When I switched over from Android to iOS, I was shocked to see that there is no built-in simple incoming or outgoing call recording facility! Oh God! There is no built-in call recorder app with iOS at all which means I need to spend some money just to do this most simple task of recording phone calls! So it was evident for me to research on ways not to spend money with per month subscriptions using web based storage, but to get FREE ways to record both incoming and outgoing calls from my iPhone.
So I researched and tried few methods which are totally FREE and works as on 2020.
Of course there are many paid methods too, but I may write about them in separate post, but I hate paying subscriptions month over months for things that I do not use regularly. Why should I pay for simply recording few phone calls in a month?
Call recorder for iPhone – 4 FREE methods which work in 2020
Yes, starting from Google Voice till using Voicemail there are different methods I tried to record a phone call on my iPhone XS Max!
Believe me its really easy to use all these 4 FREE methods rather than spending dollars per month on such simple task.
Let’s begin with the most favored option to use Google Voice.
Google Voice works great for those who wish to record their calls regularly, may be for business or work related calls and conversations. May be also for students who aspire to get some telephonic interviews or even important meetings with the professors over tele-call
1) Google Voice (Free Voice Recorder)
Google Voice is one of the best and easy to use FREE service by Google which allows you to make phone calls and get voicemail through the internet.
One more IMPORTANT thing is Google Voice provides you a special phone number that the receiver will see, by this you can also hide the real phone number as additional SAFETY. (it will come handy when someone blocks your number! – Read detailed post on blocking phone calls on iPhone)
Follow these simple steps to set-up Google Voice on your iPhone
Step-1) – Install Google Voice
Download and install Google Voice app from the App Store.
Step-2) Login to Google Voice
Open Google Voice >> Sign-in or select, your Google account.
Step-3) Select phone number
Tap Search to select a phone number you want to use. (This number will be seen by someone when you call him/her)
Simply search by City and pick suitable number as per your wish.
Select and confirm the phone number you have selected.
Step-4) Verify your phone number
Now to Link this device to Google Voice screen, tap Next >> Enter your phone number >> Type the verification code you received.
After verification of code, you are ready to use Google Voice with your iPhone 🙂
Step-5) Enable incoming calls
Now you need to enable the incoming calls via Google voice service.
So simply Log into the Google Voice website using your Google account >> Click on the three-dot icon on the left-hand side of the page >>select Settings >> Under Calls >> enable Incoming call options.
Step -6) Receiving and Recording phone calls via Google Voice
Now you are completely ready to receive and records calls.
When you receive a phone call, all you have to do is to press the 4 key on your iPhone to start recording the conversation.
Note : When you press 4 to record a call, Google notifies the other party that the call is being recorded. This is good in a sense that Legally you will not have any issues.
You can find recorded calls in your Google Voice inbox, where you can download it for safekeeping and future use.
The maximum recording time per call is allowed with Google Voice is 3 hours.
Unfortunately, this method can’t be used to record an outgoing phone call 🙁
As per me Google Voice is one of the best FREE methods, really simple to use with just a tap of key to record a call, maintains the legal integrity by informing other party, and listening to recordings is just a breeze, with Google Voice’s “Voicemail” page.
2) Voice Mail Feature
How to Use Voice Mail feature to record a phone call?
This method is one of the best method which also satisfies the legal requirements (since it notifies user that call is being recorded) and FREE too.
First thing you need to do is to check if your carrier is supporting voicemail feature, you may please check with your carrier if its enabled and how to use it.
Second thing to check is if the carrier allows you to download the voicemail messages, this feature is available for all iOS devices with iOS 9 and later.
So if your iPhone supports 3 way calling and visual voice mail via your mobile carrier then this is the best workaround trick for you to record call conversations.
How to record a call – Step by Step guide
- Call the number you like to talk, now when you have connected to the user.
- Look for “Add Call” button, it will get activated in a second (light up)
- Tap the Add call button which will allow to have a conference. Means that is useful when you want to have a conference with three persons together. In this case you will be using this facility to add yourself as a third person! its a kind of trick to fool the system.
- So you can now call yourself as a third person, dial your number (do not forget to tell other person that you are going to record call using voice mail and to wait for few seconds)
- Within few seconds you will hear voicemail welcome message and then wait for a beep tone to begin your voicemail message, once you hear it, Tap “Merge Call” to begin conversation with recording.
This will ensure that your phone conversation with other person gets recorded to your own voicemail box!
After the conversation is over, you can access the voicemail recording anytime, in fact if you are using iOS 9 or later, you will also be able to export them as audio files to local device for records.
Note : Please check if your carrier supports voicemail box, if yes, also check how much time it can record the message.
Also check if the carrier allows settings to bypass the welcome message or use a service (app) like Slydial (App download link) which allows you to bypass greeting messages during voicemail access (only the FREE version plays ads!)
As a matter of practice, you may please try this with any of your friends.
Can I download my voicemail messages ?
Yes and No.
To check if you can access and download messages,
- Launch the Phone app >> Tap the Voicemail tab (see below image – bottom right corner)
- If you are able to see the list of voicemails then you are ready to download them using following TWO methods 🙂
- But if you are not able to see the list then you need to access them from your carrier server only 🙁 bad luck!
Method 1 to download voicemails using Share button
First method you can use is Open voicemail >> Tap iOS Share button >> Save voicemail to iCloud Drive or email to your account.
Alternatively you will also be able to save the voicemail to online storage systems like a Dropbox.
You will be able to save one voicemail at a time and can’t select multiple at once!
Also the format of voicemail file will be m4a file.
Note – feature is available on iOS 9 or later.
Method 2 to download voicemails using Transfer With iTunes
This method is useful when you want to transfer files to local computer drive.
Tap iOS Share button >> Tap the Voice Memos icon >> This actions saves the voicemail to the native iOS voice memos app.
Plug in your phone up to your computer.
Open iTunes >> Now Sync your phone
Look for the Voice Memos tab under On My Device in iTunes, all voicemails will be listed there.
Simply play them directly in iTunes 🙂
The voicemail files will be automatically stored in iTunes Music folder >> Voice Memos folder, cut/copy those voicemails to anywhere on your computer or memory stick.
Check Apple official guide on How to set your voicemail – Click here
3) Use QuickTime Player (Phone Calls & FaceTimes)
Basic requirement – You need to have a Mac
I know most of you are having Mac which can be used for recording phone calls from your iPhone.
Good news is that you can also record FaceTime calls using Mac, Lets see how to do it.
However, remember that you must use iPhone in speaker phone mode to use this method, so you can’t be private sing headphones while recording!
Alternatively if you try answering the call from Mac instead of iPhone, then QuickTime Player will not function properly when trying to use it.
Step-1) Put iPhone on speaker mode
To record, put your iPhone on speaker mode for phone calls or FaceTimes.
(Alternatively you can also select your Mac as the speaker source.)
Step-2) Setup QuickTime Player
Goto QuickTime Player’s menu bar “File” option. >> Select “New Audio Recording”
Select the drop-down next to the record button and check the “Internal Microphone” box.
Step-3) Recording a call
Click the record button to start >> click the stop button when done
Note 1: Be close to your Mac so that the microphone can pick up everything
Note 2: Even If you’re charging your iPhone with your computer via a Lightning cable, make sure that “Internal Microphone” is still selected and not your iPhone’s mic, because the call won’t record unless it’s the internal Mac one.
Step-4) Check recording & save the file
Once you finish call recording, simply playback to confirm that call is completely recorded with right quality and save the file for future reference. (if needed)
Note 3: Remember the Mac microphone will pickup all ambient noises too, so better to move to quieter place to use this method.
Major issue with this method is carrying of my Mac at all places is almost impossible, as well as putting things on speaker phone always hampers the privacy, so can’t be used at public places!
Anyway my main purpose is to explore all the FREE methods and this is one of them 🙂
4) Use Skype (Skype Audio & Video Calls Only)
I know that Skype popularity has fallen over last 5 years (see google trends snap below) but still this is one of the best method of video calling with good quality even on poor network connection.
So as said still in 2020 there are many using Skype calls and recording both audio and video calls is really simple task on Skype.
While you record a call over Skype, the system will continuously keep alerting the other user hat the call is being recorded (which is good thing as it legally protects you)
The recording will get stores on Skype cloud server for upto 30 days during which you and the other person will be able to view, save and share the call recording.
However if you have initiated the recording, you will have complete right to remove the recording from servers before 30 days.
Which FREE iPhone Call Recording Method Worked for You?
While all the above 4 methods are confirmed to be working in 2020, looking at pros and cons, you may like to use any one of them or even want to buy a third party subscription or FREE app.
If you are using any good quality third party app, please do share it in comments below so that I can try it off and append this list for readers.
Also whichever method you choose, remember to notify the other user/party on call that you are recording the call and seek for their permission which will protect you from any legal actions in future in case of disputes.
LEGAL GUIDELINES for recording phone calls in USA
There are federal and state laws pertaining to the recording of phone calls.
As a general guidelines, there will not be any legal issue as long as both parties verbally agreed during the call to record it (both part consent) however later issues can be there using the recorded conversation. So do take care to share it publicly and DO CHECK your state or local laws if you need further clarification