How to block a number on an iPhone or on an Android phone

Having a phone in your pocket or purse is great: It sure beats having to find a payphone or run downstairs to catch that call. Problem is, your friends and family aren’t your only callers. Telemarketers, politicians, and crooks itching to steal your identity have your number on speed dial. The number of junk calls we get each day can be utterly maddening.

The good news is that you have tools for blocking those unwanted callers both on the carrier end and on your device. This guide shows you how to block a number on an iPhone or an Android phone with just a few simple steps.

Blocking a call on an iPhone

Apple makes blocking calls on an iPhone a straightforward process as long as you’re using iOS 7 or later. Here’s how:

Block a spam call

Step 1: Tap to open the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap the Recents tab at the bottom.

Step 3: Tap the blue Info button next to the number you want to block.

Step 4: Tap Block This Caller.

Block a contact

Step 1: Tap to open the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap the Contacts tab at the bottom.

Step 3: Tap on the Contact you want to block.

Step 4: Tap Block This Caller.

If you’re using an older version of iOS, the instructions may be different. Check out how to block calls on an iPhone for more in-depth instructions.

Blocking a call on Android phones

Both iOS and Android offer easy options to stop unwanted calls, but since each Android smartphone manufacturer has the option to create its own interface, the steps will be different. We start with stock Android 11.

Blocking a call on stock Android 11

If you’re using a phone running stock Android or that’s part of the Android One program, you have three different options to block calls.

Block a spam call

Step 1: Tap to open the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap the Recents tab at the bottom.

Step 3: Long-press on the number you want to block and tap Block/Report Spam on the pop-up menu.

Step 4: Check or uncheck the box next to Report Call as Spam and then tap Block.

Block a contact

Step 1: Tap to open the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap the Contacts tab at the bottom.

Step 3: Tap on the contact you want to block.

Step 4: Tap the three-dot More icon in the top-right corner.

Step 5: Tap Block Numbers on the drop-down menu.

Add and remove blocked numbers

Step 1: Tap to open the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap the three-dot More icon in the top-right corner.

Step 3: Tap Settings on the drop-down menu.

Step 4: Tap Blocked Numbers.

Step 5: Tap Add a Number or tap the “X” next to a number to unblock.

Use the Messages app

Step 1: Tap to open the Messages app.

Step 2: Long-press on the messenger you want to block.

Step 4: Tap the Block icon (a circle-backslash symbol) in the top-right corner.

Blocking a call on a Samsung smartphone

For the most part, blocking calls on a Samsung is the same as on phones running stock Android. Here are three ways to block a number:

Block a spam call

Step 1: Tap to open the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap the Recents tab at the bottom.

Step 3: Tap on the number you want to block.

Step 4: Tap the Info icon on the expanded menu.

Step 5: Tap the Block icon in the bottom right corner.

Block a contact

Step 1: Tap to open the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap the Contacts tab at the bottom.

Step 3: Tap on the contact you want to block.

Step 4: Tap the Info icon on the expanded menu.

Step 5: Tap the three-dot More icon in the top-right corner.

Step 6: Select Block Contact on the drop-down menu, as shown above.

Add a number to block

Step 1: Tap to open the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap the three-dot More icon in the top-right corner. You do not need to tap a specific tab.

Step 3: Tap Settings on the drop-down menu.

Step 4: Tap Blocked Numbers at the top.

Step 5: Tap in a number and then tap the green plus symbol.

Note: Here you can also block numbers by tapping on the Recents or Contacts button. You can also block unknown numbers from this menu by toggling on Block Unknown Callers. 

Blocking a call on an LG smartphone

lg-v60-thinq
Christian de Looper/Digital Trends

Compared to some other smartphone manufacturers, LG makes blocking numbers fairly easy.

Use the Phone app’s Call Logs tab

Step 1: Tap to open the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap the Call Logs tab.

Step 3: Tap the Info icon displayed next to the contact or number you want to block.

Step 4: Tap Block.

Use the Phone app’s Dial tab

Step 1: Tap the Dial tab.

Step 2: Tap the three-dot Menu icon located in the top-right corner.

Step 3: Tap Call Settings.

Step 4: Tap Call Blocking & Decline with Messages.

Step 5: Tap Blocked Numbers.

Step 6: Tap the Add icon.

Step 7: Select one of three options:

  • Contacts — Tap on the contact you want to block and then tap Done.
  • Call Logs — Tap on the number you want to block and then tap Done.
  • New Number — Enter the phone number and then tap Block.

Blocking a call on an HTC smartphone

HTC U12 Life review
Simon Hill/Digital Trends

The experience on HTC phones is not much different than what you’ll find on a phone running stock Android.

Use the Phone app’s call history

Step 1: Tap to open the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap the Call History tab.

Step 3: Long-press on the contact or number you want to block.

Step 4: Select Block Contact or Block Caller.

Note: You can see a list of blocked contacts by tapping the three-dot icon in the top-right corner when the Call History tab is active. They’re listed under Blocked Contacts.

Use the Messages app

Step 1: Tap to open the Messages app.

Step 2: Long-press on the contact or number you want to block.

Step 3: Tap Block Contact.

Blocking a call on a Huawei smartphone

Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

Huawei offers two ways to block calls. Here’s how:

Block a spam call

Step 1: Tap to open the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap the three-dot More icon in the top-right corner.

Step 3: Tap Blocked.

Step 4: Tap the cog (Settings) icon.

Step 5: Tap Blocklist.

Step 6: Tap the “plus” symbol and enter the phone number you want to block.

Block a contact

Step 1: Tap to open the Phone app.

Step 2: Tap the Contacts tab at the bottom.

Step 3: Tap the contact you want to block.

Step 4: Tap the three-dot More icon.

Step 5: Tap Block Contact.

Blocking a call using third-party apps

If none of these methods work for you, don’t fear: There are still other options available. Check out how to block a number in Android to learn about third-party apps that can help you manage unwanted calls.

Blocking a caller through your carrier

Verizon

Verizon now offers Call Filter, a service that detects and blocks mystery callers. The free version is available to postpaid and prepaid customers and is compatible with most phones. It will screen all incoming calls, send suspicious callers directly to voicemail, and report numbers.

The Call Filter Plus version costs $3 per month per line or $8 per month for accounts with three or more lines. This subscription adds a Caller ID, a Spam Risk meter, a spam look-up feature, and means to create a custom block list.

For phones that do not support Call Filter, Version offers a stand-alone Call Filter Spam Block service for select devices. It automatically blocks high-risk spam calls and displays a notification for all other lower-level spam. Blocked calls will not reach your phone or go to voicemail.

Verizon also provides general Spam Alerts in your phone’s Caller ID so you can ignore the call when it flashes on your screen.

AT&T

Every plan offered by AT&T includes Call Protect, a free service that blocks spam and fraud calls, blocks unknown callers, allows you to create a personal block list, and warns users of “nuisance” callers, which are telemarketers, surveys, political calls, and so on.

The Call Protect Plus service costs $4 per month per line. It adds Caller ID, reverse number lookup, and custom call controls. Both services are accessible through the Call Protect app available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Sprint

Unlike other carriers, Sprint allows you to block numbers fairly easily through your account’s online portal. Changes can only be made by the account owner and will apply to all phones associated with that account. There is no means to block numbers for Wi-Fi Calling subscribers.

To find out how to restrict or allow voice calls, follow Sprint’s instructions.

T-Mobile

This carrier offers Scam Shield, which includes a Scam Block service. The free version includes a second number that keeps your main number private, scammer ID and call blocking, enhanced Caller ID, means to change your number, and a Scam Block component.

Scam Shield Premium costs $4 per month per line — it’s free for Magenta Plus customers. This premium version allows users to create “always block” lists, get voicemail-to-text messages, and send categories of callers directly to voicemail.

The Scam Shield app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry

The National Do Not Call Registry is provided and maintained by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It was created for the frustrated phone-owners who are berated by a barrage of unwanted calls, often from unknown numbers. You can register for the program, too, all with just a few clicks.

To start adding your phone number to the registry, go to DoNotCall.gov. Under your account, you can list up to three phone numbers for the registry; all you need is a functioning email address to confirm your personal information.

Keep in mind that it’ll take some time for your registration to take full effect. The spam or telemarketer calls will continue briefly. As of right now, there’s a pretty hefty wait time for the registry. It can take up to one month for the FTC to process your request.

After 31 days, if you’re still receiving annoying calls from unwanted numbers, you can choose to file a complaint regarding specific phone numbers through the Federal Trade Commission.

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