Getting called from an unknown number? Here’s how to use Silence Unknown Callers on iPhone.

Spam phone calls suck. We all know it and the problem only seems to grow bigger by the year.

Many times, spam calls are easily identifiable BEFORE you pick up the phone, though. That’s because we won’t recognize the number they are calling from and it won’t be in our contacts app. You can of course just choose to ignore this call, but it’s still annoying to hear it ringing in the background. 

Thankfully, every iOS since iOS 13 has a built-in feature that allows you to silence unknown calls. While this doesn’t amount to true call blocking from unknown callers, it does mean unknown callers can’t randomly distract you any time they want.

How To Silence Unknown Callers On iPhone Pin

What Is Silence Unknown Callers On iPhone?

“Silence Unknown Callers” is the feature built into iOS 13 and later that lets you automatically silence any calls that are from unknown callers – those who hide their phone number while calling.

Apple explains the feature like this:

“With iOS 13 and later, you can turn on Silence Unknown Callers to avoid getting calls from people you don’t know. This blocks phone numbers that you’ve never been in contact with and don’t have saved in your contacts list. If you’ve previously texted with someone using their phone number or if a person has shared their phone number with you in an email, a phone call from that number will go through.”


With Silence Unknown Callers enabled, any calls from unknown numbers will not cause your phone to ring and the call is automatically sent to your voicemail, which, let’s face it no one uses anymore.

That means the spam caller will be forced to leave you a voicemail message or hang up. And when Silence Unknown Callers, the number will still be listed in your Recents log in the Phone app, so you can always choose to manually block it later on.

Unknown Calls Aren’t All Bad

While unknown phone numbers could signal a spammer is calling you, there are also plenty of reasons an unknown number could be calling you.

It may be, for example, from a friend with a new phone number, or a doctor’s office, or someone calling you from someone else’s phone with an emergency.

This is why Apple has set up Silence Unknown Callers to send unknown callers to voicemail. If it’s something you need to know, the caller can leave you a voicemail message. Most spam callers won’t do this.

How To Enable ‘Silence Unknown Callers’ On iPhone

Apple makes it incredibly easy to silence unknown callers on iPhone. You’ll need to be running iOS 13 or later for the Silence Unknown Callers feature. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Phone.
  3. Tap Silence Unknown Callers.
  4. Toggle the switch next to Silence Unknown Callers to ON (green).

And now you’ve set up Silence Unknown Callers on iPhone.

But Keep In Mind…

While you only need to set up Silence Unknown Callers on iPhone once, and you can toggle it off again at any time, know that if you make a call to emergency services, Silence Unknown Callers will be automatically turned off for the next 24 hours. That’s because emergency services may need to call you back with more information or updates – and that’s not a call you want to miss.

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