How to Block Numbers on Your Smartphone: A Step-by-Step Guide and App Reviews


Unwanted calls and messages on your smartphone can be a major annoyance. Whether it’s a persistent telemarketer, a spam call, or a text message from an unknown number, these interruptions can be disruptive and even dangerous if they’re attempts to scam or deceive you.

The good news is that there are several ways to block unwanted numbers on your smartphone, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. In this article, we’ll explore the most effective ways to block unwanted numbers on your iPhone or Android device, including built-in features, third-party apps, and tips for avoiding unwanted calls and messages.

Step-by-step guide to blocking unwanted numbers on your smartphone

The easiest way to block a number on your smartphone is to use the native blocking feature available on most devices. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Identify the unwanted number

Before you can block a number, you need to know which one is causing the issue. Review your call log or message history to identify the unwanted number.

Use the phone’s native blocking feature

On an iPhone, go to Settings > Phone > Blocked Contacts. Tap “Add New” and select the contact you want to block. On an Android device, open the Phone app, tap the three dots in the upper right corner, and select “Settings > Blocked numbers.” Tap “Add a number” and enter the number you want to block.

Add the number to your blocked list

Once you’ve selected the number you want to block, add it to your blocked list. On an iPhone, select the contact from your phone’s address book or recent calls, tap “Block this Caller,” and confirm. On an Android device, tap the plus sign next to “Blocked numbers,” select the number you want to block, and tap “Block.”

Confirm the number is successfully blocked

To confirm that the number is successfully blocked, make sure you no longer receive calls or messages from it. You can also check your phone’s list of blocked numbers to make sure it’s included.

Exploring the best apps available to block numbers on Android and iPhone

In addition to using your smartphone’s built-in blocking feature, there are several third-party apps available that can help you block unwanted calls and messages. Here’s an overview of some of the most popular blocking apps:

  • Truecaller: Available for Android and iPhone, Truecaller uses a crowdsourced database to identify and block spam calls and messages. It also includes caller ID features and the ability to whitelist or blacklist specific numbers.
  • Nomorobo: Nomorobo is a robocall-blocking app that works on iPhones. It uses a blacklist of known spam numbers and can also block calls from unknown or hidden numbers.
  • Mr. Number: Available for Android and iPhone, Mr. Number lets you block calls and messages from specific numbers or area codes. It also includes a caller ID feature and the ability to create custom blocking rules.
  • RoboKiller: RoboKiller uses artificial intelligence to identify and block robocalls on iPhones. It also includes a “Answer Bots” feature that can waste the time of telemarketers and scammers.

Comparison of features

Each blocking app has its own unique features and benefits. For example, Truecaller is known for its extensive database of spam numbers, while RoboKiller uses advanced AI technology to identify and block robocalls. Some apps are only available for certain platforms, such as Nomorobo on iPhones, while others work on both Android and iOS.

Step-by-step guide for some of the top apps

To use one of these blocking apps, follow these steps:

Download the app: Search for the app in your device’s app store and download it.

Register or sign in: Create an account or sign in if you already have one.

Choose your settings: Select the types of calls and messages you want to block, set up any custom rules or whitelists, and adjust any other settings.

Confirm the app is working properly: Test the app by calling or messaging your phone from a number on your blacklist to make sure it’s blocked.

How to use your carrier’s built-in features to block specific numbers and text messages

Another option for blocking unwanted numbers is to use your carrier’s built-in features. Most major carriers offer some form of number blocking or filtering, although the specific methods and features vary. Here’s an overview of some of the most popular carrier blocking features:

  • Verizon: Verizon offers several blocking features, including blocking specific numbers, anonymous calls, and spam messages. You can manage these features in your My Verizon account or by calling customer service.
  • AT&T: AT&T’s “Smart Limits” feature allows you to restrict calls and messages to specific numbers or times of day. It also includes location tracking and other parental controls.
  • T-Mobile: T-Mobile’s “Scam Shield” feature includes call blocking, caller ID, and other anti-spam tools. You can activate Scam Shield through the T-Mobile app or by calling customer service.
  • Sprint: Sprint’s “Premium Caller ID” feature identifies callers and blocks spam calls and messages. You can manage this feature through your Sprint account or by calling customer service.

Step-by-step guide for activating the feature on different carriers

To activate your carrier’s blocking features, follow these steps:

Contact customer service: Call or chat with your carrier’s customer service to find out what blocking features are available and how to set them up.

Log in to your carrier account: If your carrier offers online account management, log in to your account to manage your blocking settings.

Download the carrier app: Some carriers offer app-based blocking features that you can download and use on your phone.

Techniques to reduce the number of spam and robocalls you receive on your phone

Blocking specific numbers is one way to reduce unwanted calls, but there are also several techniques you can use to reduce the number of spam and robocalls you receive in general. Here are some tips:

How to identify spam and robocalls: Look for calls or messages from unfamiliar numbers, numbers that are similar to your own, or numbers with suspicious area codes.

Tips for reducing spam calls: Consider signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry, which can reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive. You can also use call-blocking apps or features, such as those we’ve discussed earlier in this article.

Additional resources for reducing robocalls: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides resources and tips for reducing the number of robocalls you receive. Some carriers also offer additional anti-spam tools or services.

Tips for avoiding unwanted calls and messages from unknown numbers, including how to avoid phishing scams

Unfortunately, blocking a number or reducing spam calls isn’t always enough to prevent unwanted calls and messages. Phishing scams, for example, can be particularly dangerous and can come from unknown or unfamiliar numbers. Here are some tips for avoiding unwanted calls and messages:

Explanation of phishing scams: Phishing scams are attempts to trick you into giving away personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. They often come from unknown or suspicious numbers.

How to identify a phishing attempt: Look for signs of suspicion, such as unsolicited requests for personal information, threats or urgency, or offers that seem too good to be true.

Tips for avoiding unwanted calls and messages: Use caution when responding to unfamiliar numbers or messages, and never give away sensitive information without verifying the source. If you’re unsure about a call or message, hang up and call the company or individual back using a known, trusted number.


Blocking unwanted numbers on your smartphone is an important step in reducing disruptions, avoiding scams, and protecting your personal information. Whether you use your smartphone’s built-in features, third-party apps, carrier options, or a combination of these techniques, there are several effective ways to block unwanted calls and messages. Remember to stay vigilant and cautious when responding to unknown numbers or messages, and always verify the source before sharing personal information.

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