How Do I Block a Number on My Android Phone?

Getting unwanted phone calls? Learn how to block them on your Android phone.

Our phones and devices are as important to our lives as clothes and meals. (You try to get through an afternoon without posting to Facebook or snapping a photo of what you had for lunch!) That makes it all the more important to prevent people you’d rather avoid — be they telemarketers or frenemies — from calling or texting and ruining your day.

Fortunately, Android makes it simple enough to block numbers you don’t know and those you do (but wish you didn’t).

How to Block a Contact

For contacts you’d rather avoid, open the Phone app, tap Recents, tap the number you want to block, and tap Block/report spam. That’s it. The number’s blocked.

While we’re on the topic of contacts: If you’re at the point that you want to block a contact, you might consider erasing that person’s info from your phone. You know, just to make sure you never hear from that person again.

But if you think you might settle your differences (here’s hoping!), then by all means keep the contact’s info. You can always unblock the number by going to the Phone app, tapping the Menu icon, tapping Settings, then Blocked numbers. Tap the X next to the number you want to unblock, and just like that you’ll be back to calling and texting with your pal.

How to Block Someone Who Isn’t a Contact

Despite our best efforts to stay of robocall lists, we can still get inundated with spammy disruptions. If you see a number calling over and over again and you want to shut that down:

  1. Tap the three dots at the top right of the Phone app screen.
  2. Tap Settings, then select Blocked numbers.
  3. On the Blocked numbers screen, you can add a number to block by tapping Add a Number, typing in the number, then tapping Block. That number can’t bother you any longer.

(If you ever want or need to unlock the number, go back to Blocked numbers and simply delete it from the list.)

How to Block Calls From Unknown Numbers

The third type of call we all get is one that comes up No Caller ID, Restricted, or Unknown. Not only are they a nuisance, but if they’re a telemarketer chances are they won’t leave a message and you’ll never know who it is. Android phones have a way to help combat these kinds of calls:

  1. In the Phone app, tap the Menu icon in the top-right of the screen.
  2. Tap Settings, then tap Block numbers. Turn on Block unknown callers.
  3. Here, you can select a setting that filters calls that are suspected as being spam.

As much as we’d love to banish these calls from our phones, some are bound to slip through the cracks. To really attack the problem, you can opt-in to the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry. This won’t take care of all those unknown calls, either — spammers always seem to be one step ahead — but it will but a stop to many of them. Learn more about the program and how to add your number on the FTC’s website.

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