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.

Android Block 4
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 your number and hide your own caller ID when making phone calls

Phone VPN in coffee shop
There are three easy ways to block your number temporarily or permanently.

  • You can block your phone number so it doesn’t show up when you call people.
  • The simplest way to block your number is by adding *67 to any phone number you call.
  • You can also ask your phone service provider to block your number permanently.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Caller ID is convenient – no one can deny that. Being able to see who’s calling you is immensely useful, as it lets you take calls from people you actually want to hear from, and filter out the spam.

However, there are times that you might want to block your own number, so it won’t appear on caller ID. Maybe you’re trying to surprise a significant other, or calling a company that you don’t want to hear from again.

Whatever your reason, it’s easy to block your phone number, no matter what kind of phone you have. Once you do, you’ll show up as “Anonymous” or “Private” on the recipient’s phone.

Use the *67 code

*67 is a “vertical service code” – one of several codes you can dial to unlock special features on your phone. Specifically, adding *67 to the start of any phone number will block your caller ID when you call that number.

This is a quick and temporary way to block your number when making calls. Nearly all phone service providers support it, it works on both smartphones and landlines, and it’s totally free.

The *67 code entered on an iPhone
Add *67 to the number you’re calling to block your caller ID.

If you want to permanently block your number when calling a specific person, add them as a contact, and save their number with *67 at the front. This will automatically block your number when you call that contact from now on.

Call your phone service provider

To block your number permanently, you can call your phone service provider and ask them to put a block on your number. Just note that you might need to give a reason for the change and that some phone companies charge for it. Be sure to ask for a clear explanation of the process before you agree to it.

After making the change, you can unblock your number for a single call by adding *82 to the start of the number you’re calling.

Change your smartphone’s settings

This isn’t available on all phones or with all service providers, but most users will also have the ability to block their number manually by changing a setting on their phone. This will block your number for as long as the setting is changed, making it great if you need a long-term block.

To block your number on iPhone:

1. Open the Settings app, then scroll down and tap “Phone.”

2. In the menu that opens, select “Show My Caller ID.”

how to block your number 1 - the show my caller id option on an iphone
“Show My Caller ID” will be grouped with other calling options.

3. Your phone will take a moment to connect to your phone service provider. Once it does, tap the “Show My Caller ID” switch button to flip it to the left and turn it off.

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To block your number on Android:

1. Open the Phone app, then tap the three dots in the top-right and select “Settings” or “Call settings.”

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Open your Phone app’s settings page.

2. Scroll down and select “Additional settings” or “More settings” – the exact button here will differ depending on what phone you have.

3. Tap the “Show My Caller ID” option. If you don’t see it on this page, you might need to select another “More settings” button.

4. In the pop-up that appears, select “Hide number.”

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The “Network default” will use whatever setting your phone service provider has decided on.

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