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How do I block a phone number for free?

Updated July 20, 2017

Whether unwanted calls are from telemarketers or a specific individual, they can range from a mild annoyance to frightening harassment. Blocking calls on a landline typically entails some cost; it may require adding a call-blocking feature to your phone plan for a small monthly fee, or downloading software that may be free but requires additional hardware to route calls through your computer. Cell phone users, on the other hand, have several options for blocking a phone number for free.

Block a number through your cell phone's settings. Consult your user manual or phone menus to see if there is a call block/unblock setting where you can enter in the number you want blocked.

Download a free call-blocking application. Depending on your device, there may be third-party applications available to block one or more phone numbers. The Android operating system offers several free programs, and the BlackBerry App Store includes free trials or "lite" versions, meaning you don't have the full range of services but may be able to do what you need without purchasing. Visit the app store for your particular smart phone.

Contact your wireless service provider. Many providers will let you manage blocking services online after registering for an account. Ask about blocking a specific name or phone number. You may have other options as well, such as blocking all restricted, unavailable and private numbers. Manage your settings online as needed.

Register to end telemarketing calls. Contact the Federal Trade Commission at (888) 382-1222 or visit DoNotCall.gov to enter your phone number in the Do Not Call Registry for free. While this will not block a specific number, it may block up to 80 per cent of telemarketing calls.

Tip

If you have a landline, contact your residential service provider to see if it offers any free call-blocking options.

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About the Author

Jennifer Keigh is a professional technology journalist and wireless forum community leader who specializes in mobile operating systems. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin.