iOS quick tips: How to block phone numbers & nuisance callers on your iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2014
Apple's iOS is a powerful mobile operating system, but many of its most productive features are hidden or simply not well known. With this iOS Quick Tip, AppleInsider shows you how to stop receiving unwanted phone calls, FaceTime calls, and messages from unwanted numbers.


Adding phone numbers or contacts to the block list

What is it: With iOS 7, Apple now allows users to maintain an individual block list of people they'd rather not hear from. Putting a phone number or contact on the block list will silently drop all phone calls, FaceTime calls, and messages -- both SMS and iMessages -- from that person.

How to activate it: From the Phone, Contacts, or Messages apps, navigate to the info card associated with the number or contact, then scroll to the bottom and tap "Block this Caller."

Add to blocklist
  • To access the info card from Recents, tap the "Info" button on the far right

  • To access the info card from Contacts, tap the contact's name
Add to blocklist


The blocked list can also be administered from the Settings screen. Navigate to SettingsPhoneBlocked and tap "Add New..." to select a contact for blocking.

Note: Phone numbers that aren't associated with a contact can only be blocked from the Recents screen. To work around this limitation, you can create a new special-purpose contact and then add that contact to the block list. You can then continue to add new phone numbers to that contact, but will need to unblock and reblock it after each addition.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    I want to block unknown callers
  • Reply 2 of 21

    Unfortunately, many nuisance callers are like the Borg. They adapt and just change phone numbers.

  • Reply 3 of 21
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tookieman2013 View Post



    I want to block unknown callers

     

    You should be able to work something out with the DND feature and specifying all of the contacts you want to be able to over-ride the DND.

     

    Edit: Yeah, I checked and you can allow "All Contacts".

  • Reply 4 of 21
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I can't totally block unknown callers because sometimes they are important (business matters) but I can reduce their annoyance:

    1. A made silent ringtone in GarageBand, and a near-nothing vibrate pattern (two faint taps separated by a long dead space). That's my default ringtone, and important contacts have real ringtones (and real vibrate patterns). So unknown callers don't get in my face. (But I will still--by choice--hear a voicemail chime if they leave a message.)

    2. My OGM starts with the first beep of the disconnected line tones (found online, recorded through mic), which some (not all) robo-caller systems will obey and stop calling you. The extra beep annoys my callers a little, but my actual OGM message still plays right after the beep, so a human caller doesn't hang up.

    3. Plus I change my phone number every few years when the illegal junk callers get too bad :( But with the above two steps, it has stayed pretty painless for a couple years now!
  • Reply 5 of 21
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,199member

    I want a feature where all unknown numbers are greeted with "This person does not accept withheld calls" so that important callers know to attempt again without the withheld feature on.

  • Reply 6 of 21
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 713member

    Watched the sequence in the article and burst out laughing...blocking Nicolas Cage....brilliant! Thanks for the chuckles!

  • Reply 7 of 21
    It would be great if there was a separate section on the main page for tips and tricks. After a few new articles this and all other helpful articles will dissapear below the horizon rarely ever to be seen again.

    After next Monday and Tuesday and all the "breaking" articles this will be lost unless you search just right.

    I do love this concept of showing the little know features. Some I had actually heard of but totally forgot about.

    Anyway, three cheers for whomever is posting these at Appleinsider! Thank you.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

     

    I want a feature where all unknown numbers are greeted with "This person does not accept withheld calls" so that important callers know to attempt again without the withheld feature on.


     

    Maybe in your little mind that phrase means something, but to many folks, important and otherwise, it is gibberish.

  • Reply 9 of 21
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    If you see a number in the caller ID instead of a Contact name, you can click the power button and it will send them directly to voice mail. If it is important to the caller to leave a message then you can review it later. Usually, at least in the US, if you see an 800 number it is probably going to be your bank or your healthcare provider so it might be wise to answer those. I have never seen a robo caller use an 800 number. I'm also listed on the Do Not Call for my iPhone and it works pretty well, I guess, because I don't get any solicitations other than politicians campaigning. Apparently they are not restricted by Do Not Call for some reason.

  • Reply 10 of 21

    Step 2 is exactly what I do, and combining that with quickly double tapping the power button to send obvious robocalls to voicemail as quickly as possible, I've gone from 2-3 junk calls a day to 2-3 per month, if even that many.

  • Reply 11 of 21
    bobjohnsonbobjohnson Posts: 154member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Silver Shadow View Post



    It would be great if there was a separate section on the main page for tips and tricks. After a few new articles this and all other helpful articles will dissapear below the horizon rarely ever to be seen again.

     

    http://appleinsider.com/category/Quick+Tips

  • Reply 12 of 21
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,717member

    I created a contact named "Text Spam", when I get a spammy text or a telemarketing call I automatically add the number to that contact, which is on my blocked contacts list.  Not a perfect solution, but pretty easy to implement.

     

    FWIW, reporting text spammers to my wireless company turns out to be WAY harder than it has to be.

     

    I agree with monstrosity, I'd like a feature where all unknown/blocked numbers went directly to a pre-recorded message.  Apple could implement this, as could the wireless carriers.

     

     

  • Reply 13 of 21
    plovellplovell Posts: 795member
    >solicitations other than politicians campaigning.
    >Apparently they are not restricted by Do Not Call for some reason

    Because they exempted themselves from the law. because they can.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    pte applepte apple Posts: 82member

    ok.....gone stupid.....want to put this article on FB.

    other sites have FB, etc links  - can't find any in this site.....:???:

    this is not the 1st tip I've wanted to send to fellow APPLE users.

    thanks for any reply...

  • Reply 15 of 21

    OK, this technique seems to work fine for Nick Cage, but what if I want Simon Cowell to stop calling and telling me of some new "barely legal" girl he's taking to the Caymans?

     

    How can I do this without the embarrassment of adding him as a contact?

  • Reply 16 of 21
    bobjohnson wrote: »

    Cool, Thanks!

    Although I don't remember seeing that before and it seems somewhat incomplete.

    I'm still telling people how to set the colors to "Darker" on their iOS devices, which I also learned from this site. Didn't see that among the three (recent only) articles... Also, I think there was a few more. The older I get the worse my memory is.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    bobjohnson wrote: »

    Well, yea. I made a bookmark for the link you sent and I thank you very much, but I checked the site and I couldn't find any way to get to that link.

    Seems silly really. I actually send a lot of people here to learn about how to use their (phones mostly) iDevices. Most of the good info is posted right after a something new comes out, then it's lost after a couple of rumors are posted. Perhaps the diehard fans want to read the latest gossip which probably isn't true, but your average iDevice owner most definitely does not.

    On an iPad or Mac the adds stop after about the 10th article on the left and after about the 20th article on the right. The articles keep going though. Should be a link on how to make proper use of your device. I mean, if the writers have already written it, why not have it available to everyone. They live for clicks right?

    Thanks for sharing though! :)
  • Reply 18 of 21
    benjamin frostbenjamin frost Posts: 7,203member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

     

    Watched the sequence in the article and burst out laughing...blocking Nicolas Cage....brilliant! Thanks for the chuckles!


    Why would you want to block Nicolas Cage? He's welcome to my place for a beer or two any day!

  • Reply 19 of 21
    Why would you want to block Nicolas Cage? He's welcome to my place for a beer or two any day!

    Sure why not? He can't act, but he would probably buy all the beer and then some, he's kind of known for that.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    benjamin frostbenjamin frost Posts: 7,203member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Silver Shadow View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    Why would you want to block Nicolas Cage? He's welcome to my place for a beer or two any day!




    Sure why not? He can't act, but he would probably buy all the beer and then some, he's kind of known for that.

    Well he entertained me in The Rock the other day, that's all I can say. Seems like a nice guy.

Sign In or Register to comment.