Having trouble with iOS 12 Voice Memos App? If so, you are not alone. We see a lot of reports from folks having issues with Apple’s Voice Memo redesign.
Voice Memos first debuted in iOS 3, back in 2009. Since then, the core application hasn’t really seen a significant update.
There have been a few changes here and there, but nothing groundbreaking. That is, until iOS 12.
The voice recording app is getting its most significant update since its launch in the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system.
- Updated 3/25/2019 – iOS 12.2 Fix for Voice Memos
- How to Make a Voice Memo Using iOS 12 Voice Memos App
- Making More Complex Voice Memos
- How to Edit a Voice Memo
- How to Trim or Delete a Voice Memo
- How to Insert Audio into a Voice Memo
- Additional Options & Tips
- Voice Memo Names and Renaming a Voice Memo
- Voice Memos Not Syncing, Here’s a Workaround
- iPhone or iPad Voice Memos App Not Saving Recordings?
- Reader Tips
Updated 3/25/2019 – iOS 12.2 Fix for Voice Memos
Apple released the new iOS 12.2 today. The new iOS addresses two key problems with the Voice Memos App.
- Fixes an issue that could cause Voice Memos to automatically play back recordings when connecting to your car’s Bluetooth.
- The new update also resolves an issue that could cause Voice Memos to temporarily prevent renaming a recording.
This rename issue was a big handicap for some users in the prior iOS. You should definitely update your iOS in order to take advantage of these new bug fixes.
How to Make a Voice Memo Using iOS 12 Voice Memos App
Don’t worry — Voice Memos is still extremely easy to use for those quick audio recordings.
Basically, you open the app, hit the big red button at the bottom. Then, you hit the red square to finish recording.
A few extra tips for voice memos in iOS
- If you have an iPhone with 3D Touch, you can 3DTouch the Voice Memos app icon itself to start a new recording quickly.
- You can also add a shortcut to the Control Center that lets you quickly start a Voice Memo when you tap it. This is done by tapping on Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls and adding in Voice Memos.
Rename Your Voice Memo
On a side note, Voice Memos will add a generic file name by default, or if you have Location-Based Naming toggled on, voice memos automatically adds the current street address to the recording.
- Just tap on the Voice Memo Name to change it and type in your chosen name
- Or follow these steps to change the title via the Edit Recording feature
- Open Voice Memos and tap the VM you want to change the name of
- Tap the three dots in the bottom left corner of the VM
- From the on-screen menu, choose Edit Recording
- Tap on the title, which then highlights the title making it editable
- Type in your own title
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Making More Complex Voice Memos
In iOS 12+, you don’t have to stop at creating a simple voice recording. You’ll have some extra options to allow for more complicated audio clips.
Swiping up on the recording interface (where the red record button is) brings up additional options.
A “light” swipe up reveals the name of the recording file, a timer, and an audio waveform.
But swiping up this black interface to the top of the screen enables some other options, which we’ll get to below:
- Tap the double bar Pause icon to stop the current recording.
- If you’ve recorded audio in the current file, you can use the waveform to navigate that audio and listen back to everything you’ve recorded thus far.
- To start recording again, tap Resume.
- If there’s recorded audio, you’ll see the Pause button become a Replace button.
- You can record over audio by tapping and holding on the waveform to scrub through the recording. Tap Replace to record over current audio.
You should note that recording over audio in Voice Memos is irreversible. In any case, tap Done when you’re finished.
How to Edit a Voice Memo
iOS 12+ also adds at least two (but maybe three) simple but powerful ways of editing the audio you record in Voice Memos: Replace and Trim.
To access these options:
- Open the Voice Memos app.
- Select a file you’ve recorded.
- Tap the three-dot menu.
- In the popup, tap on Edit Recording.
From here, you’ll be brought to the familiar waveform screen. This is where you can edit previously recorded Voice Memos.
How to Replace Audio in Voice Memos
As we mentioned earlier, you can use the Replace button to make a new recording over existing audio.
This is particularly handy if you need to make a note before an important conversation, or you’re recording a song and would like to correct any notes
- Go to the Edit Recording menu.
- Tap and hold on the waveform with the blue marker to scrub through the audio.
- Tap the Replace button when you’re ready to record.
- When you’re done recording audio, hit Pause.
Just make sure to scrub back to the start of your new audio to check how it sounds. When you’re finished, hit Save Changes.
How to Trim or Delete a Voice Memo
In addition to replacing existing audio or inserting new audio, you can also delete sections of audio or trim a recording. Trim and Delete are separate functions, which we’ll get into.
This is useful for removing personal or sensitive information from recordings, or if there’s only one part of a Voice Memo you’d like to save
- Go to the Edit Recording menu.
- Tap the blue Trim/Crop tool in the upper-right or upper-left corner (which will differ depending on your device).
- You’ll see a yellow highlight over the waveform. At the bottom, there’ll also be a new smaller waveform. This spans the entire length of the audio recording and is surrounded by a yellow bracket.
- You can use either the yellow highlight or the yellow bracket to select a piece of the audio recording.
- Just move the selection by tapping and moving the highlighted portion.
When you’re done selecting a portion of audio, you’ll have two opposite buttons — Trim and Delete
- Trim will delete everything except the audio you’ve chosen.
- Delete will delete the audio selection you’ve made.
When you’re done, just tap Save Changes.
How to Insert Audio into a Voice Memo
iOS 12 also adds another powerful new editing ability to Voice Memos called Insert.
Unlike Replace, Insert doesn’t record over the existing audio. Instead, it puts adds a new recording into the audio file.
Unfortunately, Insert is not available on all devices. But if your device does support it, you’ll see it as an extra option next to the Crop/Trim tool
- Go to the Edit Recording menu.
- If you’re on a compatible iPhone or iPad, you should see a diamond-like icon. This is the Insert button.
- Tap on the Insert icon.
- Use the waveform to scrub through the audio until you find the point you want to insert new content.
- Tap the red Insert button at the bottom.
- Hit Pause when you’re done inserting audio.
When you’re finished, hit Save Changes.
Additional Options & Tips
If you navigate to Settings > Voice Memos, you’ll find some additional options.
- You can set the quality of Voice Memos. Compressed is lower-quality but saves space, while Lossless is higher-quality but takes up more storage.
- Under Default Name, you can also change how Voice Memo labels audio recordings that you don’t edit.
- Clear Deleted is how long Voice Memos will keep audio recordings that have been put in the “trash.”
Voice Memo Names and Renaming a Voice Memo
When you start a Voice Memo recording on your iDevice, it can use the Location to name the file. This is due to how the default settings work.
To change this behavior, you can go to Settings > Voice Memos and turn off Location-based naming.
Renaming a voice memo is not very straightforward.
There isn’t a rename option for voice memos. Interestingly, the rename option exists for PDF’s that you store in the new Books App. This is a consistency issue on iOS 12.
In any case, to rename a particular voice memo, tap on the name of the voice memo, change the name and tap on the return key. It saves the new name.
Where’s Recently Deleted Voice Memos in iOS 12
When you delete a voice memo, it should immediately show up in the Recently Deleted folder. This folder is only accessible (visible) when there are items that have been deleted.
Once here, you can use Recover all to recover the memos or permanently delete them by choosing Erase All.
An important item to keep in mind is in the Settings for Voice Memos. If you tap on Settings > Voice Memos > Clear Deleted, you will find that there are a few options here.
If you choose ‘immediately’ as the option, you will never find the Recently Deleted items folder when you work in the app. Make sure to select the appropriate setting for the retention period for your deleted voice memos here.
Voice Memos Not Syncing, Here’s a Workaround
After updating to iOS 12, many users have found that their Voice memos do not sync across all their devices. You create a memo on your iPhone, and it takes forever to show up on your Mac or iPad or doesn’t show up at all. This is probably a kink that Apple is trying to fix and will release a new iOS upgrade that will address this.
In the meantime, we suggest that you can use a workaround by using the native Files app in iOS 12.
Once you have edited and saved your voice memo on your iPhone, Tap on the share button and choose ‘Files’ from the option. Once you have saved the voice memo with Files, these are moved automatically into your iCloud drive.
Log in from anywhere to iCloud.com, and you will be able to access the Voice Memos. Similarly, since the files are now available on your iCloud drive, you should be able to access them using your iPad or MacBook without any issues.
Please do remember that the syncing across the devices of the files does take some time.
iPhone or iPad Voice Memos App Not Saving Recordings?
Unfortunately, quite a few folks tell us that their voice memos are not being saved after recording. Pressing the Done button doesn’t seem to work. Instead, the Done button directs you back to the Voice Memo main page and doesn’t show the recording you just made. Frustrating indeed!!
This problem is causing a lot of stress as important recording are lost and cannot be retrieved.
Suggestions When Voice Memos Does Not Save Your Recordings
- Update your iOS–Apple is working on a fix for this problem so it’s a good idea to update. Remember to backup first, then update via iTunes or OTA with Settings > General > Software Update
- Restart your device and open the Files App–check if your voice memos are there
- If you use headphones to monitor your voice recording (while it’s recording) make sure you connect to your headphones BEFORE pressing the record button. If you plug in or connect to your headphones during a recording, it stops
- Make sure Airplane Mode is off. Readers report problems when recording voice memos with Airplane Mode enabled
- Check that you enabled iCloud for Voice Memos. Go to Settings > Apple ID Profile > iCloud > Voice Memos
- If it’s already toggled ON, try toggling it off, wait 30 seconds, and toggle it back on
- Change your voice memo deletion settings to Never. Go to Settings > Voice Memos > Clear Deleted > and set to Never
- Then close the Voice Memo App, restart your device, and try again
- Search for your missing voice memos. Go to your Home Screen and swipe down to open Spotlight Search. Type in New Recording OR the name of the street where you recorded your voice memo if Location-Based Naming is on
- You can also type in the time that you recorded the voice memo if you recorded it today
- Or type in the date that you recorded the voice memo if you recorded it a different day than today
- Open Voice Memos and tap on Recently Deleted–see if your missing voice memos are there
- Toggle ON Location-based naming and see if this helps. Go to Settings > Voice Memos and under Voice Memos Settings choose Location-Based Naming
- Turn Bluetooth on or off, depending on your current setting
We hope that you found the Voice memo tips for iOS 12 helpful. Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or concerns.
- Once you finish recording your voice memo, tap the three dots and use the Share Button to send it to yourself via email, text, or add to notes or your Google Drive/Dropbox. Or select Save to Files to send and save it to your Files App
- My voice memos reappeared only after I closed the VM app. So after you finish recording, force close the voice memos app, then relaunch it and see if those vms are there–remember to check in the Recently Deleted Folder. If you still cannot find them, close the Voice Memo App again and then search for them via Spotlight Search
- Try to sync your device with iTunes–that helped me recover my missing voice memos!
- Make sure both Cellular Data and Background App Refresh are toggled on in Settings > Voice Memos
- Try spotlight search to find any missing voice memos. If you did not rename it, search for the term “recording” or “new recording.”
- If voice memos isn’t working or saving, download another recording app from the App Store. Make sure you read any app reviews before you purchase and install an app–even the free ones should be reviewed first
Mike is a freelance journalist from San Diego, California.
While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.
He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, and news designer.