Change how long your iPhone rings before calls are sent to voicemail [How to]

BY Osas Obaizamomwan

Published 29 Apr 2015

iPhone - Voicemail

“You’ve reached Osas Obaiza. I am not available right now so please leave a message with your name and number…” How many times does your phone ring before it’s forwarded to voicemail? My iPhone rang six times before the voicemail picked it up. Forcing a caller to wait that long to leave a voicemail dissuades them from even leaving a voicemail in the first place. Luckily there is a little known, and somewhat complicated process to changing just how long callers have to wait before they get your voicemail.

Change how long your iPhone rings before calls are sent to voicemail

Option 1: Contact Your Service Provider

AT&T - Storefront

I have AT&T and I know that I can call or go into a local branch and have them do this for me. However, I have had nightmares calling customer service and I never want to do that again. Nevertheless, allowing someone to do it for you, means you can’t mess it up. All other major carriers (Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile) should all be able to help with your voicemail settings with a call or visit to a store.

Option 2: Do It Yourself 

If you don’t want to wait around for a sales agent or customer service representative, you can adjust the time it takes to reach your voicemail on our own. The steps below have been tested on my AT&T iPhone 5S.

Step 1. Using the Phone app, enter *#61# and press Call. This will take you to a secret page that display’s your voicemail number.

Dial - Call Forwarding - iPhone

Step 2. On this page, write down or memorize the voicemail number since we will be using it in the following steps. Once you have the number, press Dismiss. 

Call Forwarding - iPhone

Step 3. Using the Phone app, enter *61* followed by the Voice Call Forwarding number you took down in Step 2. It should look something like this *61*+12345678901. Tap and hold 0 to get the + sign. Now add, *11 after your call forwarding number.  Follow that by entering *(number of seconds you want users to wait before being sent to voicemail)#. Pretty freaking complicated! Here is what the final entry should look like for someone wanting the voicemail response time to be 12 seconds. 

  • *61*+12345678901*11*12#

NOTE: People have mentioned that they were able to do this step without entering the + sign. See what works for you.

Step 4. After entering in those numbers from Step 3, place the call by tapping Call. If you have done everything correctly, you’ll see this:

Call Forwarding - Success - iPhone

But please remember that this was tested on an AT&T phone and the voicemail settings for different carriers may differ. Virgin Mobile, and Vodafone have their own directions, and T-Mobile users have had success with the steps covered in this guide.

Let us know if this method worked for your device in the comment section.