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How to Block Nuisance Calls and Messages on Your iPhone

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
51,479
13,108



Unsolicited phone calls and messages can become a regular annoyance and even a cause of stress for many smartphone users these days. Thankfully, Apple provides features in iOS 11 that allow you to block nuisance calls and messages from the same number coming through to your phone, and in this article we're going to show you how to set them up.

Whether it's messages from a debt collector looking for the wrong person, a random number from a foreign country that keeps calling in the middle of the night, or just someone in your contacts that you'd rather not hear from again, following the steps below should stop them from bothering you.

How to Block a Recent Caller in iOS 11

If the number you want to block is a recent caller, follow these steps on your iPhone.
  1. Launch the Phone app.
    Tap Recents.

    Locate the number you want to block in the All or Missed calls list.
    Tap the information icon (the encircled lowercase "i") to the right of the number.
    Scroll down the Caller ID screen and tap Block this Caller.
How to Block a Number That Messages You

If you're the recipient of unwanted messages from a specific number, here's how to prevent them from coming through to your iPhone.

  1. Launch the Messages app.
    Navigate to the main messages list if necessary, and tap a message received from the number you want to block.

    Tap the information icon (the encircled lowercase "i") at the upper right of the message window.
    At the top of the Details screen, tap the name of the contact or the associated phone number.

    Scroll down the Caller ID screen if necessary and tap Block this Caller.
How to Block a Number in FaceTime

If you received a FaceTime call from a number that you want to block, follow these steps.

  1. Launch the FaceTime app.
    Tap either the Video or Audio button, depending on the type of FaceTime call you received from the caller you want to block.

    Locate the unwanted call you received in the list and tap the information icon (the encircled lowercase "i") next to it.
    Scroll down the Caller ID screen if necessary and tap Block this Caller.
How to Manage Blocked Contacts on iPhone

Follow these steps to add or remove a contact from your blocked list of numbers.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
    Tap Phone in the list.
    Tap Call Blocking & Identification.

    To remove a contact from your blocked list, tap Edit in the upper right corner of the screen, tap the red minus button that appears next to the contact(s) you want to remove, and then tap Done.
    To add a contact to your blocked list, tap Block Contact... and select the contact from your Contacts list. All of the numbers in the contact card you select will be added to your blocked list.
Note that you can also access and manage your blocked contacts list in the Settings app via Messages -> Blocked and FaceTime -> Blocked.

Try a Third-Party Blocking Solution

If you're inundated with spam calls from different numbers on a regular basis, then consider one of the many third-party blocking solutions available from the App Store: Several apps like Hiya and TrueCaller use an implementation of Apple's CallKit to identify and block suspect numbers before your phone even rings.

After installing one of these apps, you can manage their call permissions at any time from within the Settings app, by tapping Phone and selecting Call Blocking & Information.

Article Link: How to Block Nuisance Calls and Messages on Your iPhone
 

0815

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2010
1,757
897
here and there but not over there
Problem is that some spammers are avoiding this by auto generating numbers, often similar to mine - only the last four digits are random, the first six are the same. Happens to my friends too that they get calls matching their numbers. Guess they try to pretend to be from your neighborhood... well I’m no longer picking those numbers up, still annoying ... but people I care about are in my contacts everyone else can leave a voicemail

Spammer, telemarketing,.... etc suck and they don’t care about the do not call list.
 
Comment

SurferPup

macrumors regular
Aug 20, 2011
199
104
Sunshine Coast, 🇦🇺 Australia
What I found is working for me when I receive e-mail spam, is to sign them up to pornographic websites. One idiot was stupid enough to SMS spam his name and phone number to me so I signed him up to a porn site, created a story he was seeking group BBW hookups and contact him on his phone number. I encourage everyone to return the spam favours - they are people too who just need some anonymous love not your money.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,124
37,394
To temporarily block calls

That’s not going to stop scam calls from using local “Spoofed” numbers that will appear to be legitimate, when in fact they are not. I would really like to see cell carriers implement something in the future that can prohibit scammers from doing this. The Problem is, is scamming is so dynamic that’s changing all the time and once one remedy is issued to stop scam calls, there is another form of a new scam. Its a vicious cycle that never stops unfortunately. The most unfortunate part, is there victims every day who fall for scams.
 
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bjoswald

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2016
435
487
Florida
I’ve tried several anti-spam apps, and every single one of them has failed. Now I use the one from my carrier and hope for the best.
 
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elvisimprsntr

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2013
366
482
Florida
I already have ATT Call Protect installed which blocks some and identifies most others.


As pointed out in other posts, scammers use the same area code, prefix, and random last 4 digits. I mistakenly thought I could simply add a contact using "****" for the last 4 digits and add that contact to the blocked list. No joy.

I searched for an app that would allow wildcards, but some of those apps required too much permission, have relationships with social media partners (i.e. Hiya and TrueCaller suggested in OP), or worse. Make sure to read the privacy policy before using any of these apps. I suspect the author, Tim Hardwick, did not.

I found one which seems to be legit without giving up my privacy.

 
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nightcap965

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2004
679
682
Cape Cod
T-Mobile does a pretty good job at identifying nuisance calls, but it doesn't get them all. Blocking callers has resulted in a far larger blocked call list than my contacts list. What I finally did was give everyone on my contacts list a custom ring tone, and I use a short, quiet ring tone for all others. If I don't know the caller, I don't bother answering. Real people will leave a message, robocalls usually don't. (If they do, the transcriptions are often hilarious.)

Good article!
 
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zdfbe4ah

macrumors member
Feb 7, 2018
76
76
That’s not going to stop scam calls from using local “Spoofed” numbers that will appear to be legitimate, when in fact they are not. I would really like to see cell carriers implement something in the future that can prohibit scammers from doing this. The Problem is, is scamming is so dynamic that’s changing all the time and once one remedy is issued to stop scam calls, there is another form of a new scam. Its a vicious cycle that never stops unfortunately. The most unfortunate part, is there victims every day who fall for scams.

I don't use stonewall to block spam, but to block all work related calls, at the weekends, and free days.
In the app you can create a group 'work' add all work related contacts, and with a simple switch you can block calls from them, or allow them to contact you.
 
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BeyondtheTech

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2007
2,124
633
No, Apple. I don’t want a blacklist feature. Considering my blocked callers list has grown into an unwieldly list of numbers that’s hard to sort, manipulate and maintain, I just want a whitelist feature.

If you’re not in my Contacts, I don’t want my iPhone to ring. Period.

We are just too connected in this world. If I can make my Facebook and Twitter accounts private and only allow access by invite, my phone number should work the same way.
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
11,439
7,881
I'm a rolling stone.
Some people like to bash the EU here, but there are things which are far better here in some countries.
I am on a do not call list, all businesses or people who like to sell me something have to check the list before they make a call, if they still call me I can complain, next thing they get fined €5000 for calling me.
 
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JosephAW

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2012
3,569
4,205
There needs to be an option to block all unknown numbers or any calls not in your address book.
For now I have custom ringtones for each contact. If it rings the default then its junk.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
... I just want a whitelist feature.

If you’re not in my Contacts, I don’t want my iPhone to ring. Period.


That seems a bit impractical to me. Maybe you are young and only talk to a circle of friend and family. But I use my phone for business and I frequently need to connect with people not in my contacts list. Under your scenario those people could never get though to me. I'm not sure there is a good solution here. I just rely on caller ID and my common sense whether I'm going to take a call. I also tend to keep my ringer off and rely on the vibration on my phone or watch.
 
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RagingBrosGaming

Suspended
Aug 10, 2016
55
75
Ohio, USA
“Attention: This is the final reminder about your unpaid student loans”.
Scammers working from home. Just sitting in their living room eating a bucket of chicken.
 
Comment

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
6,820
8,443
the Alpha Quadrant
Wish there was a way to set DND to not require two calls before people on my favorites rang my phone and watch. I too leave my phone on silent all day. Junk calls are probably the worst this year than any year. FCC do not call is a joke. And blocking the random number is a pointless reaction. If the number isn’t in my contacts why the heck isn’t there an option to set it not to ring?
 
Comment

JTR555

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2013
112
30
Virginia



Unsolicited phone calls and messages can become a regular annoyance and even a cause of stress for many smartphone users these days. Thankfully, Apple provides features in iOS 11 that allow you to block nuisance calls and messages from the same number coming through to your phone, and in this article we're going to show you how to set them up.

Whether it's messages from a debt collector looking for the wrong person, a random number from a foreign country that keeps calling in the middle of the night, or just someone in your contacts that you'd rather not hear from again, following the steps below should stop them from bothering you.

How to Block a Recent Caller in iOS 11

If the number you want to block is a recent caller, follow these steps on your iPhone.
  1. Launch the Phone app.
    Tap Recents.

    Locate the number you want to block in the All or Missed calls list.
    Tap the information icon (the encircled lowercase "i") to the right of the number.
    Scroll down the Caller ID screen and tap Block this Caller.
How to Block a Number That Messages You

If you're the recipient of unwanted messages from a specific number, here's how to prevent them from coming through to your iPhone.

  1. Launch the Messages app.
    Navigate to the main messages list if necessary, and tap a message received from the number you want to block.

    Tap the information icon (the encircled lowercase "i") at the upper right of the message window.
    At the top of the Details screen, tap the name of the contact or the associated phone number.

    Scroll down the Caller ID screen if necessary and tap Block this Caller.
How to Block a Number in FaceTime

If you received a FaceTime call from a number that you want to block, follow these steps.

  1. Launch the FaceTime app.
    Tap either the Video or Audio button, depending on the type of FaceTime call you received from the caller you want to block.

    Locate the unwanted call you received in the list and tap the information icon (the encircled lowercase "i") next to it.
    Scroll down the Caller ID screen if necessary and tap Block this Caller.
How to Manage Blocked Contacts on iPhone

Follow these steps to add or remove a contact from your blocked list of numbers.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
    Tap Phone in the list.
    Tap Call Blocking & Identification.

    To remove a contact from your blocked list, tap Edit in the upper right corner of the screen, tap the red minus button that appears next to the contact(s) you want to remove, and then tap Done.
    To add a contact to your blocked list, tap Block Contact... and select the contact from your Contacts list. All of the numbers in the contact card you select will be added to your blocked list.
Note that you can also access and manage your blocked contacts list in the Settings app via Messages -> Blocked and FaceTime -> Blocked.

Try a Third-Party Blocking Solution

If you're inundated with spam calls from different numbers on a regular basis, then consider one of the many third-party blocking solutions available from the App Store: Several apps like Hiya and TrueCaller use an implementation of Apple's CallKit to identify and block suspect numbers before your phone even rings.

After installing one of these apps, you can manage their call permissions at any time from within the Settings app, by tapping Phone and selecting Call Blocking & Information.

Article Link: How to Block Nuisance Calls and Messages on Your iPhone
[doublepost=1521204561][/doublepost]I respond to those texts to “Brandon” with things like “Brandon died last week in a terrible dirigible accident. Funeral is tomorrow.” Then I block the number.

I simply hit ignore for calls spoofing numbers similar to mine. If you don’t pick up, they’ll slow down or stop for a while. At home, I answer telemarketing calls with music playing in the background, use my best DJ voice and say, “Hello, you’re on the air! Is anyone there? Next caller please!”
 
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Mattrg

macrumors newbie
Feb 6, 2018
9
9
This really has gotten out of hand. The robo calls will call my phone and my wife’s phone at the exact same time. It’s so irritating, made worse, by the fact that you can’t answer and cuss anyone out since it’s a dang computer. Back in the day, I’d answer and blow a whistle into the phone mic. :) “Sir! Please stop that, it hurting my ears!” Ahhh, that felt GOOD!

Phone companies need to develop a way of detecting a number that has been computer generated. Something like a code that can’t be faked in order for it to be passed along to our phone.

Blocking the number is only good for a day since the number changes the next day. When I’m on call, I HAVE to pick up my phone since I don’t know if a lineman is needing help with something during an emergency.

It’s probably the Russians.
 
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StandingGoose

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2017
53
45
What we need is a solution to block “unknown” and “no caller ID” numbers.
Settings -> Do Not Disturb -> Allow Calls From {Contacts, Favorites, ...}

Some folks don't like doing this, but I find it a relatively painless way to achieve whitelist functionality. If they're not in my Contacts, they can jolly well leave a message.
 
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MR-LIZARD

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2012
101
154
UK
No, Apple. I don’t want a blacklist feature. Considering my blocked callers list has grown into an unwieldly list of numbers that’s hard to sort, manipulate and maintain, I just want a whitelist feature.

If you’re not in my Contacts, I don’t want my iPhone to ring. Period.

A work around to this currently exists on iOS. Configure your Do Not Disturb settings to only allow calls from your Contacts (or just faves or a custom group) and then enable Do Not Disturb.

This does mean your phone is permanently in DnD but it would achieve what you’re looking for.
 
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xero9

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2006
859
481
What we need is a solution to block “unknown” and “no caller ID” numbers. I realize that people have the right to block their number during a call, but I also have a right to block their unsolicited harassment.

This times a million!

Even just a "block all calls from anyone NOT in contacts" would be nice. I don't want to enable DND to get this functionality!

Fingers crossed for iOS 12, but they didn't make any real improvements to call blocking in 11 so I'm not hopeful.
 
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displayblock

macrumors member
Jul 31, 2014
82
248
Problem is that some spammers are avoiding this by auto generating numbers, often similar to mine - only the last four digits are random, the first six are the same. Happens to my friends too that they get calls matching their numbers. Guess they try to pretend to be from your neighborhood... well I’m no longer picking those numbers up, still annoying ...

I have the issue where spammers are spoofing my number to make hundreds of calls at least once every month. I end up on the receiving end of at least a handful of very angry people each month demanding to know who I am and why I called them.

Call screening apps/services are helpful, until I try to make an outgoing call and my number is blacklisted by someone else.
 
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NachoGrande

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2010
964
1,672
I get about 10-15 calls a week. I finally installed at&t call protect I hope this help. It’s frustrating.
 
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BornAgainMac

macrumors 604
Feb 4, 2004
6,594
3,769
Florida Resident
What I found is working for me: when I receive e-mail spam, is to sign them up to pornographic websites. One idiot was stupid enough to SMS spam his name and phone number to me so I signed him up to a porn site, created a story he was seeking group BBW hookups and contact him on his phone number. I encourage everyone to return the spam favours - they are people too who just need some anonymous love not your money.

I wish Siri could do that for me with e-mail spams.
 
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