How to record calls on your iPhone (and check if it’s legal in your state)

Start a phone call on iPhone

Christina Darby/ZDNET

Whether you’re conducting interviews, conducting research, or need to record a conversation, there are many reasons why you might want to record phone calls on your iPhone — but there are very few ways to do it. that.

Because privacy reasons — and because laws vary by state — Apple previously did not allow recording through the iPhone’s built-in microphone while the phone was on a call. However, at the company’s annual meeting Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on Monday, Apple announced that thing iOS 18 will bring call recording and transcription to iPhone this fall, as part of new features Apple is smart.

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Until then, here are some ways to record calls on your iPhone, both with and without using third-party apps.

Before you record a phone call, keep the following in mind:

  1. Always check if recording is legal. States have different laws regarding phone call recording. You can Check your state’s policy here.
  2. To record, you’ll need an external iOS device with recording functionality and a microphone, or a third-party app with its own calling software like Similar to Google. Third-party applications may require a subscription fee.
  3. The first method below is considered the most accessible method for most iPhone users who want to record a conversation – especially if they want to be subtle about it.

How to record phone calls on iPhone

What you need:

  • One Iphone phone To hold a call, we recommend that you turn on the speakerphone
  • Another recording device (this could be another iPhone, another device iPador even Android device) using Voice Memos or another recording app to record calls

First, make sure you have both your iPhone and another iOS device, such as a Mac, iPad, or another iPhone, that has the Voice Memos app. The Voice Memos app comes pre-installed on most devices but is also free on App store. If using an Android device, check to see if it has a recording app, e.g This is free.

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Open the Voice Memos app, tap the red record button, and start speaking long enough so that you can ensure the sound quality is sufficient to record the conversation. When you finish recording, press the red button again. An audio file will appear called “New recording (number corresponds to the voice recording you have).” If you have Location service is enabled, the recording will be titled with your location address.

Screenshot of Voice Memos "All records" display.

Voice recordings automatically save under different names depending on whether Location Services is enabled or not.

Screenshot by Radhika Rajkumar/ZDNET

Now, play back the file and see if the audio is clear. Make the adjustments you need before you record a phone call.

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For example, if the sound quality is too low, you may need to speak louder, increase microphone sensitivity (go to Settings > Sound & Haptics), or place the speaker closer to your mouth.

Always check if the state you are recording and residing in is a one-party or all-party state when it comes to recording consent.

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One-party states require only one person on the call — you — to agree. A country where all parties require both the person recording and the person(s) being recorded to give their consent.

After disclosing that you’re recording or – if necessary – asking permission to record, set up the second device so that Voice Memos (or another app you’re using) is ready to record. Place the device near the phone making the call and press the red button again to record.

Start recording before you start the call — this may add a few seconds of silence to the audio file but will ensure you don’t miss any of the conversation. On your iPhone, make sure to start the phone call on speakerphone.

After making a call, you can improve your audio quality by swiping down to the top right of the screen to access the Control Center. Select Microphone mode > Voice isolation.

Pro Tip: The red lines on the audio graphics, called waveforms, show how well the app is capturing audio. The higher the bars, the higher the detected volume. If the waveform remains flat, you may need to increase the phone call volume or move the devices closer together.


Change Mic Mode after call is activated.

Screenshot by Radhika Rajkumar/ZDNET

Screenshot of the voice memo app on iPhone showing audio sound waves in red.

Spikes in the red waveform bars indicate louder sounds — flatter bars mean lower volume. If your waveform looks low when you record, you may have to move closer to your phone so Voice Memo captures the sound more accurately.

Screenshot by Radhika Rajkumar/ZDNET

When the conversation ends or you’ve received the information you need, end the recording by tapping the red button.

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From within the Voice Memos app, select the recording file and tap the ellipses button (three dots) to the right of the recording name to reveal sharing options. You can send directly to your iPhone through iMessage or other messaging apps, mail, AirDrop, Slack, or even Google Drive.


Open sharing options. You can also trim or rename the recording to something easier to remember by clicking Edit Recording.

Screenshot by Radhika Rajkumar/ZDNET

Other ways to record

Following the steps above is the easiest, most effective, and most discreet way to record phone calls on your iPhone. If you or a trusted second party doesn’t have another device to spare, here are some alternatives.

Note: Many phone call recording apps may need to conference into the call before starting recording, which can take some time and may be detectable by other people on the call.

Rev has a few options depending on what you need. If you want to record phone calls, give it a try Call recording app — it’s free, has no limit on recording time, and even has legal guidance in the app. To record other conversations, Rev’s Voice recorder This app is also free and has an easy-to-use interface.

Additionally, Rev also offers AI support transcription your recording for $0.25 per minute, or you can have your recording recorded by a professional for $1.50 per minute. After you download the file, it will appear as an MP3 file on your device. This is a great choice for recording phone calls and narrating screen recordings.

Google Voice app for iOS lets you make free, recorded calls over Wi-Fi via Google Voice. If you have a personal Google account, you can Record incoming calls onlyand they must come to your Google Voice number. If you have a Google Workspace account through work or school, you’ll have more recording capabilities, but you’ll need to get the privacy right. Google Voice license.

You can select the device from which you want to initiate the call through the app. For incoming calls, you can go to Settings > Calls > Incoming call preferences, then toggle the incoming call recording option.

Once everyone has joined the call, press number four (4) on the keypad to start and end recording. The call will end in the recording menu option once finished.

Easy voice recorder is another free app that lets you record high-quality voice memos or audio recordings to PCM, MP4, or ACC files — all of which can then be saved to your iCloud account. It can’t record phone calls stored on the same device, but it does have built-in transcription capabilities that are quick and easy at no additional charge.

As the name suggests, this app is designed so users can pull out their phone and start recording anytime, anywhere. If you download the app and use it on your iPad to record, you can also drag and drop recordings with Files or other recording apps for additional transcriptions — or simply to merge recordings. record.

Frequently asked questions

Is call recording illegal?

Federal law requires the consent of at least one party, which means you need to participate in the conversation you’re recording or have the consent of at least one person in that conversation. Otherwise, it could be interpreted as wiretapping or illegal eavesdropping. Some states have even stricter laws requiring the consent of all participants in the conversation.

Before recording the conversation, check your state laws.

Is there a call recording app on iPhone?

Some downloadable third-party apps can record calls on the iPhone, but that capability is not built into the device. However, Apple is limited in allowing these apps to use the microphone during phone calls. Most applications will need to conference the call as a participant for recording. In addition to the method outlined above using the Voice Memos app, people also use Google Voice, Easy Voice Recorder, and Rev.

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Additionally, you can use most computers or tablets equipped with a mic to record phone conversations, as long as the phone is in speaker mode or the microphone is held close to the other device’s speaker . Both Mac OS And Windows Computers have many recording software options available.

Does Apple have an iPhone call recording app?

Unfortunately not – at least not yet. Apple itself doesn’t have apps, but there are third-party apps available App store. Additionally, Voice Memos is most likely automatically installed on your iOS device.

Does screen recording on iPhone record my calls?

Screen recording during an audio or FaceTime call will only record your screen — it won’t record any audio from you or your phone.

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Do iPhone voice memos have a time limit?

The Voice Memos app can record for an unlimited amount of time as long as you have enough storage space. To check the amount of storage on your device, go to Settings > General > Device > iPhone Storage. You can also Buy more iPhone storage.


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