How do I mute unknown calls on my Android Phone?

Unknown and unwanted calls on your Android phone can be a nuisance. According to research from Pew Research Center, most Americans don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. In fact, only 19% of Americans say they generally answer calls from an unknown caller. [1]

There are many valid reasons to avoid answering calls from numbers you don’t recognize. They could be spam calls, robocalls, or scammers trying to get your personal information. By muting unknown calls on your Android phone, you can avoid these hassles and protect yourself from potential fraud. Muting unknowns also helps minimize distractions from pointless calls.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the various methods you can use to mute or block unwanted calls on an Android phone. This will allow you to take control over the calls coming into your device and create a distraction-free environment when needed.


Check Phone Settings

The first step is to check your phone’s built-in settings and call blocking features. On most Android devices, you can find call blocking options under Settings:

Go to Settings > Blocked numbers or Call blocking and see if there are options to block unknown callers or enable call screening. For example, on Samsung Galaxy devices, there is an option under Block Numbers to block “Unknown” calls.1

You may also find additional call blocking settings under Connections or Advanced features. Take some time to explore your phone’s built-in call blocking settings before trying other options.

Use Do Not Disturb

One easy way to mute unknown calls on Android is to enable Do Not Disturb mode and add exceptions for your contacts or starred contacts. When Do Not Disturb is turned on, your phone will silence all calls, notifications, and alerts, except for the contacts you specify.

To enable Do Not Disturb on Android:

  1. Open Settings and go to Sounds & vibration > Do Not Disturb.
  2. Tap the switch to turn on Do Not Disturb.
  3. Under “Exceptions”, choose “Allowed contacts” or “Starred contacts”.

With this setup, any calls or messages from your contacts will still come through when Do Not Disturb is on. All other calls and notifications will be muted. You can customize the exceptions as needed to allow calls from certain favorite contacts or starred contacts. Just be sure to enable Do Not Disturb so unknown calls are blocked.

According to ZDNet, Do Not Disturb exceptions allow you to “reduce interruptions from people who aren’t in your contacts list or starred contacts.” This makes it easy to mute unknown callers while allowing calls from your known contacts to still reach you.

Get a Call Blocking App

One of the easiest ways to block unwanted calls on Android is to download a call blocking app. There are many great options available on the Google Play Store, both free and paid. Some popular call blocking apps to consider include:

Truecaller – Truecaller has a large database of known spam numbers and robocallers that it uses to automatically block calls and identify unknown numbers. The free version includes basic call blocking and caller ID.

Hiya – Hiya can block and identify spam calls using advanced phone call analytics. The app provides real-time notifications for unknown numbers and gives you the option to easily block unwanted calls.

WhosCall – WhosCall lets you block unwanted callers based on crowdsourced caller ID and filters out suspected robocalls. The app is available for free with premium features requiring an upgrade.

These call blocking apps make it easy to stop unwanted calls directly from your Android. Try out a few to see which call blocking and spam protection features work best for you.

Block Numbers Manually

One of the easiest ways to block numbers manually on your Android phone is to do it directly after receiving a call from the number you want to block. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Phone app after receiving a call from the number you want to block.
  2. Tap on the call log entry for that number to expand the details.
  3. Tap on the info icon or overflow menu next to the number.
  4. Select “Block number” from the menu.
  5. Confirm that you want to block the number.

This will immediately block the number so any future calls from it will go directly to voicemail or be rejected altogether depending on your settings. You can easily access a list of blocked numbers in the Phone app settings to unblock if needed.

Manually blocking numbers after calls is a straightforward way to stop unwanted calls from specific numbers on an Android device. Just make sure to act quickly after the call before the log entry is cleared.

Enable Call Screening

Some Android phones, especially Pixel devices, have built-in call screening features you can enable. For example, on Pixel phones you can turn on the Call Screen feature in the Phone app. This will screen incoming calls and ask the caller to state their name and reason for calling. You’ll see a transcript on your phone and can choose to pick up, respond by text, or report the call as spam.

According to an article from Android Police, to enable call screening on Pixel phones open the Phone app, tap the three dots in the upper-right corner, select Settings, go to the Spam and Call Screen option, and turn on “See caller and spam ID”.

Carriers like T-Mobile and Verizon also offer built-in call screening and spam detection services. Check with your carrier to see if they have an option to enable call screening features when receiving calls on your Android device.

Use Third Party Voicemail

One way to manage unknown or unwanted calls on Android is to use a third party visual voicemail app. These apps give you more control and features for screening, organizing and responding to voicemails compared to the basic voicemail service from your carrier.

Some top visual voicemail apps for Android include:

  • Google Voice – Provides a free voicemail service and number. Voicemails can be reviewed online or via the app, and include transcription (
  • YouMail – Filters robocalls, transcribes messages and allows you to screen calls. Has a free ad-supported version (
  • My Visual Voicemail – Visual voicemail replacement for Verizon, AT&T and other carriers. Can archive, search and forward voicemails (

Using one of these apps in place of your carrier’s voicemail can help mute and automatically filter spam calls. The voicemail transcription also saves you time reviewing messages.

Limit Sharing Your Number

One of the best ways to reduce unwanted calls is to avoid oversharing your phone number online or with businesses. Here are some tips:

If a website or business asks for your phone number, consider if it’s absolutely necessary for them to have it. Often you can opt to provide an email instead.

When filling out forms, use fake phone numbers like 555-555-5555 if the field is required but you don’t want to provide your real number.

Adjust privacy settings on social media accounts like Facebook so your phone number is not publicly visible.

Opt out of marketing calls by registering your number on the National Do Not Call Registry at

Be cautious when entering contests or giveaways, as they frequently result in marketing calls even if the entry form does not ask for your number directly.

Consider using services like Google Voice to generate alternate phone numbers that forward to your real number. This keeps your primary number more private.

In summary, evaluate any situation where you are asked for your number and only provide it when absolutely essential. Actively limiting how many businesses have your real phone number can significantly cut down on unwanted calls.

Use Multiple Numbers

Having multiple phone numbers can help you manage unknown calls. You can use a “burner” number that you only give out selectively, keeping your main number more private. Virtual phone numbers allow you to have multiple numbers that all forward to your device.

Benefits of using a second number include:

  • Separating personal and professional calls
  • Avoiding spam calls and robocalls
  • Protecting your privacy when giving out your number online or to businesses
  • Testing new businesses before giving your main number

Services like Numero and OpenPhone allow you to get a virtual second number on your Android device in minutes. This gives you flexibility in managing incoming calls.


There are a variety of effective strategies to mute or block unwanted calls on Android phones. The easiest options are to enable Do Not Disturb mode, install a call blocking app, or block specific numbers manually. For more advanced call management, try enabling native call screening features, using third party voicemail services, or limiting who can contact you directly. Utilizing multiple phone numbers or handles can also help segment unwanted calls.

In summary, leverage native controls in your phone settings and apps designed for blocking robocalls and spam. Do Not Disturb and call screening provide simple ways to mute disturbances without missing important calls. If you find yourself constantly bombarded by unwanted calls, consider changing your number or using a secondary number to give out selectively. With the right tools and selective sharing of your contact information, you can effectively mute unwanted calls on an Android smartphone.

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