How to Block and Unblock a Caller on Your Android Phone

There may be times when someone keeps calling your Android smartphone, but you just want them to leave you alone. Or perhaps you had an argument with someone and blocked their number, but you want them to be able to call you again so you can smooth things out. Fortunately, both of these things are possible on Android smartphones!

​In this lesson, we'll show you how to set your Android phone up to block calls from certain numbers. We can also show you how to take numbers off your block list if you want to stop someone's calls from being blocked.

How do I block or unblock a caller on my Android phone?

There are two ways that you can block or unblock calls from specific phone numbers on an Android phone. The easiest way is to find a number in your Call History and block it instantly, but you can also block a number by entering it into your "Call Blocking" settings.

We'll show you how to use both methods below.

How to block or unblock a caller from your Call History

1. Start up your phone and get the Phone app open.

Power up your phone by pressing and holding the "Power" button. Then find the Phone app – it's usually on your main screen – and tap it to get it running.

Android Phone app

2. Take a look at your Call History, find the number you want to block, and then block the number.

Once your Phone app launches, tap the Call History tab (the clock icon) to see a list of people who have recently called you (or whom you've recently called). Tap the person whom you which to block, and then tap Block/Report Spam.

Block from call history

3. Confirm that you want to block the number, and perhaps report it as spam.

A dialogue box will open asking you if you really want to block the number you chose. If you think the call was from a telemarketer, scammer, or other unsolicited person, you can keep the check box labelled "Report Call as Spam" marked. If not, you can tap the check box to unmark it. Tap Block to confirm that you want to block this number.

Report blocked caller as spam

4. Repeat the process for the same number if you decide you want to unblock it.

If you want to unblock a person or number, simply go back to your Call History, tap on a call from – or to – them again, and then tap Unblock Number. Tap Unblock in the dialogue box that appears to confirm that you want to unblock that person.

Unblock caller from call history

How to block or unblock a caller using your "Call Blocking" settings

1. Turn your phone on and launch the Phone app.

Once you have powered on your phone, find the Phone app and open it by tapping it.

Phone app icon

2. Access your additional calling options.

Inside the Phone app, tap the More Options button (the three vertical dots) in the top-right corner of the screen. This will cause a menu to appear; when it does, tap Settings.

More Options button

3. View your Call Blocking list.

On the next screen, tap Call Blocking.

Call Blocking settings button

4. Choose to add a new number to your Call Blocking list.

You will now see a list of all of the phone numbers you've blocked. To add a new number to the list, tap Add a Number.

Add blocked number to list

5. Type in the number that you wish to block, and then tap "Block."

Using the dial pad that appears at the bottom of the screen, type in the phone number that you wish to block calls and text messages from. When you're done, tap Block.

Phone number blocking confirmation screen

6. Tap the "X" beside a blocked number to unblock it.

You should now see the number you entered appear on your block list. To remove it from the list, simply tap the "X" beside it, and then tap Unblock to confirm your choice.

Unblock button

 

Alright! Now you know two different ways to block or unblock calls from specific people on your Android phone. Manage your block list wisely to fend off calls from people you don't want to hear from and keep getting calls from those you really do want to talk to! And be sure to visit the rest of our course on Android calling and voicemail to learn all the different things you can do to chat it up with people on your Android phone!


How to Make a Conference Call on an Android Phone

We’ve already covered all of the convenient ways that you can call an individual person on an Android phone. But what if you need to talk to several people at once – to co-ordinate a meeting or party, for example? Have no fear! Android phones allow you to juggle several calls at once, or combine them into a single call where everyone can talk to each other! This tutorial will show you the ropes.

How many calls can you merge on an Android phone?

The number of calls you can merge at the same time on an Android phone depends on your phone’s specific model, as well as your telecom carrier and plan. On lower-end models and networks, you can only merge two calls at once. On newer models and networks, you can merge up to five calls at once.

To make a three-way (or more) call on an Android phone:

  1. Call one of the participants, or have them call you.
  2. Tap Add Call and call another participant.
  3. Tap Merge to combine the calls.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to add more participants.
  5. Tap Manage to unmerge or disconnect a participant on the call.
  6. When the call is over, tap the End Call button.

That’s the simple version, but the process in practice may not be quite as straightforward for you. That’s perfectly okay, as there are a couple of in-between steps and side options that you may wonder about. Well, wonder no more, because we’ve got the complete step-by-step directions below!

How to do a 3-way (or more) conference call on an Android phone

1. Start a phone call with one of the participants.

Either place a call to the first person that you want to include in the conference call, or accept a call from them. If you need help remembering how to do either of these things, see our lesson on how to make and receive calls on your Android phone.

2. Tap “Add Call.”

Once your call has connected, tap the Add Call button. Note that this will automatically mute your phone’s microphone.

Add Call button

3. Call another participant.

You will be brought back to the main screen of your Phone app. From here, place a call to the other person (or one of the other people) whom you want to include in the conference call.

Search for contacts to add to call

4. Swap between callers, or merge the calls into a conference call.

You will now be in an active call with the new person (so your microphone will be unmuted), and your previous call will automatically be put on hold. If you want to talk to the other person privately again, tap the Swap button to resume your call with them and put the current caller on hold. If you want to talk to everyone you’ve called at the same time instead, tap the Merge button.

Swap and Merge buttons

5. Add more callers, or manage the current ones.

The caller information at the top of the screen should switch to say “Conference Call.” If you want to (and can, in light of the limitations we listed above) add another person to the call, simply tap the Add Call button again and repeat steps 3 and 4. You can also tap the Manage button to take actions with the individual people in the conversation.

Add or manage callers on conference call

6. Unmerge or drop a caller, if you want.

On the conference call management screen, you can see the names and numbers of all of the current participants in the call. If you want to remove someone from the conference call, but still keep them on the line so that you can talk to them privately, tap the Unmerge button (i.e. the splitting arrows) beside their name. If you want to kick someone out of the conference call, tap the Disconnect button (i.e. the downward-facing phone) beside their name.

Android unmerge feature

You can also tap the Back arrow in the top-left corner of the screen to return to the call.

7. Press the “End Call” button to hang up once the call is over.

To disconnect yourself from the conference call, tap the red End Call button at the bottom of the screen. Note that this will not terminate the whole conference call; the other participants can still talk to each other until they hang up.

End Call button

Tips for making group calls on an Android phone

1. Improve call quality by talking where there’s as little noise as possible.

Find a quiet place where you can clearly hear everyone in the call and aren’t likely to be disturbed. Since there are more than just two people on the call, it will already be harder to determine who is speaking at any given point. Background noise, especially of other people talking, will only add to the confusion.

2. Reduce background noise while others are talking by muting your microphone.

If another person on the call is going to be talking for an extended period of time, consider tapping the Mute key to turn off your phone’s microphone. This lets them talk freely without being interfered with by any background noise that your phone happens to pick up. Just be sure to tap the Mute key again to turn your phone microphone back on if you have something to contribute!

3. Use conference call management options to increase privacy and efficiency.

If you’re the call host, remember that there are options for making a conference call more flexible. For example, you can use the Unmerge function to return to a private call with one of the participants if you need to tell them something that you can’t tell the others.

You can also use this function to isolate a particular caller if you need to talk to the others about something that you can’t talk to that person about. And although we hope it doesn’t happen, you can even drop someone from the call if they’re being unhelpful, abusive, etc.

4. Don’t worry about disconnecting other callers if you have to leave.

If something comes up in the middle of the conference call that you need to attend to, don’t worry about cutting everyone else off if you leave – even if you’re the call host! Conference calls on Android phones are flexible enough that if one person leaves the call, the others can carry on without them. You could even ask them to add you back to the call at a certain time, hang up, do what you need to do, and then jump right back in!

Other apps that let you conference call on an Android phone

Conference calling is a neat feature, but as you can see, it’s a bit tricky to use properly. Plus, you’re still spending your monthly phone minutes when you use it. Fortunately, there are a number of apps that you can get for your Android phone that make the conference calling process easier – and, in many cases, free! Here are some of our recommendations.

Skype

(www.skype.com)

Skype is a communication app popular for its ease of use, even if its capabilities are somewhat limited. If you don’t mind having to stay within the program to do your text messaging, file transferring, voice calls, and video chats, it’s a simple and inexpensive solution for conference calling. It also works well if you and your friends use a lot of Microsoft apps and software, since it’s integrated with many of them.

Google Hangouts

(hangouts.google.com)

If you’re more of a Google fan, then try Google Hangouts. It’s a mostly-free communication solution, including for conference calls, that you can use as long as you have an account for any other Google service. You can also put it virtually anywhere – on your phone, on your computer desktop, in your web browser, or right in Gmail – so it’s often not far away when you need it.

ooVoo

(www.oovoo.com)

This peculiarly-named communication app allows you to hold free video conference calls with up to 12 people at once. It also has some neat built-in features, like the ability to record a voice or video call, or to watch YouTube videos while you chat.

WeChat

(www.wechat.com)

A popular mobile messaging app, WeChat supports multi-user phone calls and video chats as well as standard text chat, link sharing, and file sharing. It also has some advanced social media features, like the ability to follow activities and promotions from famous people or brands, or even the ability to send money to a friend or family member who needs it.

Popcorn Buzz

(line.me/en/family-apps)

Popcorn Buzz is a stand-alone app from the makers of LINE, a popular mobile app that’s similar to WeChat. It’s designed to make group calling as simple as possible, with features that make it easy to invite callers to a group and tell who’s talking on a call at any point. Up to 200 people can be on the same Popcorn Buzz call at once!

 

That’s pretty much everything that we can tell you about how to conference call on an Android phone! It’s handy to be able to talk to multiple people at once on your phone, whether everyone can hear each other at the same time or you’re cycling through people whom you need to talk to in succession. But what if there is someone – or multiple people – whom you don’t want to have a call with? We’ll explain what to do about that in our next tutorial, where you’ll learn how to block and unblock callers on Android.


How to Forward Calls on Your Android Phone

Call forwarding is a handy tool that lets you automatically redirect incoming phone calls to another phone number. This means that if someone can't reach you on one phone, they may be able to get in touch with you on another phone… or at least leave you a voicemail message. So how do you set it up on your Android smartphone? Follow this tutorial, and you'll know before long!

To forward calls made to your Android phone:

1. Turn on your phone and launch the Phone app.

Press the power button on your phone to turn it on. Once it has booted up, tap the Phone app to open it.

Android phone app icon

2. Access additional calling options.

Tap the More Options button (the three vertical dots) in the top-right corner of the screen to make a drop-down menu appear. When it does, tap Settings.

More options button

3. Choose to adjust your call settings.

On the "Settings" menu, tap Calls.

Change the call settings

4. Access your call forwarding options.

Next, tap Call Forwarding.

Call Forwarding button

5. Select when you want to use call forwarding (or not).

You will now be presented with a list of situations in which you can forward calls: Always Forward, When Busy (i.e. when you're on another call), When Unanswered (i.e. when you don't pick up a call in time), or When Unreachable (i.e. when your phone is off or has calling disabled). Tap the scenario for which you want to enable or disable call forwarding.

Choose when to forward calls

6. Turn on call forwarding by entering the number to forward to.

If call forwarding is turned off for your chosen scenario, use the dial pad that appears at the bottom of the screen to type in the phone number that you want to forward calls to in that circumstance. Then tap Turn On.

Enable call forwarding on Android

7. Change the number to forward to, or disable call forwarding.

If call forwarding is already enabled in the situation that you chose, you can change the phone number that you forward calls to in that scenario, or you can disable call forwarding for that instance.

Disable call forwarding or change preferences

To change the number that you forward calls to in your chosen situation, use the keys on the dial pad at the bottom of the screen to erase the old number and type in the new one. Then tap Update. Or, if you want to turn off call forwarding for the current scenario, simply tap Turn Off.

How to forward calls from specific contacts to your Android voicemail

Android phones also have a neat feature where you can set calls from certain people to automatically be forwarded to your voicemail account. If you haven't configured your Android voicemail yet, you can learn how to do so in our lesson here. If you have, though, then here's how to auto-forward calls from your contacts to your voicemail:

1. Start up your phone and open the Phone app.

After turning on your phone, you should be able to find the Phone app on your main screen. Tap it to start it up.

Phone app on Android

2. Go to your Contacts list and find the contact that you want to auto-forward calls from.

Tap the Contacts tab (the two profile picture icons) to see the list of contacts available on your phone. Tap the person for whom you wish to auto-forward calls.

Select contact number for auto-forward

3. Select More Options for the contact, and then choose to route all of their incoming calls to voicemail.

Once you're on the contact's information page, tap the More Options button (the three vertical dots) in the top-right corner of the screen. Then tap Route to Voicemail in the menu that appears.

Forward calls to voicemail

4. Do this again if you want to disable auto-forwarding.

To stop calls from a contact from being forwarded to your voicemail automatically, simply repeat this process, but tap Unroute to Voicemail instead.

Turn auto-forward off

 

That's it! You now know everything you need to in order manage the call forwarding settings on your Android phone! You know how to turn call forwarding on or off for specific situations, as well as how to add or change the phone numbers to which you want to forward calls. You also know how to auto-forward calls from certain contacts to your voicemail account. If you want some more pointers for your Android phone, check out the rest of our Android calling and voicemail course.

Remember, call forwarding comes in handy if you know you're not going to be able to be reached on one phone, but are going to be available on another. Or, you can deflect incoming calls to your answering machine at home or your voicemail service if you're in a situation where you can't take a call. Try it out!


How to Make and Receive Calls on Android

Mobile phones have come a long way since their introduction back in the 1980s. Today's smartphones, like those that run Google's "Android" operating system, not only handle basic phone call functions, but can browse the Internet, keep track of your plans, play music, and so much more! Having said that, it's still good to know how to use your Android smartphone as, well, a phone. This lesson will go over some fundamental calling actions for Android phones.

4 methods for making phone calls on an Android phone

There are several different ways to place a phone call on an Android phone, but they all by-and-large start the same way. Begin by powering up your phone and tapping the Phone app. You should be able to find it on your main screen.

Android phone app

After you've launched the Phone app, you can use any of the methods below to place a call.

1. Use the dial pad to enter a phone number manually.

The simplest way to start a call is to just dial the number that you want to call. To begin, tap the pink Dial Pad icon.

Android phone dial pad

Here, you can tap the digits on the keypad to dial a phone number, just as you would on a regular cell phone or modern landline phone. If you make a mistake, you can tap the "X" button beside the number to erase digits one-by-one, starting with the one you most recently entered. When you're ready to make the call, tap the green Call button.

Make a call with the dial pad

2. Visit your Call History to quickly call someone you've chatted with recently.

You can also make a phone call based on calls you've previously made or received. To do that, start by tapping the Call History tab.

Make call from phone history

This screen will show you the dates when you last sent or received phone calls, along with whom you received them from or sent them to. A green arrow indicates that you initiated the call, a blue arrow indicates that you answered a call from that person, and a red arrow indicates that you missed a call from that person.

To call someone from here, just tap the grey Call icon beside their name.

You can also use your Call History to block phone calls from people you don't want to talk to. We'll show you how in our lesson on how to block or unblock callers on an Android phone.

3. Find someone in your Contacts list, and then choose which number to call them at.

If you have someone registered as a contact in your phone's directory, you can quickly and easily make a call to that specific person. Start by tapping the Contacts tab at the top of the screen.

Select a contact

This will allow you to see all of the people whom you have at least some information about on your phone, sorted in alphabetical order. You can tap inside the search box and use the built-in keyboard to type in a person's name or phone number to filter your contacts based on that information. Note that, sometimes, you will only be able to find contacts who have phone numbers registered in their profiles.

When you find the contact that you wish to call, tap their name. Then, on your contact's information page, simply tap the phone number that you wish to call (as they may sometimes have more than one number registered; for example, they may have a mobile phone number and a business number).

Choose a contact phone number to call

You can even change a contact's settings so that all calls from them go straight to your voicemail! We'll save that for our next tutorial on how to forward calls on an Android phone, though.

4. Put one of your contacts on your Speed Dial list, and then call them with a single tap.

While you're on a contact's information page, you can also mark them as a "Favorite," which adds them to your speed dial list. To do so, tap the Favorites button (the star icon) in the top-right corner of the screen. A contact not on your speed dial list yet is indicated by a hollow star, while someone who's already on your speed dial list will have a solid star.

When you're done, tap the Back arrow in the top-left corner of the screen to go back to your contacts.

Add contact to speed dial

Now, tap the Speed Dial tab at the top of the screen. This will show you all the people who are currently on your speed dial list. To call one of them, just tap their name!

Make a call from speed dial list

How to receive a call on your Android phone

When someone calls your Android phone, your options will differ slightly depending on whether or not your phone's screen lock is on.

If your screen lock is on:

The caller's information will appear at the top of the screen, while a white-and-green Call button will appear at the bottom of the screen. Press and hold this button, and then either move your finger towards the top of the screen to accept the call, or move your finger towards the bottom of the screen to reject the call.

Accept call when screen lock is on

You can also decline a call and, at the same time, send a text message to the caller explaining why you can't take their call at the moment. To do this, press and hold the Messages button (i.e. the speech bubble) in the bottom-left corner of the screen, and then move your finger towards the middle of the screen.

A menu will appear at the bottom of the screen with some common quick responses to a phone call that you can't take. Tap one of them to send that message, or tap Write Your Own to bring up the virtual keyboard and use it to type out and send a custom message (as if you were sending a regular text message).

Reject a call with a message

If your screen lock is off:

You will see the caller's name or number appear at the top of the screen, along with two buttons. Simply tap Answer if you want to accept the call, or tap Decline if you want to reject it.

Accept or reject call when screen lock is not on

What you can do on an Android phone call

Once you've connected with someone on a call, there are a bunch of other options that you can make use of.

Available options during Android call

Mute

Tap this button to turn your device's microphone off. This is useful if you are trying to listen closely to what the other caller is saying, but there is a lot of background noise in your area that is interfering with the call. Tap it again to turn your microphone back on.

Keypad

Tapping this button brings up your phone's dial pad. You may need to use this when dealing with an automated answering system that requires you to enter digits in order to provide information or make choices. Sometimes, your dial pad may automatically appear in these situations. Tap the "X" button in the top-left corner of the dial pad to close it.

Speaker

When you tap this button, the sound output for the call switches from the earpiece to either the speakerphone or a headset you've connected to your phone (via Bluetooth). Tap this button again to switch back to listening to the call through the earpiece.

Add Call

If you want to look for another person to call while your current call is still in progress, tap this button. If you connect with that person, your current call will automatically be put on hold. Depending on your telecom carrier and plan, you will usually be able to do this up to 4 times.

For more information about this feature and the other options that it makes available, see our lesson on how to make a conference call on an Android phone.

Hold

This button, when tapped, temporarily pauses the current call without actually hanging up on the caller. Tap this button again to resume the call.

End Call

Tap the red button at the bottom of the screen to disconnect from the call.

 

Those are some of the basic ways that you can make a phone call on an Android phone, as well as some of the other things you can do once someone picks up on the other end! We have tons of other handy calling and voicemail functions on your Android phone to teach you about, so stick with us!