Detect and block spam phone calls

You can use Silence Unknown Callers or a third-party app to block spam calls on your iPhone.

Turn on Silence Unknown Callers

With iOS 13 and later, you can turn on Silence Unknown Callers to avoid getting calls from people you don’t know. This blocks phone numbers that you've never been in contact with before and aren't saved in your contacts list. If you’ve previously texted someone using their phone number or if a person has shared their phone number with you in an email, a phone call from that number will go through.

To turn on Silence Unknown Callers, go to Settings > Phone, then scroll down, tap Silence Unknown Callers and turn on the feature. Calls from unknown numbers will be silenced and sent to your voicemail, and will appear in your recent calls list.

Incoming calls will come through from phone numbers that are saved in your contacts list, appear in your recent calls list and from Siri Suggestions to let you know who’s calling based on phone numbers included in your emails or text messages.

If you've made an emergency call, Silence Unknown Callers will be temporarily disabled for the next 24 hours to allow your iPhone to be reached.

Before you turn on Silence Unknown Callers, make sure you have saved any important contacts to your contacts list or you could miss a phone call that you don’t want to miss. The call will still go to voicemail and appear in your recent calls list, but you won’t receive a notification while the call is ringing.

iPhone showing how to turn on Silence Unknown Callers

Set up an app to filter and detect spam calls

  1. Go to the App Store and download an app that detects and blocks spam phone calls. You can download and install multiple apps with this feature from different app developers.

  2. Go to Settings > Phone.

  3. Tap Call Blocking & Identification.

  4. Under Call Identification Apps, turn the app on or off. You can also reorder the apps based on priority. Just tap Edit and then drag the apps in the order you want them.

    iPhone showing how to set up an app to filter spam calls

When you receive a call, your device will check the caller’s number and compare it with the list of phone numbers in your third-party spam apps. If there's a match, iOS will display the identifying label chosen by the app, for example Spam or Telemarketing. If the app determines that a phone number is spam, it may choose to block the phone call automatically. Incoming calls are never sent to third-party developers.

If you determine that a number is from a spam caller, you can block the number manually on your device. Phone numbers that you block manually will appear under Blocked Contacts.

If you no longer want to use the app, then you can remove it.

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