How to Send Voice Memos on iPhone

The iPhone makes it easy to record and send voice memos right from your device. Whether you want to send a quick verbal note or a long-form message, the iPhone’s built-in apps allow you to record audio and share it in just a few taps.

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In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the different ways to record and send voice memos on iPhone using the Messages app, Voice Memos app, and more.


Being able to quickly capture your thoughts, ideas, reminders, and more by recording voice memos comes in handy in many situations. Voice memos are an easy way to communicate when you don’t have time to type out a text or email.

The iPhone has two main built-in apps that allow you to record and share voice messages:

  • Messages app – Available on any iPhone model, you can record short voice memos and send them via iMessage or SMS text messages.
  • Voice Memos app – This dedicated voice recording app allows you to record longer-form memos. You can then easily share them via Messages, email, AirDrop and more.

Voice memos have a variety of great uses, including:

  • Leaving verbal reminders for yourself or others
  • Capturing ideas, thoughts or to-do lists on the go
  • Providing feedback or commentary on projects
  • Sending quick updates to family, friends or co-workers
  • Recording song ideas, melodies or beats

Being able to quickly record your voice and share it is a handy communication option to have on your iPhone.

How to Send Voice Memos via Messages App

The Messages app on iPhone allows you to record and send brief voice memos of up to 2 minutes directly within an iMessage or SMS conversation.

Here are the steps to send a voice memo through the Messages app:

1. Open Messages and Select a Conversation

  • Launch the Messages app and open the conversation where you want to send the voice memo. This can be an individual or group conversation.

2. Tap the Audio Icon

  • Tap on the App icon (gray circle with a square inside) to the left of the text box.
  • In the tray that slides up, tap on the waveform Audio icon.

3. Record Your Voice Memo

  • Tap and hold the red Record button to start recording your voice memo.
  • Speak your message into the microphone. When finished, let go of the Record button.
  • You can tap the Record button again if you want to stop and start over.

4. Review, Re-Record or Send the Voice Memo

  • Once you let go of the Record button, you can tap the Play button to review your recording.
  • If you want to re-record, tap Delete and start over.
  • When ready, tap the right arrow to send the voice memo or the up arrow to save it to your device without sending.
  • The memo will be delivered as an audio attachment in your conversation.

And that’s all there is to sending quick voice memos directly through the Messages app!

How to Send Voice Memos via Voice Memos App

For recording longer voice memos, up to 60 minutes, the dedicated Voice Memos app is a better option. You can then easily share the recordings via Messages, Mail, AirDrop and more.

Here are the steps to record and share voice memos using the Voice Memos app:

1. Open the Voice Memos App

  • Launch the Voice Memos app from your Home screen or by asking Siri to “Open Voice Memos”.

2. Tap the Record Button

  • Tap and hold the large red Record button at the bottom to start recording your voice memo.

3. Stop Recording When Done

  • When you’ve finished recording your message, tap the Record button again to stop.

4. Review, Retitle and Trim the Recording

  • Tap the Play button to listen back to your memo.
  • You can tap the scissors icon to trim the start or end.
  • Tap the title at the top (“New Recording” by default) to rename the memo.

5. Share the Voice Memo

  • Tap the More Actions (…) button in the bottom-right corner.
  • Choose Share Recording.
  • Select a sharing method like Messages, Mail, AirDrop, etc.
  • Choose a recipient and send the voice memo.

The Voice Memos app provides more recording tools and options than Messages for capturing longer, higher quality voice memos. And sharing the finished recordings is just as easy.

Voice Memo File Types Sent by iPhone

When you send voice memos from your iPhone, they are delivered as .m4a audio files. This file format allows high quality audio to be compressed into a smaller file size.

Both the Messages app and Voice Memos app will send using AAC audio encoding in an .m4a file.

.m4a stands for MPEG-4 Audio and is a standardized audio file type that can store high quality audio in a compressed format, much like MP3 files. This makes it easy to share voice memos without needing huge file sizes.

Any smartphone or computer that supports AAC audio encoding will be able to play the .m4a files sent from your iPhone. Most modern devices have support for this standard audio format.

Voice Memo File Size Limit in Messages

When sending voice memos through the Messages app, there is a file size limit of 150MB. This allows you to send voice memos up to around 2 minutes in length.

If you try to send a voice memo longer than 2 minutes via Messages, you’ll get an error that the message failed to send.

For longer form voice memos, it’s recommended to use the Voice Memos app and utilize other sharing options like Mail or AirDrop which support larger file transfer sizes.

Voice Memo Storage on iPhone

Voice memos you record on your iPhone will be automatically saved within the Voice Memos app so you can access them later.

Recordings made in the Messages app can be saved to your iPhone by tapping the Up arrow after recording instead of the Send arrow.

To find and manage your saved voice memos:

  1. Open the Voice Memos app.
  2. Tap on a memo to play it back.
  3. Swipe left on a memo to see the delete button.
  4. Tap Edit in the top right to select multiple memos to share, delete or organize.

Your memos will be organized by date created. You can use playlists and folders to further organize your voice memo library.

By default, voice memos are stored locally on your device. You can choose to sync them to iCloud by going to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > iCloud Drive and toggling on Voice Memos.

Voice Memo Recording Tips

Here are some tips for recording high quality voice memos on your iPhone:

  • Speak loudly and clearly into the microphone.
  • Reduce background noise by moving to a quiet area.
  • Hold the iPhone microphone close to your mouth as you record.
  • Tap the Play button periodically to review the recording volume.
  • For long memos, connect headphones with a built-in mic for better positioning.
  • Use a stable surface to avoid vibrations that cause muffling or shaking sounds.
  • Give quick intros so recipients can easily identify each recording.

With just a few taps, you can capture thoughts, ideas, reminders and more using your iPhone voice memos. Follow the steps outlined above to easily record and share voice messages with anyone right from your iPhone.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I send voice memos to Android users?

Yes, voice memos recorded on an iPhone can be shared with Android smartphone users. When sending through Messages, they will receive it as an .m4a audio file attachment which any modern smartphone can play. Android users may need to download a compatible audio player app if they have trouble playing it.

2. Is there a limit to how long my voice memo can be?

The Messages app limits voice memos to 2 minutes. For longer recordings, use the Voice Memos app which supports memos up to 60 minutes. There’s no length limit when sharing Voice Memo recordings via Mail, AirDrop, etc.

3. Do voice memos take up a lot of storage space?

Voice memos use compressed audio formats like AAC/M4A so they don’t take up much storage space. A 2 minute voice memo uses around 1-2MB. Even hundreds of voice memos will take up just a fraction of your total device storage.

4. Can I edit voice memos on iPhone?

Yes, you can trim the start/end points of recordings made with the Voice Memos app. Just tap the scissors icon while listening to a memo. You can’t edit voice memos made within the Messages app, but you can re-record as needed before sending.

5. What accessories work best for voice memos?

Using wired earbuds with an in-line mic can help with voice memo recording. This positions the mic closely and reduces ambient noise. Small tripods can also be helpful to stabilize the iPhone while recording longer voice memos hands-free.


Recording voice memos on your iPhone is easy with the built-in Messages and Voice Memos apps. Whether you need to quickly send a short verbal message or capture a long-form audio note, your iPhone has you covered.

Sharing your voice memos via text, email, AirDrop or other sharing methods allows you to communicate your thoughts and ideas in a personal way. Use the tips above to record high quality voice messages and share them seamlessly on your iPhone.

App UsedMessages, Voice Memos
Maximum Recording Length2 min (Messages), 60 min (Voice Memos)
Sharing OptionsiMessage, SMS, Email, AirDrop
Audio FormatM4A (AAC compression)
File Size~1-2MB per minute
StorageSaved locally, can sync to iCloud

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