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Transition from iPhone 3G to iPhone 4 – Visual Voicemail Problems

By September 26, 2010 No Comments

It seems as if restoring the iPhone 4 from an iPhone 3G back-up does not result in a smooth transition in terms of visual voicemail functionality. I didn’t realize I wasn’t getting my voicemails until I decided, on a whim of curiosity, to access voicemail from my iPhone 4 (the “old-school” way) by calling it (holding the 1 key). To my surprise, I had new voicemail, but why wasn’t my iPhone alerting me of new voicemail?
AT&T can’t really help you unless there is a technical error on their end (either your voicemail feature is not enabled on your account, none of your data-related features are working or something along those lines). After individually discarding different possibilities to identify the source of the problem (by resetting all the settings – including network settings, rebooting the phone, removing all media, removing all personal data and removing all apps) I finally came to the conclusion that the old 3G backup I had used to restore my phone was the problem.
If resetting the network (or general) settings and then rebooting the phone does not enable visual voicemail, you will most likely need to do a new full setup of your phone. But first, do an indirect back-up of your data. You will need to do this indirectly because you will not use the comprehensive restore option from iTunes (which will make the visual voicemail problem persist).

To complete this indirect back-up,

1) With your iPhone connected to the computer, launch iTunes and go to your iPhone menu by selecting your iPhone under the “Devices” section on the left panel
2) Select “Sync” on the bottom right corner (this will sync your e-mail settings, calendar, contacts and media, but make sure the syncing of these components is selected under the tabbed panels of the sync menu – if you do not have a Mac, follow the equivalent procedure for backing up those components on your OS)
2) Go to iPhoto (or the equivalent on your OS) to directly access your iPhone photos and captured videos, then import them to your computer

To restore the phone,

1) With your iPhone connected to the computer, launch iTunes and go to your iPhone menu by selecting your iPhone under the “Devices” section on the left panel
2) Click on Restore (to restore it to factory settings)
3) After the iPhone reboots, open the voicemail menu. If you had voicemail before, it should now show up in visual voicemail; if it’s still not working, then something else may be amiss – contact Apple or AT&T
4) If voicemail is now working, use iTunes to go to the iPhone menu and set up the iPhone as a new phone
5) You will now see a prompt asking you if you want to import your e-mail settings (I recommend doing this because I don’t think that the e-mail setup was the cause of the visual voicemail problems)
6) You can now sync all of your contacts, media, applications, etc.
7) After the sync is done, disconnect your iPhone from the computer and test your voicemail by making a test call to it and leaving a message. It should notify you and the message should show up on the voicemail list. This worked for me, so hopefully this should work for you if you were having the same issues. Good luck!

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