How to Turn Off Voicemail - A Step-By-Step Guide

May 29, 2022
 min read

Whether it is the time, money, or cat-and-mouse game that is involved with voicemails, there are many reasons why you may want to disable your voicemail service.

Keep reading to get step-by-step guidance on how to turn off your phone's voicemail, using several different methods depending on what works for your device and your service provider.

Also, consider the many alternatives that can make voicemail useful to you, particularly if your phone is your main point of contact for business. If you are still wanting the benefits of voicemail, but just wish it was simpler, consider using a smart voicemail app. Apps like Vxt Voicemail are make it so you can read you voicemails as if they were text messages. Vxt is available on the App Store and Google Play.

1. Use Your Phone (MMI) Codes to Deactivate Voicemail

If you want to turn off your voicemail outright so that others cannot leave you messages, the quickest and easiest way to do so is by using a MMI code. A MMI code, or Man-Machine-Interface code, is a way for your phone to communicate with your mobile service provider and change settings which affect how your phone handles calls (among other things).

One of these codes is ##004#, which tells your mobile service provider to disable your conditional call forwarding settings. This disables a feature that your voicemail relies on to work. Therefore, when your conditional call forwarding settings are disabled, your voicemail is too.

However, not all mobile service providers comply with global standards around MMI codes, even though they are required to. This means that depending on your provider, this method might not work. Try dialling ##004# from your phone app as shown in the screenshot below, and then give yourself a test call using another phone to see if your voicemail has turned off successfully.

Some phone providers, like Optus in Australia for example, don't allow ##004# as a method to turn off your voicemail, but they do provide alternatives.

In the case of Optus, you can dial 1509 and call the number. Follow the prompts and select the ‘voicemail’ option and follow this by choosing the ‘deactivate’ option. If you’re using a Postpaid mobile service you can also use the Optus SMS menu by texting the number ‘8’ to 9999 and following the remaining prompts.

The service codes for other popular carriers should be available on their websites. If calling ##004# doesn't work for you then try googling "call forwarding codes [carriers name]" or "how to turn off voicemail [carriers name]". Or you can try any of the other methods outlined below.

2. Disable Your Voicemail through Your Phone Settings

This method unfortunately only works for Android devices. For iPhone users, try the other methods provided.

The specific type of voicemail settings you will have access to will depend on the phone you are using and the service provider you are with. You may not have the capacity to deactivate your voicemail in some cases. In that case, also have a go at the other methods.

To see if your phone is capable of turning off voicemail through its settings, look in the voicemail settings and search for a "deactivate" or ‘turn off’ option. If you find the correct option, disabling it will turn off the voicemail function. Remember, you can always enable your voicemail services again by using this method in reverse.

You may also be able to turn off 'call forwarding' through your phone's call settings. This can be found by accessing the settings in your phone's calling app, then choosing "supplementary services" then choosing "disable" for forwarding when busy, unanswered, or unreachable. If you need more help on how to do this, check out this video which will take you step by step through all the best methods available.

3. Use a Smart Voicemail App

Having to check voicemail messages is a dreaded task for many. To get the benefits of using voicemail without the hassel, consider switching to a visual voicemail app. A visual voicemail app makes checking your voicemails more like checking text messages. Visual voicemail apps work alongside your service provider to make your life easier.

With a visual voicemail app, your messages are transcribed and displayed in an email-like display, allowing you to quickly read and prioritize them without painstakingly listening to every single audio message. You don't even need to dial a number to find out who left the call, how long the message lasted, or what the content of the message was. Simply open the app and scroll through and read your voicemails, in any order you choose.

Some voicemail apps have an integrations marketplace, meaning you can receive your messages in third-party apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Salesforce. You can also use voicemail apps with landlines and toll-free numbers, not just mobile phone numbers. Also, if you're a busy professional, you can share your voicemail inbox with others like your colleagues, and set up multiple inboxes if you have more than one phone number.

Voicemail apps like Vxt have options for both individuals, professionals, and business owners, who get left a lot of voicemail. The time saved can accumulate to hours each week, which can be spent on other more meaningful tasks.

iPhone: Download Vxt for iOS on the Apple App Store.

Android: Download Vxt for Android on the Google Play Store.

Desktop: Try Vxt for free on Google Chrome, Safari, and other browsers at Vxt.

4. Contact Your Phone Provider Directly

While some phones will allow you to manually deactivate your voicemail, most voicemail services are controlled by your service provider. This means you may need to contact your mobile carrier’s support team to disable your voicemail. Calling your service provider’s helpline will put you in touch with a representative who will be able to help you (for example, in the case of Optus call 13 39 37). The contact information for your specific carrier will be available on their website.

If you are unsure of who your service provider is, check your phone’s homepage or billing information. Service hotlines are free of charge, however, consider setting aside some time in your day if you do decide to call. Calling traffic can be high depending on the time of day and you may be kept on hold for a long period of time as you wait to get in contact with someone.

Alternatively, you can go online and register your profile with your service provider on their website. Once you have made an account, you can usually change your voicemail function in the account settings tab. This will save you the time and hassle of contacting the service provider directly.


Once you’ve gone through the various methods of deactivating your voicemail one way or another, it is a good idea to check for yourself that it’s been done. Call your number from another phone, or get a friend to dial your number and give your phone a test run. Don’t answer the incoming call and see if the calling line is prompted to leave a message. If there is no voicemail option, you’ll know you have successfully removed your voicemail.

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