How To Retrieve An iPhone Custom Voicemail Greeting

Here’s an overview of how to retrieve a custom iPhone voicemail greeting. A client recently changed her data plan with AT&T. Somehow, as a consequence of this change, her custom outgoing voicemail greeting was lost. Typically, this greeting is stored on AT&T’s system, so it can be played to a caller even if one’s iPhone is turned off or not connected to AT&T’s cellular network. I learned that a copy of this voicemail greeting is also stored on the iPhone.

To retrieve the voicemail greeting, one needs a backup of the iPhone from before the greeting was lost. This backup needs to be stored on one’s Mac (or PC). To the best of my knowledge, a backup of the iPhone stored on iCloud is not adequate since I don’t believe iBackupBot can work with iCloud-based backups.

Start by downloading  a copy of iBackupBot. [Update, as of early 2019, there are versions compatible with Macs running Mac OS X 10.5 through 10.12; the iBackupBot web site doesn’t list macOS 10.13 (or newer) so I’m not sure if it’s still compatible with macOS.] Open iBackupBot. It will scan your Mac to locate iPhone backups. Then locate the voicemail greeting by going to this location:

System Files/Home Domain/Library/Voicemail

Inside the Voicemail folder locate the greeting.amr file. Select it and click the Export button to save a copy on your Mac’s Desktop. Double-click this file to listen to it to make sure it’s the file you want to retrieve. If so, you’re now ready to restore this file to your iPhone.

I found the restore the most confusing part of the entire process since a few options were listed. I found the descriptions to be a bit vague or possibly ambiguous. Since I didn’t want to risk losing any other items on the iPhone, I proceeded cautiously. First, I made sure that I copied all recent photos off of the iPhone. Next, I made sure I had a backup of the iPhone so I could restore it to its present condition if anything went wrong while restoring the voicemail greeting. I initiated the restore and waited about 30 minutes for the entire process to finish. It worked just as expected. The custom voicemail greeting was restored and everything else on the iPhone was not touched.

I was pleased with iBackupBot’s performance and will keep it around for future iPhone data recovery needs iBackupBot is able to recover a wide range of data from an iPhone including such things as contacts, text messages, voicemail messages, calendar data, photos, notes, voice memos and Safari bookmarks.

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