How to Block a Number on Google Voice

Last updated: September 1, 2017 - 12:05pm EDT

Google Voice is, at heart, a telecom system. So, by using it, you are unfortunately still subject to being targeted by phone calls, text messages, and voicemails meant to spam, scam, or harass you. The good news is that there are some simple steps that you can take to cut down on the number of junk communications you receive on Google Voice.

This lesson will give you a crash course on them by showing you:

  • What actually happens when you block a number on Google Voice
  • How to turn Google Voice's built-in automated spam filter on or off
  • How to block communications from specific numbers on Google Voice

What happens when I block a number on Google Voice?

  • If you use Google Hangouts, the number will be blocked there, as well.
  • Existing call records, voicemails, and text messages from that number will be marked as "blocked" (i.e. "Blocked symbol").
  • When the number calls you, Google Voice will say that your number is not in service.
  • You will not receive text messages from that number.

To block numbers automatically by turning on Google Voice's built-in spam filter:

1. Log into your Google Voice account.

Navigate to www.google.com/voice in your web browser of choice, and then log into your account.

2. Open Google Voice's main menu.

Click the Main Menu icon (the three bars) in the top-left corner of the main page.

Google Voice main menu

3. Access your Google Voice settings.

Next, scroll down and click the Settings button.

Google Voice Settings menu

4. Select your "Security" settings, and then toggle the spam filter on or off.

In the "Settings" menu, scroll down and click Security. Then, beside "Filter Spam", click the toggle switch to turn it to the "on" position (as shown below).

Spam filter feature

5. If a legitimate number gets caught in the filter by accident, go to your "Spam" folder and remove it.

Calls, texts, and voicemails from numbers registered as spam in Google Voice's database will be sent to your "Spam" folder. If communications from a particular number end up there by mistake, however, there is a way around that. First, click the Main Menu button again, and then click Spam.

Google Voice spam folder

Once in your "Spam" folder, click the More button (the three dots) below a communication from a number that you want to unblock, and then click Remove from Spam (or People & Options first and then Remove from Spam).

To block a specific number in Google Voice:

1. Sign into your Google Voice account.

Use your web browser of choice to go to www.google.com/voice and log into your account there.

2. Open the folder for the communication type that contains the number you want to block.

Click the Messages, Calls, or Voicemail icon (the speech bubble, phone, or reel-to-reel tape, respectively) in the leftmost pane to display communications of that type you've received.

Messages, Calls, and Voicemail icons

3. Open the communication from the number you want to block, and then ask for more options.

Next, click on the communication from the number that you wish to block. Once it's open, click the More button (the three dots) in the top-right section of the details screen.

More options button
(Image source: Amir Ali Tayyab)

4. Choose to block the number.

When the "More Options" menu opens, click Block Number. Click Block in the box that pops up to confirm that you want to block this number.

Block Google Voice number
(Image source: Amir Ali Tayyab)

5. Repeat the process if you need to unblock the number.

If you want to remove the block on a number, simply repeat steps 1 through 3, and then click Unblock Number.

Unblock Google Voice number
(Image source: Amir Ali Tayyab)

 

There you have it! You now know the two primary ways of blocking unsolicited calls, text messages, and voicemails on Google Voice. Try using the built-in spam filter first, and then manually block any spam numbers that make it through. With two layers of protection, your communication folders should be spam-free in little time at all!

For help recognizing and blocking spam manually, see our lesson on phishing scam safety.

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