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How to block spam calls on your Android phone

What are all these calls?

Published onAugust 22, 2023

Hate spam calls? So do we! They’re annoying as hell, and the problem gets worse by the day. In this post, we look at how to block spam calls or at least minimize them. But before we do, let’s take a look at the three most common types of spam calls.

The first is telemarketing calls from real companies trying to sell you stuff. Carriers and internet service providers love to use them to lure consumers away from the competition. Then there are robocalls, which are automated phone calls with pre-recorded sales messages. They are also frequently used for political campaigns, charitable causes, and more.

Lastly, there are scam calls from shady characters trying to take advantage of you. They pretend to be from the FBI, CIA, or bank employees and try to get you to reveal your financial or other sensitive data. For more details on these scam calls, check out our dedicated post on the most common phone scams to look out for.

So, how can you protect yourself from spam calls? You’ll find the four best methods to use below.


The easiest way to block spam calls is to use the Phone by Google app. It can identify spam callers most times, and it can also block calls it considers spam. The feature must be enabled. Open the Phone by Google app and tap on the three-dot menu button. Then go to Settings > Caller ID & spam. Toggle on See caller and spam ID. Now you can go into Call Screen > Spam, and select Automatically screen. Decline robocalls. Or you can simply choose to Silently decline these calls.

You can also try other methods, such as call-blocking apps, manually blocking numbers, and more.


Editor’s note: These are the best ways to block spam calls right now, but we will add new methods as we find them. Also, we used a Google Pixel 7a running Android 13 to formulate the steps in this article. Some steps might differ depending on your device and its software.

Use the official Phone by Google app

Google’s official Phone app isn’t just one of the best dialers, it has spam protection built right into it. It’s called Caller ID & spam protection, and the service will help you in two main ways. It can use Google’s database and online knowledge to identify businesses and possible spam callers. Additionally, you can ask Phone by Google to block all calls that it deems as spam. These tools need to be enabled to work, though.

How to enable Caller ID & spam protection:

  1. Open the Phone by Google app.
  2. Tap on the three-dot menu button.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Under Assistive, select Caller ID & spam.
  5. Toggle on both See caller and spam ID.
  6. Go into Call Screen.
  7. Tap on Spam.
  8. Select Automatically screen. Decline robocalls. You can also simply choose to Silently decline calls Google categorizes as spam.

Block spam calls with apps and carrier services

Sprint Verizon T Mobile and Verizon carriers stock photo - How to block spam calls
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The best way to block spam calls is with dedicated apps, which rely on databases of millions of numbers. Whenever you get a call from a number listed in the database, the app will warn you with a message displayed on your screen. Alternatively, it can also send the call to voicemail, so you don’t have to deal with it at all.

Several apps like these are available in the Play Store — some are free, while others require a subscription. You can check out a few of the best ones below.

The big three U.S. carriers also offer apps and services to help their users fight unwanted calls. Features differ from carrier to carrier, as do pricing and availability. Most work the same as the apps described above, which means they’ll notify you when you get a spam call or block it so it won’t even reach you. You can check out what each carrier offers via the links below.

Remember that while apps and services offered by carriers are the best way to block spam calls, they aren’t perfect. They won’t completely eliminate these unwanted calls, but will significantly reduce them.

Block spam calls one by one

Google Pixel 5 using phone from the back 2 - How to block spam calls
David Imel / Android Authority

If you’re regularly getting harassed by just a few companies or individuals, the easy way to block unwanted calls is to block their numbers.

How to block numbers on your Android phone:

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Go into Recents.
  3. Long-press on the number you want to block.
  4. Hit Block/report spam.
  5. Check or uncheck the box that reads Report call as spam.
  6. Select Block.

How to unblock numbers on your Android phone:

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Tap on the three-dot menu button.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Go into Blocked numbers.
  5. You’ll see a list of your blocked numbers here. While you’re here, you might want to toggle on the Unknown option, which blocks unidentified numbers automatically.
  6. Tap on the X next to the number to unblock it.
  7. Confirm by tapping on Unblock.

If you need more help on the topic, we have a dedicated post on how to block phone numbers on Android.

Block spam calls by only allowing calls from your contacts

Another way to win against spam calls is to block all numbers except those in your contacts list. Sure, this might be an extreme measure, but it will get the job done. The best way to achieve this is to download a call-blocking app that supports this feature. Not all of them do. Here are some of them.

Apps that allow receiving calls only from contacts:

You can learn more about these apps, as well as other great robocall blocker apps here.

Block spam calls by registering on

National Do Not Call Registry - How to block spam calls

The FTC runs The National Do Not Call Registry, allowing people who want to block unwanted calls to sign up with their phone number. Companies must respect it, which means they are prohibited from calling the numbers the registry contains.

However, this only applies to telemarketing. By signing up, you shouldn’t get any annoying calls from ISPs and other companies trying to sell you stuff, but you can still get political, survey, and other similar calls. Signing up also won’t eliminate scam calls, as shady characters usually don’t care much about the law.

Getting your phone number listed in the registry is fast and free — you can sign up here.


You definitely can, but it can take a lot of work going the old-fashioned way. Spammers are great at spoofing numbers and usually have many lines at their disposal. All they have to do is call from another number, and they usually will. This means you have to use other tools to fight them.

The Phone by Google app does a pretty good job at detecting businesses and possible spam calls. It will let you know any information it holds on incoming calls. It can also help you filter these spam calls. That said, no service is perfect, and sometimes spammers may get through.

Spammers will often grab your number from public registries or leaks. This is why many hackers try so hard to hack company systems. Having a list of customer numbers from certain companies can lead to many potential attacks.

This is not a very common feature yet, but Google has given Pixel users in specific markets the ability to screen calls before answering. This feature will answer calls for you, ask who’s calling, and request a reason for the call. The user can check all this info before picking up. Learn how to use Google Assistant Call Screen here.

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