Record a voice message: This is how it works in WhatsApp, on the PC & iPhone
Recording and sending a voice message has many advantages: For example, you speak much faster than you type. In addition, complicated things can often be expressed better with spoken words than with written ones.
By Sven Wernicke
You have many options for recording voice messages – both on the smartphone and on the PC or Mac. We explain exactly how this works below.
Record voice message with WhatsApp
In WhatsApp you simply have to press the symbol with the microphone next to the text input field. Image: © Adobe Stock/ Sara Michilin 2018
With probably the most popular messenger in the world, it is very easy to record a voice message:
- Start WhatsApp and under "Chats" select the person or group who should receive a voice message.
- Place your finger on the microphone icon at the bottom right and hold the icon. Recording starts immediately.
- Speak toward the bottom of the phone, where the microphone is located.
- Release the microphone icon to stop recording the voice message and send it immediately.
Tip for "hands-free" voice messaging: Touch and hold the microphone icon, then swipe up. The recording continues without you having to keep your finger on the display. In addition, your voice message will not be sent immediately. If you don't like it, you can delete it.
Record Voice Message with Windows Voice Recorder
With the integrated voice recorder you record voice messages in Windows. Image: © Microsoft 2022
If you want to record a voice message on a PC with Windows 10 or 11, you need a microphone. A microphone is integrated in most laptops, for stationary computers you need a USB microphone or a headset, for example. Once everything is set up, proceed as follows:
- Type "Voice Recorder" into the search box on the taskbar and select the program of the same name from the search results.
- Click on the microphone icon to start recording.
- When you're done, click the stop icon.
- The voice message is automatically saved and displayed in an overview.
- Right-click the file and select "Open File Location".
- Here you will find the MPEG file of your voice recording – you can send it by e-mail or in a messenger, for example.
Note: If the voice recorder is not pre-installed, you can download it for free from the Microsoft Store .
Create Voice Messages on Mac
On the Mac, you compose voice messages with the Voice Memos app. Image: © Screenshot /Apple 2022
On Mac, you can create voice messages using the Voice Memos app, similar to Windows. Again, you need a USB microphone or a headset if there is no integrated microphone. That's how it works:
- Open Spotlight search with the keyboard shortcut cmd + spacebar.
- Type "Voice Memos" into the search bar and open the relevant app from the search results.
- Click the red record button.
- You can use the pause button to pause the recording if needed. Click "Next" to continue recording.
- When you have said everything, click on "Done" at the bottom right.
- Your Mac saves each voice message as a "New Recording". You can play, change or rename the file afterwards.
- Click on the share symbol in the top right (square with an arrow pointing up) and select, for example, the mail program or the message app to send the voice message.
- Alternatively, right-click or secondary-click the recording and choose Services > Reveal in Finder. Here you will find the MPEG file of your recording and you can send it via e-mail, messenger and similar.
Record Voice Messages on iPhone
On the iPhone, you record voice messages in the Voice Memos app. Image: © /Apple/Unsplash 2019
The voice memos app is also available in almost identical form on the iPhone and iPad. You can usually find them in the Utilities folder. How to use it:
- Launch the Voice Memos app.
- Tap the red button to start recording.
- Tap the stop button to stop recording.
- Your voice message will appear as "New Recording" in the app. You can listen, edit or delete them.
- Tap the three dots next to the recording and select "Share" from the menu that appears. You can send your voice recording via WhatsApp, email or other apps, for example.
Tip: You can get various editing tools by going to "Edit recording" in the three-point menu. For example, you can shorten the recording, swap out individual sequences and adjust the playback speed.
Voice messages on Android
Android phones also have a pre-installed app for speaking messages. Image: © thinkstock/AntonioGuillem 2017
An app for recording voice messages is preinstalled on most smartphones and tablets with Android. As a rule, it is called "dictaphone", for example in mobile phones from the Samsung Galaxy series. Alternatively, you can find free voice recorder apps in the Google Play Store .
The apps all work very similarly. Here is an example of the voice recorder app on a Samsung Galaxy S20:
- Start the voice recorder app.
- Tap the red button to start recording.
- If necessary, press the pause button to pause the recording. Use the same button again to continue.
- Select the stop button to end and save the voice message.
You can often edit your voice messages extensively. With the dictation machine of the Galaxy series, the corresponding options can be found in the three-point menu under "Edit".
Tips for better voice recordings
You can use these tips to improve the quality of your recordings:
- If good quality is important to you, use an external (USB) microphone or a high-quality headset for the recordings. Appropriate accessories are also available for iPhones and Android smartphones.
- You can adjust the recording level on the smartphone by moving your head closer to or further away from the microphone. After all, your voice message should not be too quiet, but also not overdriven.
- Smartphone microphones are poorly protected from wind. Find a quiet place for voice recordings along the way. Otherwise you are difficult to understand.
- Not everyone likes voice messages. Take this into account when sending. Less and shorter is usually better.
By the way: There is no maximum length for voice recordings on WhatsApp. The maximum length of a voice message depends on the available memory of the smartphone and the upload limit for audio files set by WhatsApp. Eight hours or more is usually not a problem. But consider: someone has to (want to) listen to this.
- With WhatsApp you can easily send voice messages.
- It also works with other apps on smartphones and computers. Some kind of voice recorder is almost always pre-installed.
- On stationary computers you usually need a separate microphone or headset.
- Almost every voice recording app has sharing features to send via messenger, email or other apps.
- Make sure your voice messages don't get too long.