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Android Native Visual Voicemail Trouble


    I'm using a Pixel2XL on T-Mobile and the native Visual Voicemail (built into the Google Phone app) will not activate. The VM tab does show, and I have the option checked in the menu settings for the Phone app. I continue to get the messages "Visual Voicemail Activating" and "Can't activate Visual Voicemail". I have VVM on my plan via the ONE Plus add-on.


    I have removed the T-Mobile VVM app as I know that it will deactivate the native VVM. I have reset network settings, restarted the phone, and spoken with both T-Mobile and Google. I have yet to be given a reason this is not working.


    (Note: brought the phone over from Verizon but it's unlocked - all other data and voice functionality is good)

      All replies

      • magenta6616543

        1. Re: Android Native Visual Voicemail Trouble

        joshnk, I actually just upgraded from a Pixel 2 to a Pixel 3.  I also recently moved from Sprint to t-mobile (with my Pixel 2, Android 9 where the visual voicemail DID work).  However, when I upgraded to the Pixel 3 last week, same exact situation as you describe and I went through all the variants of clearing cache, phone app version uninstall/re-install.


        But...it worked yesterday but not until I experimented with deleting my Gmail MS Exhange account I use for work.  My employer's security policy that is adapted when you link up the exchange account (whether Gmail, Nine, Bluemail, Outlook, etc) is such that is locks down certain "conveniences" of the phone which I live with to have my work email on my phone.  I thought it was successful because, merely seconds after deleting the exchange account, Visual Voicemail in the phone app sprang to life.


        I then lost it again for good when I tried to install another email client in attempt to try another exchange email connection...but after deleting that one, VVM on the phone was still unable to activate and I'm still unable to activate EVEN AFTER a factory reset and fresh start...perplexing.

        • unsungzer0

          2. Re: Android Native Visual Voicemail Trouble

          In advanced settings for the voice mail in the google phone app, what is listed under service and setup? If this isn't setup correctly it won't activate at all. It should be Service > Your Carrier then setup should be +18056377243.

          • magenta6616543

            Yes, it is set up exactly like that. Thank you.

            • unsungzer0

              It is strange that it wont activate then. I have a Pixel 3XL that has visual voice mail running through the phone app. There has to be some kind of software conflict going on, but if you even did a factory format with no exchange server active again it is strange that it wouldn't activate now. The only other thing I can think of is if your phone is failing to connect to the visual voice mail server completely.

              • tmo_amanda

                5. Re: Android Native Visual Voicemail Trouble

                I must say, you've got me stumped, too! I'm not a Pixel user nor do I know of a Pixel user that I could try to get some info from. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the native VVM functionality on a non T-Mobile device. Did you try using the T-Mobile VVM app? If so, how'd it work for you?

                • magenta6616543

                  Yes, the vvm app works but doesn't pull in all messages. Since I've

                  experienced the native vvm on a pixel 2 with T-Mobile and ever so briefly

                  yesterday with my pixel 3 I'm determined to get native vvm functional so I

                  don't have a separate app.

                  • joshnk

                    7. Re: Android Native Visual Voicemail Trouble

                    I've done a factory reset so, at least in my case it's not related to a third party app or settings issue.


                    What I've seen on other posts about the iPhone and it's built in voicemail is that it may be related to CAMEL settings and certain features included in the ONE Plus plan. I have since lost the post but a t-mobile employee mentioned that the CAMEL settings must be set to exclude voicemail to text  which is bundled with the ONE plus plan, which to my knowledge  is a requirement for participating in the "get out of the red" promo.


                    Retail employees can't split bundled features out from the ONE Plus plan, so it requires a higher level of access on the part of t-mobile tech support... Supposedly, iPhones that were having issues were fixed in the same way. Also, I've seen reports of other pixel users having no such problems so it can safely be assumed that pixels DO indeed work  Also, referring to Google's own support page for the feature  the specifically mention t-mobile as being compatible with GOOGLE'S voicemail to text feature (not t-mobile's paid add on ), which is a subset feature of the native visual voicemail...indicating that Google vouches for support as well.

                    • magenta6616543

                      8. Re: Android Native Visual Voicemail Trouble

                      I too can confirm no issues with the pixel 2. The issue is with my pixel 3.

                      Same plan, same os, same phone settings... Just different phone. I'm not

                      one plus, just one. Voice to text is an option but I don't pay for it.

                      Latest conversations with TMO indicate known issues and a trending sense

                      that the current process of activating 5g capabilities may be

                      conflicting... Who knows.

                      • joshnk

                        9. Re: Android Native Visual Voicemail Trouble

                        Thanks for all the advice and help. Unfortunately this is the end of the road for me. Via support I was told that the engineers advice was to 1) delete the Verizon voicemail app and 2) they can't guarantee that features will work on every phone.


                        Google also said it was a carrier settings issue, which makes sense as their code hasn't changed.


                        Alas, this won't be resolved so back to big red it is. Good luck to all of you and thanks again for the help troubleshooting!

                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • tmo_amanda

                          10. Re: Android Native Visual Voicemail Trouble

                          joshnk, I'm bummed to read that you're heading back to Verizon after this but it sounds like the VVM functionality is a must.  I definitely forwarded this feedback because our executives need to know about these types of things. I'm truly sorry we couldn't make it work.

                          • magenta6815496

                            Amanda, is there a way to stay informed about this issue? I am in the same aitsituat but do not plan to leave.

                            • tmo_amanda

                              Absolutely, magenta6815496! I'm currently working with a few people on the multiple voicemail issues that have popped up around the Support Community. When I have answers to the VVM issues, I will most definitely update this thread.

                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                              • santellanm

                                13. Re: Android Native Visual Voicemail Trouble

                                I am having the same issue but with a T-Mobile Oneplus 6T.


                                Ok so I came to TMo from Verizon with the get out of the red promotion with a Pixel 2.  at first my native visual voicemail wasn't working and I had to do the old school call in voicemail.  I called I called tech support and it seems that for some reason the visual voicemail feature was not active on my account so they turn that on and it fixed it.  Then trying to save some money I bought an unlocked Motorola phone from Best buy and all of a sudden I get the same "can't activate visual voicemail message.  I am able to use the T-Mobile visual voicemail app but like a previous user said above, I don't want to use more apps that I need to.  After calling tech support again they told me that it was most likely an issue with that phone since it's not a T-Mobile certified device so I return the phone.  Then still wanting a new phone I decide to go to my T-Mobile store and get a brand new OnePlus 6T.  Well what do you know to my amazement I have the same issue with the 6T.

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • dub813

                                  14. Re: Android Native Visual Voicemail Trouble

                                  My friend is having the same issue with his OnePlus 6T that he bought from T-Mobile... I was having the same issue with an Essential Phone too... I have since switched to an iPhone X but am curious to find out what the root of this problem is because that is one of the reasons why I ended up switching back to iPhone.

                                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
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