If you suffer from too many callers getting through on your iPhone and interrupting your day, then you should really give this a try. You can always go back if it doesn’t work out for you, but think of it as worthwhile experiment which is free to setup and could make your life more peaceful.
Silence Unknown Callers was a feature which was embedded in iOS 13 in September 2019. If you would like to try this feature out, you will have to update your iPhone to iOS14 if you have an earlier version.
It’s easy to find the setting and have a look at it in your life:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Find and select Phone from the list of options.
- Scroll down until you find Silence Unknown Callers and slide the switch from default greyed out Off position to the green On position.
Have a read of the text underneath the button which explains what it is.
The text explains the intelligence that goes beyond just blocking all unknown numbers. The default setting for this feature is ‘Off’, so that all your incoming calls will get through to you, including those from your doctor or plumber or child’s school. If you get used to the idea of adding a name for those callers to your Contacts, then using this feature will become a lot easier because they will still get through to you next time they call.
Once you have turned this feature on, all unknown numbers will be sent straight to your voicemail and won’t get through to disturb you. They will appear in your ‘recent missed calls’. To start with you may well end up listening to more voicemails than you have done for a while. If it was a genuinely useful call then you can add the number to your Contacts before you call them back. They will get straight through in the future. You will be amazed just how few of those callers leave a voice message. This might be an indication that they will try again later if it is important – or that there was no real value to you in the call and they will give up and try someone else. We would count that as a win!
Unknown call numbers which match recent calls you have made will be allowed through, as this feature recognises those numbers as being previously used for outbound calls.
The line about “Siri Suggestions” relates to the Apple assistant and lets you know that it will look through the Apple Mail, Text Messages or Contact apps (where you have given permission) to see if it can find a match for who might be making the call. This is a pretty nifty feature if the number is unknown but Siri identifies that it is “maybe XYZ Solicitors” from an email exchange you shared.
There are more advanced steps you can take if this problem is even more annoying. They involve dedicated call blocking apps that you use to route all your calls through. Additionally we have written before about the movement towards the STIR/SHAKEN protocols across the world and their adoption by the major phone carriers (EE, O2, BT). We will update you as this story develops.
So there it is. Give it a try and share with us your experiences on how it went.
Note you can read the Apple article on this feature here: