This article has been updated since it was originally published to reflect recent software and hardware changes. Last updated Dec. 2, 2013.
There’s no getting around it: there’s will always be those people you just don’t want to talk to. For many of us, those unwanted calls come in the form of persistent ex-lovers trying to rekindle what has been lost — he did cheat on you with your brother after all — or telemarketers offering an all-expenses-paid luxury cruise to a tropical island off the southern tip of Costa Rica. Thankfully, Apple’s most-recent mobile operating system and the iBlacklist app have finally supplied a workaround method for blocking pesky callers from which you need a break. Whether the separation is merely temporary or more permanent is entirely up to you.
Here’s our how-to guide on how to block calls on an Apple iPhone regardless of your OS. You won’t be able to block unlisted numbers and those blocked using other methods, but at least you’ll be able to bar any known number from contacting you via phone calls, messages and FaceTime.
Choose your method:
- Block calls using iOS 7 or 8
- Block calls using iBlacklist (iOS 3, 4, 5 and 6)
- Block calls using Do Not Disturb Mode (iOS 6)
Block calls using iOS 7 or 8
It’s been a long time coming, but Apple has finally built an OS with built-in blocking utilities (and we are better for it). The feature, coupled with all versions of iOS since the release of iOS 7, allows users to quickly block calls, messages, and Facetime requests sans any unnecessary external software or third-party apps. It’s a welcome and convenient inclusion — one accessible through both your iPhone’s settings menu and contact list — but one also only available on the iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch.
Once properly set up, blocked calls will automatically be routed to your voicemail. There will be no indication a call, text or FaceTime request has been received on your end, but sent receipts and other indications will still appear on the sender’s device as they would normally — meaning the sender will not be alerted of your decision to block them. However, call blocking is a one way street when using iOS 7 or 8, thus allowing users to contact blocked numbers via phone call, text, and FaceTime with no hindrance. Still, they say silence is golden.
Step 1: Download and install iOS 7 or 8 — If you haven’t already, back up your device and upgrade to iOS 7 or 8 via iTunes or your Wi-Fi network. To do so using the latter option, tap the main Settings icon from your smartphone’s homescreen, select the General option near the top of the resulting men, and tap Software Update on the resulting screen. Afterward, ensure your device is connect to a power source and tap the Download and Install button.
Step 2: Navigate to Blocked menu — Tap the main Settings icon when viewing the homescreen, select the Phone option from the resulting menu and tap the Blocked option beneath the Calls section. Alternatively, select either the Messages or FaceTime option from the main Settings menu to access the same Blocked menu offered through the Phone settings.
Step 3: Block the number — Tap the blue Add New button and select the desired number you wish to block from the resulting contact list. To unblock a user, simple tap the blue Edit option in the top-right corner of the Blocked menu, followed by the red subtraction side directly beside the user you wish to unblock. Afterward, tap the red Unblock button to confirm the changes.
Alternative blocking method — Tap the Phone icon while viewing the home screen, select either all calls or missed calls and tap the information icon to the right of the number you wish to block. Afterward, scroll to the bottom of the resulting info panel, tap the blue Block this Caller option, followed by Block Contact to confirm the request.