get the app
auth icon

Block Calls: How to Easily Block Unwanted Calls on Your iPhone



26 Jun 2015

Whether we admit it or not, the majority of us are addicted to our smartphones. A 2019 study reported that the average American spends almost 3 HOURS PER DAY on their mobile device! The top 20 percent spend up to 4 hours and 30 minutes on their phones each day. You know that shocking figure is true based on the amounts of time spent looking at Facebook, Instagram, swiping through a dating app, or checking multiple email accounts.

We spend a lot of time on our phones. We use them for entertainment, information, fitness, and managing our lives, What happens when we start getting unwanted calls? Simple. We block unwanted calls. Luckily, blocking phone calls is easy.


What Is Call Blocking? 

Everyone receives unwanted calls whether they’re from telemarketers, robocallers, surveys or debt collectors. Call blocking is a technology that allows the user to stop unwanted calls from registering on their phone. The technology works on smartphones, landlines, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) numbers. Be aware that call blocking may block legitimate numbers. However, the caller can leave a voicemail, allowing users to return the call.

In addition to setting the call blocking feature on the individual device, users can contact their service providers. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and others offer call blocking services. The feature must be added to the regular service and may incur a small fee.

Why Should We Block Incoming Calls?

Smartphone usage continues to grow exponentially. Few people use landlines since they aren’t portable or convenient. We live in the information age and our personal information is everywhere, intentionally or not. We sign up for rewards cards, contests, coupons, apps, and games. We create logins for almost everything. Personal information is kept in databases and sold to third party companies. Numbers fall into the hands of telemarketers, robocallers, and hackers. People begin to call, sometimes relentlessly. We get annoyed and want the calls to stop. Companies using robocallers and scammers using spoofed numbers are the worst offenders.

What Is a Robocaller?

The majority of legitimate companies abide by the Do Not Call List which regulates when and how a company may use robocallers. For example, robocallers may operate from 8 AM – 9 PM. The companies must have written permission to call. The permission appears in Terms of Use statement on most websites, which also allows that company to share or sell your information. Businesses may use your information if you have an established relationship. Otherwise, the robocalls are illegal. Legal calls include informational messages, political calls, and donation requests from charities. Report illegal calls to the Federal Trade Commission’s Complaint Assistant.

Caller ID Spoofing

Scammers use technology to create or use fake phone numbers, also known as “spoofing.” Spoofing allows the scammers to trick people into picking up the phone. People answer calls more often when the number appears local. Numbers with the same area code or local exchange seem more important than unknown numbers. Scammers will also spoof numbers of people you may know.

Government imposter scams commonly use spoofed numbers. The numbers correspond to government agencies. The caller uses a prepared pitch to scare people into giving out financial information or to wire money. The con artist requests a prepaid card or gift card to settle a fake bill or tax debt. Common scams involve spoofed calls from the IRS and the Social Security Administration. Learn more about common phone scams.

Anyone receiving a suspicious call should hang up immediately. Don’t “opt out” of receiving calls or engage anyone in conversation. Just hang up and report the call to the FTC. If the call is local, contact the police.

How to Block Unwanted Calls

Blocking unwanted phone calls on a smartphone is simple. Phone settings allow users to block incoming calls, text messages, and other requests.

Block Calls on Your iPhone

Follow these steps for your iPhone to block phone calls, text messages, and FaceTime requests.

  1. Tap on your iPhone's green Phone icon.
  2. Be sure that you are on the "Recents" screen. Next to the number that you want to block tap "i".
  3. The "i" will bring you to the info screen, once there scroll down until you see the option "Block this Caller," tap on it.
  4. The option to block the contact will appear. Tap "Block Contact."
  5. Use the same steps to unblock phone numbers.

Additional Ways to Block Calls on Your iPhone

iOS 13 has introduced some additional ways to block annoying callers. Go to your iPhone's Settings and scroll down to "Phone".

From "Phone" you can choose to "Silence Unknown Callers." This setting when turned on will send unknown callers directly to voicemail. The calls and phone numbers will still show up on your Recents list, however your phone will not ring.

You'll still receive incoming calls from those in your contacts, any recent outgoing calls, and Siri suggestions.

Below "Silence Unknown Callers" you should also see "Call Blocking & Identification." If you have our caller ID and block iPhone app installed, you'll see the option to turn on our call blocking and identification service. This free service will automatically block calls from phone numbers with a Trust Factor below 10 and will identify any incoming calls from numbers which we have free listings available on.

Additionally, you can also manage and add new phone numbers to your "Blocked Contacts List" from "Phone."

Block Calls on Your Android Phone

Android phones differ slightly depending upon the model of the phone. The following steps are for a Samsung Galaxy.

  1. Tap on your Android’s green Phone icon.
  2. Click on the three dots, and then “Settings.”
  3. Click on “Block numbers.” This will take you to a screen that gives you a choice of “Recents” or “Contacts.” Choose Recents.
  4. Click on the number you wish to block. Click “Done.” The number is now blocked. You can perform the same task with your contacts list.
  5. Use the same steps to unblock phone numbers.

The next time you get phone calls from a scamming robocaller, annoying ex, or telemarketer, you don't have to change your phone number. Follow the instructions and your phone will no longer ring when a blocked number calls. Instead, the incoming call will be forwarded to voicemail.

Using a Call Blocking App

Call blocking apps add extra protection to smartphones and devices. Users block unwanted numbers, manage blocked contacts, and keep a record of blocked calls. Apps give the option to:

  • Create a “blacklist” for unwanted calls; create a “whitelist” for trusted numbers.
  • Send pre-written messages to callers.
  • Label calls by location.
  • Determine if calls are spam or potential scams.
  • Sign up on the National Do Not Call Registry.     
  • File a complaint with the FTC.

Eliminate the Stress of Unwanted Calls

Blocking calls and text messages eliminates the stress of talking to unwanted callers and exposing yourself to possible scams. CallerSmart provides an easy way to look up unknown numbers and warn others about annoying callers. You can follow our in-app instructions on how to block callers and register on the FTC National Do Not Call Registry. Our reverse phone lookup + caller ID app can be downloaded for free from the App Store for your iPhone.

Other Smart Guides