New Tools to Block Calls on Your Cell Phone

Becky Worley

Be it robo calls, telemarketers, or an unfortunate interpersonal drama, sometimes you just need to block a specific phone number and prevent that individual from ever calling you again. Fortunately, there are easy ways to filter out those calls – and even unwanted text messages – on your cell phone.

Caller ID only goes so far. Even if you choose not to answer them, unwanted calls are still an intrusion and – if you’re paying for talk minutes or texts – an expense. So here’s how to take care of the problem – and check out the video above to see exactly how it’s done:

iPhone iOS 7 Solution

Blocking calls on Apple’s new iPhone software iOS 7 is incredibly easy. Look in your recent call log and click the “i” next to the name or number you want to block. Scroll down and choose “Block this caller.” You won’t receive phone calls, voicemail, text messages or Facetime calls from this contact ever again. (Or at least until you make up – then you can unblock the number.)

[Related: The New iPhones – Should You Upgrade?]

Older iPhone Solution

On older iPhones (those not running iOS 7) you need an app. Call Bliss lets you create a block list of individuals whose calls you don’t want. They still go to voicemail, but it’s better than nothing. Perhaps the even cooler feature is that you can designate geographic areas with this app where all calls are automatically sent to voicemail: you then walk into church or the library and your phone automatically goes silent. That’s both smart and a Godsend.The app is free, but as you add features like the block list and the geo-fence, it will charge you up to a total if $4.99 to enable all features.

Android Solutions

Android solutions are often trickier, if only because Android phones come in many more versions & overlays, some of which are specific to the type of phone you have. But generally, go to the contact information for the person you want to block, click Menu or options, and then “All calls to voicemail.” On other flavors and overlays of Android you may have an additional option to block or bar calls (or texts) – which means they won’t even go to voicemail.

If none of these options are available on your particular phone, a third party blocking app like CallFilter or Mr. Number should work just fine to keep the riffraff in your life at bay.

“Feature Phone” (Dumbphone) Solution

Finally if you have a feature phone, there are still options to block numbers. But since you don’t have as much direct control as you would from a smartphone, you’ll instead need to log onto your wireless account from your computer.

ATT’s service lets you block up to 30 numbers for $5 amonth. T-Mobile lets you block up to 10 numbers for the same price with their Family Allowances plan. Verizon and Sprint let you block up to 30 numbers for free.

If this information has helped you, share it with your friends; it may help them too.