Many people don’t realize that it’s quite easy to control whether your cell phone number displays on caller ID when making outgoing calls. There are numerous reasons that you might choose to keep your number private, not the least of which is dealing with unknown people on craigslist or eBay.
You can even choose whether to make your number appear as a private number every time you make a call or hide it on a case-by-case basis.
An important thing to note is that while blocking your caller ID information serves the purpose of protecting your privacy, it might prevent you from being able to contact certain people. Some people have apps that automatically reject blocked IDs.
Here are the simple steps to follow for whichever option best fits your needs.
- Method 1: Ask Your Carrier to Always Hide Your Number on Caller ID
- Method 2: Hide your Caller ID Info Using your Phone’s Call Settings
- Windows Phone
- Method 3: Hide Your Caller ID info on a Case-by-Case Basis using a Blocking Prefix
- Method 4: Unblocking Your Caller ID Info on a Case-by-Case Basis
- Additional Tips
Method 1: Ask Your Carrier to Always Hide Your Number on Caller ID
Oftentimes, the carrier with which you have your cell service will determine whether you can have your number appear as a private number on caller ID. Contact your carrier to find out if this feature is available in your region or country.
Ask your carrier for a per line block activation on your number, which permanently blocks your caller ID information. Usually, it is a feature you have to pay for. Caller ID blocking features are mostly for postpaid users (Those who are billed for their minutes at the end of the month or are in a contract with the carrier network).
Method 2: Hide your Caller ID Info Using your Phone’s Call Settings
Almost every cell phone in the market allows blocking your caller ID information by tweaking the call settings.
However, if your carrier does not provide this feature or requires you to pay for it, you may not be able to adjust the settings without calling your carrier and activating the feature.
If the feature is available, it is a pretty simple procedure to change the settings.
Step 1. Go to Settings
On your iPhone, open the Settings application.
Step 2. Go to the Phone option
Select “Phone” option in the Settings menu.
Step 3. Tap on Show My Caller ID
Next, tap on the “Show My Caller ID” option and toggle the switch to "Off”.
The process for adjusting caller ID settings on android phones can vary depending on the version and the interface.
Step 1. Open the Phone app
Commonly, caller ID settings can be found in the Phone application.
Step 2. Go to the settings
Inside the application, tap on “More” and select “Settings” or, like in a few earlier mobiles, open the Settings by tapping on the menu button to the left of the home button.
Step 3. Hide caller id
Under Call Settings, tap on “More Settings” and select the “Show My Caller ID” option. Inside that option, tap on "Hide number" to block your caller ID information.
Sometimes, Call Settings can be found in the Additional Settings area of the Settings app.
Swipe your home screen to the left to get to the Applications menu.
Step 2. Open Settings in Phone app
Select the “Phone” application, then tap on the “...” icon in the lower right of the screen to display more option. Then, select “Settings”.
Step 3. Hide caller id (if your carrier allows it)
Once you’re on the phone settings screen, look for the "Show my caller ID to" option and choose whether you want your caller ID information to be displayed to “no one" or "my contacts".
If your carrier network does not support this feature, the option won’t show in your mobile (like in the above picture). You can find the support page of your carrier to look for an alternative route, which usually is contacting their technical support.
Method 3: Hide Your Caller ID info on a Case-by-Case Basis using a Blocking Prefix
You can use this method manually when making a single call. If you want to hide your number every time you call certain people or places, you can save the blocking code as part of those phone numbers in your contact list.
Step 1. Enter the blocking prefix before dialing the number
To block your caller ID information when making a single call, you can simply enter a code immediately before you dial the number.
Blocking prefix codes vary from country to country or region. For example, if the code for your region is #31#, you would dial #31#followed by the number you are calling.
Here is a comprehensive list of the blocking prefix codes, according to area.
Step 2. Save the number with the blocking prefix code
Sometimes, you need to call people or places frequently with whom you do not want to share your number. In such cases, simply save their number in your cell phone contacts including the blocking prefix code before their number.
Then, you won’t have to enter the code each time you place the call.
Method 4: Unblocking Your Caller ID Info on a Case-by-Case Basis
While blocking your caller ID information serves the purpose of protecting your privacy, it might prevent you from being able to contact certain people if they have an app that automatically rejects blocked IDs. Fortunately, you can remove the block so that your call will go through.
If you have enabled a universal block on your caller ID information, you can use an unblocking prefix code when placing individual calls to those whom you wish to see your number on their caller ID or those who block calls from private or unknown numbers.
Step 1. Enter the unblock code
Simply enter the unblock code before you dial the phone number you are calling.
Below is a list of unblocking codes for different regions.
Step 2. Dial the number
Now dial the desired phone number.
- In a few cases, the caller ID block may not work, such as in the case of 800 or 900 toll-free numbers or the emergency services number like 911. These numbers are exempted from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s blocking regulations.
- Telemarketers are required to provide their number and cannot block their caller ID information.
Another important aspect of hiding your number is the intention. The U.S. Truth in Caller ID Act was passed to serve as a safety net, which prohibits the use of blocking or spoofing caller ID to a person with an "intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value". It simply says, as long as you're not swindling or inflicting harm, it is legal to block your personal caller ID information.