How to Block a Number on Any Phone

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There are all sorts of reasons to block a number: an ex who won't stop calling, telemarketers who can't take a hint, scammers, or an aunt who wants to check in and see why you're still not married.

When your phone has buzzed one more time than you can take, you know it's time to block that number. But how? Here are the steps to take by popular operating systems and carriers.

Do Not Call
The first thing to do to reduce the number of unwanted calls coming to your phone is to put yourself into the National Do Not Call Registry. On the site, you can register your phone number or check if your digits are already there. On DoNotCall.gov, you can register up to three phone numbers at once. You'll also need to include an email address, as you'll need to confirm your registration. You can also call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you want to register.

According to the FTC, which runs the registry, your phone number will be added to the registry within 24 hours, but it will likely take up to 31 days for sales calls to stop. If they persist in calling, you can file a complaint.

iOS
Note: If you block someone from sending you texts, FaceTime, or voice calls, they will be automatically blocked from doing all three things.

To block a number that called you, go into the Phone app, select Recent. Find the number and click the I in the circle next to it. You'll get a screen with information about the call and actions to take, scroll down to Block This Caller.

If you're blocking someone in your Contacts lists, go to Settings > Phone > Call Blocking & Identification > Block Contact. That will bring up your contact list, and you can scroll through and select those you want to block. You can also get there via Settings > Messages > Blocked > Add New.

If a number texting you is not on your Contacts list, iOS 10 requires you to add it to your Contacts list before blocking it (tap the number/image on top of the screen > Create New Contact). Then follow the steps above. If you have an older version of iOS, tap the I in the circle at the upper right of the screen, then select Block This Caller > Block Contact.

If you think they'll sneak a peek at you with FaceTime, then go to that app, find the last FaceTime conversation you had with them, and click the I in the circle next to it. You'll get a screen with information about the call and actions to take; scroll down to Block This Caller. If it's someone in your Contacts, go to Settings > FaceTime > Blocked > Add New, and select the name or names to block.

In related news: If you think you've been blocked, signs include being sent directly to voicemail for calls, never seeing the "Delivered" message appear under your iMessage, and having your text turn green (as opposed to blue). These things can also happen if the person you're trying to contact does not have a connection, so don't freak out right away. But if it's been awhile and you're still not getting through...

Android
For Marshmallow or Nougat, open Dialer, go to your recent calls list, find the number you want to block and select Block/Report Spam. (If you don't want to report the number as spam, you can uncheck the box.) Then tap Block.

For Lollipop, go to the Phone app and select Call Settings > Call Rejection (ouch) > Auto Reject List. Type in the number or search for it, select it, and you're done.

If you use Messenger for messages, tap the name or number that sent you the message on your message list and select Block/Report Spam. (If you don't want to report the number as spam, you can uncheck the box.) For Contacts, go into Messenger, select Menu > Blocked Contacts > Add a Number and enter the number you want to to block.

Windows
To block calls and messages, go to Settings and then Call+SMS Filter, accept the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy if you have not already, then switch Block Calls to On. Now go to the Phone app, hold down the number you want to block, and hit Block Number, then OK.

Most HTC Phones
To block calls, open the Phone app, select Call History, tap the number, then select Block Contact or Block Caller.

Most LG Phones
To block calls, open the Phone app, select Menu > Settings > Call Reject > Reject Calls From and add numbers.

Most Samsung Phones
To block calls for numbers that have called you, go to the Phone app and open the Log. Select a number and then More > Block settings. There you will be able to select Call Block and Message Block. If the number is in your contacts, open the Phone app, select More > Settings > Call Blocking and add the number or numbers you want to block.

AT&T
AT&T gets very specific when it comes to blocking numbers and wants you to do so on a device-by-device basis, so you're better off sticking with the instructions above that are specific to your OS or phone.

Sprint
First sign in to your Sprint account, then choose My Preferences, go to Limits and Permissions, then Block Voice, and select Block Only the Following Phone Numbers for Inbound and Outbound Calls. Enter the number or numbers and then select Add Number and Save.

T-Mobile
Go to the Home screen, select Phone > Contacts. Navigate to the contact you want to block and select Block. If you want to block callers via T-Mobile's site, you can only do so if you have a family plan. Sign in to your account and then select Tools > Family Allowance > Access Family Allowances. Go to Allowed Numbers and choose Never Allowed and put in up to 10 numbers you want blocked. Make sure to click OK and Save.

Verizon
You can block five numbers on each Verizon account that you have. The block lasts for 90 days. Log into the Verizon website, go to My Account > Manage Verizon Family Safeguards & Controls. Go to Call & Message Blocking Feature, select Add Now, and add up to five numbers. If you want or need blocking to be permanent, sign up for Verizon FamilyBase, which gives you blocking and parental control over your devices for $4.99 a month.

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