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How to copy voicemails from your iPhone to your Mac

Sometimes you receive a really great voice mail from a friend or a loved one that you want to preserve or share. Getting off your iPhone can be real pain. Lifehacker instructs you to jailbreak your iPhone or use and audio out cable. Both of these methods are less than ideal. Jailbreaking may void your warranty and in this digital age an analog transfer is weak sauce. The best solution I have found is pretty quick and all digital. It retrieves actual voice mail file from the backup of your phone made by iTunes. Using Pádraig’s iPhone/iPod Touch Backup Extractor, voice mails can be easily extracted. Below is an overview of the process followed by a quick screencast walkthrough.

  1. Download the free iPhone/iPod Touch Backup Extractor.
  2. Make a small donation to Pádraig.
  3. Sync your iPhone.  Note that if you encrypt your  iPhone backups, you will not be able to extract the voicemails.
  4. Launch iPhone/iPod Touch Backup Extractor.
  5. Click Read Backups and select the backup that contains the voicemail you want to extract. For most people there will only be one backup to choose. Only people with multiple phones will have to choose the correct backup. For them the name of the phone and the date of the last backup will help.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the list of Application Names that appears, select iPhone OS Files, and click Extract.
  7. Switch to the Finder and navigate to the folder into which you extracted the iPhone OS Files.
  8. Your voicemails are in iPhone OS Files/Library/Voicemail/.
  9. The voicemails are numbered files with the file extension .amr. Quicktime will open an play them. iTunes won’t.

If you have any suggestions or improvements for copying voicemails from an iPhone please let me know.