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How to record a phone call on Android in 3 easy ways

We step you through three different approaches to recording a call on your Android phone. See which method best suits your needs.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer and  Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Google Pixel 8a Displays
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

OK, you want to record a phone call on your Android handset, but it's a bit more complicated than it used to be. Back in 2022, in the interests of improved privacy, Google cracked down on third-party recording apps in the Google Play Store. Even Google's own Voice Recorder app isn't capable of recording an in-session call. Since the company started locking down Android, there remain some third-party apps capable of recording calls, but your mileage may vary (depending on the release of Android and the device you are using).

There are ways to get around this. But before we dive into the "how," it's important to keep in mind the legality of recording phone conversations. 

Also: The best Android phones

In the US, federal and state laws regulate the permissions needed to record a phone call. In some states, you do not need the other party's permission to record the call as long as you are a consenting party on the call yourself. In other states, all parties must consent to the recording. Check federal and state laws before recording any phone conversation. You can check what laws your state has imposed here

Also: How to record a phone call on your iPhone

So, how do you record a call? Here are three different ways to record a phone call on your Android phone. 

1. Recording a call on Android using Google Voice 

Google Voice is a voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) service that was created to allow users to make and receive phone calls from anywhere using the internet. It can also be used to record incoming calls. 

To use Google Voice to record an incoming phone call, there are a few conditions, which are: 

  • You must have a Google Voice account.
  • Google makes sure all parties know they're being recorded.
  • You must have voice-calling options turned on. 
  • All participants must be on a call before you start recording. 

Also: The best Google Pixel phones: Expert tested and reviewed

How to record a call using Google Voice

Here's how to record an incoming call on your Android device using Google Voice:

  1. Answer the incoming call you intend to record. 
  2. Press 4 to start recording. 
  3. Press 4 to stop recording. 
  4. Access recordings in the Google Voice voicemail tab. 

When you're using Google Voice to record a phone call, you can begin the recording during the call, and you can switch phones during a recorded call. 

2. Recording a call on Android using an external recorder

Using an external recorder might not be an ideal option as it may require purchasing hardware. Still, if Google Voice won't meet your needs, an external recorder is an option -- whether this is a dictaphone or something else. 

Modern-day recorders are often wireless, with Bluetooth capabilities, and might require pairing with the original smartphone used for making calls. 

Also: How to simplify Bluetooth connectivity

The only steps required for recording with dedicated equipment are typically pairing over Bluetooth and pressing a button to start and stop the recording. 

The recordings will be kept on the external device, as long as storage is available, until you decide to transfer the audio files. 

Also: How to take a screenshot on Android

However, "dumb" dictaphones without such connectivity might require an SD card or wired link to a PC for audio data transfer. You might also have to put your call on speaker to capture both sides of the audio properly.

3. Recording a call on Android using a third-party app

Using a voice recorder app is a potential workaround. Now, while Android call-recording functionality is locked to Google's Phone app and Accessibility services, you might be able to circumvent this by enabling a voice recorder and putting the phone call on speaker. 

The one caveat to this -- with Android 14 and up -- is that most recording apps are locked when a call is in place. The only exception I've been able to find is an app called Call Recorder - Cube ACR. This app requires a subscription and offers a free trial (which does require a credit card).

The other way around the lock issue would be to use a third-party voice recording app on a second phone. To do this, you would have to place the call on speaker phone and then start recording on the second device. Without the second phone, you won't be able to record a call on your Android device.

Also: How to set up a new Android phone

These apps might be able to record the environmental noise around you, including both sides of the call. Keep in mind, however, that it is illegal in many places to record people without their consent. 

How much does it cost to record a phone call using Google Voice?

Though rates may be applied if you're using Voice to make international phone calls or other calls and texts that don't use an internet connection, using Google Voice is otherwise free, including recording incoming phone calls. 

Is it legal to record a phone conversation?

While it is not illegal to record a phone conversation, state laws determine whether or not the party being recorded must be notified that they are being recorded. Google's Phone app and Google Voice have built-in functionality that notifies all parties on the call that they are being recorded, giving everyone the option to end the call if they do not wish to be recorded. 

Are there alternatives to recording calls on an Android device?

If you want a record of a phone call or meeting, you could also opt for a Voice-over-IP (VoIP) platform instead. Zoom and Microsoft Teams, for example, offer meeting- and call-recording functionality. However, participants will be informed about the recording at the start of a session.

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