AT&T 1740 Digital Answering System Troubleshooting Guide

att 1740 digital answering system troubleshooting

Whether you’re at home or the office, having a digital answering system helps with organization and communication. But what do you do when you’re experiencing issues with your answering system? If you’ve been looking for help with AT&T 1740 Digital Answering System troubleshooting, look no further!

There are plenty of issues that can occur with the system, but most are easy to fix. Read on for some of the most common issues and how to fix them. After the guide, stick around for a brief FAQ!

Why Is My AT&T Answering Machine Not Working?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single answer. There are numerous reasons why your answering machine may have stopped working.

The first step is always to ensure that the answering machine is plugged in. If you can assure that the system is properly powered, make sure that it’s connected to the required phone properly.

Turning the system off and back on again can help to smooth out any software issues if you’re experiencing them. Sadly, the issue can be complex. If you’re continuing to experience issues, you should contact AT&T support. 

Why Won’t My Answering System Record Messages?

The most common reason for this is that your answering machine is full and can’t store more messages. To fix this, delete some of the older messages. Always listen to what you’re deleting to make sure that you’re not accidentally getting rid of something important!

Another common reason is that you have it on Announce mode. Announce mode will make your system give your recorded greeting but won’t record any messages. This is more to say that you’re out of your office for a period than to work as a recording machine.

Why won't my answering system record messages

The Answering Machine Randomly Announces Our Outgoing Message Without the Phone Ever Ringing

Depending on the message, this may not be an issue with your answering machine. Some organizations like businesses or telemarketers will use ringless messages. This stops them from having you decline their call. When this is used, they’re able to just leave a message instead, which you, unfortunately, cannot stop.

Keep Getting the Message to Enter the Number and Cannot Complete the Call

As before, this may not be an issue on your answering machine’s end. This likely means that the phone network trying to contact you is overloaded. It’s more common if you’re calling someone else, but it can happen in reverse as well!

It can also mean that the phone number is no longer in use. This could happen if you have a message that was left before the phone number was discontinued.

Keep getting the message to enter the number and cannot complete the call

Unable To Get a Dial Tone On AT&T Cordless Phone

In this situation, you should disconnect the phone cord from the wall and let the system power cycle. If the issue continues, there’s likely a problem with the AT&T phone network. Contact AT&T and see if there are issues with their network that may be hindering you. If this is the case, the problem will fix itself when the network is back up.

Messages are Incomplete

The most common reason for this is that something cut off the message. The person leaving the message may have gone on for too long, and the limit has been reached. If the message was particularly long before getting cut off, this was likely the case.

The person leaving the message may have accidentally hung up in the middle of the message as well. If your system is cutting them off itself, you likely have some sort of software glitch.

Messages are incomplete

The System Does Not Answer After the Correct Number of Rings

If your system is failing to answer, it may not be set to answer and instead be screening your calls. Make sure that the settings are in place for your system to answer and record messages.

If the problem continues, consider changing how many rings it takes your answering machine to answer. Resorting to the default of 5 may help to fix this issue.

Incoming Messages Are Not Heard During Recording

If your phone is set to Do Not Disturb or Silent, then this will stop you from hearing the messages being left. Make sure these settings are turned off to hear messages properly.

The System Does Not Respond to Remote Commands

This issue is likely caused by a software glitch. Unplug the AT&T digital answering system to power cycle it and wait a few moments. Once you’ve plugged it back in, allow it to properly reboot and see if your settings have changed.

Remote commands also sometimes have a range limit. Consider reinstalling the app as well if you aren’t sure what else is causing the problem.

Contact AT&T customer support if the problem persists. You may need to replace your system.

Power Failure Recovery

If your system has been disconnected from power, it won’t operate at all. It should successfully retain your messages but won’t answer any calls or store any messages.

One issue might be the clock. To reset the clock, check the instructions on the unit, as each one has its own method of resetting the clock. Doing so should help to restore power without further complications.

If this doesn’t work, attempt to power cycle the answering machine. Should the issues continue, you’ll want to contact AT&T customer support, as the power failure may have caused damage to the internal components of the answering machine.

The system takes longer than usual to respond

The System Takes Longer Than Usual to Respond

This is likely caused by the machine being older or having too many messages. Clear out the messages to help your machine function properly. It may also have some issues from other software or simply be malfunctioning.

If the system continues to take too long to respond, you may want to replace the system entirely. Make sure to save any needed messages before you get rid of the system!

The Message Window is Off

This problem usually occurs as a result of you turning your voicemail off. Check the settings of your phone and make sure that you haven’t disabled voicemail functions. The message window should appear again after restoring the functions if this is the case.

If you know that the function is still active, you may have a glitch with your system. After power cycling, make sure that your voicemail box isn’t full. Should the issue continue, contact AT&T for support.


It’s sometimes stressful to deal with AT&T 1740 Digital Answering System troubleshooting, but don’t panic! Most of the issues are relatively easy to fix. If the issue remains, contact AT&T support and see if they can replace the system.

For more information on office technology, be sure to browse the rest of our site. If you still have more questions, read on for a brief FAQ on some of the remaining troubleshooting questions!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Program My AT&T Answering Machine?

To set up your answering machine, plug the phone cable from your answering machine into the Phone 2 Port on the back of the base. This will connect your voicemail to answer through the machine instead of your phone.
You can set your answering machine to pick up in fewer than five rings if you would prefer. After this, the set-up is complete – it’s that easy!

How Do I Fix My Answering Machine On My Phone?

This depends on what the issue is, which makes it difficult to give a single answer. Make sure that your voicemail box isn’t full, as this will stop your phone from taking more messages. You should also ensure that your voicemail has been set up. If the problem persists, consider taking your phone to an AT&T shop. They can troubleshoot the issue for you and advise you on how to proceed.

How Do I Record Messages On My AT&T Digital Answering Machine?

To record a message, dial *98 from the phone connected to the answering machine. Set up your Personal Identification Number and 8-digit authentication code. Afterward, say your name when prompted, and then follow the remaining prompts to record your message.

Why Is My Voicemail Suddenly Not Working?

There are several reasons why this may occur. Make sure that your system is plugged in and that your voicemail isn’t full.
You may have also set your answering system to its “announce only” option on accident. This setting makes it so that it plays your recorded greeting but won’t record new messages. Remove this setting to restore it. Otherwise, your issue may be something more complex.

How Do I Activate My Answering Machine On My Landline?

Your landline answering machine is set up the same way as before. Dial *98 on the landline and follow the prompts to record your greetings and begin storing messages.