iPhone "Cannot Connect to Voicemail"

My wife's iPhone 4 came new out of the box at the telecom store. Neither of us have visual voice mail, in which case the voice mail button should just display a list with voice messages. It works on my phone, but it did not on my wife's. Instead, it displayed an error:

iPhone voice mail error

It simply asked to contact Telus Mobility for assistance. I did. At first they wanted to sell me their visual voicemail feature at $7/mo. When I explained that it works on my phone, they just made me Google it. Wow. Then they had me reset her voicemail password, which some folks reported as the solution in various forums, but that didn't work for us.

What did work is the following:

From the keypad, type *5005*86*-----------# where the dashes represent your 11-digit voice mail number (typically starting with 1). Then tap call. The screen will flash, ever so briefly, and after that it looks like nothing happened. (It doesn't actually make an outbound call.) Clear the number off the screen (switch to favorites and back or something) and press and hold the 1 key. It dialed voice mail! From then on, the voice mail button also started working.

Mind you, I know that we dial our own number to access voicemail. If your service provider has a fixed number (as many do) you would have to enter that number. This option seems to reprogram the voice mail number to what you enter.

The code *#5005*86# displays the currently active number.

Disclaimer: This worked for me. It may not work for you. If in doubt, please contact your service provider. As always with anything you find on the internet, use at your own risk.

This is still valid for the iPhone 7.


I don't know how you figured this out but thanks! It worked for me too.

Glad it helped!

Also worked for me - I'm on the TELUS network also. Many thanks.

Glad you got it working.

it worked for me too.. thanks dude. I am using koodo mobile from Canada. I had the same screen that you had, but now everything is working fine. I also tried to add the number 1 in front of the 10 digit numbers to avoid any long distance calling. All good.,Thank you very much

I wasn't sure if there are long-distance fees for retrieving messages, but you are right. This is taken from the Telus Mobility website:

When calling your voice mail on your phone, airtime charges apply. Similarly, when calling your voice mail on your phone from outside of your local calling area, long distance rates can apply. When using another phone to call your voicemail, charges do not apply.

My phone has actually been set up that way in the store as well, with the 1. However, I imagine that long-distance fees will still apply.

This programming step should probably be a part of the setup in the store, that is what the one-time fee is supposed to be for. It appears it is often forgotten. Glad it helped.

Worked like a charm - thanks!!

Worked Perfect For Me Too. Many Thanks

Seems it's more common than I initially thought. :-)

it is perfect!

thanks a lot

Sweetness! Worked for me as well! Much appreciated (hope it's not sending my number to some long distance scammer! ;vP

No, it doesn't make a call, it just programs the number.

Thanks, just got my iphone 4s on the weekend and this worked like a charm.


Worked for me, too on an unlocked iPhone 4s, using a StraightTalk Wireless SIM. Thank you!!!


excellent post, just had to rebuild my iphone 4 after a complete crash, had the problem you mentioned and it worked a treat, even if your voicemail number starts with * just follow the codes above and it works!! also had the rpoblem of apps not working and iphone not being recognised on itunes and also no WIFI or Bluetooth appearing!! thanks to you the vmail problem is solved..

First time I heard about thus happening after a crash; thought this resides on the sim card?

Thank you very much for sharing this! How on earth DID you figure this out? A-mazing! :)

Thank you very much for sharing this! How on earth DID you figure this out? A-mazing! :)

Thank you very much for sharing this! How on earth DID you figure this out? A-mazing! :)

Thank you very much for sharing this! How on earth DID you figure this out? A-mazing! :)

I apologize for all of the posts above. Apparently my computer needs a code like this to come back to its senses :/

Quite alright. And you're welcome. :-)

Worked for MTS in Canada. Thanks!

Glad it worked for you as well!

That worked like a charm! Thanks so much!

Worked like a charm for me, I had originally thought
there was a defect with my phone. Thanks!

That's what I initially thought too. Glad it worked for you.


We have 3 I-Phone 4s on Telus here in BC. One phone had this problem right out of the box. Telus was no help. This worked 1st time. Thanks much for your sharing of your research and rectification of this issue!

Glad it worked for you, nothing more frustrating than coming home only to discover this issue.

Yea king... good looking out... Worked

Good to hear.

It worked for me too ! on bell I called customer service and they told me to do a wipe on the phone ! that's what they always do to fix problems they can't deal with !
I'm glad I found this Blog ! thanks again !

That is silly advice. I doubt it will make any difference, since the voice mail number would have remained blank. Good to know it worked for you.

Your blog post mimicked my situation exactly, my phone worked, my wife's didn't and we are on Telus, and as so many people have said already, your solution worked perfectly.


Thanks, good to hear it worked for you as well.

Worked for me as well - thanks!


YAY! So happy! Such an easy fix :)

It is, once you know. :-) It is not a huge issue but it is quite annoying!

Yay! It worked!


It didn't work for me. i am with Bell.

Comment #35 seemed to indicate its not a Bell thing. Sorry, not sure what to tell you...

Edit: Try *#5005*86# and see what number is being returned to confirm it has been entered correctly. If the number is correct, the problem may have a different cause than covered by this post.

Works Great. Thanks.

Glad it worked for you.

Xcellent dude...
Worked for me in Panamá with Digicel and Cable&Wireless


it worked for me too! using iPhone4S on telus

Glad it helped.

Great instructions. Worked perfectly for me. Thank you!

Good to hear it was helpful.

WOW! Perfect! Thank You!

Amazing!! It's totally working in my phone! I was about to go to a telus service!

When I tried that, they weren't much help... But I'm glad you have it working now.

Worked here as well, I've had my iPhone 4S for 6 months and now my voicemail function actually works :D

Finally. :)

Thank you! This worked for me.

My voicemail unaccountably stopped working and showed exactly that screen which you depict above. I'd done nothing different which would explain why the voicemail suddenly stopped working. The only possible thing I can think of: two days previously, I'd changed my Account password (for access to My Account on the Telus website, which I normally access from my desktop). However, an account/website password and a PIN number (for voicemail, in this case) aren't the same thing, so why that would make any difference - if it did - I've no idea.

That does sound strange as the Telus online account would be separate from the phone. But given how complicated these phones and accounts are, who knows. Good you have it working again!

awesome - ROGERS :)

Thanks!! Worked perfectly


Thank you, worked great for me as well. Telus Mobility Alberta Canada Iphone 4S Version 5.1.1 May 15, 2012.

Glad it worked for you too.


Glad you have it working now.

Thank you so much! I have been trying to fix this for days now. Where did you ever find this?

Someone from Telus. It seems more common than I thought.