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.)


  • 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.

Create Personalized iPhone Vibration Patterns

Do you use custom ring tones to identify who’s calling? Did you know you can create personalized vibration patterns and assign them to your friends? This allows you to identify who’s calling when your phone is set to stun. (Vibrate, using Apple’s vernacular.) The process is simple:

1. Enable Custom Vibrations from within the iPhone Settings app. Navigate to General > Accessibility, then scroll down till you see the “Custom Vibrations” setting. Turn it on.

Vibrations 1

2. Within the Settings app, navigate to Sounds > Vibration. Scroll to the bottom of the screen where you’ll find the “Create New Vibration” option.

3. Tap “Create New Vibration”.

4. Create a new vibration pattern by tapping on the grey area of the screen. When you’re finished, press the Stop button. Test the pattern by pressing the Play button. If you don’t like it, press the Record button to do it again. Experiment! Go crazy!!

Vibration 3

5. To save the pattern, press the Save button and assign it a meaningful name.

Vibration 4

6. You can make the new pattern the default vibration pattern by tapping on it. The “√”  symbol indicates which vibration is the default. Or…

7. …assign the custom vibration to one or more of your friends or family members. Select someone from your phone Contacts and hit the Edit button. Scroll down till you see the box with ringtone and vibration options. (The vibration option isn’t visible until you hit the Edit button. Tap on the vibration option and scroll to the bottom of the screen. Tap on the new vibration pattern to assign it to this contact. Then tap Done on the upper right corner of the screen.

Vibration 5

Set your iPhone to stun and wait for the phone to ring!