Staying connected using a mobile phone can be the only source of communication with family, friends, and even significant others when you’re miles apart. There’s no need to mention all the benefits, right? But, let’s not forget – whoever has your phone number is free to call and text almost infinitely. This can range from a nuisance you can endure until it passes, to disruption of your daily life by intimidation, scamming, or stalking. In all cases, the solution is pretty simple. It’s built into the operating system or service, or downloadable as a third-party app. Here’s how to block numbers and texts.
How to block numbers and texts on iOS
Apple has introduced a number-blocking feature around the time they released iOS 7 in 2014. The feature has been greatly improved since then. Here’s are two methods to block a phone number on iOS 13.
Block a phone number after you received a call or text
- Open the Phone app.
- Tap on the Recent tab at the bottom of the window.
- Locate the number you want to block. It should be at the top of the page if it was recent.
- Tap on the icon of an “i” encased in a circle.
- Tap on Block this Caller.
- That person is now unable to call, text, or FaceTime you.
Block a number before they called or texted
If you anticipate a number will call, text or FaceTime, you can beat them to the punch.
- Open Settings.
- Scroll down a bit. Tap on Phone.
- Tap on Blocked Contacts.
- If you previously blocked many numbers, you will have to scroll to the bottom and tap Add New… Otherwise, just tap on it.
Silence an unknown caller
Telemarketers, stalkers, and people you just don’t feel like talking to can be silenced. Their number will appear in the missed calls section Phone app. You can also hear their voicemail if they left one after the fact. But, your phone will not ring or otherwise notify you of an incoming call. Here is how to block anonymous calls.
- Go to Settings.
- Scroll down a bit and tap on Phone.
- Find Silence Unknown Callers.
- Tap on the switch button next to it to enable the feature.
Do Not Disturb
It’s not a complete solution, we’ll admit. Do Not Disturb is only to be used when you’ve been persistently spammed, stalked, or annoyed. Your phone will not be able to receive calls, texts, or FaceTime calls from anyone but people on your contact list. You can find a few drawbacks to this immediately, but it can save you in a pinch, while you decide what to do next.
- Open Settings.
- Tap on Do Not Disturb.
- Tap on Allow Calls From.
- Select All Contacts.
Using an app to block numbers and texts on iOS
Your mobile network provider can only block notifications for calls they cannot recognize. For that to happen, their “identity” needs to be public to them, and unknown to you. Obviously, this doesn’t block people who have deliberately chosen to hide their Caller ID. Since there are many ways to hide a private number, this is a big problem.
A primary solution is to download a third-party app with advanced features. We suggest free apps such as Truecaller or Hiya. They can help you identify the caller, even if the person has hidden his Caller ID. They also display warnings or information about telemarketers, fraudsters, spammers from their blacklist which is constantly updated. Furthermore, you can enter a phone number into the database, and get a name and more information about it.
How to block numbers and texts on Android
Based on your smartphone manufacturer, the process will vary slightly, because they add customizations to the stock Android. We’ll outline the process for Android 10/Android One.
Block a number before it has called or texted
- Go to Phone.
- Tap the three vertical dots in the top right corner.
- Choose Settings from the drop-down list.
- Tap Blocked numbers.
- Tap Add a number.
- Enter a phone number and tap on Block.
Block unknown callers
You can also block all unknown calls (those your mobile network provider doesn’t recognize). This doesn’t include those who have hidden their Caller ID.
- Open the Phone app.
- Tap the Menu icon (three vertical dots) in the top right corner.
- Tap on Settings
- Choose Blocked numbers from the drop-down list.
- Locate Unknown. Tap on the switch button icon next to it to enable the feature.
Blocking messages on Android from a contact you know
- Open the Messages app.
- Tap on the conversation whose phone number you want to block.If there is none, tap on Start chat in the bottom right corner, and choose a number from the list or enter one.
- Tap on the three vertical dots in the top right corner of the screen.
- Tap on Details.
- Choose Block & report spam.
- Verify it’s the correct number or add more than one.Optional. Tick the Report spam box. It will send the number to Google. After multiple reports, Google can permanently block the number from bothering anyone.
- Tap OK.
Using an app to block numbers and texts on Android
Sometimes you want to receive the call, know who is calling, then decline. Or, you might get someone calling from a hidden caller ID, which circumvents the counter-measures we mentioned above. In that case, using a third-party app is your best bet.
It collects data from a worldwide community, and can immediately show the caller’s identity. That includes information such as whether it’s spammer, scammer, telemarketer, or something else, and automatically block the number. We suggest Should I Answer? (Android only) or Truecaller/Hiya (both Android and iOS) to our readers. We, however, do not endorse them, and you are free to pick another app.
Subscribe to services such as TrapCall
Again, we don’t endorse the service, and you can pick a similar one. These services often have a bigger database of blacklisted numbers and their identities and work for both Android and iOS. You can even set up an annoying auto-reply SMS message or voicemail such as “this phone number has been disconnected”. Furthermore, you can record incoming calls, and force the callers to identify themselves if they want you to accept the call. That will show them!