How to get Voice Memos off your iPhone

How to use Voice Memos on iPhone and iPad
How to use Voice Memos on iPhone and iPad

I use Apple's Voice Memos app for a variety of tasks — recording notes for work; strange foley sounds that might work well for The Incomparable's radio show; or, more recently, short song sketches or covers.

When I want to get those off my iPhone, I've got a few different options: It all depends on what computer I'm using.

On your primary computer: Use iTunes

If you want to send voice memos to the computer you also happen to use to sync your iPhone, it's easy enough.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer via USB or Wi-Fi sync.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. Click the icon that represents your iPhone along the top menu bar.

  1. Select the Music option from the sidebar.

  1. Check the "Sync voice memos" box, if it's not already checked.

  1. Press Apply (or Sync) in the bottom right corner.

Your voice memos will then download to your iTunes Library. From there, you can drag memos to your desktop or anywhere else you want them stored.

If you don't want memos in iTunes: Use the Share Sheet

If you're not on your primary computer for iTunes syncing or you'd just prefer not to use iTunes, there's a far simpler, easier way to get your memos onto your computer: AirDrop. Make sure both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled on your iPhone and Mac, then do the following:

  1. Open Voice Memos on your iOS device.
  2. Select the track you'd like to download.

  1. Tap the Share button.
  2. Wait for your computer's AirDrop icon to appear, then tap it.

Your voice memo will then download to your Mac's Downloads folder.

If you're using an older Mac that doesn't support cross-device AirDrop, you can also go the tried-and-true older route: sending yourself a text message.

  1. Open Voice Memos on your iOS device.
  2. Select the track you'd like to download.

  1. Tap the Share button, then tap Messages.
  2. Address the new iMessage to your iCloud address.
  3. Press Send.

From there, you can open up that message on your computer by using the OS X Messages app.

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.

7 Comments
  • Is Voice Memos app still available for download???
  • I find a better app than iTunes which can help us transfer voice memos from iPhone to PC like a breeze. You may search Apowersoft Phone Manager from Google Play store~ In fact, there are many other third-party apps, you can check it out on Google Chrome.
  • I was struggling with this for a long time and found a very simple solution that worked for me... FonePaw iOS Transfer! It instantly got my large audio files off my iPhone.
  • You said FonePaw? I have used, but I like AnyTrans more, which is simpler to use I think.
  • iTunes is useless to get voice memos from my iPhone to computer. When I went to my iPhone panel on iTunes, and click "Music" > Select "Sync Music", it said it would remove existing music... from my iPhone, which is horrible!
  • Yeah I cant find ANY way of getting my memos. My iPhone is pretty full so it says it cant sync with iTunes. There MUST be another way. I need to download onto Windows 10.
  • It literally just deleted the exact voice memo I intended to transfer. It is by far the most useless thing I have ever encountered. A rubber duck would have helped me more in this situation. I luckily have backups of this particular memo, but this has infuriated me to the point that I don't want anything to do with Apple products anymore. It should be simple considering the fact that the voice memo app comes with the iPhone. (Edit): spelling.