How to Block a Number on Samsung Galaxy Phones

Someone bothering you? Block them

In this photo, a man holding a phone to his ear looks highly annoyed.
Are unwanted phone calls getting you down? Don't fret. Block the callers!.

bruce mars/Pexel

A barrage of unwanted phone calls is never fun, whether the calls pour in from scammers, your ex, that annoying co-worker from your previous job, or unknown callers. In fact, even one unwanted phone call can be one too many. Fortunately, the Android OS provides a variety of call blocking methods. For Galaxy phones, Samsung also provides its own solutions.

Early on, smartphone makers such as Samsung, LG, and HTC started to devise ways to make it easier to block phone numbers. Samsung supplies a number of approaches to let you quickly add numbers to an Auto reject list or Block list, although specifics depend on which Galaxy phone you're using.

Consistency is evolving

Overall, call blocking features on Galaxy phones have evolved over the years to improve their elegance, flexibility, and consistency with call blocking capabilities on other Galaxy and non-Galaxy models. However, standardization of these features across all Galaxy phone models, from all carriers, hasn't quite happened.

Certain features appear on some Galaxy phones, but not all. You'll also encounter variations in the terminology and icons appearing in menus. For instance, what was once known as the Auto reject list on Galaxy phones is now typically called the Block list. Unknown callers might instead be referred to as Anonymous callers or as Contacts without numbers.

This screenshot shows how to start a block call list on a Samsung Galaxy phone.
A common way to thwart calls is to manually add a number to a block list.

Here, however, are some very general guidelines for how to block phone calls, from the Galaxy S5 to the Galaxy S9.

How to block a number on Galaxy S5

From the Phone app, you can find your Auto reject list in Menu > Settings > Call > Call rejection > Auto reject list.

To add a number to your Auto reject list:

  1. Tap Plus (+).
  2. Enter the number.
  3. Tap Save.

To block a number on AT&T’s edition of the Galaxy S5, you remove a number from your Auto reject list by performing the following:

  1. Tap Delete.
  2. Tap the checkbox next to the desired phone number,
  3. Tap Delete again.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon have implemented a two-tier approach for their S5 models. Under this strategy, you can permanently remove a number from the Auto reject list by selecting and holding the number or contact, then tap the Trash can. Alternatively, you can temporarily allow calls from the number while still keeping the number on the reject list. To do so, you uncheck the checkbox next to the number or contact, then, through the checkbox, you disable the number on the Auto reject list.

If you wish to block or unblock all unknown callers, use the Unknown checkbox.

How to block a number on Galaxy S6

From the Phone app, select Menu > Settings > Block numbers or Block list. Enter the number you want to block or tap Contacts and add the number there. 

This screenshot shows how to block a number on a Galaxy phone by using the Contact list.
Blocking a number through the Contact List is another method.

To unblock a caller, tap Remove or Minus (-) next to the number.

To block and unblock all unknown callers, toggle the Block unknown callers switch.

How to block a number on Galaxy S7, S8, and S9

On the Galaxy S7, S8, and S9 series of smartphones, blocking and unblocking numbers is essentially the same as the Galaxy S6. However, you can now often block calls directly through Phone > Contacts instead of going to the Block list first. Moreover, many Galaxy phones now give you a third way to block numbers:

  1. Go to Phone > Recent Calls.
  2. Select the phone number from Recents, then tap Details.
  3. Tap Menu > Block.

Tip: On certain recent Galaxy phones, you can now opt to reject a number either Always or Just once. Some recent models will also prevent a blocked number from contacting you by text messaging as well as by phone.

This screenshot shows that you can block both texts and phone calls simultaneously on some Samsung Galaxy phones.
On some phones, blocking a number prevents unwanted texts as well as unwanted phone calls.

Reasons for the differences

For starters, call blocking capabilities are partially dictated by which version of Android is installed on your phone. From the Galaxy S5 to the S9 alone, Samsung moved from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 8.0 Oreo, with wireless carriers adopting these versions at their own respective paces.

In its online documentation for the Galaxy S6, for example, T-Mobile describes two different techniques for blocking phone numbers; one method is for a Galaxy S6 running Android 5.0 Lollipop, while the other is for Android 6.0 Marshmallow. If you've updated an older Galaxy model to a more recent version of Android, it’s possible your call blocking features have changed, too.

Complicating matters further is how wireless carriers like to differentiate their phones through the feature sets they offer; despite being the same phone, a T-Mobile Galaxy S9 may differ from a Galaxy S9 sold by Verizon or AT&T.

What else can you do?

If these methods and their variations don't work for you, search online for carriers' product manuals for their own editions of various Galaxy series. Alternatively, contact your carrier for specifics about how to block phone numbers on your specific Galaxy phone model.

You’ll find plenty of good third-party call blocking apps available, too.