Find the Location of Voice Memos Files on Mac (MacOS Catalina & Big Sur)

Before we start explaining you how to find the original audio files of your voice recordings on the disk, we’d like to mention that you can save your voice notes in a much easier way — using drag and drop.

If this doesn’t fit you, you can read the second paragraph and find the location of original .m4a-files on the disk on your MacOS Catalina or Big Sur.

If you ask me why search for them, I can say that first you can use this pre-installed app to make some narration and then you may want to use your audio files in FinalCut.

How to Save Voice Memos as Files in Desired Location

  • Launch the Voice Memos app.
  • Record a new memo or locate an existing one in the left pane of the Voice Memos app window.
  • Minimize all other windows to be able to see the empty area of your desktop if you want to save a voice memo to the desktop.
    (Alternatively, open the Finder if you are eager to save a voice memo in some folder. Also, make sure both Finder and Voice Memos windows are not maximized at the moment).
  • Hover your cursor over the memo you wish to copy and make sure the cursor displays as the arrow (otherwise – if you point your cursor at the text – MacOS would think you opt to edit the current memo’s name instead of dragging it).
  • Hold down a voice memo, drag it to the desktop (or a folder in the Finder) and finally drop it. 

You’d better watch the video below.

Video Guide: How to Copy Voice Memos as Files

Where Do I Find Voice Memos Files on My Mac with MacOS Catalina and Big Sur?

Well, okay, if you’re reading this, you probably want to know where voice memos files are stored on MacOS Catalina.

First things first, the path is the following:

$HOME/Library/Application Support/

But I can warn you right away: you are likely to fail in finding any of them if you search for recording names in Finder. Why? Because displayed names are not file names when it comes to your recordings in Voice Memos.

Besides that, in MacOS Catalina and Big Sur the folder is hidden.

Follow the steps to locate the files:

  • open the Finder.
  • in the search field in the top right corner of the window type
  • select This Mac to search in. 
  • click on folder in the results: search for in This Mac
  • you should see the Recording subfolder.
    We advise that you drag and drop it to your favorites on this step. From now on you will always be able to quickly reveal your voice memos as m4a files in your Finder.
  • now you can go to the Recordings folder and see all your voice memos as .m4a-files:
    Voice Memos files location MacOS Catalina
    Voice Memos files location (MacOS X Catalina)

Video Guide


As it turned out, things haven’t changed too much since MacOS X Mojave and you still can find your audio recordings as files on the disk.

You can also create a Macintosh HD shortcut on your desktop and try to find the folder manually.

Maybe, Apple will make it easy to find in the future. But we think, adding the Recordings folder to your Favorites is the best option.

Please, tell us in the comments about whether or not this guide was useful for you. We’d also appreciate very much if you share it on your social networks. Thank you and have a nice day!

10 thoughts on “Find the Location of Voice Memos Files on Mac (MacOS Catalina & Big Sur)”

  1. Thank you for this post! It will save me from go through hoops to find the file(s) next time. Can those voice memo files be renamed ?

    • Yes, I’m wanting to know how to rename the recordings AND adjust the record date. Somehow the dates got screwed up when Apple moved the voice memos from iTunes over the the Voice Memos app years ago.

  2. Why is it so difficult to just transfer these files out of the app WITH the names that I gave them in the app, *in bulk*? It seems like every method available lets me do one thing but not the others… either export the files via drag-n-drop one at a time (unusable because I have many hundreds of files to move off the phone), OR in bulk (but with mangled names), OR there are utility apps like iExplorer that can solve my problem for $50. Wasted an hour trying to figure this out so far. From now on I’ll be using a 3rd party voice recorder app that’s not as incredibly clunky when it comes to basic functionality as Apple’s own!

    • I completely agree with you. This feels like another example of Apple betraying their larger rep of being so well engineered and designed for a quagmire of missing basic utility that got mastered by other software 10 yeas ago. I have no idea how to manage my hundreds of voicemails I created in this app because I trusted that Apple had put some thought into this.

  3. I could drag and drop them one by one only. Quite a nuisance that there is no multiple selection.
    Another nuisance is that the recording must be shut off manually, there is no automatic shut off. So it can keep on recording for days and weeks!

  4. Thanks a lot for this post…. but unfortunately it does not work with the latest release – Big Sur. There is no “” or anything similar in Application Support, or anywhere else for that part.

    Hope you can help! 😉


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