Tech

How to Tell if Someone's Blocked Your Number

Woman looking anxious looking at iPhone
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Editor's Note: This hack is for iPhone users only. Our apologies, Androiders; you're too lovely to get blocked anyway.

Apple's made it easy as pie to block individual phone numbers, which is much appreciated by those of us hounded by persistent robo-callers and overeager Tinder matches. But have you yourself reached such a level of nuisance that you've earned a place on someone's blocked caller list? In this age of rampant ghosting and straight-up textual awfulness, if you suspect you might be blocked, the answer is probably yes. Here's how to investigate whether your call is going straight to nowhere and -- bonus! -- how to get around the block.

One ring and straight to voicemail means you might be blocked

Even if you've been blocked, you'll still be able to ring through and leave a message -- the intended recipient simply won't be notified. When you call, there is a telltale sign to listen out for. If you only hear one ring before the voicemail picks up, there are three possible reasons: their phone is off, they've set their phone to auto-divert to voicemail (i.e., they've enabled Do Not Disturb mode), or you've been blocked. To rule out the former two, attempt to call a few more times; if the one-ring-to-voicemail continues and they don't call you back, odds are you're blocked. 

Check your sent-iMessage status

Another way to test whether you've been blacklisted is to find out whether they're getting your iMessages. If last you knew the recipient had their read receipts enabled and it's now only displaying "Delivered" after you send, you should be suspicious. Similarly, if they aren't the read-receipt type, but there's neither confirmation it's been received (a "Delivered" message beneath your blue bubble) nor an error message suggesting you re-send as a text, something may be up. 

iOS 9 screenshot on iPhone
Screenshot via iOS 9

Here's how to get around it: block your caller ID

To bypass any blocks placed on your number, simply block your caller ID -- but enabling this option depends on your carrier. If you have AT&T, go to Settings > Phone > Show My Caller ID and disable it. Verizon customers will need to dial *67 before entering the 10-digit phone number (others should be able to find instructions on their specific carriers' sites). Your call will go through as "No Caller ID." If the person actually picks up and sounds, uh, surprised to hear from you, you'll know for sure you've been blocked... and, now that you've thoroughly creeped this person out, you'll probably stay that way. Forever. (Needless to say, unless it’s an emergency and you urgently need to be touch with said person, you probably shouldn't do this.)

For the blockers, you can listen to voicemails left by people you've blocked

For those of you on the flip side of this coin, there's an easy way to find out if someone you've blocked has left you any voicemails. While you'll never get a notification of any kind when they call you, your phone does keep a record of the voicemails they've left. To access it, scroll to the bottom of the Voicemail tab -- if any exist they'll be in the "Blocked Messages" folder under the one labeled "Deleted Messages." 

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist who misses the good ol' days when you had to verbally harass telemarketers to get them to stop calling.