How to Silence Phone Calls from Unknown Numbers on iPhone

How to Silence Phone Calls from Unknown Numbers on iPhone
Image by Vinzent Weinbeer from Pixabay

A few months ago, I discovered an invaluable feature of the iPhone. If you turn the setting on, phone calls from numbers not in your contacts will be silenced. I don’t know how random people get my number or yours, but they do.

How to turn it on:

  1. Open settings
  2. Click on Phone
  3. Scroll to the bottom
  4. Click on Silence Unknown Callers
  5. Turn on

On the settings page it reads:

Calls from unknown numbers will be silenced, sent to voicemail, and displayed on the Recents list. Incoming calls will continue to ring from people in your contacts, recent outgoing calls, and Siri Suggestions.


In September, 41 calls to my phone were silenced thanks to this feature. Calls came in from various states, including Mississippi, North Carolina, Missouri, Maryland, Illinois, Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Kentucky, New York, Alabama, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

I have no idea why I received phone calls from people in these states, but it doesn’t matter. I’ll never hear my phone ring when they call, and that’s Amazing.

Two scenarios to be aware of

If someone you know calls you but from a number different than the one you have saved, the call will be silenced. Maybe a loved one lost their phone and called you from a stranger's phone. Each call will be silenced no matter how many times they call. But this person can send a text message or be annoying and leave a voicemail.

If you call a business that needs to call you back, their return call may be silenced. I’m not sure how apple defines recent outgoing calls, but an easy solution is to add the number to your contacts. This year I’ve added a car mechanic and urgent care medical center to my contacts. Since some businesses have multiple phone numbers, I verify which number they’ll be calling from. Another solution is to toggle the setting off when you may be expecting a call from them.

Never being interrupted by phone calls from people I don’t know is wondrous. Give it a try and let me know what you think!