How to Know if Someone Blocked Your Number

Getting a weird message when you call? You might be blocked

When someone blocks your number on their iPhone or Android phone, there are a few ways to tell, including unusual messages and how quickly your call transfers to voicemail. Let’s look at the clues that indicate your number is blocked and what you can do about it.

Because determining if you’ve been blocked isn’t necessarily straightforward, remember the best way to find out is to ask the person directly. If that's not something you can or want to do, we have some clues to help you determine if you are blocked.

Unless otherwise noted in the article, these tips apply to all phones from every carrier.

How to Know if Someone Blocked Your Number


Depending on whether they’ve blocked your number on their phone or with their wireless carrier, the clues of a blocked number will differ. Also, other factors can produce similar results, such as a cell tower down, their phone is turned off or having a dead battery, or they have Do Not Disturb turned on. Dust off your detective skills and let’s examine the evidence.

Clue #1: Unusual Messages When You Call

There isn’t a standard blocked number message and many people don’t want you to know for certain when they’ve blocked you. If you get an unusual message you haven’t heard before, they’ve likely blocked your number through their wireless carrier. The message varies by carrier but tends to be similar to the following:

  • “The person you are calling is unavailable.”
  • “The person you are calling is not accepting calls right now.”
  • “The number you are calling is temporarily out of service.”
A woman trying to call her BFF, but receiving a message that the friend is unavailable.
Lifewire / Theresa Chiechi

If you call once a day for two or three days and get the same message each time, the evidence shows you’ve been blocked.

Exceptions: They frequently travel overseas, natural disasters have damaged network infrastructure (cell towers and transmitters), or major event resulting in an unusually high number of people making calls at the same time — though the message in this case is usually “All circuits are busy now.”

Clue #2: The Number of Rings

If you hear only one ring or no ring at all before your call goes to voicemail, this is a good indication you’re blocked. In this case, the person has used the number blocking feature on their phone. If you call once a day for a few days and get the same result each time, that is strong evidence your number is blocked. If you hear three to five rings before your call routes to voicemail, you’re probably not blocked (yet), however, the person is declining your calls or ignoring them.

Exceptions: If the person you’re calling has the Do Not Disturb feature turned on, your call – and everyone else’s – will be quickly routed to voicemail. You will also get this result when their phone battery is dead or their phone is turned off. Wait a day or two before calling again to see if you get the same result.

Clue #3: Busy Signal or Fast Busy Followed by Disconnect

If you get a busy signal or fast busy signal before your call is dropped, it’s possible your number is blocked through their wireless carrier. If test calls a few days in a row have the same result, consider it evidence you’ve been blocked. Of the different clues indicating a blocked number, this one is the least common though some carriers do still use it.

A far more likely reason for this result is that either your carrier or theirs is experiencing technical difficulties. To verify, call someone else — particularly if they have the same carrier as the person you’re trying to reach — and see if the call goes through.

Another clue is to send a text to the number. If you were both using iMessage on iPhone, for example, and then you're suddenly curious if they blocked you, send a text and see if the iMessage interface looks the same and if you can see that it was delivered. If you can't, and it sends as a regular text, then they could have blocked you.

However, an exception is that they've simply turned off iMessage or they no longer have a device that supports iMessage.

What You Can Do When Someone Blocks Your Number

While you can’t do anything to have the block on your number removed with their wireless carrier or from their phone, there are a couple of ways to get through or verify your number is, indeed, blocked. If you try one of the options below and get a different result or clue from the list above (provided they don’t answer), take it as evidence that you’ve been blocked.

  • Use *67 to hide your number from their caller ID when you call.
  • Hide your number using the settings in your phone to turn off your caller ID information on outgoing calls.
  • Call them from a friend’s phone or have a friend you trust call them for you.
  • Contact them directly through social media or email and ask if they’ve blocked you.

Another way to circumvent a block is to use a virtual phone number or internet calling service, something you can get with free internet phone call apps.

When a different number is being used to make the outgoing call, the recipient's phone will see that new number, not your real one, thus avoiding the block. 

Repeatedly contacting someone who has taken steps to cut contact, such as blocking your number, could result in accusations of harassment or stalking and serious legal consequences.

  • How do you block a number on an iPhone?

    To block a number on an iPhone, open the phone app and tap Recent to view recent calls. Tap the i next to the number you want to block and select Block this Caller > Block Contact. They won't know they were blocked. Calls go to voicemail, and they don't see any indication texts haven't gone through.

  • How do I block a number on an Android?

    On Android phones, the procedure for blocking a number can vary by manufacturer and Android flavor. To see if blocking is possible, open the Phone app and find the number you want to block. (On a Samsung phone, tap Details.) If your carrier supports blocking, you'll have a menu item called something like Block number or Reject call.

  • How do I block my number when calling?

    You can hide your number with *67. Dial *67 followed by the number you want to call. The person you're calling sees a message like "blocked" or "private number." Or, on an Android, go to Phone > Settings > Calls > Additional Settings > Caller ID > Hide Number. On an iPhone, go to Settings > Phone and turn off Show My Caller ID.

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