When you’ve lost someone special, any little detail or reminder of that person can mean the world. Google's Super Bowl commercial sure pushed that point home and showed us how instrumental tech can be in preserving those memories.
It also got many people thinking about whether Big Tech companies know too much about us. Spoiler: They do. Tap or click here to learn what info Google collects and how to delete it.
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Now, back to those special memories. If you find yourself listening to an old voicemail over and over — for sentimental reasons or otherwise — don't bet on your phone to save it for you indefinitely.
Luckily, it's easy to save a voicemail from your iPhone, Android or old non-smart phone. Let’s start with iPhones.
Apple makes it easy to save and share voicemails. This is excellent for business or scholastic use. Share important messages with coworkers or classmates, or upload them to a computer anyone can access. Just be careful you’re sharing only what you want to.
Saving voicemails on an iPhone
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To save or share a voicemail on an iPhone:
- Go to the Phone app, and tap on Voicemail on the bottom of the screen on the far right.
- Tap on the voicemail you want to save, then tap the share button — it looks like a box with an arrow pointing out of it.
- You can now share this voicemail via AirDrop, Messages, Mail, Notes or Voice Memo.
- To save the voicemail in your phone, select Notes or Voice Memo. You can access the saved message again in either app, and play it back at your leisure. Both apps will also automatically back up the file to iCloud, so long as you have iCloud enabled. Tap or click here to learn how to enable iCloud backup if you haven’t already.
- To save the voicemail to your computer, select AirDrop, then tap on your computer’s name. Be sure both devices are connected to the same network. On your computer, accept the AirDrop, and save the message wherever you want.
- To send the voicemail to another person, select a contact in Messages or Mail, or share via AirDrop with someone who’s nearby.
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If you have a visual voicemail from FaceTime you want to preserve, you can save it with the Files app:
- Open the file you want to store.
- Tap Select, the file name and then Organize, which looks like a little folder.
- Under “On My [Device name],” choose a folder or tap the icon of a folder with a plus sign to create a new one.
- Tap Copy and you’re done.
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Saving voicemails on an Android
Android phones are made by a variety of different manufacturers, so saving voicemails differs slightly depending on the model you own. But there are some general steps you can follow to save those important messages.
To save voicemails on most Android phones:
- Open your Voicemail app.
- Tap, or tap and hold the message you want to save.
- In the menu that appears, tap the one that says “save”, “export” or “archive.”
- Select the storage location in your phone you would like the message to go to, and tap “OK” or “Save.”
You can also use a cloud service to backup everything you want to save from your phone or download an app made for saving messages, like VoicemailSaver. It costs $3.99 but it saves your messages, even if your phone is broken or stolen. For free options, try HulloMail or InstaVoice.
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Get voicemails from an old phone
If you have voicemails saved on a non-smart phone, your best bet is to record them on a computer. This is a method that requires some equipment, but not as much as you might think.
This can also work with your iPhone or Android, if the above methods aren’t working for you. Just connect your phone into the computer with a 3.5mm audio cable. More on that in a minute.
To save voicemails on older phones:
- Download Audacity or another similar audio recording program to your computer. If you have a Mac, Garageband is a native app that can do what you need.
- Figure out if your old phone has a headphone jack. This is the port for headphones and microphones.
- If it does, get a 3.5mm audio cable and plug one end into the headphone jack on your phone and the other end into the jack of your computer.
- If it doesn’t, turn up the volume on your phone and get a microphone or hold the phone close to the opening for your computer’s internal microphone. You may need to experiment to find the exact location.
- Open your phone’s voicemail and find the message you want to save.
- In your audio recording program, click record, and play the message. When the message is done, stop the recording.
- Save the file on your computer to preserve it.
The audio quality may not be perfect, but at least that message won’t be lost forever if something happens to your old device.
BONUS TIP FOR EXTRA KNOW-HOW: Lock down private files on your phone or computer
It doesn’t matter what you save to your phone, computer or tablet — everything you keep on your devices should be considered private unless you give someone else permission to look through your files, images and apps.
Unfortunately, the default settings on most gadgets aren’t set up to keep everything hidden or password-protected. Anyone who accesses your devices can see everything.
So, how do you protect your information? There are a few settings and privacy apps that can help.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.
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Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.