.  
One easy way we’ve found to convert your cassettes to MP3s is the ION Tape Express

What If Your Message Is On An Answering Machine With A Digital Chip Or A Landline Voicemail System? 

Play the message out loud on your digital answering system and record it onto a digital recorder, like your smartphone. 
If the message is on a landline voicemail system, use a speakerphone to play the message out loud and record it.  
This is also the best way to save a voicemail greeting from a smartphone, since a greeting can’t usually be saved like a message can. 

Or You Can Leave It To The Professionals…

If you have an old cell phone with a treasured message or voicemail greeting on it on it and would rather leave the archiving to the professionals, it’s time to go to CBW Productions.  You can find them at www.cbwproductions.com.
They’ll make a copy of any message that’s on your cell phone’s voicemail and email you the MP3 copy.  Or if you would rather, they’ll send it to you on a CD.  
The next time someone leaves you a message that you never want to lose, do yourself a favor. Take five minutes to back it up.
And if you have any type of message that you need to back up that we didn’t cover here, let us know on the comments below, so we can help you figure it out. 
We’d love to hear your questions and comments below and don’t forget to use the share buttons, to share this post and video with your friends on social media.
Want to download these instructions for later?  Click Here to download the PDF Shortcut Sheet.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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Keep The Stuff You Love Safe

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14 thoughts on “How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages

  1. What is the best way to save voicemails that are on a landline digital system? Should I buy a recorder? I want to keep my beautiful sister’s voice forever.

    • Hi Maria,

      If your landline doesn’t have a way to save messages already built in, the best way to save that gorgeous message is with a recorder. But before you rush out to get it, don’t forget that most smartphones have a built in recorder. Try that first and see if it will pick up her voice loud and strong. It should save the message as an MP3 automatically, that you can send (via email or text) directly to your computer for safe keeping. If the quality is not great, then you can borrow a recorder or purchase one. We like the Olympus brand ourselves, because they save in MP3 and can upload to a computer wirelessly.

      Have a great week! Laura

  2. vtech Model CS6929-4
    4 x Handset Cordless Answering System with Caller ID/Call Waiting.
    We have the vtech phone/answering system indicated above. The outgoing message/greeting is of my young daughter’s voice and we would like to save it somehow. Am wondering if you have a process or can suggest how an outgoing/greeting message can be downloaded for safekeeping.

    We are hoping this can be done before the outgoing message is accidentally deleted.

    Appreciate your assistance.

    Kind regards,
    Tina

    • Hi Tina,

      Great question! Although I don’t know if there is a specific function for this on your particular phone, the best way to save the message is the simplest. Turn up the sound as high as you can and record it onto a digital recorder (like you would use for a lecture), a cassette recorder or your cell phone if you have a voice recorder on it. Then save it as an MP3 on to your computer for safe keeping. You can also Google your vtech model number to see if you can find an owner’s manual. They might have a way to save a recording in there. Probably not, but it’s worth a shot.

      Best, Laura

  3. I have an old picture frame voice recorder that had a cherished voice recording on it. It was accidently deleted yesterday. Is there any way to retrieve the old recording? The recording and play button were pressed several times thinking the recording might possibly work again, but no recording was added. Is it possible to retrieve that old recording or is lost forever?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Mary! First of all, I’m so sorry to hear that. What a horrible thing to have happen! It really depends on the manufacturer. There are high quality picture frames and small, less expensive ones that probably don’t have a lot of memory or ways to protect what’s been recorded. I would start with the manufacturer to see if they have any ideas. If they can’t help, try one of the recording suggestions we made in the post to see if they might be able to help. Even some Walgreens and Walmart have recording services, that preserve recordings, so they might also be able to help.

      I know you probably thought of this, but did you ever record the message someplace else or possibly have it playing while shooting a home video during a birthday or an anniversary? Probably a remote possibility, but you never know. Since you didn’t record over it, there might be a possibility of retrieving it. I really hope so! Please let us know what happens.

      Laura

  4. Helo, I have 15 saved voicemails from Grandmom who passed suddenly. My problem is that I need to take words from each vm to create one beautiful voicemail for my grandaughter for HS graduation.They were very close, and I know she would love to hear her voice congratulating her on her accomplishments, and to tell her that she loves her…I need help, Thank you

    • Hi Cindi, What a beautiful idea! The easiest way to do this would be to have someone who is good at editing video or audio do this for you on their computer. Maybe a relative or someone from your local high school or college. Once the voice mails are saved as MP3s using the suggestions in the post, it would be easy to edit them using Camtasia or Movavi or any other editing software. If you don’t have anyone around, a Walgreens or Walmart store might be able to do it for you if they edit video. They might have the capability. We had a very old audio file of ours (from reel to reel!) edited and resaved onto a DVD by iMemories.com. They did an amazing job! All the best! Laura

  5. Ive been saving my grandmothers voicemails for almost 8 years now and when i went to upgrade my phone, i almost fainted when the rep told me they were going to be erased. Thanksfully he put us in touch with a company called http://www.voicemailsforever.com and they ended up much cheaper than the one you suggested above. i think your readers would benefit because they do it for so much less.

  6. I have my uncle’s recording of him singing me ‘Happy Birthday’ on my phone recorder which I’ve saved since June 2016 which apparently cannot be recorded other than via speaker phone to a recorder that makes a poor quality recording. So I seem to be unable to delete it if I want to hear it again so my message machine fills up continuously. My phone is ATT. Is there any way for me to record it to save his voice to some other media so I can replay it to hear him again?(both he and my dad,his brother passed away). Are there any home phone systems available that either record to a removeable chip, cassette, or whatever which can be saved other than an audio recording to another audio recorder which declines its quality significantly?

    • Hi! So sorry it took me a few days to respond. I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through. There are a few recorders that we mention in the post, but if those don’t work, try the service that Bonnie mentioned on the comments (http://www.voicemailsforever.com) or try contacting ATT and see if they have any ideas for you. One other option might be a portable speaker that so many stores have now, that you can use to listen to music on your cell phone or tablet. They really amplify sound. Let me know how things work out! Laura

  7. I wish that I’d read this a few years ago. I think that we all have a few voicemails that we wish that we could keep forever, but I lost a few a couple years ago. I think that my current system stores them in a digital messaging system, like you mentioned, so they should be able to be saved. Thanks for the post!

  8. It is really nice to know that it is possible to save all of your best voice messages. This is a great way to be able to keep and remember some of your most cherished memories. It is amazing to me that this is something that can be done with so many different types of communication devices. I am especially amazed that it can be done with a cassette tape.

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