Caller ID is a terrific convenience, but there are times you may want to keep your identity hidden from the person you’re calling. Perhaps you’d like to double-check a contractor’s quote and need to hide your caller ID to get an honest answer, for example. If you’ve wondered—“How do I block my number?”—the good news is it’s simple to do.
Phone companies make it easy for you to block your cell phone number or landline, although the steps may vary depending on your carrier and phone. In most cases, it’s simply a matter of adding a prefix to the number. You can temporarily or permanently disable your caller ID feature depending on how anonymous you choose to be.
One thing to keep in mind, however: Caller ID blocking doesn’t work with toll-free numbers. When individuals or businesses set up a toll-free line, they pay for incoming calls, which gives them access to your caller ID data. Also, you may be unable to block your number if the person you’re calling uses a service or app that unmasks blocked calls.
How to block your number temporarily
Most telecom carriers let you block your number on a call-by-call basis using the universal *67 prefix:
- Enter the code *67.
- Enter the phone number you want to call.
- Tap the call button if you’re using a cell phone or simply wait for the phone to ring if you’re on a landline.
You can also add the *67 prefix to the phone number for individual contacts if you want to always block caller ID when you call a particular person or business. Open the contact page to edit the phone number field and insert *67 before the area code and phone number.
How to block your number permanently
You can contact your phone carrier and request a caller ID block, but this action is irreversible once the line block is in place. Your number will always be displayed as “private,” “blocked” or “anonymous” on the receiver’s caller ID screen.
No matter your phone carrier or device, you can temporarily turn off the number-blocking feature by entering *82 before the number you are calling. This option is useful if you are trying to reach someone who doesn’t accept calls from blocked numbers.
How to hide your number on an iPhone
Unless you have cellular service with Verizon or Sprint, you can block your number directly from your iPhone screen:
- Tap the “Settings” icon.
- Scroll down to the “Phone” tab to open the menu.
- Select “Show my caller ID.”
- Toggle the button to turn it off by moving the button from green to white.
How to hide your number on an Android phone
You may not be able to block your number using the settings on your Android phone if you use Verizon or Sprint for your cellular service. With other carriers, follow these steps:
- Open the “Settings” menu from the home screen.
- Under “Device” scroll down to select “call settings.”
- Tap “Voice call” and select “additional settings.”
- Select “Caller ID” and toggle “Hide number” from the dropdown menu.
How to hide your number with Verizon
You can manage your caller ID settings by opening the “My Verizon” app located in the upper left corner of your smartphone screen:
- Tap “Devices” and select the phone you want to block
- Tap “Manage” and select “Controls”
- Tap “Adjust service blocks” and toggle the “Caller ID blocking” switch to green
How to hide your number with Sprint
You can block your number on any device using the “My Sprint” app or account webpage:
- Access your “My Sprint” account and select the device you want to block.
- Select “Change my services.”
- Scroll to “Set up my phone” and select “Block caller ID.”
Although you can permanently block your phone number by contacting your carrier directly, you may prefer the flexibility of blocking caller ID from your phone settings menu or using *67 before placing a call. Permanent or temporary number-blocking isn’t a foolproof solution to hide your identity, however. The person you are calling may use an unmasking app or service to show your phone number or use People Search to try and obtain the contact information you’re seeking. Remember, too, your number will always be displayed—regardless of the number-blocking method you use—when you dial a toll-free number.