A question we receive regularly here at everythingiCafe is, “How do I block someone from calling me on my iPhone?” Whether it’s a crazy ex, a telemarketer or your boss who doesn’t comprehend the idea of a non-working weekend. The iPhone, revolutionary when it was introduced in 2007, yet almost six years later it lacked the capability to block calls. The only choice was to pay your wireless carrier, purchase a hack that required you jailbreak you iPhone or use a silent ringtone that wouldn’t block the call, but would help you ignore it. It’s not too much to ask for a feature found on cheap flip-phones, now is it? Good news awaits those with an iPhone running iOS or greater. Read on for how to block calls in iOS on iPhone.
Updated: February 18,2015.
First off, it’s recommended that you update to iOS 8. As a reminder, you’ll need to be running iOS 7 or later to use this feature.
- Unlock your iPhone and open ‘Settings’.
- Navigate to Phone > Settings.
- Scroll to Calls and select ‘Blocked’
- Tap on Add New
- This will open the Contacts with the option to select a number to block.
The person or company you selected will now be listed as ‘Blocked’.
While this is great for blocking someone you might know, what if you are receiving unsolicited calls?
- From the Phone app, navigate to ‘Recents’
- Tap on the ‘i’
- Scroll down and select ‘Block this Caller’
- Select Block This Contact
While I question its effectiveness, it is still recommended that you register your number at donotcall.gov. In theory, marketers should honor the list, but it’s been my experience that they have zero interest in following the letter of the law. It’s six years since the original iPhone and the seventh iteration of Apple’s iOS software has finally given us the much needed controls for blocking calls in iOS 7 on the iPhone. Either of these two methods should do the job. If you are concerned about limiting calls at night, check out our tutorial on how to setup Do Not Disturb.
What if you are running an older version of iOS?
If you are running an older version of iOS, you might think the App Store will be able to fill the void. Not so fast. Despite a wealth of apps titled “Blacklist”, they are all deliberately worded to make you think they provide the functionality desired by those of use trying to nuke any and all cases from telemarketers. In a perfect world, a list of callers would be rejected upon calling. No ringing, no ability to leave voice mails. Rejection. While I haven’t used the abundant number of apps on the App Store, weeding through the reviews will net some interesting information about the perceived and actual functionality of these apps. Here’s a sampling of reviews from a variety of apps, some with overall positive reviews. Clearly, the App Store has been gamed on some of these.
iBlacklist for Jailbroken iPhones
If you are jailbroken, there is an app within Cydia that will work. It will set you back $12, but iBlacklist does the job of blocking calls based upon a list that you setup. This also works for SMS messages. You can also set a blanket block for Unknown or Restricted ID callers. Conversely, this app also allows for whitelisting a group of callers. This app is not and will not be available through the App Store, which is unfortunate. The high price tag is certainly an inhibitor, but feedback within our forums has been positive.
Despite your iPhone being a mobile phone, that doesn’t seem to stop telemarketers. They have no compassion for consumers who don’t want to utilize their cellular minutes for uninvited sales calls. In a perfect world, you’d be able to take the call and kindly ask to be removed. Each day around 3 o’clock and 5 o’clock I receive calls from 480-567-0012. Googling that number will bring up a good amount of complaints from others who share my frustration. You can sign up for the Do Not Call Registry, but sketchy telemarketers are sketchy, often ignoring basic things such as the law. It’s kind of ironic that visiting that website brings the following warning, “Scammers have been making phone calls claiming to represent the National Do Not Call Registry. The calls claim to provide an opportunity to sign up for the Registry. These calls are not coming from the Registry or the Federal Trade Commission, and you should not respond to these calls.” So here are your options for how to block calls on iPhone. It’s not as easy as you’d imagine, so we’ll offer up a few options and tips for lessening the frustration of what I call the telephone version of spam.