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Telemarketers are ignoring laws regulating unsolicited phone calls. This article covers how to block unwanted calls on your iPhone. We’ll also take a look at silencing Notifications and other distractions using Do Not Disturb mode.
The iPhone enables communication with the outside world. Unfortunately, sometimes the outside world forces itself on you. While it is illegal for telemarketers to call cell phone numbers, they don’t always follow the rules. Many of these companies are located off shore and use technology to spoof domestic phone numbers. Some of these calls are threatening, often claiming that you owe money to the IRS. You don’t have to put up with unwanted calls.
Callers are not the only interruptions we face when possessing a smartphone. Notifications and other distractions can keep us from getting a good night’s rest. Fortunately, iOS provides features to prevent us from being disturbed. Let’s take a look at how to block calls and set up Do Not Disturb mode on your iPhone.
Block Specific iPhone Callers
Recent versions of iOS allow users to block specific phone numbers and Contacts. This is like playing whack-a-mole. If you block a number, you can still get calls from other telemarketers.
You can block calls by launching the Phone app and tapping on Contacts at the bottom. Select the contact you would like to block.
Scroll down and tap on Block this Caller.
Confirm that you would like to block this caller by tapping Block Contact.
Chances are, the offending caller is not in Contacts. Few people add telemarketers to their contact list. Fortunately, you can also block a caller from your call log. Launch the Phone app and tap on Recents at the bottom of the screen. Tap on the “i” icon to the right of the caller you wish to block.
Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap on Block this Caller.
Tap on Block Contact to confirm.
You can easily unblock a caller by following the same steps. If a caller is currently blocked, you will see “Unblock this Caller” in place of “Block this Caller”. Simply tap on “Unblock this Caller” to resume receiving calls from the Contact or phone number.
Keep in mind that callers won’t know if they are being blocked. Your iPhone will just roll over to voice mail. These voice mails will be stored in the blocked messages folder. This is great if you have an obnoxious friend or co-worker who you don’t want to offend.
You can view messages from blocked callers by launching the Phone app and tapping on the Messages tab at the bottom. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap on Blocked Messages. A list of messages from blocked callers is displayed.
Turn Off Ringer
Blocking unwanted callers can only be done after the fact. This doesn’t help if you get a call from a new, unknown telemarketer at 5am. If your phone is a secondary communication method, I recommend turning off the ringer. Simply slide the Ring/Silent switch on the left side of your iPhone. If you see a red indicator on the Ring/Silent switch, the ringer is turned off.
Even with the ringer turned off, your phone can still vibrate. I found that the vibration could also wake me up. You can turn off vibrate on your iPhone by opening the Settings app and tapping Sounds. Next, slide the Vibrate on Silent switch off. Your iPhone will now be completely quiet when you get a call. You will still be notified of incoming calls on the lock screen and in Notification Center. (continue…)