Blocking Calls on an iPhone

I took the plunge today and had my AT&T landline disconnected. My daughter and I stopped answering the house phone years ago because anybody we wanted to talk with called us on our cell phones. The only reason we used the home phone was to find a “missing” cell phone lost in the wasteland we call home.

 

Over the past few months, I’ve begun getting solicitation calls on my iPhone. Not sure how they got the number, but they did. The good news is there’s an easy way to block them. Built into iOS 7 is a Block Callers feature. (If you haven’t upgraded to iOS 7, there’s a workaround. More about that below.)

 

Not only do their phone calls not go through, you can block their Face time calls, text messages, iMessages and emails as long as you have their email, phone number and Apple ID in their Contacts entry.

 

So, What happens to their call?

When someone you’ve blocked tries to call, they get redirected to a voicemail box that doesn’t exist. Text messages and emails get dropped into the abyss. There’s no indication on their side that you’ve blocked them!

 

Make it so!

The process of blocking a caller is simple…

 

  • Open the phone app on your iPhone and go the “Recents” list.
  • Find the caller you want to block.
    (Note: If they’re not in the Recent list but you have them in your Contacts, select Contacts
    at the bottom of the phone app and find their entry. You won’t find the “Block this Caller” option if you go to their entry via the Contacts application. Then skip to step 4.)
    Contacts

 

  • Select the info button on the far right of their name.
  • Scroll down to the bottom and select “Block this Caller”
    Block this caller 
  • From the pop-up window, select “Block Contact”.Block Contact

 

And that’s it! No muss. No fuss. No smelly odors!! Oh, and if you have a change of heart, you can unblock them later.

 

 

 

But What if i’m not on iOS 7?

So, what if you haven’t or can’t upgrade to iOS 7? Well, there’s a solution for you too. We’ll create a “Blocked Calls” entry in your Contacts to handle this.

 

  • Open the Contacts application and press the “+” button to create a new entry.
  • Name the entry something meaningful like “Blocked Caller List”.
  • Add all the phone numbers you want to ignore into this entry.
  • Set the ringtone to silent. To do this, you’ll need to buy or create a “silent” ringtone. (See Making a Silent Ringtone below. Its easy to make.)
  • Change the default vibration setting to “None”.
  • Change the text tone and vibration settings to “None”. 

Change these

 

 

 

Making a Silent Ring tone…

You can make a silent ring tone in a matter of seconds using QuickTime Player. Here’s how…

 

  • Launch QuickTime Player.
  • Select “New Audio Recording” from the File menu.
  • Within the “Audio Recording” window, double click on the red record button. This will create an audio recording of 0 seconds in length.
  • Save the file to your desktop. Give it a meaningful name, like “silent”.
  • Find the file on our desktop and rename it to “silent.m4r”. A dialogue box will appear asking if you really want to save the file with the new extension. Yes, you do!
  • Double click on “silent.m4r”. This will import it into iTunes.
  • Connect your iPhone to your computer and select it in iTunes.
  • From the menu, select the Tones menu.
    Select Tone menu 
  • From the Tones menu, check “Sync Tones” if isn’t selected already.
    Select Sync Tones 
  • Then, check “silent” in the list of ringtones and click on the “Apply” button on the bottom right side of iTunes. You now have a new ringtone available which you can assign to your blocked caller entry.

Forward Text Messages…

Have you ever wanted to forward a text message you’ve received from someone else? There’s a built-in option on the Messages app to let you forward a text message.

On the iPhone/iPod touch:

1. Go to the text message thread that contains the message you want to forward.

2. Press the Edit button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

3. Select the message(s) you want to forward by tapping the circle on the left hand side of the message.

Forward text message 1

 

4. Press the Forward button on the lower right hand corner of the screen.

Forward text message 3

5. Enter the recipient(s) for the new text and press Send.

 

On the iPad:

1. Go to the text message thread that contains the message you want to forward.

2. Press the box with the arrow in the upper right hand corner of the iPad screen.

3. Select the message(s) you want to forward by tapping the circle on the left hand side of the message.

Forward text message 2

4. Press the Forward button on the lower right hand corner of the screen.

5. Enter the recipient(s) for the new text and press Send.

 

You can also copy the contents of a text message by pressing and holding until the Copy button appears…

Forward text message 4

…but this only works if you want to forward a single item and not multiple components of a text thread.

 

Personalized Text Message Alert Tones…

In my last post, I showed you how to create a custom vibration pattern and assign it to someone in your Contact list so you can identify who’s calling when your iPhone is set on vibrate. You can also personalize the Text Message Alert Tone on a person by person basis.

 

1. Choose someone from your iPhone’s Contact list.

2. Press the Edit button. Scroll down till you see the “text tone” option. The “text tone” option won’t be visible before you press the Edit button unless you’ve previously assigned a tone to this user.

Text Alert 1

3. Press the text tone option. This will open up to a screen with the list of Alert Tones and Ring Tones. Tri-tone is selected by default. Scroll through the list and pick the tone you wish to assign to this person.

4. Press the Save button in the upper right corner of the screen. Then press the Done button.

Text Alert 2


The next time this person sends you a text message, you’ll hear the newly selected tone instead of the default tone. If this person is particularly annoying, you can set their Alert Tone to “none”. I’m just saying…