record voice mail from phone

I’m running Audacity 2.1.0, using Windows 10 Creator. My cell is a Samsung Galaxy s5. I have an HP split x2 tablet.

I’ve spent the last 24 hours trying to get my voice mail recorded, and have been ducking people because of this. I have a 3.5 mm audio cable running from the headphone jack of my phone to the microphone jack in the tablet. Nothing is recording.

Control Panel/Sound shows Headset Mic Realtek High Definition Audio as not plugged in.
the Headset Mic properties show jack information as the rear panel 3.5 mm jack I’ve connected to the phone headphone jack. It’s enabled.
Microphone (Realtek High Definition Audio) as Default Communications Device
the jack for this is listed as ATAPI Internal connector. It’s also enabled of course.
Stereo Mix (Realtek High Definition Audio) Default Device
no jack information for this, also enabled.

For playback (not that I’ve gotten that far), is Realtek HD Audio 2nd output. As I’m typing it’s reacting to background & typing noise.

All controls are greyed out. I’ve test called places with recorded answers. Nothing happens with Audacity. I’ve used the speaker on the phone to check that there’s sound coming out & yes, there is.

I can’t change the greyed out mic control source from Microsoft Sound Mapper Input, same setting for output.

I tried researching but haven’t found anything about recording from a cell phone. Is there anyone here who can help me figure out what’s wrong here?

Thank you!

The obvious desperation method is lay the phone speaker over the tablet microphone and record them that way. I have to do a similar trick to “capture” answering machine messages. It won’t be studio quality and you have to do it in a quiet room, but it does work.

The hardest part may be finding the tablet microphone.They are so small, they’re a little rough to find.

A trip to the instructions may tell you.


Like this.


The best solution would be to find a way to transfer the files digitally, but that depends on your phone and your voice mail application, etc. I don’t know how to do that… You might need an app for converting your voicemail to MP3 or WAV and then you can save/transfer the files to your computer…

I have a 3.5 mm audio cable running from the headphone jack of my phone to the microphone jack in the tablet.

If the computer has a single combination microphone-headphone jack you need a 4-position TRRS adapter plug/cable to make the microphone connection. (Regular headphones will work with a regular headphone plug but a regular computer mic will not.) But even with the correct plug/cable, you won’t get the best quality because a headphone-output is about 100 times higher than a microphone and you’ll probably overload the mic-input.

Or, you can get a USB audio interface with line-inputs.

Stereo Mix (Realtek High Definition Audio) Default Device

Stereo Mix records whatever sound is coming out of the speakers/soundcard. That will work if you can hear the voicemail coming out of your computer speakers but it’s not the best solution.

I can’t change the greyed out mic control source from Microsoft Sound Mapper Input, same setting for output.

If you have the combo mic/headphone jack, the mic may not show-up until it’s actually connected with the correct adapter plug/cable.

Or you can use this technology (click the graphic).
The Mac microphones are just left of the Shift key. Your mileage may vary. Consult your instructions. You also need to find the speaker on your phone. It’s not always obvious.

If you have voicemails or audio messages on your computer, then you need the setup that allows you to record internet audio or sound playing on the computer.


As above, even if you do get all the “right” adapters and cables, there is a basic mismatch between the high/speaker/line volume at the phone and the sensitive, quiet connection at the computer. Computers haven’t had Line-In connections in a long time. So there is a terrifically high chance of overload and clipping distortion in the recording, even if you do everything else right.

You can go through all that if you want. I’ll be using the acoustic technique, transfer all my messages and be home eating lunch.


Do Google software transfer techniques. Many cell phone suppliers have them but don’t advertise them because of state and country phone recording laws. You may record you all day long, but recording the far side is frequently forbidden.

You might be able to email yourself all the messages by adding the right APP.


Hi Koz,

What is acoustic technique? I have been trying to go transfer voicemails to audacity but it does not work. I plug in the audio cable to my cell phone, my cell phone reads it as a headphone. I thought ok great. So I hook up the cable to my computer the mic outlet…go to audacity and all audacity picks up is me( background ), bot my cell phone voicemails. I see videos on this from CNET and it looks like it works for them, I am doing the same thing. Again, it records nothing from my phone…I even put headphones in and opened up the voicemail app from android, which it runs off of the cell phone carrier really. Anyway, I put headphones in just to check, and play the voicemails and can hear the voicemails through headphones. So why is this not working for audacity?

Sounds like you have Audacity set to record from the computer’s built-in mic.
In the device toolbar, set the recording device to the “line input” if there is one. If in doubt, check the Windows Sound Control Panel to find the name of the device that you want to record from.

I have been trying to go transfer voicemails to audacity but it does not work.

Did you Google your phone type and “Copy Voicemails” or other search term? The object is to do it via software, not a cable.

Connecting a phone to a computer isn’t simple.


This is the article which led me to believe that recording my voicemail onto my computer was going to be much easier than it turned out to be

I looked up the HP splitx2, which I’ve been using. It turns out the jack in the back is a combo headphone/microphone jack, so it should have worked. There’s nothing clearly marked as “line in”, at least not with Windows 10 Home. There’s the choice of Microsoft Sound Mapper or Microphone (RealTek High Definition). Neither worked for me.

But, thanks to AT&T, I no longer have the option of saving the voicemail of those with whom I’ve done business & now think are shady. I hadn’t checked my voicemail for a month while I was figuring this out. When I gave up and went to play, it requested a pin number. I’ve used this carrier and voicemail since late 2014. I never used a pin. AT&T customer service said their new voicemail system now requires a pin. Four hours, 2 days and 1 customer service supervisor doing a no call/no show later, I now have three new sets of numbers associated with my account and visual voicemail. But instead of a voicemail pin reset they brought my voicemail all the way back to needing to be set up. I lost all but 8 voicemails with none of the survivors needing recording.

They also email unlock instructions. In contrast to the unlock instructions for my Samsung Galaxy s5 on YouTube, AT&T instructions said to insert a sim card from another carrier instead of the YouTube choice of a simple blank sd card. The TMobile was too large to fit so I tried to put it in where the external memory card went, as it seems to be a bigger area and the instructions were unclear. Now my phone can’t read any external memory & I have to figure out how to get the cover off so I can check the pins. If it isn’t one thing it’s the other!

But thank you for your efforts to try and make the recording happen. :slight_smile: I have old bootleg cassettes and an iRiver mp3 player to record them digitally. Audacity should be a help in cleaning the recordings up.