There may be times when you want to contact someone but you don’t want them to know your phone number. Maybe you’re using your personal phone to return business calls or you don’t want a salesperson or telemarketer to be able to contact you in the future. Whatever the reason, there a several ways you can hide your phone number and block caller ID.
Here are some of the top methods for keeping your personal number private and keep unwanted callers from reaching you.
How to Hide Your Number on a Call-by-Call Basis
The easiest way to block your number for a single call is by going old-school and dialing *67 before the number you’re calling. Originally intended for landlines, this method has been around for many years but will also work with mobile phones.
To hide your number using this method on your landline or mobile phone, dial *67, and then the number you wish to call. To the person you are calling, your number will show up as Unknown, Blocked, or Private depending on their phone model or carrier.
This method costs nothing to use, but you will have to remember to dial *67 each time you want your number blocked. Additionally, some service providers automatically reject calls from unknown or blocked numbers.
How to Hide Your Number for Multiple Calls
If you want to block your call for more than one call or don’t want to have to remember to dial *67 before each call, you can set your mobile phone to automatically block calls as the default. This works for both iOS and Android devices, although the exact process is similar for each.
From an iOS Phone
- Open Settings
- Scroll down and select Phone
- Select “Show My Caller ID”
- Click the slider to the off position.
If your mobile carrier is Verizon, the bad news is that you likely won’t be allowed to block your number by default on an iPhone. The good news is that you can work around this by accessing your Verizon account online to disable caller ID. It’s an extra step but it’s nothing too major.
From an Android Phone
- Open the Phone app
- Open the Menu
- Select Settings
- Select Call Settings
- Click Additional Settings
- Click Caller ID
- Choose Hide Number
On Android and iOS devices, you can turn your caller ID back on by going through the above steps in reverse. You could also choose to unblock your number on a call-by-call basis by dialing *82 before making a call.
Alternatives to Blocking Your Number
These first two methods of hiding your phone number are easy to use and are effective, but there are drawbacks. For starters, some carriers automatically reject unknown or blocked numbers. Even if they don’t, individuals are less likely to pick up a call from an unknown number. When was the last time you answered one of those calls?
An added downside is that these methods don’t work for texting. Thankfully, there are other options that can hide your real phone number for both calling and texting without having it show up in caller ID as private or restricted.
Hide Your Number With an App
There are several apps available that allow you to call and text using a second phone number that will forward calls and texts through to your phone, or you can choose to keep things separate and use the app with that number. Google Voice is probably the best-known of these services. It’s extremely easy to set up and use, and you can use your vanity number with the service.
When you use an app like Google Voice, you get to keep your personal number private while preventing anyone who you contact from knowing that you’re trying to hide your number. You can also choose a phone number outside your area code to keep your location private.
Get a Second Number
It’s no secret that landline use has dropped significantly since mobile phones became the norm. In 2004, more than 90 percent of households had a landline, but as of 2020, that number had shrunk to just 37 percent, according to Statista. At the same time, the number of households with a cell phone only rose from less than 5 percent to 62.7 percent.
Meanwhile, more and more people have started their own business working from home, leaving them with a dilemma: should they get a second cell phone, add a landline, or use their personal phone for business?
If you want to keep your business and personal contacts separate, a second number may be a great option. You can use your personal number on your phone just as you do now and add a second number using an app like Google Voice for business calls.
A vanity number also delivers the added benefit of providing a memorable way for customers to contact you. A number that contains a repeating pattern or spells out words related to your business, for example, makes it easier for customers to remember your number and pass it on to their friends.