Question

Visual Voicemail using Default Android 10 App (NOT T-Mobile App)?

  • 4 July 2021
  • 8 replies
  • 920 views

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Hi,

I have a non-Tmobile provided Android 10 phone that has native Visual Voicemail app. Can I get that to work WITHOUT using T-Mobile Visual Voicemail app? If so how?

 

Thanks,
Sujith


8 replies

I was going to add this to another thread, but it was locked. I discovered a work around. (persistence was key here). Note that I am not an expert, and your mileage may vary.

 

  1. If the T-Mobile account is older than a couple years, the voicemail box (on T-Mobile's end) needs an update. In order to do this, the user needs to request that a T-Mobile rep reset their voicemail account. (completely reset back to new)
  2. The voicemail box then needs to be authorized for visual voicemail, which is done through the T-Mobile Visual Voicemail app. The user should not accept any of the extra services, as this will designate the Visual Voicemail app as the only usable external app for the T-Mobile voicemail service.
  3. Then the user must delete the T-Mobile visual voicemail app from their phone. This app blocks the voicemail user settings on android devices and cannot remain installed if the user wants to use stock or built-in voicemail services.
  4. The user can then restart their device and activate visual voicemail in the stock Google phone app.

 

I have tested this on a few different android devices, including a Oneplus 9, Oneplus 6t, and a Samsung Galaxy A50. So far, it works 100% of the time. This tells me that it is likely a T-Mobile software issue, but I'm mostly just glad that there seems to be a common solution.

 

Please like my reply if this solution worked for you. If you are not willing to do all these steps.. then unless you have a Nexus device or an IPhone, get comfy with the T-Mobile visual voicemail app. A lot of people have spent a lot of time looking for a solution.

The user should not accept any of the extra services, as this will designate the Visual Voicemail app as the only usable external app for the T-Mobile voicemail service.

 

Can you explain what you mean by “extra services”? Just want to make sure I’m not denying something I shouldn’t

Can you explain what you mean by “extra services”? Just want to make sure I’m not denying something I shouldn’t

Hey boopbeepboop, It has been a while since I had done this and I don’t quite remember. I’m pretty sure I just meant the “setup voicemail to text” or the “spam filter” services. You know.. the ones that are free for a time and then cost like $4 a month or something.

The biggest point here is that T-Mobile needs to manually reset your voicemail account. Like completely factory reset it. I believe it has something to do with cache or updates or something on their end. I imagine it is hard for them to push global updates on millions of voicemail accounts without bothering some people, so they probably just don’t get around to it often.

That being said, after T-Mobile resets your voicemail completely and you go through these other steps, your voicemail box should be Android ready and should connect to the stock voicemail service seamlessly. At least the 3 phones I tried this on had success.

The biggest point here is that T-Mobile needs to manually reset your voicemail account. Like completely factory reset it.

Just wanted to add that no T-mobile rep on the phone is going to have the slightest idea what you are doing. If you try and explain it, they are going to push you up to a different tech who will be just as confused. Just tell them you want to completely reset your voicemail for your own reasons. They have a system in place just for this and the request is not unheard of. If they insist that the need to know why, just say “for personal reasons, I need to have my voicemail box reset”.

Don’t worry about your old voicemails from grandma. You were never going to do anything with those anyway.. and you wouldn’t be able to without Android voicemail anyhow. 

I was going to add this to another thread, but it was locked. I discovered a work around. (persistence was key here). Note that I am not an expert, and your mileage may vary.

 

  1. If the T-Mobile account is older than a couple years, the voicemail box (on T-Mobile's end) needs an update. In order to do this, the user needs to request that a T-Mobile rep reset their voicemail account. (completely reset back to new)
  2. The voicemail box then needs to be authorized for visual voicemail, which is done through the T-Mobile Visual Voicemail app. The user should not accept any of the extra services, as this will designate the Visual Voicemail app as the only usable external app for the T-Mobile voicemail service.
  3. Then the user must delete the T-Mobile visual voicemail app from their phone. This app blocks the voicemail user settings on android devices and cannot remain installed if the user wants to use stock or built-in voicemail services.
  4. The user can then restart their device and activate visual voicemail in the stock Google phone app.

 

I have tested this on a few different android devices, including a Oneplus 9, Oneplus 6t, and a Samsung Galaxy A50. So far, it works 100% of the time. This tells me that it is likely a T-Mobile software issue, but I'm mostly just glad that there seems to be a common solution.

 

Please like my reply if this solution worked for you. If you are not willing to do all these steps.. then unless you have a Nexus device or an IPhone, get comfy with the T-Mobile visual voicemail app. A lot of people have spent a lot of time looking for a solution.

Hi, this didn't work for me. I called TMobile, they deleted my voicemail and created it again. Once that was done I used the TMO VVM app to activate the voicemail again. Uninstalled TMO VVM, restarted, the phone and proceeded to activate VVM in the native dialer. Result, same as before "Can't activate Visual Voicemail". 

This was executed on my OnePlus 8 pro.

When you had the TMO VVM app active, were your voicemails coming through? You may need to dial into your new voicemail and give it the initial set up first..

When you had the TMO VVM app active, were your voicemails coming through? You may need to dial into your new voicemail and give it the initial set up first..

I got to the point where there was a welcome message on TMO-VVM inbox, then I uninstalled the app. My opinion here that TMO is denying activation to non-tmobile IMEIs with only Apple and Pixel Phones are exempted.

I got to the point where there was a welcome message on TMO-VVM inbox, then I uninstalled the app. My opinion here that TMO is denying activation to non-tmobile IMEIs with only Apple and Pixel Phones are exempted.

I am currently using my OnePlus 9 with Android VMM active, so that can’t be 100% true. I’m pretty sure it is a software issue when T-Mobile made their push for their own VMM app.

I would still recommend dialing “1” on your phone, setting up your voicemail with a password, resetting your phone and trying again.. if you haven’t already. This is the only step I took that I forgot to include in my initial post.

 

Edit to add: If that still doesn’t work.. I guess I should have added a YMMV. I hoped this would be a universal solution, and it worked on my small number of tests, but I am sorry if this doesn’t help you in the end. It is a real bummer that T-Mobile can’t get this together. VVM is a big deal today and their app hasn’t gotten a proper update in years.

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