Stop those unwanted phone calls and learn how to block a number in Android
Tired of getting calls from automated spammers or creepy strangers? If so, you need to know how to block a number in Android. Figuring out how to block calls, however, can take some digging. Some manufacturers bury blacklist features deep in the settings pane, and some older devices may not provide native blocking features at all.
Thankfully, there are several ways to block calls on your Android device. Here, we’ll take a look at how to do it with your phone’s native features, and we’ll suggest a couple of Android apps that are worth considering. Lastly, we’ll provide information on how to block callers via your phone carrier.
Blocking calls on an Android smartphone
The methods for doing this will vary slightly according to your specific device and the version of Android that you are using. Many tutorials exist for your specific device. Try searching on YouTube or the XDA developers forum.
There is no universal path for blocking contacts on Android smartphones, and it’s a feature the vanilla versions of Android Lollipop and older oddly omit. Thankfully, for those users with stock Android devices, like the Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL, running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later, Android now gives you a way to block a caller right from the Phone app. Some devices also allow users to enable a per-number blocking mode through the phone’s settings.
Blocking calls on a Pixel or Nexus device (Marshmallow 6.0+)
From the Google phone app
When in the Phone app, tap the more options icon () next to the microphone. Then, select Settings > Call Blocking and add the number you want to block. You can also go to Call history or Recent calls and tap the number you want to block, then select Block. Here, you can also Report call as spam.
From the Android Messages app
Long press a contact within the Messages app and tap the block icon () in the upper-right corner. You can also tap the more options icon () next to the magnifying glass, select Settings > Call blocking, and add the number you want to block.
Blocking calls on other stock Android phones
From the call log
From the call log, you can disable incoming calls from specific numbers. Select the number you want to block, then hit More or the 3-dot menu icon in the upper right corner and choose Add to reject list. This will disable incoming calls from specific numbers.
From your contacts list
If there’s a particularly persistent relative, friend, or ex whose number you’ve saved, blocking them’s a cinch. Just pull up your contacts, select the person you’d like to block, and hit the little button in the right-hand corner that looks like a pencil. Then, tap the 3-dot menu icon in the upper right corner and check the box next to All Calls to Voicemail. That contact’s calls will now be directed to your carrier’s voice inbox.
From the settings menu
One of the most common routes is to pull up your contact list by selecting the phone icon from your home screen. Then tap the three dot menu and choose Settings > Call > Call Rejection > Auto Reject List > Create. At this point, Android phones will have a search box that’ll appear. Insert the phone number or name of the person you want to block, and presto, that name will be added to the Auto Reject List.
Blocking calls on a Samsung phone
If you have a Samsung Galaxy S8 or another Samsung phone, then you can easily block phone numbers. Select the Phone icon on your home screen, tap the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner, and then tap Settings. You’ll find Block numbers listed here — you can also use this menu to manage the numbers on your Block list. You can even toggle on the option to Block anonymous calls if you want to.
You can also block numbers from your call log. To do so, open up Phone > Recents and tap a number or contact. You can then tap Details > Menu (three-dots in the upper-right corner) > Block number, which will give you the option to block the number in question.
Blocking calls on an HTC phone
HTC, much like Samsung, has integrated call blocking. To use it, open the Phone app on your home screen and navigate to Call history. Long press on the number you’d like to block and tap the option to Block Contact or Block caller. You can review blocked contacts in the Phone app by tapping the menu icon at the top right (three vertical dots).
Blocking calls on an LG phone
LG has made it relatively simple to block numbers on its handsets, including the LG G6. To start, open the Phone app and navigate to the Call logs tab. Tap the number you want to block and then tap the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner. Afterward, select Block number in the resulting drop-down menu.
You can also review, add, or remove numbers from your list by opening the Phone app, navigating to the Call logs tab, tapping the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner, and choosing Call blocking & Decline with message > Blocked numbers.
Blocking calls with an Android app
If none of the other options suits you, or you just want a more user friendly way of blocking calls on your Android smartphone, then a dedicated app might be your best bet. Here are five solid options.
Should I Answer?
Should I Answer is not your average call blocker. It’s able to block specific numbers or all phone numbers except those in your contact list, sure, but the real hook is its extensive database of known telemarketer, scammer, and premium rate numbers. When you get a phone call, Should I Answer shows a brief description and user reviews of the incoming number, plus the option to leave a rating of your own or to add the number to a private block list. Should I Answer also features some of the most robust call-blocking features of any app in its category. It can automatically filter calls from hidden numbers, premium numbers, foreign countries, and numbers below a certain review threshold. Perhaps best of all, all of the aforementioned features work offline — the app saves a small copy of the ratings database locally.
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Safest Call Blocker
Safest Call Blocker features the usual array of call blocking toggles — you can block all numbers from a custom blacklist, for example, and block all numbers that aren’t in your contacts — but you can also block a range of numbers using wildcards. Can’t stand the incessant 800 number offers for “free” Hawaiian vacations? Add 1-800-###-#### to the block list and you won’t hear one ever again. Safest Call Blocker also notifies you when it blocks calls, and automatically keeps blocked numbers out of your call log.
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This app bills itself as a free alternative text and calling app, with free messaging between members and real-time updates about when your messages have been read. It also happens to be a powerful call- and text-blocking app for Android. You can block specific numbers or you can block area codes. Thanks to user-submitted info on telemarketers and other spam, you can create a block list that will protect you from cold calls.
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Here’s another Android call blocker with a big list of user-submitted spam numbers that you can automatically block. This one also ties in with the FCC Do Not Call registry. You can decide which calls get blocked and exactly how they are handled with this versatile app. You get a free 14-day trial of the full app before it reverts to a limited “Lite” version unless you cough up $8 dollars.
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Extreme Call Blocker ($5)
Pay a one-off $5 fee and you’ll get a comprehensive call- and text message-blocking app that’s password protected and packed with features. You can send calls direct to voicemail, pick up and hang up automatically, or just mute the ringer. You can also use this app to block outgoing calls and it has a stealth mode, so the app can be hidden on a phone. This is a solid option that offers good call-blocking control and the ability to set up profiles with various parameters.
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Contacting your carrier
Most major carriers can block calls to your device. Verizon offers this service for free, and so does Sprint. There are some limitations — for instance, Verizon only allows you to block up to 5 lines. You’ll also have to reblock lines every 90 days. AT&T allows you to block up to 30 numbers for $5 a line/per month. T-Mobile doesn’t offer official services for blocking calls or texts, but you may have some success calling the T-Mobile service center.
Other options for blocking calls
There are a ton of other Android apps designed specifically for blocking calls, but you should read the reviews carefully and do your homework before opting for an alternative. Many of these apps can conflict with anti-virus apps, if not one another. Speaking of Android security apps, if you have Avast Mobile Security already installed, there’s an option for filtering calls and SMS messages that will allow you to block specific contacts.
Update: We checked this article for accuracy.
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