Make it so that my iPhone does not disturb me with phone calls from unidentified callers

Hey, is there any way make it so that my iPhone does not disturb me with phone calls from unidentified callers? I often get calls from random telemarketers when I’m listening to music and it interrupts my listening experience. I want to make it so that, if the caller is not in my contacts, then my phone will not ring or stop my music (just like how it works when the phone is on “do not disturb” mode, then I can check the missed call or voicemail later if it is something important). Is this possible? How? Thanks.

Unfortantely the only option is to turn on Do Not Disturb and allow contacts to ring through. There’s no way (that I know of) to do that without turning on Do Not Disturb.

…which actually works well, but then I have no actual DND when I need to truly silence my phone. :frowning:

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. It seems like an opportunity for the makers of mobile operating systems. Phone calls have this legacy ultra-high priority that, for many people, just doesn’t apply anymore.

I can’t describe how to do it elegantly, but I would love it if my phone allowed me to reconfigure notifications so that arriving phone calls are treated no differently than arriving emails or texts or anything else. Just one beep or vibration or whatever, throw the name up on my screen for a second, and then go away. I can answer right then or opt to check my phone “in box” later if I want to.

Of course it should be an optional preference, because for many people, that ultra-high priority for calls still applies. But for me and the way I use my devices, there’s no reason for any incoming phone call to interrupt the way they currently do.

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I feel your pain. While I haven’t found an elegant solution to unidentified callers, AT&T offers an app, Call Protect, that blocks “Potential Fraud”, and flags “Suspected Spam.” It helps.

Google Pixel 3 has a fix for this – call screening. They borrowed it from Google Voice. Callers have to identify themselves to the robot, which then sends you an instant transcription of what they said and you decide whether to take the call.

Apple could do this. They already have the transcription technology. Get to work on that, Apple!

As of now, I just don’t take the call if I don’t recognize the number. If that results in a missed call, then I just add that person to my address book and it doesn’t happen again for that person.

I use Nomorobo and have it set to send spam to vomail. Then I read Verizon’s vomail transcription and delete the messages.

Not ideal, but switch the group that is allowed to get through DND - ie most of the time have it set to “all contacts” but when needing the true silence, switch the DND allowed contacts group. I know this isn’t automated, but would still work and allow the control.


My Nomorobo subscription is coming up for renewal. I’m happy to pay it, but I thought I’d ask if anyone has found a better alternative in the last year. Nomorobo appears to be about 80-90% effective for me at blocking spam, and I pay for it instead of using a free alternative because I like how Nomorobo handles my data.

Could you:

  • Favourite all of your contacts, and then allow calls from favorites only?
  • Or, enable emergency bypass for all your contacts?

Either way, anyone not in your contacts would be silenced by DnD.

I get enough legitimate calls from not-yet-known numbers that I couldn’t, unfortunately. I’m resigned to another year of Nomorobo after doing more research; I just wish it was a bit more intelligent or scriptable. (And I really wish my phone carrier would fix the problem before it got to my phone.)

Just finding this thread from searching the forum for ways to block spam calls.
It seems like a crazy work around to always on Do Not Disturb allowing Contacts only. (It seems this would allow someone in your contacts to drunk call you at 2am!?).

I’m honestly surprised this basic phone need is not being met. Would it be so hard for Apple to implement a way to only allow Contacts calls and use do not disturb as it is intended?

Has any one used the Hiya app? Looks like a possible solution.