How Long Can I Record Voice Memo on iPhone 2022 | Guide to Using Voice Memos on iPhone

by Michael Dwain

Whether you’re recording a song or simply taking notes, the voice memos app on your iPhone gets the job done for you.

It has helped me on numerous occasions when I had to take note of something important, it’s an easily accessible application and the best part is the files can be shared, modified and even deleted when not needed. 

The only question on everyone’s mind is “How long can I record voice memo on my iPhone?

Voice memos are recorded in uncompressed 44.1kHz Stereo audio, this means that 1GB of storage will be required to record approximately 95 – 101 minutes of audio on an iPhone. The more space on your iPhone, the longer you can record for.

Let’s take a closer look at how long you can record a voice memo for on your iPhone.

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How to record a voice memo on an iPhone?

How Long Can I Record Voice Memo on iPhone

Voice Memos is a stock application that’s installed on every iPhone sold in the market. You can easily access voice memos by either tapping on the app icon or by verbally commanding Siri to open voice memos for you. you can begin your recording by tapping on the red record button at the bottom of the screen. You can then save, edit or delete the voice memo from within the app itself.

How Long Can I Record Voice Memo on iPhone

The length of the voice memo recorded on your iPhone depends mainly on the amount of free storage space available on the iPhone. As a rule of thumb, 101 minutes of audio recorded at 44.1KHz would require around 1GB of storage space and so on.

Factors which Determine the Length of a Voice Memo Recording

Recording audio files or a voice memo on your iPhone has been made possible thanks to the numerous applications developed for just this cause. These recording applications can help you at times when there is no writing medium available or when you’re in the middle of a meeting. 

The only problem with these applications is that if you are going to record something lengthy, you’d have to make sure that you have the space available to store such a large file. There are many things you can do from transferring your recordings to an external drive or uploading them to the cloud in order to free up some space on your iPhone. 

These are the factors that play an important role in how long you can record voice memos for.

  • Audio Format of the memo
  • Available Storage Space on the iPhone
  • Which app was selected to record your voice memo

Audio Format

How Long Can I Record Voice Memo on iPhone

Well, from the previous section you’re able to understand the default recording format, but this is not fixed. iPhones support a variety of audio formats and each format has a different ratio of audio quality to size of the file.

It’s good to note that the length of your recording depends on the quality of the file and the resolution at which your file was recorded. Most file formats offer bit-rate options that can directly affect the size of the recorded file, using lower bit rates such as 128k as compared to 320k will result in lesser storage space being used and you’ll be able to record longer voice memos.

The best thing about the Voice Memos application is that you can tweak the audio quality from the settings app and decide if you’re looking to record a compressed file or an uncompressed one (we’ll discuss more on this later) 

Check the Available Storage Space

Ideally, you’re only able to record a voice memo as long as there’s free space in your iPhone, this is because every audio recording you create gets stored on your iPhones flash storage, thus accumulating space. 

iPhones can record in uncompressed 44.1kHz WAV audio format making it possible to record about 100 minutes of audio per gigabyte of storage available on your iPhone. 

Basically, you’re able to record longer files if you’re using the iPhone 11 256GB than what you would have been able to with an iPhone 6 16GB.

Choose the Right Recording Application

Though iPhones come with Apple’s native Voice Memos app and Voice Recorder, these applications have a slight issue with processing audio files that are longer than an hour, but there have only been a few cases reported.

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The other option available to iPhone users is GarageBand for iPhone that can record for longer only if the overall tracks BPM (beats-per-minute) is set at a lower range. 

Lastly, there are third party applications out there that claim to provide unlimited recording time but all that depends on the format of the file and storage space available in the Phone.

Use Cloud Recording

Though it does not help much with the overall length of each recording, uploading your files directly onto the cloud can help increase space on the iPhone allowing you to record at max capacity. Since some recording apps like SoundClloud or Cloud Audio Recorder tend to keep the flash storage on your iPhone down to the bare minimum by directly uploading your recordings on their own servers.

How Long Can an iPhone Record Voice Memos?

How Long Can I Record Voice Memo on iPhone

As I had explained earlier, every iPhone has storage variants and this means that the recording length of your voice memos will vary depending on the variant of iPhone you own. 

For example, iPhones utilize approx 5GB of the total storage space solely for iOS, apart from this in order to update your iPhone you’d require another 3-4GB of space for the update to be installed  successfully. This ultimately means that those using an iPhone with 16GB storage space will not be able to record long voice memos. 

To make it simpler to understand, I’m going to give you an approximate duration of the voice memos you can record on your iPhone based on the storage space available, while using uncompressed WAV audio format.

Let’s break it down based on the following iPhone models:

  • iPhone 8/8 Plus
  • iPhone X/XR/XS/XS Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd Gen.)
  • iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12/12 Pro/12 Pro Max/12 Mini
  • iPhone 13 Range

All the above models support either 64GB, 128GB, 256GB or 512GB storage variants and each variant can store a different number of voice recordings. In total, each variant can hold a certain number of hours worth of voice memos based on the available storage. 

Your storage capacity will vary depending on the number of applications, photos, songs, videos and other data you have on your iPhone. I managed to arrive at these values by using stock iPhones with absolutely nothing installed or saved in the phones memory.

  • 64GB: approx 50-60 hours
  • 128GB: approx 190 hours 
  • 256GB: approx 420 hours 
  • 512GB: approx 800 hours 

How To Change the Audio Quality of Voice Memo App?

Changing your audio quality settings will allow you to save more recordings by simply switching the audio quality level from uncompressed to AAC (advanced audio coding). AAC was brought around as the successor of MP3 files with better sound quality at lower bit rates. 

How Long Can I Record Voice Memo on iPhone

You can choose either between uncompressed WAV or AAC depending on what type of quality you’re looking for. To achieve this you’d have to

  • Start by opening the “Settings App” and tapping on “Voice Memos
  • Now Scroll to the “Voice Memos Settings” section and click on “Audio Quality
  • Here you’d have two options to choose from, AAC/Lossless (smaller file size) and Uncompressed (Larger File Size). Pick the desired format and head back to the voice memos application to begin recording.

What Must I Do if I Run Out of Storage Space on my iPhone?

This is a predicament we all face when using our iPhones, luckily there are a number of ways you can free up space on your iPhone so that you can record for longer. 

With the iPhone you’re able to transfer files to your Mac/PC, upload them to the cloud, or simply share them with your friends and delete the file once done. 

Transfer files to your Mac/PC

If you’re looking to transfer your voice memos to a PC or Mac you can do so either through iTunes, AirDrop or via an email. 

  • For iTunes, you’d have to make sure the “Sync Voice Memos” box is checked in the music options. Unless you check the box, iTunes will not sync your voice memos every time you connect to your PC/Mac.
  • You can also AirDrop your voice memo file to your Mac by tapping on the recording you want uploaded and clicking on Share, you’ll now be provided with the available methods by which you can share the recording. Click on AirDrop and have the file transferred to your Mac.
  • For old time users and by far the easiest method on the list is to send the voice memo via an email to yourself and later access the same mail on your PC/Mac and have it downloaded from there.
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Upload your Voice Memos to iCloud

You can store your voice memos directly to iCloud by tapping on the specific recording and hitting the share button. Here you’d be able to select “Add to iCloud” which will have the file sent to your iCloud account. 

The alternate method is to keep Voice Memos Enabled in the iCloud settings page of the Settings App. This will have your memos uploaded to your iCloud account automatically at the end of every day.

How Do I Trim Voice Memos on my iPhone?

If you’re recording voice memos to use as a voice-over or to share with your boss, then you will need to ensure that the recording is perfect from start to finish. At times the iPhone might capture some external noises at the start and end of your recording, these bits of the recording can be trimmed out so the final file sound clear and professional.

Here are a few steps you can follow if you want to trim parts of your voice memo.

  • Start by opening the Voice Memo app on your iPhone.
  • Select the file you wish to edit.
  • Click on the three vertical dots at the right (next to the file name).
How Long Can I Record Voice Memo on iPhone
  • Tap on the option labeled Edit Recording
  • On the new page, click on the crop/trim button located in the upper right corner of the page.
  • With the help of the trim bar at the bottom of the page, select the section you want kept and click on save.
  • If you wish to delete the section in between the sliders then tap on the option labeled Delete.
  • Once you’re satisfied with the edited memo, click on Save and then tap on Done.

How to Record Conversations on an iPhone?

Recording conversations on an iPhone is relatively easy and the kind of app you use depends on the type of conversation you’re planning on recording. If you are going to record a voice conversation that isn’t a phone call, you can use the in-built Voice Memo app on your iPhone by tapping on the record button and placing the phone is close proximity so it can record everything that has been said. But if you need to record a phone call then you can download and use one of the third-party apps that are available on the App Store.

Let me give you a few examples of how you can record conversations on your iPhone.

  • Voice Memos – The Voice Memos app comes pre-installed on the iPhone and can easily be accessed from your iPhone’s app menu. It’s capable of recording voice memos and conversations with the help of the built-in microphone. All you have to do is tap on stop when you’re done and your recording will be saved on your iPhone.
  • Google Voice – Google Voice is another great voice recording app that you can download on your iPhone. It’s free to use and unlike Voice Memos, this app can record incoming and outgoing calls as well. You will have to login to the app using a valid Google account before you can use the app.
  • Call Recorder Lite – Another free-to-use app on the App store, Call Recorder Lite is designed to record incoming and outgoing calls which you can save, share and even download as MP3. However, this app is free only for the first 60 seconds of every call and you will need to purchase a plan to unlock the unlimited recording feature.
  • Call Recording by NoNotes This is a completely free to use app for iPhones that lets you record any incoming and outgoing calls and have them saved to your iCloud account or shared via email and social media. The app provides users with up to 20 minutes of free recording per moth and additional recording time can be bought from within the app itself.


Is there a time limit on iPhone voice memos?

Yes and No. By default the iPhone does not limit how long you can record for, but the length of your recording will depend on how much free storage space you have on your iPhone.

How do I speed up a voice memo?

Open any recording of your choice and tap on the settings icon located in the upper right hand corner. Scroll down and then click on tempo. Once done, increase the tempo of the playback and then tap on done.

How long can I record a voice memo on iPhone 13?

There is no set time limit when recording a voice memo on an iPhone 13. The total duration depends on factors such as the total amount of available storage space and the file format you’ve selected.

Can I record a voice memo if my iPhone is locked?

You can record a voice memo even if your iPhone is locked. But this is possible only if you lock your iPhone after clicking on the record button. Once the phone is locked you can stop or pause the recording via the widget that appears on the lock screen.

How do I listen to a voice memo?

You can listen to an already recorded voice memo at any given time on your iPhone. Simply launch the Voice Memo app, tap on the memo you wish to listen to and then click on the play button to begin playback.

How to rename a voice memo?

You can easily rename any voice memo on your iPhone. Simply access the voice memo app and then select the memo you want to rename. Tap on the name of the recording so it gets highlighted and then enter the new name for the file. Once you’re done click anywhere and the new name will be saved.

What audio format can the iPhone record and play?

The iPhone is capable of recording and playing audio files in MP3, WAV, AAC, Apple Lossless and even AIFF formats. The most common formats used are MP3, AAC and WAV.

Can I record voice memos on my Apple Watch?

Yes, you can record voice memos directly on your Apple Watch by launching the Voice memo app and tapping on Record to begin recording. The files you create will then automatically sync to your iPad, iPhone or Mac depending on which device is connected to the Apple ID running on your Apple Watch.


Recording voice memos may not be for everyone but it surely gets the job done.It can be used in different scenarios like taking note of something important or recording a song to be played again at a later point in time. Voice Memos are a great tool to use but the only drawback is the size of the files that are generated.

Keep in mind that though there’s no limit on how long you can record a voice memo for.

As you are aware of what factors play a role in how long you can record for, it is best to make sure you have adequate storage space and have the audio quality levels set accordingly if you really want to take full advantage of this app. 

So go ahead and start using voice memos, I’m sure you’d enjoy having a portable recorder with you everywhere you go.

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Greetings! My name is Michael and this is my website.

I've been specializing in audio equipment and accessories for a while and have a little something in store for every kind of hi-fi enthusiast.

Based in California, I keep attending special launch events across the globe. This has helped me understand the products better, and with a unique hands-on experience I'm able to provide you with easy to understand reviews about the best in audio tech from around the world.

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