iPhone: Transfer Voice Memos from iPhone to Computer

The ability to quickly record voice memos on the iPhone is a frequently overlooked feature. Furthermore, figuring out how to import these files from your iPhone to your computer can be tricky. Here are a couple of ways of getting your voice memos off your phone and onto your computer.

The voice memo feature is very interesting. I’ve seen it used from everything to sweet messages to one’s spouse to quick voice recorder for lectures or interviews.

One you have a voice memo recorded, there a two main ways of transferring the voice memo to your computer.

via iTunes

iTunes will transfer voice memos once you enable that setting.

1. Dock your iPhone via USB
2. Click the name of your iPhone under Devices in the left column
3. Click the Music tab
4. Click the checkbox for Include voice memos

how to transfer voice memos using itunes

5. Sync your device
6. Your files will appear under a new Voice Memos playlist

the voice memo playlist in iTunes

7. You can right-click on a memo to perform advanced tasks or gain access to the actual audio file.

If you are having difficulty, several people in the comments below have recommended these additional steps:

– Unplug iphone from the computer after the failed sync
– In iTunes, select File –> Library –> Organize Library –> Consolidate files
– Plug in the iphone & sync again.

Direct Share from Phone

You can also email or MMS the voice memo directly from your phone. If you only have a few files, emailing them may be a good option.

1. From the voice memo screen click the silver button in the lower right corner. This will take you to a list of your voice memos.
2. Select the voice memo you want to share and press the large blue share button at the bottom right of the screen.
3. Select Email or MMS


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Johngstjohn

    I have a very large file, lomger than 30minutes. It does not sysnc to the itunes folder adn is too big to email. How do it get it transferred?

    • dave

      > well the easiest and less time consuming thing to do is to plug a stereo minijack out of the iphone onto a computer or mix table, play the file and record a new file with a sound program. It saves a lot of time and effort!! Apple makes it difficult to transfer files unless on your own iTunes… so that’s what I did.

      • beyongo

        > excellent idea (patch-cord from iphone to a digital recorder). thanks for the suggestion.

    • mary

      > Hi, sorry this is not a reply to your Q, but from where on this site can I send my own question?

      Also, does anyone know the answer to: itunes will not sync voice memos ( to an ipod) that have been added to a user created playlist, other than the itunes created “voice memo” play list. The voice memo has to be changed to an mp3 file or you have to right click the memo, select “get info” & from options chg v.memo to say “music”, then select “info”tab & change Album & Genre labels from “voice memo” to “music”. What a hassle for many memos! Does anyone know an easier way. Before osi 5.0 voice memos used to sync automatically from any play list to my ipod…it seems that the on slaught of icloud removed this aspect. Going crazy…pleeze help. Even Sr Apple Care supervisor could not make them sync without change the info ot the file to mp3. I think Apple developers forgot about voice memos with osi 5.thx

    • Ronald

      David Kirk: your advice worked beautifully. In no time I had my 1 and a half hour voice memo in my computer under the voice memo file in iTunes. After that, I could upload it to my Google Drive and my friends are downloading it easily.

      Thanks for your very helpful advice.

      • Latimer Selby

        How do you upload it to a google drive from iTunes? Would appreciate any advice you can give >

    • Vency Sung

      > I’ve got a problem in using the latest Itunes in transferring voice memo from iphone to computer. It shows differently from the previous version. When plugging in iphone, I do not find any voice memo folder directly under iphone . Even I have ticked button for included voice memo, no voice files have been transferred to computer. Is there any set up I have to do in a new version of Itunes.

      Please advise and comment.

      Thank you.


      • Becky

        I have the same problem with the new version. I used to do it this way, but now it’s not available as an option.

      • Shannon

        > I’m also having this issue. I record lectures with voice memo on my iPhone and I’d like to upload to iTunes on my MacBook Pro, but I don’t know how! Googling has yet to provide any useful information for the latest software.

      • Debo

        > My problem is I have a voice memo that notes the time and duration of the recording. Unfortunately, my battery runs down during the recording, so when I try to play back, there is silence and timelime below states 0.00 to 0.00. Does this mean I have no recording?

    • Mitch

      > Check out my post on page 39 to see what I did to fix the problem I had with this.

    • Chris bobob

      Easiest way to do large files is to start to send as an email – click cancel – choose save as draft then login to your email account on your PC and voila it should be in your drafts 🙂
      For me it worked with a 19mb file

  • Musa Vienna

    i have a record 52 munites long.
    my devices’s voice memos doesn’t move to playlist after do these all.

    • Sylvie

      I have a 51 minute recording on iPhone voice memo. When I click ‘share’ to send it to another email address – the pop us says “Memo too long, would you like to select a shorter version of this to send ?”

      My question is – What does this mean ? is the recording going to be divided into 4 sections or something ? if its synchronised do I lose any information?

      • Li

        When you email a voice memo that is too long, you can email up to 8 minute sections to yourself w/o losing the full version of the memo on your phone. Good alternative if you need to send it now, and sync it later.

  • Anonymous

    Hi have about fifty voice memos on my iphone but it only shows 20 on itunes.

    • Nick Namaste

      Try this. It worked for me. I have had to do it more than once over the last few months because the problem recurs, even with the latest iPhone update installed. I found the solution on the web, but I it was not easy, and now I cannot relocate it.

      1. Unplug Iphone from Mac after failed Sync.
      2. In iTunes, select File –> Library –> Organize Library –> Consolidate files
      3. Plug in IPhone & Sync

      The voice memos should be there.

      • Tauriplh

        This worked perfectly for me! Thanks!

      • Jason

        This worked for me on a 2hr 43min recording of a meeting that I was very keen to get off my old 3Gs onto my 4

        • M.

          I’m not able to find the Consolidate option in library! Help!

      • Shaemy Wu

        Can this use it for PC? i had tried many times for PC but its doesn’t work. I still cant copy the voice memos from iPhone to PC.

      • Boxingrobo

        thanks worked for me on widows vista thanks so much had a recording for 30 mins n a 5 hour sesh thanks again.

        • Mfurdman

          It now costs $20

          • grateful

            I tried to follow the steps for the past 2 days, the voice memo just didnt sync. Realised the issue is me not checking the box on the ‘summary’ page of itunes, ‘sync only checked music…’ I checked it and it worked! got my voice memo transferred! yeah!

          • Rita

            I can’t find the check box for summary..

      • LDC

        THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, Nick! After spending lots of fruitless time trying to get it to work, your simple instructions got the job done in a few seconds!

      • Nkomitsky Wordsmith

        Thank you! This was driving me crazy and your instructions worked.

      • Deby

        thank youuuu it did work!!! I’ve been trying to do sync the last 2hr memo (lecture) and i couldn’t! thanks to much!!!

      • Kamilla Astrid

        Thanks! You are my hero

      • Baniestrada

        I have searched the whole wide web…… and finally a solution! i had many hour and a half recording from church and until now, i have not been able to copy them. thanks alot

      • Shezishah

        Worked perfectly thanks !!

      • Ben

        Worked like a charm for 1hr 7min of music I recorded at the Temple Bar while in Ireland. Would have hated to not be able to get that stuff onto my computer. Thanks!

      • Arvinder Khatri

        Nick Namaste, Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge.


      • mp

        Perfect! Thanks a Lot!!

      • rachel

        Nick! You rock! Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. Genius.
        Needless to say, this worked magic for me. Thanks again.

      • Markcoppock

        Major thanks! This is the only thing that worked. Score!

      • Jane Smith

        Thank youuuuuu!!!!!

      • Fisker

        Great !

      • Logun62

        Thanks bro it worked!

      • Kirsten Norfield


        I have tried this along with the example above and still I cannot find my voice memos in itunes.  Getting seriously worried now and find it very frustrating;  It is to large to e-mail etc.

        any other ideas you seem to be a man in the know?

        • DeloreanFanatic

          I am having the same issue! I would really like to find out why this isnt working…..>

          • Memo-problem

            We had the same problem, however new memos recorded did transfer, so it was only like 5 memos we could not find on the computer. We then found a tip that told us to trim the memos. So we trimmed a few seconds off in the end, and the phone formats it as a new memo, which transfered to the memos playlist on the computer. Finally a solution that worked. Hope it can help others with similar problems.>

          • jen

            > Trimming the message along with all of the other advice worked! Thank you!!!

      • Chanmoss

        hi i love you

      • Lori

        Thank you so much!

      • Kim

        > Worked perfectly for me. Thank you so much! The meeting I recorded was too long to email or message.

      • F Bueller

        Yes!!! This worked. Thanks so much!

      • Amy

        This worked, but first I had to upgrade my iphone before it would sync. Thanks!

      • lizzzcast

        > Thank you so much!!!!!!!! I do a podcast off my iPhone and needed to get the voice recording into my iTunes so I could post it!!!!!!!! Thanks again!

      • AutumnLion85

        This totally worked! Thank you!

      • Richard Davis

        I was skeptical that I could simply sync with iTunes, and then use the Consolidate feature as a final means of retrieving the voice mails. I was very concerned that “Consolidate” would mess up my iTunes Library

        I was also was concerned that I had more than 5 recording way longer than one hour, and I had a total of 42 recordings on the iPhone.

        WOW! All 42 recordings were transferred over in their entirety, with no need to Consolidate, and without having to resort to special software that allows special access to files.

        How very simple. Sure am glad I came here. MANY THANKS!


      • Anonymous

        > Bingo

      • Ciccio

        Didn’t work for for me. I cannot yet get synced a voice memo file that I can clearly see on my iPhone but I cannot see on my Mac. Furthermore, on my iPhone voice Memo app, I see that the list of the voice memos contains just one item, while on my iTunes application, if I click on iPhone->Voice Memos, I see 3 items…
        So, I need to delete from the iPhone two ghost memo voice items and sync one item to my Mac. I did even a reset on the iPHone holding down the home-off button until I saw an Apple logo… Any idea?

      • JF

        Yes! This worked for me too.

      • Mike O

        Having a bloody nightmare with this, iv’e tried all the above and it doesn’t seem to get it. Apparently apple products aren’t completely compatible with each other!? :-/
        The only thing left is to record them into music software which will take hours of time that i don’t have! 🙁

        Any programs that can sync better perhaps?

      • mama

        Hi…any other ideas? I followed the directions to the letter and no luck. Previous files had transferred no problem but I’m trying to move an almost 2 hr recording and some very brief ones. Any other suggestions? Thanks!

      • RamC

        > Thanks much. This worked. Include Voice memos checked. I did not even wait for consolidate files to complete. Stopped it immediately because I did not want duplicate copies of all my media. Closed iTunes and re-opened and it auto synced. I see my voice memo on my laptop.

      • Sandy

        Wow. This worked perfectly. Thank you!

      • Freed at last

        You know what?! I believe all these “thank u” comments R really not enough to thank U! God bless U buddy! God bless U! I really pray that God will solve a GREAT problem of yours as U did for us…

        • David Kirk

          Thanks for the kind words. The whole reason we are here is to help others…

      • Cary Bazalgette

        >Tried it. Doesn’t work! Some of my voicemail files are over an hour long: I’m using the iphone for research interviews. What’s annoying is that they USED to synch to iTunes but iTunes (which, like a supermarket trolley, has a mind of its own) has suddenly taken to NOT synching some files, starting with my oldest – and longest – file (my baseline interview). I would be very happy if I could import these files to my PC but haven’t found out how to do this yet….

      • Rita

        did all of that… still does not transfer.
        I am desperate. I need to listen to transfer my voice memos. I recorded lectures as long as 1 hour and they are taking a lot of space on my iphone.
        Why can’t I get them transferred… ?? So frustrated

        • ramesh

          i dont have a mac – i cant transfer to a pc – i have several files and I am struggling – what is the way out of this mess – really sad to see so many people having difficulties and apple is totally ignoring them>

      • patmcg17@aol.com

        This didn’t work for me. And I’ve no idea what it actually did. As far as I know nothing happended. My iphone is plugged into my computer. But it doesn’t show up on my desktop. My iTunes is synced to my ipod. My iphone isn’t synced to anything and has no music on it. I just want to put a voice memo from my phone onto my computer. But the memo is 1 hour and it will only transfer the first 8 minutes again and again. Help please

  • guest

    Thanks a lot for your detailed and pictured description! I spent 1 hour trying to look on different helps of Apple and – nothing about such a simple procedure. Apple didn’t bothered to include pictures and I stupidly looking om Music folder under the device name…

  • Globe_chix

    My iphone is synced with a different library, so when it asks me to sync with this library it asks if I want to erase things as well? Is it still safe to transfer my voice memos or will they be deleted before they are transferred? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Anonymous

      I suspect you will only be able to sync with your original library.

      • RG

        if that is not an option as i don’t have access to the old laptop what do i do?

        • Anonymous

          Email each one to you would be a manual method. Alternatively, you might want to try one of the “mount the iphone as a disk” programs that exist. I’ve never used them so I can’t recommend one.

          • Katie

            > Wow, thanks so much for posting solutions!
            I think my problem is that I have synched first to a computer I know longer have. Booooo.
            Could you recommend a third-party solution?
            Once at an Apple store, they used a 3rd party option online and it worked. Only the store was already closed by the time the person w/ knowledge was located. I didn’t write down or save the website. Any ideas? The nearest Mac store is an hour away… No options on Apple support for this, that I found…

  • Guest

    Once I get them into my iTunes, how do I get them off my phone?

  • Aaron R.

    Very helpful, thanks Davak

  • Antinetcentral

    I also own an Olympus voice recorder. You attach it to your computer, and you drag the files off the drive onto your desktop, folder etc. The iphone is a joke as far as transferring stuff off of it. Apple should be ashamed. I will never buy anything from iTunes period. I will prob never use the music, photo, video functions of this asinine device. Total garbage.

    • Paulskiart

      agree !! whata a joke !!

    • LadyV

      Hey quick question, Who Asked you?? I believe Nick posted this to help those who need it. Im not a fan of apple, but just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean you have to trash talk them here.

      Yeah its hard to get stuff out of their devise but you know what, no matter all the comments you make about their product, they are still gonna be banking money, why?? because their products are worth it. Thats why everyone has an iPod, iPad, iPhone, iTunes, Macs…etc…. and no one has yet beat them.

      And yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but also when asked.

      So just an advise, before you trash talk a company, take a look at the statistics.

      • iDave

        No question was asked. Apple locks all stuff&the blind addicts keep buying it’s totally overpriced stuff. Hey i”m a i4 user, no worry, but this voicememoISH really is a pain in the a. Things DONT simply work as Apple promotes, it needs LOOOONG blogs, hence this one. I use itunes for NOTHING and it’s busy with a kind of backup now for 3 hours, just to get out ONE voicerec. Totally Garbage +1.>

    • Zxen

      > I totally agree. I HATE my macbook and my iphone because of the file folder system. the whole system is a toy for children. im going back to PC as soon as possible.

  • Try_m3h

    I agree that Apple is NOT userfriendly. If windows had a comparable product, I would not hesitate to switch with windows

  • Rozhimi

    Apple iTunes is PAIN IN THE ASS. It is a product of an aged mind marred by mental chaos, lack of structural thinking and heavy effects of LSD and other drug use. The aim of the iTunes idea is to plague the user and have pleasure in it. Th iTunes is and the whole iPhone syncing business is clearly the enemy of the man.

    • blueshift

      I believe you are a troll, sir. If you dislike iTunes so much, why do you have an iPhone of an iPod? If you do not have one of those devices, why are you here?

      • I_need_it_696

        I have an Ipod  so does that make it different,  Can I say that I hate Itunes and the way it syncs………….  why not sync the photos as well?  why do I have to transfer them directly through windows ?  (or mac somehow i assume)

      • Bud Ryerson

        Please, sir, no name calling. The moderator should delete this comment.

  • Guest

    I’ve tried a couple of ways–email, the “organize library” option–and I can’t get a 58-minute file to appear in any list. It’s a voice memo on the iPhone, but doesn’t download or sync and is too large to mail. Is there a way to move the file or recategorize it so I can move it to the computer?

  • GS

    I’ve discovered a way to get a large voice memo off of the phone and onto the computer. If you click and drag that file from the iphon>voicememos it will not drag… BUT… if you use your playlists menu in itunes and drag the voice memo from there, it will drag!!!

    • Krm27

      This does not work with my iPhone 4. When I add my 42 min. voice memo to playlist, it only adds 8 minutes of the recording to the Playlist — same limit that applies when you try to e-mail it.

    • NM

      Thank you! After 30 minutes of fruitless fiddling, this worked – cheers, really appreciate it!

    • RM

      Beautiful – it actually worked! unbelieveable … 

  • MCP

    Thanks for the help. You saved me a lot of time, otherwise I would have to send 8min parts through email of two 1hour interviews.

  • 070×070

    Also look at Summary tab while your iPhone is connected – there are some Options below. Uncheck checkbox where it says “Sync only checked songs and videos”. It might help too.

  • Ijinferno

    if you want to get your voice memos off your iPhone and you manually sync your music, plugin the iPhone and do a File->Sync “iphone name”.
    This wont touch your music library as usual but the first stage of the sync is to backup files and apps from the phone to the PC. Once this is complete go to your “My DocumentsMusiciTunesiTunes MediaMusicUnknown ArtistUnknown Album” folder (or the equivalent if using Windows 7) and it saves a copy of the voice memos in there for you.

    • Alsdhf

      now THIS is a good idea

    • b0bble

      was only able to snyc 2 memos out of the 26 that i have…. is it becos the older memos have been tranferred in another computer that’s why they do not appear?

    • hwyhobo

      Now, this is the way to do it!

      • Rockin and Rollin

        This is the way to do it, if you can search and are even a little tech savvy. For Mac users. Back up your Iphone Search Itunes from your hard drive, find the music, find the voice memo folder it is usually the date that your recorded, but you can listen to them anyway. Copy it to your desktop and Bang! There are many ways to get it on to your library. I had to fiddle with it for 3 minutes and Pow! Done. Sweet!

  • Bee Eze

    Hello my Tech Friends… I’m trying to Sync my New iPhone 4 to my Apple Mac Book but I am having a very difficult time. Somehow, it is not accepting the download for iTune 10. As a result, I am unable to start any form of sync.. Please, please somebody help me!!!! I recorded a few conversation via the the Voice memo but will need to have this downloaded to my Apple Mac Book.. Thanks, Bee Eze.

  • Jennylml

    not all voice memos that I can copy out, I used this to record my lesson (around 90mins) but out of 8 voice memos, I only manage to copy out 3, the balance can hear from iTunes or iPhone but not able to extract it to my computer … :

  • Weblevnf8

    I am completely distraught!!! I have tried everything here to pull off my phone and nothing is working….large file and cannot get it off my phone I cant even listen to it on my phone …shows a recording time of 1hr and 20 min but when I go to listen ….nothing AND I cant get it on my computer…any ideas?

    • Anskim

      im totally in the same boat. help me!

  • Gailgirl

    Thank-you so much! Voice Memos showed up in my playlist and I was able to see everything I recorded over the last 3 days from a trombone workshop and recital series. Think I’ll burn a CD to email because it would be too large to send otherwise. The Apple support…. wasn’t. My gratitude goes out to you for sharing this info.

  • Steve Murgaski

    I’m considering transferring my memo the hard way. Buy a patch cord; plug one end into the iPhone headphone jack, the other end into the “line in” jack on my laptop; play the memo on iPhone, and record it with a recording program like GoldWave. That would take an hour, but I’ve now wasted three hours trying to transfer it through iTunes.

    Apple’s paranoia about copyright makes them design really absurd products. I can’t wait for some reasonable company to design something like an iPhone which doesn’t keep me from accessing files that I created myself.

    • Zxen

      > If I had to rerecord my recordings I would be there for a while. I document my ideas and my phone has over 200 voice memos on it, most of them 5 – 27 hours duration. iTunes has deleted original manuscripts, inventions, everything in the past. I really think this is the worst software interface I’ve seen since I started building XT computers back in 1989.

  • Mieow

    Cool! This is great tips! Thanks! 🙂

  • ell’kaay.

    none of this worked for me, i have a new ipod touch and a 20 minute recording on it. the recording wont play on the ipod, but its still there, and when i sync my ipod to my computer my other memos appear, but not that one? any help?

  • Jegreenfield

    I tried to sync – 5 or 6 times – even tried to create the Voice Memos playlist myself hoping it would magically deposit my little 30 second voice memo in the playlist. no….

    I finally had success with email (after the 3rd try) – and now I have memo.amr on my desktop, which plays in Quicktime. But shouldn’t I be able to get it into my iTunes library? I can’t find anything on an amr file in iTunes help or iPhone help. I am ferlumpt.

  • Hi- I’m still working with the ancient 3G phone, 8 gig….anybody remember? I love the feature that allows me to e-mail a voice memo right to my transcriber, but it seems I have to break them into 2 min. segments. On my old 3GS that I drowned, I could e-mail 8 min segments. I want to e-mail from the road, not download to I tunes. Can anybody help me out on this? Is there another app for my old phone, or a way to compress while I’m out on the road? I’d like to send larger memos from the phone itself. Thanks, Jason

  • esther

     I have lost a lot of time trying to tranfer voice moemos from iphone 3G using all the methods you already suggested and it doesn t work. I really need some help

  • NMP

    Hey Guys…
    Iv’e been following all advices listed on this thread but NONE seems to work in my case. When sync’ my iphone (4) to my Itunes, no ‘voice memo’ folder pops-up?
    And furthermore, under iphone ‘sync music’ include voice memos is tabed –   although i can’t seem to sync music from ‘selected playlists’ but only entire libary, and when trying it says that all music will be deleted and replaced with my itunes libary?
    Anyway…Have a 30 min. long interview that is to big for email – so if anyone could be so kindly helping me, that this interview is very important, thanks….

  • Victoriafogarty15

    hi. I need this urgently…. i have recorded 2-4 minute voice memos on my phone and i want to burn them onto a cd for my dad cuz its his brithday tomorrow. It says the recording will no tplay through windows media player and it will burn on the cd but when i go to play it it says disc error… PLEASE HELP ME!!!! 

  • Nbdoig20002000

    I’ve got a playlist full of voice memos but only on my phone (my iTunes library was deleted by someone trying to ‘fix’ my computer) if i sync my iPhone to my mac, will the voice memo playlist be transferred over to the library? or will everything in the library take priority to the iPhone and delete the playlist from my phone?

  • When I check the boxes as indicated in instruction #4, I get a warning that says all the existing content on the iPhone will be replaced with the data that’s in iTunes.  I definitely do not want to do that.  So now what ?

  • Dri

    Do you want to download voice memos to your PC? No matter how big.
    Install Iphone Explorer . Go to the folder: Root Directory/User/Media/Recordings . Drag them to your Desktop and  be happy!

    • tomjam

      YESSS! This finally worked for me. Other solutions here did not. Thanks!>

    • Dmartinez

      Thank you, three hours later and I went down the page until I came to yours and this works!!!

  • Stephen

    You da bomb!
    Much thanks

  • Iheartprint

    Did you finally figure it out?? Im need a lecture recording from my phone and i cant even listen to it or transfer it to my macbook pro! please someone help!

  • Iheartprint

    Did you finally figure it out?? Im need a lecture recording from my phone and i cant even listen to it or transfer it to my macbook pro! please someone help!

  • If you can’t get iTunes to transfer your voice memos, there’s a program called TouchCopy which can do this for you. It also transfers your iPod/iPhone music, SMS, voice mails, contacts and more

  • Jennifer Dellapina

    What a weird little quirk! But it worked like a charm, thanks GS!

  • Kenjingdesign

    This is just so COOL,  got this step from Nick Namaste

    1. Unplug Iphone from Mac after failed Sync.
    2. In iTunes, select File –> Library –> Organize Library –> Consolidate files
    3. Plug in IPhone & Sync


  • Ferdousalamtaz

    Thanks a bunch. worked for me in windows.

  • Ferdousalamtaz

    Thanks a bunch. worked for me in windows.

  • Nicoelx

    THANK YOU Kenjingdesign THIS WORKS!!!

    Just try it!

  • Tlmillerpdx

    This worked! Thanks so much!

  • Tlmillerpdx

    This worked! Thanks so much!

  • Yourteach

    Thanks worked like a charm for me too!

  • LJ

    Unfortunately, this did not work for me. I am completely going insane!

  • Jeff Wonchul Oh

    Thank you it worked for me on Vista as well. I spent tons of time to make it but I couldn’t until I read your simple instruction Nick. What a brilliant 🙂

  • rafaela

    life saver! 🙂 thanks

  • NICK! Thank you – this finally worked after what you said:

    1. Unplug Iphone from Mac after failed Sync.
    2. In iTunes, select File –> Library –> Organize Library –> Consolidate files
    3. Plug in IPhone & Sync

  • Gil

    worked perfectly…Thanks for this post!…

  • iro

    posted before, not solved i guess.

    My iphone is synced with a different library, so when it asks me to sync with this library it asks if I want to erase things as well? Is it still safe to transfer my voice memos or will they be deleted before they are transferred?

    would consolidating help?
    please help me, this is very urgent and important, i can’t risk to lose this record.

    (apple should be ashamed of theirselves for this stress their causing!!!!!)

  • Clayton

    Thank you Nick!!! You’re my hero! : )

  • DG

    correction: I should say that on my computer finder in itunes there is a voice memos folder now under my name (artist). The folder called so and so’s iphone only appears when the iphone is connected to the computer under the music tab “Artists”. And I believe before I synced I checked the box next to that. and also of course had ‘include voice memos’ under ‘sync music.’ So I’m hoping this keeps working.

  • Hendra

    Geez, Dude. It works alright! Thanks.

  • jim

    GS…. Thank you.

  • Eduardo Nagata

    I could copy my recordings of 2 hours thru iexplorer.
    to go to folders: ROOT/PRIVATE/VAR/MOBILE/MEDIA/RECORDINGS and then just copy the files into my computer… Thank you Dri for telling about this program

    • ubicuitate

      > thank you very much Eduardo Nagata. it worked perfectly for my 3g with iexplorer !

  • Robert

    see comment of “Nick Namaste said on January 28, 2011” – I finally managed to get big voice memo file to my PC, thanks Nick.

  • Thank You Nick Namaste – I used Your hint and it worked perfectly.

    Here is what Nick Namaste suggested:

    Try this. It worked for me. I have had to do it more than once over the last few months because the problem recurs, even with the latest iPhone update installed. I found the solution on the web, but I it was not easy, and now I cannot relocate it.1. Unplug Iphone from Mac after failed Sync.
    2. In iTunes, select File –> Library –> Organize Library –> Consolidate files
    3. Plug in IPhone & SyncThe voice memos should be there.

    Once again Thank You Nick Namaste.

  • Donna

    Hi, I’m trying to copy a 7 hour lecture from my iPhone 3GS, but it will not work and will not sync with iplayer. Please can you advise me of how I can transfer this.

    Many thanks in advance.



  • Donna

    Hi, I’m trying to copy a 7 hour lecture from my iPhone 3GS, but it will not work and will not sync with itunes. Please can you advise me of how I can transfer this.

    Many thanks in advance.



  • AJ

    Thanks to Nick Namaste said on January 28, 2011 it works i followed his instructions and was able to download all of my voice memoes some of them were more than an hour.

  • Jennifer

    This was over an hour and I felt so foolish when I figured it out.

    Go to device, scroll all the way down on the ap tab.

    Click the ap the memo is in

    Download it to your computer.


  • slimreturns

    Works to a point. When it asks me if I want to import my voice messages into my iTunes Library, it says it has copied them all, but then the program freezes during the “organizing files” process.

  • guest

    Thank you all!!! I tried all your suggestions and I’m not sure which one worked, but I think it was the one suggesting to unclick “Sync only checked songs and videos”. I am too old for all this. I wish my iphone would just sync like my old ipod. I’ve lost a lot of stuff. I’m still not even sure how to get just what I want on there. It would be so nice if Apple would make a few of these things easier, but I do love a lot of things about my iphone. I am just really technically challenged.

  • WW

    Nick thanks a bunch. Worked like a charm!

  • KerriAyling

    To Nick:
    THANKYOU darlin, the consolidate files fix worked and all my voice memos are now imported to iTunes.

    To the Apple Haters:
    You and Windows truly deserve each other. I’ve been using Apple products since the Apple IIe and spent my life recording music on their professional gear. You have no idea how stupid you sound when you diss these products, especially the dork who is so anti iTunes. I recommend that you try to locate a suitable Windows alternative and fuck off and use it with my blessing. As for me, I’m constantly astonished at this technology, the creativity never ends, and I feel lucky to be alive in such exciting times.

  • Nora

    Hi, I deleted from my iTunes library a voice memo I have on my phone and now, no matter how many times I try to sync my phone with iTunes, that ONE voice memo (lecture) I mistakenly deleted will NOT transfer back to my iTunes… any help would be greatly appreciated!


  • Ozcan

    Thank you for guidance Nick, I have tried to transfer my files couple times, now I copied all of my voices to my laptop. They are working now…

  • Kojo

    Nick: THANK YOU! Had been trying to figure this out for 30 minutes before I found your post.

  • Lokula Gandhi

    Hi David,

    Thnx a lot!

  • snowyee

    Hi guys, Have follow Nick’s steps for the voice memo but unable to transfer all my voice memos over to itunes? It only able to transferred 10 voice memos out of 20..

    Anyone can help?

  • Tanya

    Yep, I had the same problem. I manually open each voice memo (which was ignored by iTune) in iPod (in my case 4) and click “Trim Memo”. In opened new poped up menu I choose “Trim Voice Memo” without any real changes and re-sync. All “updated” and previously ignored voice messages appeared in my iTune Voice Memos. The longest memo I had – 1 hour 57 min +
    so, should work 😉 Only paint, you have to do it manualy.
    Good luck.

    • silver

      > Thank you Tanya Trimming the memos and Itunes will really see your recording guys!!! Thanks again Tanya!!

  • Tanya

    Nick: THANK YOU! You are the friend 🙂

  • glokay

    I was using QuickVoice when the Apple voice memos was not working for me on my iphone 3, my son one time was able to transfer these with much effort to itunes, but I no longer have his ready assistance; anyone know how to make sure i perform this.

    Also, how do you put any voice memo back on your phone to listen to again?

  • sarupu

    its work for me, thanks Namaste:

    Nick Namaste said on January 28, 2011 Try this. It worked for me. I have had to do it more than once over the last few months because the problem recurs, even with the latest iPhone update installed. I found the solution on the web, but I it was not easy, and now I cannot relocate it.1. Unplug Iphone from Mac after failed Sync.
    2. In iTunes, select File –> Library –> Organize Library –> Consolidate files
    3. Plug in IPhone & SyncThe voice memos should be there.

  • Stephan

    If some of the items do not sync, give it a custom label, plug in and sync. That (however strange) worked for me.

  • Gerard

    @ Jennifer : The standard voice memo recorder doesn’t show up in this list

  • GZ

    I followed the instruction above with the pictures to sync the voice memoes, then used the instruction from GS who said on February 11, 2011, and it worked. I dragged the 2hr13min recording from the voice memo under the playlist to my drive. Many thanks to GS.

  • Ruth in New Jersey

    May God bless StigMik for posting this fix and Nick Namaste for figuring it out!!! AppleCare tried to help me for over one hour; while I waited to be transferred to a senior advisor, I “googled” my problem, came upon this site, followed StigMik’s instructions and it worked like a charm. I did wait until the AppleCare representative came back on and told him that I had found an answer. Very gracious and patient people at AppleCare.

  • Johnny

    I have the voice memo box unchecked (I do not want to copy the voice memos from my phone to my computer) but yet it still copies them to my iTunes . What can I do to change this?

  • thanks mate, you are a legend

  • dve

    The tip by ljinferno worked beautifully! I have spent a long time trying to find a way to transfer my voice memos without deleting my music on my itouch 2nd gen, which is not synced with my computer (had to reformat and backup file was corrupt…) THANK YOU!

    • umairaz

      thanks to yous, it worked for me

  • Sean

    Sometimes it syncs the memos and sometimes it doesn’t. the latest one is 2h and 24m long and only took the first 5 min from it but the other ones were same length and it copied the whole thing over. How do I get the whole thing over every time?

  • Cat

    Thank you so much!!!!

  • Glenn

    Thank you SOOOOOOO much!!!!!!

  • Teymur

    Thank you! The trick with consolidate files worked

  • P-Dogg

    To copy files to you mac all you need to do is:

    Right click on the memo file in itunes and select ‘copy’.

    Click on the main itunes “Music” library and select ‘paste’ from the edit menu. This will copy the file into your itunes library.

    You can now drag and drop the file from the itunes library into desktop.

  • Tracey

    This article is useless. I could get them to show up in my phone area on itunes as the screenshot shows, but can’t *transfer* them to my pc which pretty much pretty much DEFEATS the title of your freaking article. Thanks for nothing. I just synced my ENTIRE library for *nothing* Thanks.
    Your info (or lack thereof) on right-clicking for all these options to get to the actual file (which is what I freaking need) is vague to say the least.

  • Jeff

    Thanks! This worked wonders!!!

  • apple hater

    this is opposite. transfer files from pc to iphone. I want to transfer files from iphone to pc!



    I was upset for a good hour before I came across this posting. Oh Happy Day!

  • ana

    Hi there,
    I did everything like you said and I can see the memos but cant move them anywhere… There are 50min long so cant email them either, too long. Now, how can I save them on a seperate file on my computer? The copy/cut option doesnt work..
    I need to do it urgently, please help

  • Fern


    When I try to do this, it says that all of the content of my phone will be replaced with the content from my iTunes library. I do not want this to happen because I just bought a new Mac Book and it is completely empty, while all of my files, (music) and most importantly my voice memos are on my phone.

    I don’t want to risk losing these voice memos from my phone. is there no other way to back them up? it scares me whenever it says it will delete the contents on my iPhone.

  • Jimmy fae the Rigs

    Thanks Man,

    As a quick ref. this helped a heap. 50 minute long clip into iTunes no sweat!



  • Sonny

    I follow the steps to sync my voice memos to my itunes but I keep getting a message which says that as my phone was previously synced to a different library, my media files will be lost – does this include voice memos?

  • ayesha

    sir,i have a problem plz tell me how to shift contect list with complete contect detail on i phone 4s from a nokia mobile?

  • Ron E

    David — THANK YOU! the two recordings I particularly wanted didn’t appear after checking the include voice memos. So I tried your 3 step: unplug iphone; consolidate files in library; sync again — worked perfectly.

    • David Kirk

      Glad I could help!

  • Anja

    thanks for going into this but none of the steps have worked for me. I’ve had a lot of issues with iPhone lately and getting frustrated at this point. First I had a bug in my library or something, because iTunes wouldn’t start up anymore. So I backed up the library folder to my external (so I won’t loose all my podcasts again) and re-installed iTunes. Then I went to add all the music again from the backup folder I’d done. After that, obviously, I got the error that my iPhone was synced with a different library. But I decided to take some time yesterday to just face up and sync it yesterday, but the voice memos are still not shifting. I added some of my old ones from last year to the library, they were in the backup. I’ve renamed the playlist to something else as well, but when I do the steps outlined it still won’t copy my new voice memos over to my library. ‘Condsolidate Files’ didn’t work either.
    Do you have any other idea maybe?

  • sowjanya


    I have tried this along with the example above and still I cannot find my voice memos in itunes. Getting seriously worried now and find it very frustrating; It is to large to e-mail etc.

    any other ideas you seem to be a man in the know?

  • Gina

    If you are having difficulty, several people in the comments below have recommended these additional steps:
    – Unplug iphone from the computer after the failed sync
    – In iTunes, select File –> Library –> Organize Library –> Consolidate files
    – Plug in the iphone & sync again.

  • Iphonegirl

    Thanks so much. So quick an easy! You saved my project 🙂

  • Therese Baumgart

    Can anybody tell me what program or app to buy for my Iphone 4S in order to make a 2 hour voice recording, then email it to myself and someone else? I can make the recording in Voice Memo and Quick Voice, but can’t email it. Thanks for any help.

    • ilya

      > Help! I can make the recording in Voice Memo and Quick Voice, but can’t email it.
      Thank you!

  • Cary

    Only small (under 2min) files transfer for my phone. IPhone won’t even play a 30min file on my phone. Any suggestions on getting it off my phone, other than those mentioned in the comment thread about consolidation?

    Many thanks in advance!


    Cool. It looks like I’m finding the info I was looking for on this website. However, take a second look at this sentence: ‘One you have a voice memo recorded, there a two main ways of transferring the voice memo to your computer.’ it’s all wrong, with grammatical errors. If I was your editor… you might be fired. DLAKE 4 PREZ

  • epic

    Do you have to BUY your voice memos on iTunes?

  • Liz

    Brilliant sourcing of … –In iTunes, select File –> Library –> Organize Library –> Consolidate files–
    WINNER!!! … & lifesaver ; )

  • Faruk

    how do i transfer the memo from itunes onto my pc storage? I don’t have any options when i right click on the memo… please help

  • Big Red

    My itunes interface does not include the choices you have shown above. In fact the sync tab only has the top two choices and is greyed out so I can ‘t change anything. What do I do if I want to access my voice memos?

    • Julia

      > I have synched half of my voice memos. I would like to sych them all. Thoughts? Also i would like to save my voice memos transfered from itunes into my documents – thoughts?

  • Jill

    Ive done everything on this walkthrough, and after I didnt work I did the File>Library>organize ect… and it still is not working. I dont get the memo playlist. Help?

  • Joe

    how do i download an e-mail from I phone4s to my PC ?

  • Not Important

    Thank You so much. This was truly helpful to me and to my school projects. 🙂

  • EM

    this has been very helpful. thank you

  • Eric

    How long did it take for your file to load onto your phone so you could listen to it? I recorded a one and a half hour file this morning and I it wil not load! I think the loading process was interrupted because my iPhone put itself to sleep in the middle of the scrolling circle doing its thing. This is very disappointing given my effort in creating the recording. Any thoughts/tips?

  • Sven

    I figured out another way to do it! Mine was syncing up to a few weeks ago and when I double clicked on the button on my iPhone it allowed me to close the app from running in the background. When I hit sync it went over to my computer right away!

  • yasmin

    the itunes is shwing me a massge that if you want to sync and erase or cancel … ???!! what to do with this ?>

  • H

    This doesn’t work for me: it syncs all my music but the voice memo playlist does not appear. I unchecked/checked the box a few times, but it doesn’t help.

  • Arian

    Thanks Nick
    It works

  • mazen

    thank you so much
    it helped me a lot

  • Tiffany

    I have a voice memo thatI have saved to my itunes, but now how do I save it to my pc so I can email it to someone?

  • Debbie

    I have sync’d my Voice memo to my computer. If I want to burn it onto a CD, is it a mp3 or another application someone can listen to it with? or do I have to translate it into a audio program of some kind?
    I want to burn a cd so it can be transcribed.

    Please help.

  • csyf

    Hi, I’m transfer iTunes from C drive to D drive and I cann’t sync my voice memo after it even had try many times. Anyone can help?

  • Joanie

    Oh my gosh! Thank you so much. This totally did it!!! woohoo!

  • Nicky

    I have the same problem as Eric, above. If a phone call comes through whilst doing a voice memo, it cuts out. Then the voice memo appears in my voice memo list in the app on my phone (including the correct duration in the list) but when I hit play, it doesn’t play. I’ve tried syncing all my voice memo files into iTunes, but the file doesn’t come across. Is there any way to recover that file, or is it completely corrupted by the interrupting call? It was a very important interview and I’m afraid I’ve lost it forever! Any help would be much appreciated.

  • Dominique Rizk

    You are the best!!!
    Finally someone knew it

  • VoiceMemo Guy

    HI All.

    I had the same problems as you all did. Do the Consolidation step AND also make use you turn off WiFi before syncing! IF you turn it off and only connect your iPhone via USB cable, it will work a charm!

  • John

    I tried for about an hour before I figured out you HAVE to close out Voice Memo from running in the background on your phone before it will show up in your computer’s iTunes under your iPhone’s music list. Then it should sync as long as you have selected “sync Voice Memos” in iTunes and you have followed earlier instructions with regard to “Organize Library” in the iTunes file menu. I also turned off syncing by Wifi, although I don’t know if that made any difference.

  • Lena

    At first the above technique did not work. What I did was UNcheck the memo box, clicked apply, went back and checked the memo box, clicked apply and it worked. Goofy I know but it worked.

  • Jiap

    It work! just like what he say my voice memo was 1h 30mn easy!
    Thank you

  • Jen

    This worked perfectly for me — thank you — I had some valuable stuff I was worried about losing!

  • Lizzy


    I am also trying to get a large voice memo off my iPhone. I tried to Sync the way you have described but it says:
    ‘Are you sure you want to sync music? All exisiting songs and playlists on the iPhone will be replaced with songs and playlists from your iTunes library.’
    .. but I’m trying to get stuff OFF my iPhone, not ONTO it…

    Any ideas??

    Thanks very much.

  • Udee

    Thank you sooooo much!

  • Nannaq

    Great thread but not working! I have a memo 48 min on my iphone3gs which will not play on the phone nor be sync to my MacBook. I have tried the consolidating trick – not change and I cannot find the memo in the iPod playlist to drag to a playlist.
    Any good ideas?

  • kirsten

    Those people who did all the steps and could not find the memo, this is another step.
    click on the ‘summary’ tab and check all settings.
    especially the ‘manually manage songs and video’ and the ‘ convert audio of …. to …kps ‘ boxes, the voice memos should appear.

  • Idora

    my iphone and ipod voice memos won’t appear on my playlist in itunes. i have a lot of voice memos. what should i do ?

  • James

    This works, although it didn’t work the first or second time. I shutdown my PC and then tried it all again and it worked. But agreed, Apple have not made this easy to do!

    Unplug iphone from the computer after the failed sync
    – In iTunes, select File –> Library –> Organize Library –> Consolidate files
    – Plug in the iphone & sync again.

    • Suzanne

      Nick, this did not work for me. All my voice memos transferred except the two I really need: one is 46 minutes and the other is 24 minutes. These are also the two most recent memos, recorded Oct. 11, 2012.

      Any other suggestions? Can’t figure out why all but these two transferred!

  • Tina

    Thank you so much David for sharing this info. I was able to transfer the voice memo and was able to make it as my ringtone too. It’s my husband’s voice 🙂

  • amad

    Thank you2, suffered a bit on how to transfer the record (working purposes).
    All can be done with google, thanks all.
    another knowledge added to me.

  • Charles

    So was trying to get a long voice memo off an Iphone for my wife’s college class that was synced to an Itunes library on a computer that no longer exists. Thought I’d sync it to my computer but got spooked by the “will erase your IPhone” warning as it was critical this not be lost. Anyone know if will delete the voice memos in that situation?

    Sounds like even if it had synced, I would have had to do the “consolidate” process anyway since it was over 30 minutes. Tried the File mneu -> sync option mentioned above, but while it seemed to be copying something very quickly, it wasn’t the files I needed. Confirmed that by searching the whole Itunes media folder by the file name.

    Options I was thinking about:
    Old school duplication, play the file audibly from the Iphone and just rerecord the thing.
    Plugging a headphone in/out cable to the iphone then to the computer mic port as suggested above.
    Since the file showed in Itunes on the phone but just wouldn’t let me transfer it, I thought of playing the file in Itunes and using something like Freecorder to record the audio internally in the computer.
    And lastly, I ended up getting DiskAid, and since my wife is a college student, the license was free. It took about 5 mins to go through the whole “getting a registration key” process and then a couple minutes later it was done. Found it in a Google search. That’s all I’ve used the program for so I can’t say one way or another anything else about it, but it worked great for that single use.

    The one thing that DiskAid did do was show how ridiculous it is that Apple doesn’t make their devices more user friendly. The program starts and there is everything on the phone in neat folders. What’s Apple’s point in forcing us to use Itunes for absolutely everything and specifically, just the library it is synced to? I don’t want to sync it. Too much trouble. Just let me drag and drop what I want and leave me alone.

  • Bruno Gomes

    Open ITunes in your computer, go into your computer’s Voice Memo playlist. “Right click” on the Voice Memo file, and choose to create AAC version of the file. This file is finally going to show up as music.

  • sue

    memos can be sent in small versions and itouch lets you select the no. of minutes you can send from the memo recording. I send my 30 mn recording in 4 parts.

  • sue

    memos can be sent in small versions and itouch lets you select the no. of minutes you can send from the memo recording. I sent my 30 mn recording in 4 parts, in 4 emails

  • Steve

    Hi, I have spent hours now reading about this glitch and possible solutions. I continue to have similar problems with

    1. Not all of my Voice Memos recorded on my iPod Touch show up on my iMac desktop iTunes. In fact, after a certain date, none show up.

    2. Inability to transfer/email/share large Voice Mail files (some are 3 hours +)

    When I go to Music : Synch under Devices on Imac, it says:

    “Are you sure you want to sync music? All existing content on the iPod “Steve’s iPod” will be removed and replaced with songs and playlists from your iTunes library.”

    Well, I do not want to have all existing content removed and replaced on my iPod Touch, because I would potentially lose the Voice Memos.

    Any suggestions are GREATLY appreciated.


  • wc2000

    anyone trying to find voice memos that are too large to email. Once you’ve got them showing up in itunes, right click>get info – that will show you where on your computer you can find them

  • Lizi

    I’ve tried to consolidate the files, it will do it, but when I tried again it would not allow me to check the box to include the voice memos! I tried also the MMS, but nada!

  • Daniel

    In iTunes, just right click the voice memo and select “Show in windows explorer”
    NO HASSLES!! 😀

  • 00i.


    Straight to the point, Helpful.

  • Kat

    ONLY thing that worked for me transferring an hour long voice memo from iPhone 4S to Windows Vista was Dri’s suggestion:

    Do you want to download voice memos to your PC? No matter how big.
    Install Iphone Explorer . Go to the folder: Root Directory/User/Media/Recordings . Drag them to your Desktop and be happy!

    I am totally happy. Save yourself any more time and hassles and install it. Just heed the warning not to alter or delete anything on your iPhone from within the program or you run the risk of screwing up your device.

  • ET

    Very helpful! You helped me out with organizing my interview data! I’ll check out the rest of your site.

  • rick

    documentes and settings\ur_user_name\my documents\my music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Voice Memos

  • Nikki

    This erased all the voice memos from my phone!!!!!! Totally lost them now. Not a great solution!

  • DennisP

    Windows 7 IPhone 4S here: connect IPHone, open Itunes if not opened. wait for autosync to finish or sync.

    keep phone connected. open dictator 🙂 go to list memos. right arrow. shorten memo, dont really shorten. wait for it to be ready. go back to itunes sync and wait.

    this might happen cuz u dictated stuff before u used itunes sync the first time. just a guess

  • M.

    I cant find the consolidate button in Library. Help!

  • George Chuah

    Hi everyone, all this while my Voice Memos were transferring from my Iphone 4s to itunes with out any problems. I can even transfer my voice memos to my iPod classic too from iTunes. Problem now is that I can see the voice memos (NEWLY recorded) in my iphone 4s ONLY. But when connected to iTunes. The file wont show up in the voice memo play list (under DEVICE)….
    I have all those Voice Memos playlist checked.
    Im currently using iMac using OS Mountain Lion. iTunes 11.
    on iphone it is the latest 6.0.1

  • George Chuah

    Hi everyone, all this while my Voice Memos were transferring from my Iphone 4s to itunes with out any problems. I can even transfer my voice memos to my iPod classic too from iTunes. Problem now is that I can see the voice memos (NEWLY recorded) in my iphone 4s ONLY. But when connected to iTunes. The file wont show up in the voice memo play list (in my DEVICE).
    Currently im using iMac Mountain Lion. iPhone 4s with iOS 6.0.1.
    Please help me guys… thanks for the solution…

  • Kym

    THANK YOU! Quick, easy and to the point! THANK YOU. Your a life saver! I love the INTERNET!

  • ISA


  • Sunny

    Recently updated I-phone and was told I would not lose old quick voice messages, but when I just checked just now I couldn’t even open Quick Voice on old Apple I phone. So depressed. My father passes this year and his voice messages where on there. Phone had not been synched to a computer before getting new phone. PLEASE HELP.

  • Kristiina


    I want to sync my iphone but it doesn’t allow me. It says that if I sync it, my whole itunes library will sync to my iphone, but I don’t want that. How can I sync my iphone without moving all of my music to my iphone?


  • Henry

    Um, why does it say barenaked ladies on your iPhone drop down!

    • David Kirk

      It’s the name of a music group.

  • patrick

    Nothing works. I told it to include voice memos, and a voice memo playlist appeared in my itunes with no memos in it. So I did the consolidate thing and plugged my iphone in and synced it but nothing changed. Then I deleted the voice memo playlist to see if it would reappear if I synced the iphone again, but now it won’t come back no matter what I do. Prease herp

  • sL

    When I go to click “sync music” in itunes, it tells me it will erase all the music on my iphone and replace it with my itunes library…but unless i sync it won’t allow me to upload the memos…
    how the eff can i get these recordings off this thing without also losing all my music??

  • May

    I have 15 voice memos in my phone. File sizes are quite lagre (total 16 hours long) and I can’t send them out via email. I can see all files under the tab “On this iPhone” when phone is plugged to computer but it synced 5 files only. I’ve also tried the recommended method (In iTunes, select File –> Library –> Organize Library –> Consolidate files) but it doesn’t work. My computer is Window 7 and my phone is iPhone4S with iOS 6.0.1. Please let me know whether above method to snyc is applicable for my software versions. Also please advise if there is another method to transfer voice memos from phone to computer. Thanks.

  • sdfulbright

    I thought being able to record my lectures with my ipod was a great feature but now after a year I am suffering hours and hours and hours of frustration as this unit sometimes backs up my voice memos and at others not. It stores some of the memos on my computer and some not completely randomly in a folder here or there. Nothing is consistent and so I waste time trying to get voice memos to upload and trying to make archivable folders of the recordings by subject just trying to find the files. Is this an Apple product really? The company that was all about friendly user interface? Is there some reason why we can’t simply access folders on our ipod and drag them to itunes or to any folder of our choosing? Why is this completely dysfunctional itunes software trying to rob us of our OWN recordings? The most recent stupidity I have to suffer is that the itunes software is stopping the back up for over capacity. I don’t want to download everything in itunes to my ipod, I want to upload a few voice memos to the damn computer! So typical of a company for whom greed has overtaken the very reason they had a market edge to begin with. At this point I am so turned off that rather than spend money I might have spent to upgrade to an updated iphone (as if banishing free unlimited data time was not enough to dissuade us) I think I will purchase a more sophisticated and user friendly recording device.

  • Dan

    Been trying to transfer an important 16 minute memo for two HOURS now. None of the options work. This is my wife’s phone and this is why I have Android. This is absolutely terrible…something that should be so simple Apple makes so hard. In my Android…I just navigate to the folder and drag and drop files anywhere I want. Ridiculous.

  • Shiloh

    Thank you so much!!

  • bleh

    Still doesnt work

  • Rita

    I have followed the instruction to transfer my long voice memos to my Itunes on my PC, however, after clicking on music tab, it does not let me click on voice memos.. It does not allow me to click on none of the options… What is happening?

  • Rita

    I followed all the steps, however the voice memos have not been transferred to my PC…
    Can you help me?

  • Rita

    Can’t get it to work. It shows the voice memos item in my itunes, but it is empty.
    I tried everything… Please help.

  • Mike

    I seem to have had some different luck.

    I followed these instructions from start to finish, and had them show up in my iTunes, so that did work. I wasn’t able to perform any advance functions with them in the itunes library though, so i ran through the instructions one more time and followed the last steps concerning those having difficulties, and POOF my voice memos were gone. I’m talking disappeared. luckily i backed up my phone and am in the process of retrieving them, but I have no idea why they vanished. I’ve never had files on my phone disappear from syncing before.

  • Elliot

    iPhone fifth generation memos too long to be emailed. That’s annoying is also another complaint that I got is when I tried to send email pictures they’re upside down

  • Elliot

    Emailing pictures and they’re upside down that’s got to be one of the most annoying things that I have ever seen plus large voice memos email over 13 minutes long and there too large to be emailed both of the two things I think that are bugging me right now. iPhone 5th generation

  • Wanda

    is there an app or program that will transcribe voice memos collected on the I-Phone 4

  • Michaeal A Fox

    I’ve got “Quick Voice” but it will not send anything. I’ve tried repeatedly. I also have a pc, if that matters… and when I sync my phone the recordings I made don’t even show up. Very frustrating.

  • Eva

    I feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t seem to understand the sync concept…
    I have a bunch of voice memos on my iPhone which I want to transfer to my computer/mac/hard disk.
    When I check the “Sync Music” checkbox in iTunes in the Music section, a warning pops up:
    “Are you sure you want to sync music” All existing content on the iPhone will be removed and replaced with songs and playlists from your iTunes library.”

    Well I don’t want my content on the iPhone be removed and replaced with songs and playlists from my iTunes library, I just want to back up my voice memos!
    Transfer by e-mail is no option since there are several voice memos larger than the permitted mb to send by e-mail. I just can’t understand why one would sync his whole library all the time because of backing up a few files?

    Some time ago I found some third party software for transferring pictures to pc without iTunes, but don’t find anything for mac.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Eva

    Ps. The options “Notify me of follow-up comments by email” and “Notify me of new posts by email” in the reacion form would be more logically placed before the “Submit comment” button. Thanks.

  • Austin

    Helpful advice. Not sure why I didn’t find the share button.

  • Calinere Drn

    Really thanks, i have just tried, and it works. I often use iStonsoft recently, and it is also good. Now, i have two methods to use, thank you again!

  • Anu Gunn

    1. select the voice memos you want
    2. right click to make a playlist
    3. go back into regular itunes (not your iphone)
    4. copy and paste into your Finder folder

    this just worked for me. iTunes is sooooooo annoying!

  • Nick

    I have a LOT of voice memos that are important for my work. I’ve never synced before and am worried it will delete what’s there along with the old music. Is that an issue?

  • annette

    i have been trying to get a 35 minute recording off my iphone4 but i can not locate it anywhere but on my phone. I have tried to share it to my email/ text (an MMS option does not occur on my phone) but its too long. i tried copying what was stated above but the option of ‘recordings/voice memos’ was not even available. i’ve tried itunes and icloud but nothing seems to help. please help. ive read comments below but nothing can work as im unable to locate file. HELP

  • Cristine

    Thankyou so much. Tried everything. This worked! Appreciate your help with this article David.

  • Orli

    why i cant change the “include voice memos”? I mean there’s have “V” but i cant change anything…

  • Joy

    Thank you so much, it works well

  • mike

    my device doesn’t show up on the left column- so frustrating and transfer from USB- no support with that.

  • mike

    My device doesn’t even show up on the left column in iTunes- nothing shows up in left column on iTunes. What up with that? Running latest version. Further transfer with USB. No support with that.

  • Sheryl


  • K.

    Im running into an issue when I follow your directions.
    I get a message

    “The iPhone “*Iphone” is synced with another iTunes library. Do you want to erase this iPhone and sync with this iTunes library?
    An iPhone can be synced with only one iTunes library at a time. Erasing and syncing replaces the contents of this iPhone with the contents of this iTunes library. ”

    But this is the only computer I use and my icloud syncs up some information daily. So why is it not recognizing my phone all of the sudden?

  • Randal

    thanks for the help, its a shame apple makes it so hard to do simple stuff.

  • Tehanie

    Excellent idea I have 3-hours meeting minutes recorded in my Iphone, how can I transfer at the same
    time with words in my mac pro. I need your help.

    thanks a lot.

  • Lene Rybner

    would you know how to transfer larger files – interviews of about an hours length? I have used soundcloud, which is clever, but the uploading from my I phone to my pc strand every time I try – I guess because the sound file is too big. I guess i can edit the sound file, but I would love a simpler way, if this is possible.



  • njabulo

    I am having the same issue, but my recording is 2hr 48m 30s. The scroll bar at the bottom reads
    0:00 on both sides, the slider does not work, nor does any sound come out. Did you find a solution
    to the problem? I am going to to try and get into contact with Apple tomorrow and see if they have
    a solution. If anyone else out there knows how to correct this issue, please let me know. Thank

  • LB Skelton

    Okay, guys. Try this. To transfer your voice memos, plug in iPhone to computer. Open Finder window on Mac. (Make sure in Finder Preferences under Sidebar tab that your computer and Hard Drives are checked under Devices. Close preferences) If that is done look in the Finder window you opened for Devices in the Sidebar and click on your computer name. It will open and you should see your iPhone listed as a folder. Open, go down to Recordings folder and all your voice memos are there in m4a or wav file, even if they don’t show up in iTunes. They are listed by the date created. You can either create a desktop folder and drag files there, or you can double click to add them to iTunes. You’ll have to rename them what you originally did on your iPhone. So, no extra software needed. It’s all on your Mac. Sorry PC folks. Haven’t explored that, yet.

  • LB Skelton

    Just discovered that after I copied all my files from Recordings, I closed all windows and my iPhone showed up on the desktop as a drive. Now I can even drag photos, also. Unplugged it and plugged back in and it still shows up. Pretty little blue desktop drive with stick people on it. What a beautiful sight!

  • Mitch

    Ok so after 1 1/2 hours of looking and tinkering this worked for me. Go to the iTunes drop down bar at the top left hand side of iTunes -> Click on “Preferences…” -> Click on the tab “Devices: -> Check the box that says “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically. Then follow the steps described on this page under “via iTunes” stopping at step 5 to check and see if the memos have shown up. If not complete the additional steps described after step 7. After completing these steps the voice memos playlist (which I did not have when I started and couldn’t get till this point) and all my voice memos showed up in my iTunes. I hope this helps fellow iPod and iPhone users.

    Son of a huge tech geek,

  • Alexander

    I have lots of voice memos in my iphone 4S, which I would like to transfer to my Macbook air. Pls give the direction on this.
    Thank you and regards

  • Christine

    I have 167 voice memos which I would love to get saved om my pc. I have tried to do what you suggest with the library but when I plug the iphone in, nothing happens. The playlist “voice memos” remain empty.
    I really really hope you can help!
    Kind regards

  • Christine

    Hi again
    I forgot to click the “notify me” when you have an idea of what to do with my problem regarding saving voice memos to pc.
    I hope you will use this “comment” to your answer, so that I cen see it:-)
    Many thanks and looking forward to any help you can give.

  • Sinead

    Unable to transfer files from voice memos to iphone 4s. Clicked on voice memos, clicked on sync, no files in voice memos under playlist. Why?

  • Stephanie

    Hey guys, David’s advice of making the voice memos sync to the iTunes library works perfectly. Once you’re at the Voice Memo playlist, just select, and ctrl/ command c to copy those memos that you want into another folder — quick and simple 🙂

  • Sanket

    I have a Voice memo that recorded for close to 20 mins and now the playback is showing only 2 mins 36 secs… I spent an entire day travelling and narrating a drive through as i was driving and couldn’t make notes. I was supposed to prepare a Business proposal based on the location and now i am left with just 3.3 kilometres of drive thru narration whereas i had narrated for a good 22 kms. Is there any way I can bring this back. I is showing the graph of my audio but refuses to play past 2 mins and 36 secs. I am so frustrated now as the entire exercise is a waste of time. I definitely have to redo it now. Is apple going to take any accountability??? Thankfully I work for myself and don’t have a boss that I have to explain this to. It still is the most frustrating thing that a gadget has put me thru…

    SHAME ON U GUYS… When u claim to be the best at least deliver what is promised.

    Any possible way to retrieve the remaining bit of the Audio File