How to fix Visual Voicemail that is not working on Apple iPhone XS after iOS 12.1 update [Troubleshooting Guide]

As the name implies, visual voicemail refers to a direct-access voicemail with a visual interface that presents a list of messages for playback. With visual voicemail, you can simply scan through all your messages, have a visual summary of who called and when that call was made and select which message to listen to right on your iPhone screen. Depending on your voicemail plan or subscription, you can avail of some additional voicemail features and voice message services. Data charges applied when using visual voicemail are usually included in your postpaid plan and may vary depending on your carrier.

To get started in using visual voicemail on your iPhone XS, you need to set it up first. Visual Voicemail works on iPhone 6s and later iPhone models with iOS 10 platform, thus it should be supported and available on the new iPhone XS. In case you will bump into some trouble and found out that visual voicemail is not working as intended on your new iPhone XS following the recent iOS 12.1 update, then this post may be able to help you solve the problem. Read on to find out what to do if your iPhone XS visual voicemail stops working suddenly after installing the new iOS version on your phone.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you are looking for a solution to a different issue, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common problems reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XS with Visual Voicemail that’s not working

Before troubleshooting, make sure that you have properly set up visual voicemail on your iPhone XS. Also check your iPhone if it’s getting a strong cellular signal as visual voicemail needs strong and stable cellular signal in order to work as intended. Without a signal, your iPhone cannot stay in sync with the voicemail server hosted by your wireless carrier. If you’re phone isn’t getting a good signal, then you will need to deal with signal or network problems first. If the signal isn’t the problem, then go ahead and try any of these subsequent solutions to rule out software-related errors that might have halted visual voicemail from working properly on your iPhone XS.

First solution: Toggle Airplane Mode on and then off again.

Performing the Airplane mode trick has been proven effective in terms of resolving network-related issues including those causing troubles with network services like visual voicemail. It turned out that network errors are often rectified by restarting the phone’s network services and one of way to do so is by turning Airplane Mode on and off shortly. If you wish to give it a shot, then here’s how it’s done:

  1. Head over to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  2. Toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn OFF.
  3. Restart/soft reset your iPhone.
  4. Head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  5. Then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode back ON.

Wait for your phone to re-establish network connections (cellular data and Wi-Fi). When it’s connected, try placing a call to your iPhone XS using another phone and see if Visual Voicemail is already working.

Second solution: Turn Cellular services off then back on.

Again, visual voicemail requires strong cellular connection. To rule out random network issues affecting cellular services on your iPhone XS that eventually caused troubles with visual voicemail, try turning cellular services off and then back on again. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap to open Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on Cellular then navigate to Cellular Data.
  3. Toggle the switch next to Cellular Data to turn the feature ON.
  4. Scroll down through the menu options to enable cellular data for your apps.

If cellular data is already turned on, toggle the switch to turn it OFF shortly and then turn back ON.

That should refresh your phone’s cellular services including visual voicemail.

Third solution: Install pending carrier updates.

Visual voicemail is a carrier-offered services thus it’s usually maintained by system or carrier updates. But since the problem started after updating the iPhone system or iOS, installing new carrier updates would be your next option. Carriers usually offer fix patches to deal with problems affecting network-related services through carrier settings updates, so make sure you don’t miss any important update on your phone. Here’s how to check for new carrier updates on an iPhone XS:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap About.

If a new carrier update is available, you will see an update prompt. So stay on that screen for a few seconds and wait for the update message to show up. If it doesn’t appear, then it means that no carrier settings update is available at the moment and thus your carrier settings are up-to-date.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings.

Network problems on an iPhone are generally resolved by resetting the network settings. Performing this reset deletes all your current network configurations including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, APN settings and other relevant information. Any error caused by invalid configurations will likewise be deleted in the process. This does not affect any saved data on the phone memory so you don’t need to create back ups beforehand. Just don’t forget to take note of your Wi-Fi password as you will need to enter it again when you reconnect. Here’s how to reset network settings on your iPhone XS:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Then tap on General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Finally, tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

After the reset, your device should reboot automatically. Just wait until it boots up and then you can set up and reconnect to your network services. Try and see if that fixes the problem with your visual voicemail.

Fifth solution: Restore iPhone to its factory default.

You may opt for a master reset or factory reset if all else failed to fix the problem and you still couldn’t get visual voicemail to work properly on your iPhone XS. This will help clear all complex system errors inflicted by the update that eventually caused visual voicemail to stop working. But before you do so, back up all your important files to iCloud or iTunes so you can just restore them later. Once you’re all set, you can reset and restore your iPhone XS to factory defaults through settings with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Then tap on General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Finally, tap the option to confirm full system reset (factory reset).

After the reset, set up voicemail on your iPhone XS like the first time you do.

Other options

Changing or Resetting visual voicemail password and setting the language to English (United States) can also be considered among other tweaks to try if you don’t want to go for a factory reset.

To change your voicemail password, simply follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings-> Phone menu.
  2. Tap the option to Change Voicemail Password.
  3. Enter your current voicemail password.
  4. Then tap Done on the top-right corner.
  5. Enter the new voicemail password you want to use and then tap Done.
  6. If prompted, enter your new voicemail password again to confirm.
  7. Then tap Done to save the changes.

Your voicemail password is now changes, so you should enter this new password the next time you’re asked when trying to check your voicemail on your iPhone XS.

To change the language, dial the voicemail system then enter your passcode when the system answers. From the Main Menu, access Personal Options then go to Personal Profile. Select the option to Change Language and then choose English.

Note that the number codes to access these menu options vary from carrier to carrier.

If you forgot your voicemail password, then you should contact your network service provider/carrier and ask help in resetting the password.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone XS. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.