How to Record Cell Phone Conversations

By Louise Balle

You can't always rely on someone's word in a phone conversation, especially when it concerns a critical situation. So you may want to start recording all of your important cell phone conversations and saving them for future reference. Many modern cell phones allow you to record a call and save the sound file to your phone. If you don't have this feature, there is another reliable option for recording cell phone conversations.

Things You'll Need

  • Cell phone equipped with recording capabilities
  • Telephone recording device
  • Tape recorder

If Your Cell Phone Has Recording Features

Step 1

Initiate your call. Most cell phones won't allow you to record until the call is in progress.

Step 2

Press "Options" or "Preferences," and then "Record." You will see a timer begin counting to indicate that the call is being recorded. Some cell phones have a time limit for how long you can record, so try to keep things brief.

Step 3

Inform the other party that the call is being recorded before any pertinent information is discussed. It is illegal in 12 states to record someone else without their knowledge--you must get dual consent. In these states if you are planning to use this telephone conversation for any type of legal proceeding, it may be inadmissible if you didn't get the other party's consent. In the other 38 states, you only need consent from one side (see the Resources section for a list of dual party consent states).

Step 4

End the call. Once the call is ended, the recording will end too. You can also stop the recording before the call is completed by pressing "Options" again and then "Stop."

Step 5

Name the sound file and save it to your phone.

If Your Cell Phone is Not Equipped with Recording Features

Step 1

Purchase a telephone recording device and a tape recorder.

Step 2

Connect the recording device into the tape recorder and then put it in your ear. You can also use the telephone recording device to interface with your computer and save the sound recording to a computer file.

Step 3

Start the call on your cell phone (ear to phone) and press "Record" on the tape recorder. The telephone recording device will tape both sides of your conversation and save it to the tape recorder.

Tips & Warnings

  • Get a script together for how you will guide the call in the interest of time, especially if your cell phone has a time limit for how long you can record each conversation.
  • Because they are large and take up a lot of memory on your phone, back up your cell phone sound files to a SanDisk micro-card and save them to your computer.