A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

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There is a simple way to stop robocalls to your cellphone from disturbing your peace of mind, and you can do it for free.

Writing for CNBC, Todd Haselton says he stopped robocalls from ringing his iPhone by taking a few simple steps.

He used a feature called “Silence Unknown Callers,” which is available for iPhones running on iOS 13 or later. Similar features are available on Android phones. However, in both cases, there is a drawback.

Silence unknown callers on an iPhone

For starters, Haselton went to “Settings” on his iPhone and chose the “Phone” option.

Then, he selected “Silence Unknown Callers” and toggled the button to the on position.

Doing this means the phone will still ring if the caller is in your “Contacts” list or if you otherwise have been in contact with the caller, such as if you previously have texted the caller’s number, Apple says on its “Detect and block spam phone calls” page.

But if the call is from anyone not listed in your Contacts, the call will go straight to voicemail. It also will appear in your recent calls list.

Block unidentified callers on an Android phone

You can also do something similar for your Android phone.

The robocall app RoboKiller says you start by simply opening your Contacts and selecting Settings from the menu there. Then, select “Blocked numbers.” From there, you can toggle the “Unknown” button to the on position.

This will block all calls from unidentified callers, though the steps might differ somewhat from one Android device to another.

A less extreme option is to use the “Do Not Disturb” feature to have your phone automatically block unknown calls during certain times of the day, such as during the hours when you are likely to be working.

The process is more complex, but Google breaks down the options on its “Limit interruptions with Do Not Disturb on Android” page.

The downside

Not all calls from unknown numbers are unwanted calls. Perhaps you have a new doctor or plumber and have yet to save their number in your phone.

Calls from such people in your life — not just calls from telemarketers and robocallers — won’t ring your phone if you enable Silence Unknown Callers or a similar Android feature.

As RoboKiller notes:

“If you use your phone for work, or typically make and receive a lot of phone calls, this solution will cause problems for you. That’s because silencing unknown callers means all callers, including calls from your dentist, doctor, pharmacy, etc.”

That might be a deal-breaker for some folks. So, you will have to decide whether blocking unknown callers is worth the hassle of not receiving some calls — say, from your doctor or dentist — from people who might not be listed in your contacts.

For more ways to stop unwanted calls, check out “8 Steps to Put an End to Robocalls.”

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