Set up Cloud Voicemail

This article is for Microsoft 365 administrators who want to set up Cloud Voicemail for their users.

Cloud Voicemail deposits voicemail messages in a user's Exchange mailbox. Cloud Voicemail doesn't support third-party email systems. For Exchange Online licensing requirements, see Exchange Online service description. For more information about administrator roles, see About admin roles.

Cloud Voicemail provisioning

For Teams users, Cloud Voicemail is automatically set up and provisioned. A Microsoft Teams Phone license isn't required for Cloud Voicemail.

Provisioning for Teams users isn't the same as it was for Skype for Business Online users. For Skype for Business Online users, Cloud Voicemail was automatically set up and provisioned when the users were assigned a Teams Phone license and their accounts were enabled for Enterprise Voice by the provisioning system.

For Skype for Business Server on-premises users, Cloud Voicemail is automatically set up and provisioned. However, you must configure the Skype for Business Server environment to route calls to Cloud Voicemail. For more information, see Plan Cloud Voicemail service for on-premises users.

Cloud Voicemail storage

Voicemail messages generated by Cloud Voicemail are delivered to and stored in the user's Exchange mailbox, either in Exchange Online or in Exchange Server. There's no specific or additional storage for voicemail. The clients that access voicemail (for example, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Teams, or Skype for Business) do so through the Exchange mailbox and the APIs provided.

A voicemail message contains an attached audio file with the voice messages and the voicemail transcription (if enabled).

Azure Media Services is used to store any user's custom recorded greetings. Cloud Voicemail retrieves these greetings as needed during an incoming call.

Cloud Voicemail processing

The recording and transcription of Cloud Voicemail starts in Microsoft 365 at the origin of the call being routed to Cloud Voicemail. The message is then delivered to the user's Exchange mailbox.

For example, if a call comes in to an unavailable Direct Routing user through a Session Border Controller (SBC) in Europe, the voicemail recording and transcription are done in Europe. The message is then delivered to the user's Exchange mailbox. For another example, assume a Teams user in North America calls an unavailable Teams user in Europe. In this case, the call starts in North America, the processing occurs in North America, and then the voicemail is delivered to the user's Exchange mailbox in Europe.

The delivery of a voicemail to an Exchange mailbox is done using Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) like any other e-mail.

Manage Cloud Voicemail for users

You can manage Cloud Voicemail for users by specifying voicemail policies and configuring voicemail settings.

  • Voicemail policies allow you to manage features for groups of users. You can configure and assign existing or new voicemail policies for features such as call answering rules, voicemail transcription, transcription profanity masking, transcription translation, and system prompt language. For information about managing voicemail policies, see Manage voicemail policies.

  • Voicemail settings allow you to configure settings for individual users. You can configure settings such as call answering rules, prompt language, text to speech default, and vacation greetings. For information about configuring settings for individual users, see Manage voicemail settings. Your end users can also configure these settings in the Teams client by going to Settings > Calls > Configure Voicemail.

Control routing of calls to Cloud Voicemail

The default setting for all users provisioned for Cloud Voicemail is to allow routing of calls to Cloud Voicemail, and to allow users to forward calls to Cloud Voicemail.

You can control whether routing of calls to Cloud Voicemail is allowed for Teams users by using the Teams admin center or by using PowerShell.

Using Teams admin center

To configure Cloud Voicemail routing:

  1. In the left navigation of the Microsoft Teams admin center, go to Voice > Calling Policies

  2. Choose the policy you would like to update or select Add to create a new policy.

  3. For Voicemail for inbound calls, select one of the following options:

    • On Voicemail is always available for inbound calls.
    • Off Voicemail isn't available for inbound calls.
    • Let users decide Users can determine whether they want voicemail to be available. This is the default setting.
  4. Select Save.

Using PowerShell

In PowerShell, use the Set-CsTeamsCallingPolicy cmdlet with the AllowVoicemail parameter.

In the following example, this script turns off the ability for users to route inbound calls to voicemail for the Global (default) Teams Calling Policy instance:

Set-CsTeamsCallingPolicy -Identity Global -AllowVoicemail AlwaysDisabled
  • If you set AllowVoicemail to AlwaysEnabled, calls are always forwarded to voicemail on unanswered after ringing for thirty seconds--regardless of the unanswered call forward setting for a user.

  • If you set AllowVoicemail to AlwaysDisabled, calls are never routed to voicemail--regardless of the call forward or unanswered settings for a user. Voicemail isn't available as a call forwarding or unanswered setting in Teams.

  • If you set AllowVoicemail to UserOverride, calls are forwarded to voicemail based on the call forwarding and/or unanswered settings for a user. This is the default setting.

For more information, see Set-CsTeamsCallingPolicy.

Set up Cloud Voicemail to work with on-premises users

You can use Cloud Voicemail to provide voice mail functionality for users who have mailboxes on your Exchange Servers, or for users who are using Skype for Business Server.

This section describes how to set up Cloud Voicemail for Exchange Server mailbox users. For information about how to configure Cloud Voicemail for Skype for Business Server users, see Plan Cloud Voicemail service for on-premises users.

Set up Cloud Voicemail for Exchange Server mailbox users

The following information is about configuring Cloud Voicemail to work with Teams users who have their mailbox on Exchange Server.

  1. Voicemail messages are delivered to a user's Exchange mailbox through SMTP routed through Exchange Online Protection. To enable successful delivery of these messages, be sure that Exchange Connectors are configured correctly between your Exchange servers and Exchange Online Protection. For more information, see Use Connectors to Configure Mail Flow.

  2. To enable Voicemail features such as visual voicemail in Teams clients, you must set up connectivity between Microsoft 365 and the Exchange Server mailbox. To enable this connectivity, you must configure the new Exchange Oauth authentication protocol described in Configure OAuth authentication between Exchange and Exchange Online organizations, or run the Exchange Hybrid Wizard from Exchange 2013 CU5 or greater. You must also configure integration and Oauth between Teams and Exchange Server described in Configure Integration and OAuth between Teams and Exchange Server.

Enable protected voicemail in your organization

When someone leaves a voicemail message for a user in your organization, the voicemail is delivered to the user's mailbox as an email message attachment.

Using Microsoft Purview Information Protection, you can encrypt the voicemail messages left by both internal and external callers. You can also prevent the user from forwarding these messages. This feature is supported for users with Exchange Online mailboxes.

To encrypt the voicemail message, you can create a sensitivity label. With the auto-labeling feature, you can ensure that the label is applied automatically to incoming voicemail messages.

When you enable protected voicemail, users can listen to protected voicemail messages by opening the message in Outlook, Outlook on the web, or Outlook for Android or iOS. Protected voicemail messages can't be opened in Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business.

To create a sensitivity label for voicemail, see Use sensitivity labels. In the Encryption section, choose Let users assign permissions when they apply the label. Select In Outlook, enforce one of the following restrictions, and then select the Do Not Forward option.

To create the auto-labeling policy to apply a sensitivity label to voicemail, see How to configure auto-labeling policies, and specify the following specific settings:

  • For Choose info you want this label applied to, select Custom policy.

  • For Choose locations where you want to apply the label, select Locations: Exchange for all users.

  • For Set up common or advanced rules, select Advanced rules.

  • Exchange rules:

    • Conditions:
      • Header matches pattern: Content-Class = Voice-CA
      • Sender IP address is:,,,,
  • For Choose a label to auto-apply, select the sensitivity label you created for voicemail in the step above.

  • For additional settings for email, select Apply encryption to email received from outside your organization, and specify the Rights Management owner.

The IP V4 ranges specified in Sender IP address is based on the list in ID 12 in Office 365 URLs and IP address ranges.

For more information about message encryption, see Define mail flow rules to encrypt email messages.

Diagnosing issues with Voicemail

If you’re an administrator, you can use the following diagnostic tool to validate that a user is properly configured to use voicemail in Teams:

  1. Select Run Tests below to populate the diagnostic in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

  2. In the Run diagnostic pane, enter the email of the user who is having issues receiving voicemail in the Username or Email field, and then select Run Tests.

  3. The tests return the best next steps to address any tenant or policy configurations to validate that the user is properly configured to receive voicemail in Teams.

Help your users learn about Cloud Voicemail features

To help your users learn about how to use and manage Cloud Voicemail features, you can recommend the following articles:

Manage Voicemail policies

Manage Cloud Voicemail settings for users

Change the default language for voicemail

Languages for voicemail greetings and messages