Did You Know You Can Leave A FaceTime Voicemail In iOS 17? Here's How

FaceTime — Apple's built-in version of video calling — lets you communicate with friends and family face-to-face, in addition to watching movies and TV together, but one thing it's been missing is video voicemail. Sure you could always leave a regular audio-only voicemail when you miss a call, but if you prefer that the recipient sees your face (or if you want to show them something), the omission stands out.

Thankfully, video voicemail is on the way, or rather it's actually here already, if you're using the iOS 17 public beta. The catch is that you need to have iOS 17 installed on your compatible iPhone in order to make use of video voicemails in FaceTime. However the person you're calling needs to have it installed (also on a compatible iPhone) as well.

If everyone involved in the FaceTime call and subsequent video voicemail is using at least iOS 17 already, then great! However, if someone doesn't have the operating system installed it might be best to wait rather than jump through beta signup hoops. Because if previous Apple release history is any indication we can expect the public release of iOS 17 to roll out in September of 2023.

Leaving a FaceTime video voicemail

Assuming you and the person you're video calling are both using the right software paired with the necessary hardware, here's how to go about leaving a video message:

  1. Open the FaceTime app and tap New FaceTime, then select or enter the Contact you want to call.
  2. Alternatively, Phone app and tap on the Info icon (i) next to the contact you want to call, then tap either the video button at the top of the Contact page or the Video Camera icon in the FaceTime section of the page.
  3. Let the call commence for approximately 30 seconds, after which point if nobody picks up (or if the call is rejected) you'll be given the option to Record Video.
  4. Tap Record Video to begin recording your video message, then tap Stop when finished. You can also swap between rear and front cameras by tapping the Camera icon.
  5. Watch your message back by tapping Play, or tap Retake to re-record it from the beginning if you don't like how it turned out.
  6. When finished, tap the green up arrow icon to send the video message to its recipient.

If for any reason you also want to save your FaceTime video voicemail for yourself, you can also tap Save in the top-right corner of the screen after recording (must be before sending) to retain a copy the video to your iPhone. Received FaceTime video messages will appear under Missed Calls.

What to do if FaceTime video voicemail isn't working

There may be instances where leaving a video voicemail over FaceTime won't work, even once iOS 17 is available publicly. If the Record Video function is faded out and doesn't respond when you tap it, it's likely that your Contact doesn't use an iPhone or doesn't have iOS 17 installed. In that case, the only way to get it working is to have your Contact either use an iPhone or install iOS 17 (or newer) before you try again.

If your message doesn't have to be in video form, you can also record and send audio messages using other apps. For example, Messages allows you to record audio and send it as a text while making a regular call with the Phone app will let you leave a standard voicemail. Many third-party apps also offer voice — and sometimes video — messaging, but those often require both parties to have them installed in order for the feature to work so keep that in mind.

But if you absolutely have to leave a video message and FaceTime just will not cooperate, there's a pretty simple workaround for it. Use your iPhone's Camera app (or any other video recording app, really) to record a video message and save it to your phone. Then open Messages and send the video to your Contact as an attachment.