Quick steps for getting your Visual Voicemail back on your iPhone

(You can read my exciting story towards the end, but you probably won’t because you just want your VVM to work)


Retrieve and delete all old voicemail off the iPhone. Also go into the deleted voicemail area and clear it.


Retrieve and delete all old voicemails (some you probably haven’t received yet) from the AT&T voicemail by hold “1” on your phone.


Reset you phone network connection by

Settings -> General -> Reset on the iphone and tap Reset Network Settings.

When the phone finishes rebooting try to leave yourself a voicemail from a land line or another phone. Give it 5 minutes to come through (should be enough time even for AT&T).

If you still don’t have voicemail try to delete the AT&T profile.

Settings -> General -> iPhone profiles. Find the profile that says BenM.at in the description. Select remove.

It will reboot… now go back and follow the network reset again as above and test again. You may need to repeat these steps at least one more time.  It took a while, but it did eventually work for me.

Here is the full story….

I knew I shouldn’t keep my iPhone patched. As an IT guy I have long known that blindly patching anything just leads to misery. If you don’t need to patch then don’t. If you do need to patch let the rest of the work be your testers and work out the kinds first.

I guess I was drawn in by the desire to MMS messaging. I rationalized my early adoption by knowing that many of my corporate iPhone users would upgrade as soon as the notice popped up on their screen.  If I hadn’t patched and learned all the pitfalls then I could be in for some ugly support calls just when I don’t have the time for them.

So I sacrified myself and patched. My initial smoke test went well and everything I appeared to use seemed to work. I listened to several iPhone pod cast where people were having problems with batter life. I seemed to have better batter life than before except in unique situations. Then it would die in less than 30 minutes. A simple reset and not using GPS when avoidable seem to extend the battery life. I have even turned off G3 unless I travel into an area that has it.

It wasn’t until almost a month later that I realized something wasn’t right. I have always had hit or miss luck with voicemails. The visual voicemail is very cool and a big reason I like the phone, but sometimes they seem to delay. Not as bad as my old Nextel days, but still nothing to brag about.  I have a few people call me and said they left voice mails. Hmmm nothing…. Maybe they really didn’t… that has happened before.  Today I was able to verify that I wasn’t getting them. In face I found out because someone told me my voicemail was full…. FULL?!? How can it be full. I don’t have any voicemails.

I had to do the voice mail version of a punt and manually call the voicemail box by holding down 1 on the phone.  Holly S@#% 33 voicemails!!!! Grrrr

I went through the always fun task of reviewing all 33 hoping nothing was super critical that I missed. Luck for me I am pretty good at watching my missed call list and I frequently call be before someone can get a voice mail completed. Most of the call I had called back or they had emailed me the same message. Phew!

Now to trouble shoot this. I called my guys who also have iPhones and they had no idea. If I can’t fix it they will have to break down and wade through the AT&T iPhone support desk. I would like to avoid that so I do a google search. I have been playing around with Bing and use that for about 70% of my searches, but for tech support search I still get much better results with google.

My first quality search hit is to do a reset. Been there and done that, but I do it again anyways nothing. I leave myself a message and nothing comes through. Next is a reset for phone who hacked the tethering feature. I haven’t done that but the reset makes sense so I give that a try.

Settings -> General  -> Reset on iphone and tap Reset Network Settings.  It does a reset and comes back.  Still no voicemail.

I do more searches the two basic results are manually get your voicemails by holding ‘1’ and when you end the call it will be fixed…. Er… still not working! The other is to do a network reset. Hmmm still no luck!!

Next up is removing the AT&T profile.  I see that some are having luck with this.  Settings -> General -> iPhone Profiles. You remove the profile with BenM.at in the description.  Check it again still not working. OK I know I have to call AT&T so I better going through the reset again. Why? Because don’t you feel stupid when you call support and they have you do the basic reset and it works. You try to save face with support and say “huh? I tried that before and it didn’t work”. They tech guys thinks you are lying and you think the tech guy hit the magic switch he has….. so back to the basics.

Settings -> General  -> Reset on iphone and tap Reset Network Settings.  It does a reset and comes back.  The telling tone of voicemail waiting emerges.

Now here is what is really getting me. What broke my voicemail is AT&T trying to prevent tethering. As a good IT Leader I have never jail broken my phone and I have never attempted tethering. Now tethering is 100% something that AT&T should offer AND it should not cost $.01 more than what I am paying now. I already buy the bandwidth which AT&T falsely calls the data plan unlimited!! Then they break a basic feature of the phone.