How to block a number on your smartphone

There are many reasons to block a number: an ex you can’t pinpoint, ruthless telemarketers or those scammers who love spoofing(Opens in a new tab). When your phone rings one more time than you can(Opens in a new tab), it’s time to block this number. But how? Here are the steps you need to follow depending on your operating system and carrier.

No call list

The first way to reduce the number of spam calls coming to your phone is to ditch the telemarketers by placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry. At in a new tab)you can enter up to three numbers at once and check if your digits are already listed there(Opens in a new tab). You will need to include an email address to confirm your registration or call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236) from the phone you wish to register.

What are the best ways to block spam calls? See tips(Opens in a new tab) by PCMag’s Chandra Steele

According to the FTC, which runs the registry, your phone number will be added to the registry within 24 hours, but it will likely take up to 31 days for the sales calls to stop. If telemarketers persist in calling you, file a complaint(Opens in a new tab).

Apps like RoboKiller and Nomorobo also block telemarketers and bots(Opens in a new tab) (and even develop reply bots that annoy them). And apps like Do Not Respond also handle text spam.

Just don’t expect anything to completely end spam calls. Robocalls remain rampant, even though the FCC has taken steps to reduce them(Opens in a new tab). While you wait for real results, here are some other steps you can take to keep your phone from ringing.

Operating Systems

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Apple’s iOS

In iOS 13 and later, you can redirect calls from people or companies you don’t know by going to Settings > Phone and lights up Silence unknown callers. Any caller whose number isn’t in your contact list, Siri suggestions, or recent outgoing calls is automatically routed to voicemail. You will receive a notification about the call afterwards.

You can also forward text messages from numbers not in your contacts to a separate list. I’m going to you Settings > Messages and activate Filtering unknown senders.

To block a number that called you, open the Phone app and tap Recents. Find the number and tap the Info icon (looks like a lowercase “i” in a circle). Scroll down and tap Block this caller. Confirm and calls from this number will go directly to voicemail.

Operating systems 2

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To block someone in your Contact lists, go to Settings > Phone > Blocked contacts. Scroll down and tap Add new. This will bring up your contact list. select the ones you want to block. You can also get there via Settings > Messages > Blocked contacts > Add new.

Operating systems 3

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To block someone from a text, tap the number or name at the top of the screen, which will bring up a drop-down menu with three options: audio, FaceTime, and Information. Tap Info. Puncture Information again, scroll down and tap Block this caller.

If you think they’re sneaking a peek at you with FaceTime, go to that app, find the last FaceTime conversation you had with them, and click the About icon. You will get a screen with information about the call and the actions you need to take. scroll down to Block this caller. If it’s someone in your Contacts, go to Settings > FaceTime > Blocked contacts. Scroll down, tap Add newand select the name or names you want to block.

In related news: If you think you’ve been blocked, signs include sending calls straight to voicemail without ever seeing the Delivered message appears below your messages and your text turns green (as opposed to blue) when you message other iOS users. (These things can also happen if the person you’re trying to contact is offline, so don’t panic right away. But if it’s been a while and you still can’t get through, you’re probably blocked.)


Android allows phone manufacturers some freedom when it comes to customization, so the process of blocking a number varies from device to device.

In general, you should be able to tap the phone number and either scroll down to block the call or tap the ellipsis icon and select Number of blocks to add a number.

Google Operating System 1

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Some Android phones(Opens in a new tab) you have a feature called Call Screen that allows Google Assistant to screen calls from anyone not in your contacts. I’m going to you Settings > Junk > Call Screen. Choose call screen, and below Unknown call settings, choose which types of callers you want to check (spam, possible fake numbers, etc.). Google Assistant tells callers in these categories that you’re using a call screening device and asks them why they’re calling. A transcript of the conversation will be sent to you in real time and you can decide whether to receive it or not.

Carrier options

Wireless carriers have apps that can be used to block calls. AT&T has Call Protect for iOS(Opens in a new tab) and Android (Opens in a new tab)(also available from the AT&T Mobile Security app). You can pay $3.99 per month for a Plus version that has even more security, including a VPN, a personal identity tracker, and theft alerts (if you’re using an Android device).

Verizon has a few options(Opens in a new tab) that allow you to block potential scammers as well as specific numbers, all for a price. T mobile has a Scam Shield app(Opens in a new tab) (formerly Name ID) that allows you to block and report scam calls. a premium version is $4 per line per month.

All mobile carriers (even landlines) are now required by the FCC to be part of a real-world call authentication system called the STIR/SHAKEN protocols(Opens in a new tab). This system should already reduce the number of legitimate calls, but it won’t eliminate them entirely.

This article originally appeared on in a new tab), Mashable’s sister site. in a new tab) is a leading authority in technology, providing independent, lab-based assessments of the latest products and services.

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