How to Block Cell Phone Numbers on Android or iPhone (iOS)

Block unknown callers to maintain privacy and control over calls and messages

What to Know

  • On iOS: Tap the i icon next to the phone number and select Block this Caller.
  • On Android: Open the Phone app, select the number to block, and tap Block number or Reject call
  • Most Androids provide caller ID-blocking in the settings. In iOS, go to Settings > Phone > Show My Caller ID.

This article explains how to block phone numbers on iOS and Android phones, as well as how to view and manage numbers and how to hide your number when making outgoing calls.

How to Block Numbers on Apple iOS Phones

You can block numbers from within the phone's Recents section, within FaceTime or inside Messages. Blocking a number from one area blocks all three. From each area:

  1. Tap the i icon next to the phone number (or conversation).

  2. Select Block this Caller at the bottom of the Info screen.

    Three iOS Screens showing i (information) button, Block this Caller button, and Block Contact confirmation

How to See Blocked Number on iOS

To view and manage blocked numbers:

  1. Open Settings. 

  2. Tap Phone. 

  3. Tap Call Blocking & Identification.

  4. Then, either select a phone number to view its details and select to either add or unblock the number or contact or add a contact to block by scrolling to the bottom of all blocked numbers and choosing Block Contact. This step launches your Contacts app so you can select whom to block.

How to Filter iMessages

You can also filter your iMessages from people who are not in your contacts list. After you have filtered at least one message, a new tab displays for Unknown Senders. You still get the messages, but they won't be automatically displayed, and you won't receive any notifications.

To filter iMessages:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Tap Messages.

  3. Scroll to and tap Unknown & Spam.

  4. Turn on Filter Unknown Senders.

Three iOS screens showing Messages button, Unknown & Spam section, and toggle for Filter Unknown Senders

How to Block Numbers on Android Phones

Because so many manufacturers produce phones (Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, LG, etc.) that run the Android operating system, the procedure for blocking a number can vary widely. Further, versions of Android Marshmallow and older do not natively offer this feature. If you are running an older version like this, your carrier may support it, or you may be able to block a number using an app.

To see whether or not your carrier supports phone blocking:

  1. Open your Phone app.

  2. Select the number you want to block.

  3. On a Samsung phone, tap Details.

  4. If your carrier supports blocking, you'll have a menu item called something like "Block number" or "Reject call" or perhaps "Add to blacklist."

    Two Samsung Android screens, showing Details button and Block Number feature

How to Block Numbers on Google Pixel

If you're using a different Android phone, like a Pixel, you might do the following after you find the number you want to block in your Phone app:

  1. Tap the vertical dot menu in the upper right corner of the screen.

  2. Tap Blocked Numbers.

  3. Confirm with a tap on Block.

    Three Android screens from Pixel showing vertical dot menu, block numbers menu item, and Block button

How to Send Calls to Voicemail on Android

If you don't have an option to block a call, you might be able to at least send a call to voicemail:

  1. Open your Phone app.

  2. Tap Contacts.

  3. Tap a name.

  4. Tap the pencil icon to edit the contact.

  5. Select the menu.

  6. Select All calls to voicemail.

    Depending on your carrier and Android version, you might have to install a separate app to handle call-blocking features. Open the Google Play Store and search for "call blocker." Some well-regarded apps are Call Blocker Free, Mr. Number, and Safest Call Blocker. Some are free and display ads, while some offer a premium version without ads.

    Blocking Your Own Number's Caller ID

    In addition to controlling incoming calls through call blocking, you can also control whether an outgoing call will display your Caller ID. This capability can be configured to operate as a permanent block or a temporary block on a call-by-call basis.

    Your phone number can’t be blocked when you call toll-free (e.g., 1-800 numbers) and emergency services (911) numbers

    Call-by-Call Block From Caller ID

    Just add the *67 prefix before the phone number on your cell phone. This code is the universal command to deactivate Caller ID.

    For example, placing a blocked call would look like *67 555 555 5555. On the receiving end, Caller ID will usually display “private number” or "unknown." Though you won’t hear or see a caller ID block confirmation, it will work. 

    Permanent Block From Caller ID

    Call your cell phone carrier and ask for a line block to permanently suppress your phone number in outbound Caller ID. This change is permanent and irreversible. While customer service may attempt to convince you to reconsider, the choice is yours. Various carriers support additional blocking features, such as blocking specific numbers or messages. Though the code to call your mobile carrier can vary, 611 typically works for cell phone customer service in the United States and Canada.

    If you temporarily want your number to appear when you have a permanent line block in place, dial *82 before the number. For example, allowing your number to appear in this case would look like *82 555 555 5555. Some people automatically decline calls from phones that block Caller ID. In that case, you’d have to allow Caller ID to make the call.

    Hide Your Number on an Android Device

    Most Android phones provide a Caller ID blocking feature in the Phone settings, either through the Phone app or Settings > App Info > Phone. Some Android versions older than Marshmallow include this feature under an Additional Settings option within your Phone settings.

    Hide Your Number on an iPhone

    In iOS, the call blocking feature is under the Phone settings:

  7. Open Settings > Phone.

  8. Press Show My Caller ID.

  9. Use the toggle switch to show or hide your number.

  • How do I block numbers on my house phone?

    If you want to block numbers on a landline, you may be able to enter specific phone numbers on your service provider's website. If you have caller ID set up for your landline, you can usually block private numbers by dialing *77.

  • How do I block text messages on Android and iPhone?

    To block text messages on Android, open a conversation and tap the three dots > Details > Block & report spam. On iPhone, go to Settings > Messages > Blocked Contacts > Add New.

  • How do I block numbers on a flip phone?

    It depends on your phone's model, but try going to your calls, find the number you wish to block, then select Options > Block number.

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