How to Block Unwanted Calls on Android

Smartphones are wonderful tools that are invaluable to our daily lives, but nothing disappoints me more than receiving unwanted phone calls from my personal cell phone. It’s not a home phone, it’s my real cell phone.

Chatting with your friends, family and colleagues is extremely easy thanks to smartphones, but unfortunately there are moments when we receive unwanted calls from people we don’t know or don’t want to call. If you’re someone like me who speaks another language or is trying to sell a weird piece of timeshare, you get angry, swear a few times and hang up. Fortunately, call blocking is a standard feature on most Android devices.

Blocking spam, telemarketers, or that sticky X isn’t as easy as it should be, but at least we have options. Almost all Android smartphones take advantage of this feature, although most have their own unique method. I have stock Android and will start with that as I use the Nexus 5 and Galaxy S4 Google Play version daily, but the general idea is the same for all devices.

Unfortunately, we can’t add random numbers to a no-answer list or auto-call block list, and you’ll actually have to make the number a contact first and then get rid of it. Stock Android has an “All calls to voicemail” feature where you will never hear or receive the call and it will go straight to voicemail. It’s our only stock option, but it’s really easy to activate.

Screenshot 2014-01-24, 10.50.10 AM

Make a new contact with the number you never want to hear from again, or if you already have one on your phone, simply go to the contact. Tap on the contact edit button in the small avatar contact form shown below, tap on settings and tick the send to voicemail button. It’s that easy. It’s a punk that we really need to make a person and save the trick first.

Screenshot 2014-01-24, 10.50.41 AM

Call barring

Samsung smartphones have a call reject feature and a reject list, which is better than the stock system Google uses on regular Android. Here you can block numbers from calling you more than once and even add a new contact directly to the reject list in one action.


Alternatively, users can go to any contact they’ve already added, hit the menu, tap settings, and select “add to red list” to instantly kill that number from bothering you again. By going into the settings shown above, you can manage, add or even remove numbers if someone regains your goodwill.

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Finally, Samsung also has a blocking mode that blocks calls or even texting from certain numbers at certain times, as demonstrated in our hidden features post above. So you can only limit your friends and family during the night, etc.

Call Barring

HTC and Sony devices all have Call Blocking which works very similarly to Samsung’s reject list and can be set up using roughly the same few steps outlined above. Normal settings menu or Call Settings menu (menu in phone app > settings) where you will set up barring specific numbers.


Here you can block incoming and even outgoing calls in tons of different situations. On HTC One, go to the Phone app and tap menu or settings and select “Blocked contacts” in the settings menu. Just like Samsung above, you can add a number to your contacts and block them instantly, or add previously saved numbers to the blocked list. In a few seconds all those telemarketers will never be able to bother you again.

Unfortunately, these are the only Android-ready options, and stock devices will only forward those calls to voicemail; this can be a bad thing when you get a 3 minute voicemail from some auto trash. So you can go to Google Play Store for 3rd party solutions as we want to cover all the basics. There is an app for that!

3rd Party Blocking Practices

There are tons of different apps available in the Google Play Store to block calls. It’s called my personal favorite Mr Number to block calls or texts, but this is the only one. Mr Number even lets you choose to hang up, send to voicemail or add an exception if you want special instructions.

Screenshot 2014-01-24, 10.44.47 AM

Advanced Call Blocker & Tools another great app it’s actually a swiss army knife of search apps. It allows you to block calls, make fake calls with names and even fake numbers, hide your call log and much more. This does it all and blocks any numbers with ease.

or simple call blocker The top rated app on the Play Store is another option. It even lets you easily back up contacts and block lists if you’re upgrading to a new phone and don’t want to rebuild your block list.

The next time you have a random number bothering you, like the Spanish telemarketer I experienced this week, use one of the many steps detailed above to relax.

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