If you want to withhold your mobile phone or block one of your contacts from seeing who is calling, before making a call, what’re your options? Let’s investigate…

When you make a call on a mobile phone, the recipient on the other end will either see your name, if they have you saved as a contact, or your number if they don’t. On landlines, you can block your number. But how do you withhold your mobile phone number? Is it even possible?

It is entirely possible to withhold your mobile phone number . And if you’re in the UK, it’s even easier. Here’s how it is done…

How To Withhold Your Mobile Number Before Making A Call

If you’re in the UK, and you want to withhold your mobile number before making a call, follow these steps. Please note: this method is designed for ONLY temporarily blocking your number. It is not a permanent block.

  • Open Your Phone App
  • Enter 141 Before The Number You Want To Call
  • Example: 1410778235678
  • Press Call
  • Your Phone Number – On This Call – is Now Withheld

As you can see, the 141 code is exactly the same as it is on landlines in the UK. This method is the easiest way to withhold your phone number in the UK, but it only works on singular calls. You have to enter it each time you want to withhold your number.

But what if you want to permanently withhold your number? Can it be done? The good news it is possible to permanently withhold your number on both Android and iPhone. Just follow the steps below to enable this privacy feature.

How To Permanently Withhold Your Number iPhone

  • Open the Settings App
  • Go to Phone
  • Find My Caller ID, and UNTICK it
  • Your iPhone Number is Now Permanently Withheld

How To Permanently Withhold Your Number Android

  • Open The Phone App
  • Tap The Three-Dot Menu Icon > Settings
  • Next, Click on Supplementary Services
  • Click Show My Caller ID and Select The HIDE NUMBER option

Why You Shouldn’t Withhold Your Mobile Phone Number?

It is handy to be able to withhold your mobile number, but I wouldn’t advise you to do it permanently. And the reason is simple: your contacts, meaning your friends and family, will not know it is you when calling. And a lot of people do not pick up the phone when they do no recognize the number because they assume it is a spam caller.

A lot of modern phones will automatically reject anonymous calls too, so if your calls aren’t getting through after permanently withholding your number, this is likely why. For this reason, I would wholeheartedly advise against permanently withholding your mobile number.

Your number, when you call a friend or family member, will simply come up as NUMBER UNKNOWN which looks pretty dodgy. For this reason, it probably isn’t worth permanently enabling the withhold number feature on iPhone or Android, unless you want most of your calls to get declined.

By the way, if you are into making sure your mobile phone isn’t giving too much info about you away, be sure you understand things like the iPhone’s location history settings.

When To Withhold Your Mobile Phone Number

There are plenty of times you will want to withhold your mobile number, however, like when you call a retailer or a store. Often times, retailers and stores will harvest your number and use it for marketing. If you don’t want this to happen, always be sure to withhold your number – or use a service like this that’ll remove your number from marketing/advertiser lists. 

Similarly, when you call any service provider, do the same. This way, your phone number will never be stored and sold on to third-party marketers and advertisers. Another reason to withhold your number? When you call the authorities, say the police, and you don’t want your number on record.

You could be calling to report a person or a crime and not want any trial left leading back to you. This is a great example of when it would be advisable to use the 141 number withhold functionality of your iPhone or Android phone.

Lastly, if you want to prank one of your friends or family, you will need to use the 141 withhold number feature. Implementing this on a prank call will ensure that the recipient has no idea who is calling which is obviously integral to the prank working correctly. If your name came up, it simply wouldn’t work.

It’s also important to note that the iPhone has built-in call blocking features. Click the link to learn how to block someone on iPhone.