Leaving an awkward voice mail? Rerecord with a keypad shortcut

The next time you catch yourself stumbling through a message, stop and rerecord with this tip.

Sharon Profis Vice President of Content, CNET Studios
As the Vice President of CNET Studios, Sharon leads the video, social, editorial design, and branded content teams. Before this role, Sharon led content development and launched new verticals for CNET, including Wellness, Money, and How To. A tech expert herself, she's reviewed and covered countless products, hosted hundreds of videos, and appeared on shows like Good Morning America, CBS Mornings, and the Today Show. An industry expert, Sharon is a recurring Best of Beauty Awards judge for Allure. Sharon is an avid chef and hosts the cooking segment 'Farm to Fork' on PBS nationwide. She's developed and published hundreds of recipes.
  • Webby Award ("How To, Explainer, and DIY Video"); Folio Changemaker Award, 2020
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You're leaving a voice mail, when suddenly, an awkward utterance slips, leaving you stumbling through the rest of your dialogue. You clumsily say goodbye. Hang up. Facepalm.

Considering the modern-day text-to-phone call ratio, this situation isn't uncommon. We're so accustomed to crafting perfectly composed text messages and e-mails, that our phone skills are diminishing.

But despite the upsetting trend, voice mails are here to stay. Whether you're calling up your boss or wishing someone a happy birthday, a phone call is the way to go.

So the next time you're leaving a voice mail, and you catch yourself stumbling, stop and rerecord the message.

Here's the deal: This trick works best when you know which carrier the recipient uses, as each carrier uses a different shortcut for rerecording. However, if you're unsure, you can usually just tap star (*) or pound (#) and one of those will work.

For your reference, here's what you should tap to rerecord a voice mail, based on the recipient's carrier:

If the recipient has...

  • Verizon: tap *
  • AT&T: tap *
  • Sprint: tap * or # then 3
  • T-Mobile: tap # then 3