Spam phone calls are one of the most frustrating parts of owning a smartphone. Blocking calls—especially from unknown numbers—is easier than ever, but there’s still a learning curve whether you have an iPhone or Android device.
Between your phone’s built-in blocking settings, free and paid apps, and services from your phone carrier, it’s easy to stop annoying phone calls that you don’t want to answer. Read on to see steps for each method.
Blocking a call on an iPhone
Apple makes blocking calls on an iPhone a pretty straightforward process. As long as you’re using iOS 7 or later (and you probably are), you can follow these steps to block voice calls, texts, and FaceTime.
Navigate to the Settings from your home page and tap on Phone if you’re using iOS 11 or later, or General > Phone on earlier versions. Select Calls > Call Blocking & Identification > Block Contact. You can then block calls from anyone on your contact list. You can edit the list or scroll down to the bottom to add a new number by tapping Block Contact.
If the number you wish to block is not a known contact, there’s another option available. Simply open the Phone app and tap Recents. From here, tap on the i icon next to the number you want to block, scroll down, and tap Block this Caller. This is useful for immediately blocking a telemarketer that just called you.
If you’re using an older version of iOS, things might work a bit differently. 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 unique skin for the Android OS, the steps to block numbers can vary a bit depending on the actual phone.
Blocking a call on stock Android or Android One smartphones
One method to block calls is by opening the Phone app and tapping on the Overflow (three-dot) icon at the top right corner of the display. Select Settings > Blocked numbers and add the number you’d like to block.
You can also block calls by opening the Phone app and tapping on Recents. Choose the number you’d like to block by tapping on it and selecting Block/report spam.
Finally, you can also block a number directly from the Android Messages app. Simply open the app, and long press on the contact you’d like to block. Once the contact is selected, tap the Block icon (circle with a line through it) on the top right side of the display.
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.
There are two ways to block a number on a Samsung device. If you wish to enter the number you want to block, open the Phone app and select the Overflow icon. Tap Settings > Blocked numbers and add the number you wish to block. You can also block unknown numbers from this menu by toggling on Block unknown callers.
The second option is to block calls from your list of recent calls. Tap Phone > Recents. Select the number you want to block and tap the Overflow icon. Tap Block number.
Blocking a call on an LG smartphone
Compared to some other smartphone manufacturers, LG makes it fairly easy to block numbers. Just open the Phone app and click on the Call logs tab. Select the number you wish to block and tap the Overflow icon in the upper-right corner, followed by Block number from the drop-down menu.
If you want to review or remove numbers from your block list, open the Phone app, tap Call logs followed by the Overflow icon. Tap Call blocking & Decline with message > Blocked numbers.
Blocking a call on an HTC smartphone
When it comes to blocking calls on an HTC smartphone, the experience is not much different than what you’ll find on a phone running stock Android.
If you wish to block a call on an HTC phone, simply open the Phone app and head to the Call history tab. Long press on the number you’d like to block and select Block contact or Block caller. To review the numbers you’ve blocked, just tap on the Overflow icon in the Phone app.
Blocking a call on a Huawei smartphone
Want to block a call on a Huawei smartphone? Things are a little different. Huawei offers two ways to block calls.
If you want to block a specific contact, tap Phone and select the Contacts icon. Select the contact you wish to blacklist and tap the More icon at the bottom of the screen. Press Add to blacklist.
You can also choose to block numbers through the Phone Manager app. To block a call, tap Phone Manager > Blocked. Select the Gear icon in the upper right corner and press Numbers blacklist > Add.
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 offers postpaid customers two options for blocking calls. The first option allows you to block up to five numbers for 90 days or less.
To use this option, log in to your Verizon account and go to the Blocks page. Select the applicable line and scroll to Block calls & messages. Click on this and enter the number you wish to block. Tap Save.
If you don’t want to deal with re-blocking numbers every 90 days or simply have more numbers to block, you’ll want to check out Verizon Smart Family Premium. At $10 a month, the plan is expensive, but it offers permanent blocking of up to 20 numbers, as well as other more advanced blocking features.
AT&T Call Protect allows you to manually block numbers from the AT&T Call Protect app. This service is free, but you cannot block unknown numbers.
If you need more flexibility, AT&T offers AT&T Call Protect Plus for $4 a month. With AT&T Call Protect Plus, you can block unknown numbers and select different methods for handling calls you’ve blocked.
Unlike other carriers, Sprint allows you to block numbers fairly easily. To block a number, log in to your My Sprint account. Select My Sprint > Permissions > Block voice. Tap Block Only the Following Phone Numbers for Inbound and Outbound Calls. Enter the number you wish to block, then Select Number > Save.
Unless you’re on a family plan, T-Mobile doesn’t offer a way to block calls through the carrier. If you do happen to be on a family plan, however, you can add Family Allowances, a service that allows you to block numbers for a small monthly fee.
To block numbers on T-Mobile, log on to your My T-Mobile account as the primary account holder. Select Profile followed by Family Controls. Select Family Allowances > Manage and select the appropriate number on your plan and enter the number you’d like to block.
Add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry
If you find yourself receiving calls from lots of unknown numbers, it may be time to add your number to the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry. To add your number, simply head to DoNotCall.gov and register. You can add up to three numbers at a time, but you’ll need to add an email address to confirm your registration.
While the FTC will typically add your number within 24 hours, it may take up to a month for telemarketers to stop calling. If you continue to receive unwanted calls after 31 days, you can file a complaint with the FTC.
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