Google Voice custom voicemail greetings based on caller

This guide is to assist in configuring the legacy, per caller or group, custom voicemail greeting feature found in Google Voice. While Google limits custom voicemail greetings to 10, you can assign a greeting to one or many Google contacts.

Custom Voicemail greetings are routed to the intended caller or group of callers based on labels assigned in your Google Contacts. If you want a specific caller to get their own custom voicemail greeting then you would apply a custom label, ex. their name, mother, father, friend, etc, to just their contact record. For a group you would assign the label to multiple contacts.

While you can configure “some” of this guide using your android phone or tablet, certain configuration features are only possible via a browser.

Links you’ll need:

  • Google Contacts:
    • You’ll manage your google contacts labels here.  Later you’ll be able to assign custom voicemail greetings you’ve recorded to these labels.
  • Google Voice Settings:
    • You’ll record and manage your custom voicemail greetings here.
  • Google Voice Legacy groups:
    • You’ll assign the custom greetings you’ve recorded to the contact label (called a group in the legacy Google Voice interface) thereby enabling a custom greeting for that contact or group of contacts.  You’ll also be able to enable or disable call screening for specific contacts or groups.


Google Contacts Labels

Google Contacts labels

Step 1:

Visit: The first step in configuring the custom greetings is to make sure you have a label assigned to anyone you want to receive a custom greeting. To create a custom label scroll to the bottom of your labels list on the left and click “Create label”.  You can also edit, and delete unwanted labels here using the controls that pop up when you highlight a label.

google contacts create label

Create as many labels as you’ll need to route the various custom voicemail greetings.

Once you’ve completed adding labels to your satisfaction, click the three little dots to the right of a contact record.  This drops down settings for that contact. Click beside each label you want assigned to the contact.


Google Contacts label management

Repeat this for all contacts you want to assign a custom message.

Step 2:

Visit your Google Voice Voicemail Settings:  Or at the top right of google voice, click Settings settings gear.

google Voice Voicemail settings

Record up to 10 custom voicemail greetings (not shown).  When you click to save a newly recorded greeting it will allow you to name it. Keep the titles relatively short. Also Keep in mind each time you record a greeting, google voice is making it the default greeting for all callers. When you’ve finished recording your greetings, click “Manage all greetings” to set the correct default greeting.  Click the three little dots besides the  default greeting of your choice and click “Set as active”

google voice manage all greetings

Step 3:

Visit Legacy Google Voice Settings > Groups: On the left you’ll see a corresponding group for each contact label you created earlier. Click edit beside the group/label you want to assign a custom voicemail greeting to.

legacy google voice group settings

Select the correct custom voicemail greeting from the drop down (Play button does not work in legacy google voice).  This will now override the system default greeting with the one you’ve selected. To manage this contact’s greeting from now on you will have to do it from Legacy Google Voice > settings > groups.

Select if you want to disable Google Voice call screening for this specific group or caller and click Save. Anyone with this label will now hear your selected custom voicemail greeting

legacy google voice group editor

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