How to Use Google Voice As Visual Voicemail

Written by andrea ruiz Google
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Google's Internet telephone service, Google Voice, comes with many powerful messaging and call features. You can add any phone number to your Google Voice account. It can serve as the catch-all messaging and forwarding system for all your phones so that you can receive and check all your messages in one place. If you'd like Google Voice to e-mail you transcriptions of your incoming voice mails, you can enable voice mail transcription in the settings dashboard of your Google Voice account.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Visit and log in to your Google Voice account.

  2. 2

    Click the gear or cog icon in the upper right corner of the dashboard. You can see this icon on any Google Voice page when logged in. A drop-down menu appears.

  3. 3

    Click "Voice Settings" from the drop-down menu.

  4. 4

    Click the "Voicemail & Text" tab in the top menu across the top of your settings dashboard.

  5. 5

    Check the box next to "Transcribe Voicemails" in the "Voicemail Transcripts" section at the bottom of the page.

  6. 6

    Click the "Save Changes" button to apply the change immediately.

Tips and warnings

  • It's likely that your Google Voice account has this feature turned on by default.
  • Google Voice stores a copy of your transcribed voice mail message in your account's inbox. You can also hear the original recorded messages in your account. To see or hear these messages, log in to your Google Voice account and click the "Inbox" tab on the left column. You can read the transcripts of the messages on the right side of the page. To hear the original voice mail message, click the right-facing arrow button beneath the transcript of the message.
  • If you'd like to use Google Voice voice mail transcription for your other phone numbers, add them to your Google Voice account. In the Settings dashboard, click the "Phones" tab in the menu across the top. Click the "Add Another Phone" link at the bottom of the page and follow the on-screen instructions to add and confirm your other phone numbers to your Google Voice account. You can add landline and mobile numbers. Google Voice will e-mail you transcripts of your voice mail messages for all your phone numbers from then on.
  • When adding numbers to your Google Voice account for visual voice mail, ensure that your phone number doesn't already have voice mail turned on through your phone service carrier. If it does, your carrier's voice mail settings may override Google Voice voice mail, and you won't get visual voice mail messages for those phones. You must disable your carrier's voice mail for Google Voice to act as your phone's voice mail service instead.
  • Google Voice voice mail transcriptions are a work-in-progress service. This means that Google makes continual changes and improvements to the service. Currently, Google Voice only supports English-language transcription. Some transcripts may be unavailable if the service can't transcribe what the caller is saying -- for example, a voice mail message in a language other than English, or a call with a lot of background noise that obscures the speaker's voice -- and you may notice some mistakes in the transcripts.

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