Only Talk to the People You Want With This Useful Feature

Use the blocking features in iOS to limit who can call, text, or FaceTime you

block calls illustration

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The iOS platform since iOS 7 has offered increasingly more sophisticated options to block unwanted contacts from calling you by phone or FaceTime or from sending you text messages. The functionality is built into iOS itself instead of being dependent on a specific app.

The call-blocking process we outline was tested on iOS 12, but the functionality is the same for iOS 10 and iOS 11.

How to Block Calls From Telemarketers and OthersĀ 

Blocking occurs within the Phone app:

  1. Open the Phone app and ensure you're on the Recent view by tapping the Recent option at the bottom of the screen.

    Instead of the Recent tab, you can also use the Contacts tab of the Phone app; the procedure is the same.

  2. Tap the I icon next to the number you wish to block to open its detailed information screen.

  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Block This Caller. When the menu pops up asking you to confirm the blocking, either tap Block Contact to block the number or CancelĀ if you change your mind.

    Phone app screenshot on iOS showing Recents history
caller id screenshot
block contact screenshot

These steps also work to block calls and texts on the iPod touch and iPad. It's also possible for calls coming into your iPhone to show up on those devices. You can disable calls on those devices without blocking calls.

What Is Blocked?

What types of communication are blocked depends on what information you have for this person in your address book.

  • If you have their phone number, they'll be blocked from calling you, placing FaceTime calls, or sending you texts from the phone number saved on your phone.
  • If you have their email address, they'll be blocked from texting you via iMessage or placing FaceTime calls using the blocked email address.

Whatever you block, the setting only applies to people using the built-in Phone, Messages, and FaceTime apps that come with the iPhone. If you use apps from other vendors for calling or texting, these settings won't block people from contacting you. Many calling and texting apps offer their own blocking features, so you may be able to block people in those apps with a little research.

What Do Blocked People See?

The people you've blocked have no idea you've done it. That's because when they call you, their call will go to voicemail. The same with their texts: they won't see any indication that their text didn't go through. To them, everything will seem normal. Even better? You can still call or text them if you want, without changing your block settings.

Don't get too complacent, though. While there's no way to know for sure, there are a few ways to figure out if it's likely someone blocked you, so if the people you've blocked grow suspicious, they might be able to figure it out.