If you’re getting unwanted calls from people and numbers you don’t recognize or wish to hear from, call blocking is the answer you’ve been waiting for. Whether it’s relentless spam, overzealous agents, persistent recruiters, or someone from your personal life, call blocking can put a stop to all of it—and it’s easy to implement as well. 

There are several different ways to block a phone number depending on the type of device you use, such as a cell phone, a landline, or a VoIP connection. Keep in mind that it’s also possible to block calls regardless of the device.

In general, the main methods for call blocking are as follows:

  • Adding numbers to the Do Not Call List
  • Using built-in call-blocking features on your phone
  • Contacting your service provider to block specific numbers
  • Using third-party apps and devices

Be aware that some of these methods are free, some are paid, and some may not apply to specific governmental, political, or charitable organizations—which may still be able to call you under specific circumstances.

Call Blocking With the Do Not Call List

If you want a simple, free, and straightforward way to block unwanted calls from a given phone number in the United States, registering on the Do Not Call list can be done both online and offline. 


  • Go to donotcall.gov.
  • If you are not registered, you can do so for free. Click on Register Your Phone
  • On the next page, if you are unsure about a previous registration, click Verify Here. This will take you to the same page that the Verify Your Registration link will take you from the front page. If you are registering for the first time, go ahead and click Register Here
  • Fill out the form with up to three phone numbers you want to include, plus your email address, and click Submit
  • The Do Not Call List may take up to 31 days to activate. If you receive unwanted phone calls from blocked numbers after 31 days, you can report them. Keep in mind that some political or charitable organizations might still be able to call you despite your registration. Furthermore, the Do Not Call list may not be able to block some companies that are lawfully contacting you to sell products or services.


  • Call 1-888-382-1222 or TTY: 1-866-290-4236
  • You will be asked to press a button to add your phone numbers. Follow the instructions and provide the necessary information.

Call Blocking With Built-in Features

Most smartphones have built-in call-blocking features that allow you to prevent unwanted calls from specific numbers. Check your settings if you have uncommon or older devices. Otherwise, here’s a quick overview of how this works on iPhone, Android, and Google Voice setups.

Call Blocking on iPhone

If you want to block a phone number on an iPhone, all you have to do is click the i icon next to the number in your recent calls list, and scroll down until you see Block this Caller.

iOS also has a Silence Unknown Callers feature that automatically silences calls from numbers not saved in your contacts. To enable it, go to Settings > PhoneSilence Unknown Callers. This can be useful if you receive a lot of spam calls from unknown numbers.

Keep in mind that the Do Not Disturb feature will block all incoming calls, texts, and notifications during certain times or while your phone is locked, including calls from numbers you recognize. While this can be useful if you don’t want to be disturbed during specific hours or activities—like when you’re at work, exercising, or sleeping—it’s not necessarily a solution for preventing unwanted calls from unwanted and unrecognized numbers. 

Call Blocking on Android

Android phones are also equipped with call-blocking features. To block a number, do the following:

  • Open the Phone app
  • Tap on the three dots in the top right corner
  • Tap on Settings > Blocked Numbers > Add a Number
  • Add any numbers you wish to block

Call Blocking with Google Voice

If you’re receiving unsolicited phone calls on Google Voice, it takes less than a minute to block any unwanted numbers.

  • Open the Google Voice app
  • Depending on your version, tap on either Messages, Calls, or Voicemail (you can find these at the bottom of the screen)
  • Look for options to block a contact from there

If you want to block a phone number from a text message, go to the text message, tap on More options > People and options > Block Number > Block.

Call Blocking With Your Service Provider

If your device and app-based call blocking isn’t working, you can also block a phone number via your phone service provider. This may take longer as it requires contacting your provider directly, but it’s still a fairly simple and painless process overall.

To block someone via your service provider, you must call the provider and make a request for a specific number to be blocked. Each telephony company has its own process when it comes to this, but there are some general similarities among the most popular providers. 


Verizon has many features for those who want to block certain types of calls, including “Spam Alert” for home phones, which marks robocalls as spam and shows it on the Caller ID display. If you are a Verizon Fios Digital Voice customer, you can also use Nomrobo, a third-party app that blocks spam calls.

For Verizon customers with a compatible device, the Call Filter feature is available at no cost—just log into My Verizon and enable call filters.

Additionally, the Call Filter Plus is offered at a monthly rate of $3.99, providing extra features including Caller ID, spam lookup, a personal block list, a spam risk meter, and the ability to block by category.


T-Mobile advises its customers to block unwanted calls from their individual device settings, but for extra protection it offers a downloadable app called ScamShield. This comes with advanced anti-scam features like Scam Likely, Scam Block, and Caller ID.

T-Mobile users can also turn on Scam Block via their online or mobile app login, by dialing #662# from their T-Mobile device, or by dialing 611 and speaking to an agent. 


If you use an AT&T subscription on a digital phone, you can:

  • Block the last number that called you by dialing *61
  • Disable call blocking by dialing *80
  • Reactive call blocking by dialing *60
  • Block a Caller ID from your home phone by dialing *67

All these services are free.

The company also offers Digital Call Block Protect services that are accessible via your myAt&T account overview under My services > Check or manage voicemail > Phone Features > Call FilteringCall Protect.


Spectrum comes with a Call Guard feature that will automatically block most spam calls. It’s likely turned on by default, but you can verify its status by logging into your Spectrum account and navigating to Services > Mobile > selecting the number or line you wish to manage, and then choosing Call Guard

You can also use the My Spectrum App to add and view blocked and whitelisted numbers manually. 

Google Fi

To block someone on Google Fi, follow these steps:

  • Launch the Google Fi application or navigate to its website.
  • Proceed to the Account tab and select the Privacy & security option.
  • Within the Spam and contact settings, choose Block phone numbers.
  • Here, you can enter specific numbers and provide brief descriptions if you want.
  • Click Block to finalize the process.

Google Fi users can also turn on Block known spam under the same Spam and contact settings after clicking Manage contact settings

Comcast Xfinity

If you use Xfinity Voice and want to block calls from unknown numbers, you can opt for its Anonymous Call Rejection feature. This will block all phone numbers that are marked as Anonymous, Private, Unavailable, or Null. To activate this feature, locate the settings wheel icon in your Xfinity Voice account and select Call Blocking.

Here, you can add numbers to block manually, as well as turn on the Block Anonymous Calls feature. You can also block numbers that appear in your call history and voicemail by selecting Block Caller > Confirm

If you have a Comcast Business subscription, you can call (800) 391-3000 and request a list of all the calls blocked by its Selective Call Rejection over the previous 28 days.


To block phone numbers with CenturyLink calling features, most customers can reach the CenturyLink Update center by dialing *78 or 888-(your area code)-8052. 

For those in Minnesota, Iowa, Arizona, and Oregon, some different numbers may apply:

  • For CenturyLink customers in Minnesota with area codes 763 or 952, you should dial 888-612-8052.
  • If you’re in Iowa and your area code is 641, the number to call is 888-515-8052.
  • For those in Arizona with the area code 928, the appropriate contact number would be 888-520-8052.
  • In Oregon, dial 888-503-8052 if your area code is 971, and dial 888-541-8052 if your area code is 458.

Keep in mind that you may need to enter the temporary security code of 1234 the first time you call the CenturyLink Update Center, which will prompt you to create your own personal code thereafter. 

Call Blocking With Third-Party Apps

Third-party call blocking apps are a great option for smartphone owners who want to prevent unwanted calls. The main advantage of third-party apps over other methods is their ease of use and customization.

Some of the most notable call-blocking apps include:


You can find Hiya on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Both versions have earned a rating above 4 stars from hundreds of thousands of users. The app is free to use, so you can download it and start using it today.

Calls Blacklist

Calls Blacklist is an Android app you can download for free from the Google Store. It has over 10 million downloads, more than 750,000 reviews, and a rating of 4.1 stars out of 5. The app allows you to block calls and SMS messages from unwanted numbers, and it’s extremely easy to use.

Call Control

Call Control is available both for Android and iPhone users. Its main focus is blocking telemarketers, robocalls, and scam calls, and it takes pride in keeping its database up to date on the latest scammers and their caller IDs. It has been downloaded by more than five million users and has an average score of 4.1/5 and 4.5/5 stars on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, respectively.


Truecaller is a leading caller ID and call-blocking app available on both the Google Play Store and the App Store. In both cases, it has very good reviews from nearly three million users. Its model includes community-based spam tagging, which means there’s a high chance it’s always up to date on the latest scams. Truecaller is free to download and use, but you also have the option to upgrade to paid plans.


Nomorobo is a call-blocking service focused on fighting robocalls and spam texts. It’s available for both Android and iOS users and has been featured in numerous publications as one of the best call-blocking apps. Currently, the company offers a free seven-day trial, after which you can subscribe to its Basic or Max service plans. Nomorobo is also available for free on most VoIP carriers. 

Call Blocking With VoIP

Call blocking with VoIP has some particularities, such as:

  • Being more customizable than traditional phone subscriptions when it comes to blocking contacts, phone numbers, area codes, country codes, anonymous callers, and so on.
  • You can block incoming calls temporarily or permanently.
  • VoIP providers offer add-ons such as whitelists and blacklists, personalized voicemail, call screening services, and more.

Most VoIP services come with embedded call-blocking and call-tracing features, but this will depend on the specific provider. For instance, Google Voice allows you to block unwanted calls and texts.

Call Blocking With a Call-Blocking Device

Blocking unwanted calls can also be done with dedicated hardware devices. These are best when you want to block calls on a landline phone, and they may not be as accessible, affordable, or as easy to install as mobile apps.

Scams and Reporting Unwanted Calls

It’s one thing to be pestered by an annoying colleague or acquaintance, and it’s completely different to be harassed by scammers, telemarketers, and robocalls. There are many types of scams out there—some will pretend to be the IRS and ask you for money, others will offer deals that are too good to be true, and some may even pretend to be your loved ones in danger.

If you get a call from someone asking for money or sensitive information by pretending to be an institution, double-check with the official website of that institution. Report all scams on reportfraud.ftc.gov and get in touch with authorities if the scammers are becoming persistent.

Lastly, keep in mind that some spammy phone calls—even those that are marketing-driven—are completely legal. For instance, political campaigns, charities, and debt collectors are usually allowed to call you, so blocking their numbers may prove challenging. However, if you continue receiving calls after explicitly asking them not to contact you again, or if they use threats or coercion tactics, then you may have to report the issue.