How to block a number on your smartphone or landline to stop spam calls and texts

woman using smartphone and laptop at home
There are multiple ways you can block numbers on any smartphone or landline.

  • You can block a number to stop receiving all incoming calls or texts from that phone number.
  • To block a number on an iPhone or Android, you can use your device’s Phone app.
  • To block a number on a landline, contact your service provider or use a call-blocking device.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Tired of being asked about renewing your car’s warranty? Blocking phone numbers is one way to stop spam calls and spam texts and receive fewer robocalls or unknown callers.

To block a number, you’ll have to follow a slightly different process on an iPhone, an Android, or a landline. Here’s how to do each.

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How to block a number on an iPhone

You can block a number on your iPhone via the call log in your Phone app, or through your Messages app.

Likely the most convenient method: In your Phone app, go into your recent calls and tap the icon that looks like an “i” inside a circle next to the call from the number you’re looking to block. On the next screen, select “Block this Caller.”

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Select “Block this Caller.”

Once you’ve blocked someone, you won’t receive further communication from that number via Apple’s communication apps; calls, texts, and FaceTime requests will be blocked. (They can still leave a voicemail, but it will be hidden from your view.)

However, the blocked number could still contact you through third-party apps.

Also, any blocked person won’t be notified of the block. That said, there are ways to check if you’ve been blocked on an iPhone, though they aren’t definitive.

Alternatively, instead of directly blocking a private number (like a robocall), you can choose to set up “Do Not Disturb” mode so that you only get calls from people in your contacts list.

If you want to unblock a number on your iPhone, go into your recent call list on your Phone app, find the person or number you want, tap the “i” icon next to the name or number, and on the next screen tap “Unblock this Caller.”

How to block a number on Android

To block a number on an Android, go into the Phone app and tap the three dots in the top-right corner, select “Settings,” then tap “Blocked numbers” and add a number to the list.

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You can Add a Number or block all Unknown numbers.

Or, you can block numbers via the messages app, though the exact process will depend on your device. Either way, they won’t be notified and they won’t know for sure that you’ve blocked them, even if they try to find out if they’ve been blocked.

Variance is pretty common among Android devices, and blocking private or unknown numbers is another instance where the process may vary depending on your device. For example, if you have a Samsung Galaxy S10, you can block all of those unknown calls via the settings in your Phone app.

If that isn’t setting isn’t an option for your device, though, you can still block those calls on a case-by-case basis, using the three-dot method listed above.

If you want to unblock a number on Android, you can do so via the blocked numbers list in your Phone app.

How to block a number on a landline

To block someone via a landline phone, you have to contact your service provider or use a call-blocking device. It’s also a good idea to add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry.

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How to block a number or contact on any Android device

two girls calling cell phone texting
The method to block a number on an Android phone varies by make and model.

  • To block a number on Android, tap the three vertical dots in the top-right of the Phone app and select “Block numbers.”
  • You can also block a number on Android from your recent calls by locating the number in your call log and pressing down on it until a window appears with the “Block” option. 
  • If the number you want to block is already on your contact list, you can select the person’s name from your contact list, tap the three-dotted icon, and choose Block numbers.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

You don’t need to put up with the annoyance of regularly receiving unwanted phone calls. 

 

If you frequently get a call from the same telemarketer or another unwanted caller, you can block that call.

Once you do, any blocked number that calls you on your Android phone will be sent directly to voicemail. 

While the steps to block a call can vary depending on the device brand and version of Android, in most cases you can block calls through your either phone app’s settings, recent calls, or contact lists. 

Here’s how to do it. 

How to block a number using your cellular carrier

Your service carrier may offer tools to help you block calls. The advantage of using your carrier is that a blocked number will remain blocked even if you change smartphones.

The downside is that in some cases, this is an optional subscription service that may cost additional money. 

If you want to investigate blocking callers at the carrier, here are links to the major carriers’ call blocking plans:

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