Do you know how to block your caller ID? If you're like me, you have experienced times when you don't want your phone number revealed while making a phone call.
For example, when you use your personal phone for a work call, or when you are responding to an advertisement or promotion, it might be a good idea to block your phone's specific number.
You may also want to block your number to get through to someone who has blocked your phone number. If you feel you have a legitimate reason to call anyway, you can bypass the block and put a call through while hiding your caller ID number.
Below, I have outlined several ways to keep your specific number private on an outgoing call from your home phone, iOS or Android device. You can use a prefix to block caller-ID, contact your carrier to request permanent caller ID blocking, or hide your phone number through your smartphone's personal settings. Here's the break-down.
In This Guide
How to Block Caller ID When Making a Phone Call
Americans do believe in privacy, but it depends on the content. According to Pew Research's article on the State of Privacy in America, some 86 percent of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask digital footprints, but many would like to do more and are completely unaware of the tools they can utilize.
For instance, users have been able to clear their cookies and browsing history. However, many of these users want to do more than just protect themselves online. Luckily, in the real word, you can make yourself an anonymous caller by hiding your caller ID number to protect against unwanted call returns.
When you make an outgoing call, you can choose whether that outgoing call will appear on the receiver's caller ID service. It's up to you to choose how to block your caller ID home or mobile phone number. You can do a temporary block on a call-by-call basis or set up a permanent block number with your phone company.
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How to Block Caller ID Temporarily
It's easy to hide your telephone number on a temporary call-by-call basis. Ultimately, you will show up as an unknown number on their caller ID service. Here's how to do it.
1. If you're on a home phone, wait for the dial tone and Dial *67
2. Then Dial the area code and dial the number
3. Caller ID displays "unknown caller" or "private number"
A blocked call looks like *67 123 456 7890 when you dial the number. As the caller, you do not see or hear any evidence of the ID block. Rest assured *67 works, it's a universal code.
How to Block Caller-ID Permanently
Contact your mobile phone service provider or home phone company and request a line block. You can call your carrier's customer service number or log in to your account online to do this. There are variations to this service depending on your service provider. Some charge a monthly fee, and some carriers will make you a permanent anonymous caller.
Bear in mind that some people decline incoming calls from unknown numbers. There is a solution, however. Even if you have a permanent block in place, you can temporarily remove it on a call-by-call basis by dialing *82 before the area code and phone number. This way, the caller ID displays your full telephone number instead of saying "unknown caller."
Bear in mind when you call emergency services at 911, or a toll-free 800 number, your phone number will not be blocked.
Hide Your Number with an App
There are several phone apps on the market that will hide your phone number so you can make a call and text anonymously. Before you download, check to see if the app is compatible with your smartphone.
Below are a few phone apps (compatible with both Android phones and iOS devices) you can use to text message anonymously, complete with their Google Play Store links:
Burner works a little different than the other apps mentioned on this list. Upon signing up for Burner you'll receive a free, private phone number that is good for seven days. The number will cease to work after seven days (those who call this number after seven days will receive an 'Out of Service' response), and you'll have to buy a new number if you want to continue using Burner.
Purchasing a new number is relatively cheap, but the prices will vary depending on what area code you choose. Despite that, Burner is a great way to anonymously call and text message. It's perfect for buying/selling products on Ebay or Etsy, online dating, or private conversations.
The app, Hide Caller ID, is available as a download from the Google Play Store. With it, you can customize the personal settings in your preferences to hide numbers. You won't have to mess with general Android phone settings or hide your number on a per-call basis.
The Hide Caller ID block app blocks your number from showing to the call recipient. Then, they receive a Private, Unknown caller or Withheld message in caller ID. Hide Caller ID is mentioned at tech giant Cnet.com, lending it legitimacy. HiddenCall is another block app that performs the same trick.
Some apps allow you to create a fake block number for caller ID spoofing, a dubious feature at best. Spoof Call and Caller ID Faker are two examples of this type of app. Spoof Call and Caller ID Faker both allow caller ID spoofing if you want to be a prankster. For example, you can call in sick from the beach and make it look like you are calling from the office. Some of these apps contain ads inside the app.
Call Toll-Free Numbers Anonymously with Google Voice
You can also use Google Voice to make anonymous phone calls if you already have a Gmail account or are willing to create one. Google Voice will let you call Toll-free numbers and any number you please without letting them see your number. This way, you don't have to be bothered by unwanted return calls.
Hide Your Phone Number by Emailing
Another simple way to block your phone number while texting is to text from your email program. With email, many accounts such as Gmail will reveal your identity, so consider which account you're emailing from. An easy fix is to make a throwaway account on a platform you don't use.
How to Tell if Your Number is Blocked
When you make a call, you can look for signs that you have been placed on someone's block or reject list. If the phone rings once and goes to voicemail, you may be blocked. You can still leave a message, and the recipient can listen to the message if they choose to. There is always a chance the recipient is out of their service's range, has run out of charge, has turned their phone off, or has set the phone to auto divert.
You can call again from a different number, or disguise your call with *67. The block will be bypassed and you will get through, or it will ring multiple times but the recipient might not pick up. If the phone is off or set to divert, it will ring once and go directly to voicemail.
Bear in mind, if you are calling a person that has blocked you, and you use one of the tips in this article to get through, there's a good chance they may not pick up an incoming call they cannot identify. But you can still leave them a message.
How to Block Caller ID on an iPhone
When you want to make a private call on an iPhone without your number appearing in caller ID, you can use the call blocking feature in Phone settings.
1. Got to Settings, then navigate to Phone
2. Select Show My Caller ID
3. Set the switch to hide your number
Read More: Shopping around for an iPhone? You may want to take the time to compare the specs and deals of each available iPhone with our comparison guide.
How to Block Your Number on Android Devices
With Android smartphones, use the caller ID blocking feature in Phone settings.
Find it in the Phone app or in Settings, then go to App Info, then Phone. For Android smartphone operating systems older than Marshmallow, find this feature under Additional Settings inside the Phone Settings.
Read More: If you're considering purchasing a Samsung Galaxy phone, you may want to glean over the specs and deals of each Samsung Galaxy phone. In that case, you are always welcome to compare the best Samsung Galaxy deals.
Accessing the Caller ID feature on your device is simple and easy to implement. In relation, it is easy to learn how to block a phone number by adding it to your phone's block or reject list. Blocking unknown numbers can help stop telemarketing calls. You can even add your number to the National Do-Not-Call Registry to report telemarketing calls.
Of course, there are many other methods you can utilize to protect your privacy. For more strategies and techniques for staying private, check out our How-To guide on Internet Safety & Privacy.
You can also head over to our ultimate guide on cell phone safety tips for kids for some useful tips about child cell phone safety.
Furthermore, our guide to parental control apps may be used as an additional resource to help with blocking unwanted calls.