How to send a voice note in iOS Messages

A photo of a man holding an iPhone in front of his face and talking into it. He has a happy expression on his face.
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Learning how to send a voice note in iOS Messages is one of the first things you'll need to do if you're new to iOS, or to the iOS Messages app. If you're returning to Messages after some time away, you may be left scratching your head as to where the voice note button is, thanks to the changes made to the Messages app with iOS 17.

Whatever the reason, don't worry — as you'd expect from some of the best phones around, iPhones are pretty user-friendly, so sending a voice note in iMessage isn't difficult. 

All you need to do is follow the steps below to learn how to send a voice note in iOS Messages.

So that we're all on the same page, ensure your device is fully up to date before we begin. We can show you how to update an iPhone if you need some help.

How to send a voice note in iOS Messages

  1. Open a Messages thread
  2. Tap the '+' symbol
  3. Select Audio
  4. Record a voice note
  5. Tap Stop when done
  6. Hit Send

Read on to see full illustrated instructions.

1. In Messages, tap the '+' button

(Image: © Future)

Firstly, open up a Messages conversation and tap the plus '+' button. This might seem counter-intuitive as there's a Microphone button on the other side of the text box (especially as that's where rivals like WhatsApp place the voice note button). That icon actually begins dictation — it will convert anything you say into text.

2. Tap Audio

(Image: © Future)

From the menu, tap Audio. If you've rearranged your Messages menu, it might be under the More section. 

3. Record your voice note then tap Stop

(Image: © Future)

Now record what you want to say. There's no need to hold anything down to keep recording, but you'll need to tap the Stop button when you're done.

4. Tap Send

(Image: © Future)

Finally, tap Send. If you'd like to listen to your voice message before you do, you can hit the Play button to hear it back.

That's really all there is to it, although given the changes made to Messages in iOS 17 and the confusingly-placed dictation button, it's understandable if you hadn't worked out where to find voice notes before now. 

If you'd like to learn more ways to use your iPhone, we can show you how to clear RAM on iPhone, which can help speed up a sluggish device. We can also show you how to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone, so you can move everything to a new device smoothly. You may also want to learn how to set up StandBy Mode on iPhone, so your device can function as a bedside display.

Peter Wolinski
Editor, How To & Cameras

Peter is Editor of the How To and Camera sections at Tom's Guide. As a writer, he covers topics including tech, photography, gaming, hardware, motoring and food & drink. Outside of work, he's an avid photographer, specialising in architectural and portrait photography. When he's not snapping away on his beloved Fujifilm camera, he can usually be found telling everyone about his greyhounds, obsessively detailing his car, squeezing as many FPS as possible out of PC games, and perfecting his espresso shots.