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How Long Can an iPhone Record a Voice Memo?

As an iPhone user, I was frustrated when I discovered that the Voice Memo app had a recording time limit of three minutes. After some research and testing, I’m here to share what I learned about the recording limitations of the Voice Memo app, as well as some other solutions I discovered for recording audio on my iPhone.

Technically speaking, there are no specific limitations on how long of audio you can record. There are some factors to consider, though. Storage space, specific app issues, and other hardware conditions can limit your iPhone’s recording capacity.

Whatever your purpose is for recording audio, we’re here to help out! Let’s take a look at how you can record audio with your iPhone and which apps to use.

Factor to ConsiderDetailsSolutions
Storage CapacityiPhone’s storage capacity can limit the recording time; 1 GB of free space can allow around an hour of Lossless audio recordingCheck storage space and change audio quality to Compressed, if necessary
App ReliabilitySome audio recording apps may crash or stop recording after a certain timeConsider using alternative audio recording apps, such as AudioShare, Awesome Voice Recorder, Voice Record Pro, HT Professional Recorder, etc.
Recording ProcessKnowing how to record, edit, and delete audio files using the Voice Memos appFollow the step-by-step guide on recording, editing, and deleting audio files with Voice Memos

How Much Duration Can a Single Recording Have?

As mentioned above, there’s no specific limit to how long you can record audio. Ideally, you can record audio for as long as you want.

Now you might be wondering what’s the catch. Well, it all depends on your iPhone and its app’s capacity. So now the better phrase would be, you can record audio for as long as your iPhone lets you.

When you need to record lengthy audio, you’ll have to consider your iPhone’s storage capacity and the app you’re using. The iPhone uses a built-in app called Voice Memos by default for audio recording.

Storage Capacity

Your iPhone’s storage capacity can dictate the recording time of your audio. If you’re planning to record lengthy audio, you need to make sure you have enough space.

A gigabyte of free space can let you record around an hour of Lossless (uncompressed) audio in the Voice Memos app. You can save space by recording Compressed audio, but the audio quality will be compromised.

To change the Audio Quality of your recordings in the Voice Memos app, simply follow these steps:

  • On your iPhone’s home screen, head to Settings.
  • Scroll down and look for Voice Memos, then tap on it.
  • Tap on Audio Quality.
  • Choose between Compressed or Lossless by tapping on your preferred option.

Audio Recording Apps for iPhone

Audio recording can be interrupted if certain apps aren’t reliable and tend to misbehave or encounter glitches. While the iPhone’s built-in Voice Memos app has proven to be reliable, some users claim that it can crash or stop recording after 30 minutes.

Luckily, there are lots of audio recording apps available on the App Store. To name a few:

  • AudioShare (2.99 USD)
  • Awesome Voice Recorder (Free)
  • Voice Recorder and Audio Editor (Free)
  • Voice Record Pro (Free)
  • HT Professional Recorder (9.99 USD)
  • Voice Recorder – Audio Record (3.99 USD)
  • MultiTrack DAW (9.99 USD)
  • Recorder Plus: Voice Recorder (Free)
  • Otter Voice Meeting Notes (Free)

If you’re looking for other audio recording options and have some extra bucks to spend, it might be worth checking some of these out.

Read more: How long can iPhone record video?

How to Record With the Voice Memos App?

Ready to start recording with the Voice Memos app on your iPhone? It’s really simple and straightforward. To record an audio with the Voice Memos app:

  • Find the Voice Memos app on your iPhone’s home screen, then tap on it.
  • Tap the red button to start recording.
  • Tap it again once you’re done recording.

Once you finish recording, the audio file will automatically be saved with the name “New Recording” or the name of your location (if your Location Services is activated).

To change the name of the audio file:

  • Tap on the audio file.
  • Tap on the name of the file.
  • Type in your preferred name.

Deleting an Audio File

If you wish to free up some space on your iPhone, you can delete some of your recordings, especially the ones you no longer need. Doing so will allow you to record more audio in the future if needed.

To delete a recording:

  • Head to the Voice Memos app.
  • Tap on the recording you wish to delete.
  • Tap on the trash bin icon at the bottom right.

Deleted recordings are stored in the Recently Deleted folder, where you can still recover them. If you want to make sure they no longer take space on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  • Tap on the Recently Deleted folder.
  • Tap on the recording you wish to delete.
  • Tap on Delete at the bottom right, then select Delete Forever.

Note: You can no longer recover files deleted from the Recently Deleted folder.

Read more: How accurate is the iPhone GPS?


Whether it’s for school, work, or simply leisure, the iPhone’s audio recorder has something useful for you. As long as you have enough space, you can keep recording audio to your heart’s content.

While the built-in Voice Memos app is reliable, it’s not a bad idea to branch out to other third-party audio recording apps. That is if you want an accessible audio recording tool for better quality.