How to block a number in Android

Tired of unwanted calls? There are many ways to block a number in Android

How to block a number

If you’re tired of calls from strangers or telemarketers at the most inopportune times, you may want to learn how to block a number in Android. While blocking calls on an iPhone is simple, there are many different ways to block calls on Android smartphones, depending on the manufacturer. While some manufacturers bury blacklist features deep in the settings panel, older devices may not have a native call-blocking feature at all.

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of ways to block calls on your Android device. Here, we’ll take a look at how to do it with your phone’s native features, and we’ll also suggest a couple of Android apps that are worth considering.  If neither of these options work, fear not — we’ve also provided information on how to block numbers through your carrier.

Blocking calls on an Android smartphone

The methods for doing this will vary slightly based on your specific device and the version of Android that you are using. Many tutorials exist for every Android device imaginable. Take a gander on YouTube or the XDA Developers Forum to find an option for your specific phone.

There is no universal path for blocking contacts on Android smartphones, and it’s a feature that older versions of Android oddly omit. Thankfully, for people with phones like the Google Pixel 3 or Google Pixel 3 XL, which run a stock version of Android later than 6.0 Marshmallow, you can easily block a call directly from the Phone app.

Blocking calls on a Pixel phone

From the Google phone app

When in the Google phone app, tap the More options icon (three dots stacked vertically) next to the microphone. Then select Settings > Call Blocking or Blocked numbers and add the number you want to block. You can also go to Call history or Recent calls and tap the number you want to block, then select Block. Here, you can also Report call as spam.

From the Android Messages app

Long press a contact within the Messages app and tap the Block icon (circle with a line through it) in the upper-right corner. You can also tap the More options icon (three dots stacked vertically) next to the magnifying glass, select Settings > Call blocking or Blocked contacts, and add the number you want to block.

Blocking calls on other stock Android phones

From the call log

From the call log, you can disable incoming calls from specific numbers. Select the number you want to block, then hit More or the three-dot menu icon in the upper-right corner and choose Add to reject list. This will disable incoming calls from specific numbers.

From your contacts list

If there’s a particularly persistent relative, friend, or ex whose number you’ve saved, blocking them’s a cinch. Just pull up your contacts, select the person you’d like to block, and hit the little button in the right-hand corner that looks like a pencil. Then tap the three-dot menu icon in the upper-right corner and check the box next to All Calls to Voicemail. That contact’s calls will now be directed to your carrier’s voice inbox.

From the settings menu

One of the most common options is to pull up your contact list by selecting the phone icon from your home screen. Then tap the three-dot menu and choose Settings > Call > Call Rejection > Auto Reject List > Create. At this point, Android phones will have a search box that’ll appear. Insert the phone number or name of the person you want to block, and presto, that name will be added to the Auto Reject List.

Blocking calls on a Samsung phone

If you have a Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus or another Samsung phone, it’s easy to block unwanted callers. Select the Phone icon on your home screen, tap the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner, and then tap Settings. You’ll find Block numbers listed here — you can also use this menu to manage the numbers on your Block list. If you wish to automatically block unknown callers, simply toggle on the option for Block anonymous calls.

You can also block numbers from your call log. To do so, open up Phone > Recents and tap a number or contact. You can then tap Details > Menu (three dots in the upper-right corner) > Block number, which will give you the option to block the number in question.

Blocking calls on an HTC phone

HTC, much like Samsung, has integrated call blocking. To use it, open the Phone app on your home screen and navigate to Call history. Long press on the number you’d like to block and tap the option to Block Contact or Block caller. You can review blocked contacts in the Phone app by tapping the menu icon at the top right (three vertical dots).

Blocking calls on an LG phone

LG has made it relatively simple to block numbers on its handsets, including the LG G8 ThinQ. To start, open the Phone app and navigate to the Call logs tab. Tap the number you want to block and then tap the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner. Select Block number from the drop-down menu.

You can also review, add, or remove numbers from your list by opening the Phone app, navigating to the Call logs tab, and tapping the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner. Select Call blocking & Decline with message > Blocked numbers.

Blocking calls with an Android app

If none of the other options suits you, or you just want a more user-friendly way of blocking calls on your phone, a third-party app may be your best bet. However, we do advise reading up on privacy policies before you choose one as some of the most popular free call blocking apps collect and potentially share a lot of information, including your contacts list. Here are a couple of solid options.

Should I Answer?

Should I Answer is not your average call blocker. It’s able to block specific numbers or all phone numbers except those in your contact list, sure, but the real hook is its extensive database of known telemarketer, scammer, and premium rate numbers. When you get a phone call, Should I Answer shows a brief description and user reviews of the incoming number, plus the option to leave a rating of your own or add the number to a private block list. Should I Answer also features some of the most robust call-blocking features of any app in its category. It can automatically filter calls from hidden numbers, premium numbers, foreign countries, and numbers below a certain review threshold. Perhaps best of all, the aforementioned features work offline. The app saves a small copy of the ratings database locally. Here’s the privacy policy.

Google Play

RoboKiller

With a solid database of more than 1.1 million spam numbers, RoboKiller will automatically block a lot of spam calls and robocallers. It even has answer bots you can choose that are designed to annoy telemarketers. The block list updates frequently and you can check blocked calls in your Recent calls list and even listen to why they were calling. The catch is that it’s a subscription service, so after the seven-day free trial, you’ll have to pay $3 per month to keep using it. Here’s the privacy policy.

Google Play

Contacting your carrier

Most major carriers can block calls to your device. Verizon offers this service for free, as does Sprint. There are a few limitations — for instance, Verizon only allows you to block up to five lines and you’ll have to reblock lines every 90 days. If you’re willing to pay $5 per month, you can block up to 20 contacts through Verizon Smart Family, or there’s Call Filter at $3 per month. If you want AT&T to block unwanted numbers, then check out the AT&T Call Protect app. You can get more features with AT&T Call Protect Plus, but it costs $4 per month. T-Mobile offers number blocking through the Family Allowances service for $5 per month.

Other options for blocking calls

There are a ton of other Android apps designed specifically for blocking calls, but take time to read reviews carefully and do your homework before opting for an alternative. Many of these apps conflict with antivirus apps, if not one another. Speaking of Android security apps, if you have Avast Mobile Security already installed, there’s an option for filtering calls and SMS messages that allows you to block specific contacts.

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