Why do I have return receipts in my voicemail when I call into Unity?


The Options

You can disable this behavior in Unity and you have 2 options.  You should know upfront that either option applies system-wide.

Option A) You can exclude Read and Delivery receipts only (recommended).

Option B) Disable ALL receipts including non-delivery receipts.

If you send someone a voicemail and it can’t be delivered for some reason, it may actually be handy to receive a non-delivery receipt for those messages.  So, that’s why Option A is generally recommended but both options are explained below.


So, why does this happen in the first place?  In earlier versions of Unity, there are 2 registry keys (1 for each option above) at play.  By default, the value of each is 0 (include receipts). Alternatively, these values can also be missing which results in the same behavior.

  • HKLM>Software>Active Voice>Conversations>1.0>Exclude Return Receipts
  • HKLM>Software>Active Voice>Conversations>1.0>Exclude All Receipts

To fix the problem, you modify one of these two registry keys and the best way to modify the registry on Unity is to use the Advanced Settings Tool.

What did I mean by “earlier versions of Unity”?  In Unity 5.0(1) ES45, 5 registry keys, including those above, were moved from the registry to the SQL database.  This means that the Advanced Settings Tool was updated to accommodate these changes.

Tip: Launch the Advanced Settings Tool and then select “Conversation – Exclude Return Receipts (Exchange only)”.  In the Description column, read the Notes.  If they specify that these settings work for “Unity 5.0(1) with ES45 installed”, the tool installed on your system has been updated to make changes in the SQL database.

The Next Steps

If you have an older version of Unity and do not have an updated Advanced Settings Tool, then proceed.

If you have an older version of Unity, such as a base installation of 5.0(1), but have the updated Advanced Settings Tool then I’d recommend you just install the latest Unity ES first and then proceed.  However, you could also modify the registry directly.  Just remember that your settings will be lost if you do install a Unity ES (depending on the version).

If you have a recent version of Unity and do not have an updated Advanced Settings Tool, download and install the latest version from www.ciscounitytools.com and proceed.

If you have a recent version of both Unity and the Advanced Settings Tool, then proceed.

The Fix

Launch the Advanced Settings Tool from Unity Tools Depot and select 1 of the following:

Option A) Select “Conversation – Exclude Return Receipts (Exchange only)”

Option B) Select “Conversation – Exclude All Receipts (Exchange only)”

Set the value of the option you choose to 1 using the Advanced Settings Tool and restart Unity.  Please note that these values do not affect the behavior of the Unity Inbox.  The Advanced Settings Tool highlights this as well.  If you want to exclude return receipts from there as well, set the “Unity Inbox – Exclude return receipts from Inbox” parameter to 1 and restart Unity.

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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.