Dealing with nonstop calls and messages from solicitors, marketers, exes or local businesses is exhausting, but you don’t have to put up with it. With just a few taps on your iPhone’s screen, you can block a phone number or email address and provide relief from the alert onslaught. The best part? After stopping that call or email in its tracks, the person you’ve blocked will never know you did it.
Personally, I’ve used the iPhone’s built-in tool to stop robocalls that continued to get through even after I set up several apps and services designed to block them. I even blocked a local car dealership that started calling me once a week to double-check on a car I no longer own, despite repeatedly telling them as much. Now those calls never come through.
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Here’s how you can get rid of unwanted calls and messages once and for all. Take a look at the video at the top of the article for a step-by-step guide for blocking callers and contacts on your iPhone.
Block a phone number, email address or contact
The process of blocking someone can be done in four different apps, with each one following similar steps. You won’t need to go through the process multiple times to block the same number or email from all of the apps. Block someone in one app, and they’re blocked in the four apps listed below.
- Phone: Find the phone number or contact you want to block in the Recents tab, then tap on the “i” button next to the option. Select Block This Caller at the bottom of the screen and confirm your choice.
- FaceTime: Tap the “i” next to the contact, phone number, or email address you want to block. Scroll to the bottom of the page, tap on Block This Caller and confirm your choice.
- Message: Open the conversation and tap on the contact at the top of the screen. Next, select the “i” and then tap on the name, phone number or email address. At the bottom of the page will be a Block this Caller button; tap it and confirm.
- Mail: Open the message that includes the person you want to block, tap on the email address you want to block, then select Block this Contact.
If you don’t use Apple’s Mail app, but instead use Gmail or Outlook, blocking someone in Mail won’t have an impact on their messages showing up in your inbox.
What happens when you block someone?
When someone is blocked in FaceTime, Messages or the Phone app, incoming calls will go directly to voicemail. They can even leave you a message that will silently show up in the Voicemail section of the Phone app, but hidden in a Blocked Messages section.
Messages or FaceTime calls won’t show up on your Apple devices, and the person you blocked won’t receive an alert or be any the wiser. They’ll be left with the impression that you’re ignoring them.
Blocking someone in the Mail app will result in their messages going to the trash folder for that respective email account.
View your block list, or unblock someone
If you have a change of heart and want to remove someone from the block list, you’ll need to open the Settings app and select Phone, FaceTime, Messages or Mail from the list. The first three selections will each have a Blocked Contacts setting, while Mail will have a Blocked option.
Regardless of which settings page you use, when you find the person you want to unblock, swipe to the left across their listed name.
Tips to stop robocalls
Your blocked list is the same across Phone, FaceTime Mail and Messages, so you don’t need to visit each app and remove the contact every time. You can remove someone from the Phone settings page, and they will be removed from Messages, FaceTime and Mail (or vice versa).
After ridding yourself of annoying messages and callers, learn how to stop most robocalls from reaching your phone. You can also go extreme and prevent all incoming calls from unknown numbers from ever ringing your phone. Verizon has already rolled out support for blocking calls with iOS 14, so hopefully we see more carriers follow suit before its release this fall.