Simple ways to silence robocalls and other nuisances

There are few things more annoying than nuisance phone calls from private numbers. It is bad enough when a caller you know interrupts you when you’re having a meal, but when it is a cold caller from a call centre, or worse still a robocall, it can be infuriating.

Luckily, most smartphones these days come with an inbuilt feature that can allow you to block incoming calls and messages from hidden numbers, but not everyone knows how to do it.

The steps you need to take will vary a little depending on your phone manufacturer but they are all roughly the same once you open the phone app.

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From the phone app tap More > Call Settings > Call Rejection.

Next, tap ‘Auto reject list’ and then toggle the ‘Unknown’ option to the on position and all calls from unknown numbers will be blocked.

If your smartphone doesn’t allow you to block unknown numbers, you can also download call blocking apps such as Call Blocker.

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The iPhone process is a little different to Android and it also depends on what version of the iOS you are running.

If you are using an iPhone running on iOS 13 or later, there is a ‘Silence Unknown Callers’ feature.

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 and don’t have saved in your contacts list.

If you’ve previously texted with 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 are silenced and sent to your voicemail and appear in your recent calls list.

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

If an emergency call is placed, Silence Unknown Callers is temporarily disabled for the next 24 hours to allow for your iPhone to be reached.

Before you turn on ‘Silence Unknown Callers’, make sure you have important contacts saved 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 get a notification while the call is ringing.

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If you are running an iOS earlier than 13, go into Settings > Do Not Disturb.

Then turn ‘Do Not Disturb on Manual’ and select to only allow calls from your contact list. You can also block repeated calls from the same number getting through within a three-minute period.

If you would like to block only the spam callers without blocking potential hidden numbers that may come from someone you do know, try the TrapCall app.

TrapCall’s spam call blocking will automatically block more than 100,000 known spam numbers from your phone.

How many robocalls do you deal with in a week? Will you enable your phone to block unknown callers? Share the most annoying calls you have received in the comments section below.

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Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.
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