Imagine the following: you’ve finally scored the date of your dreams, and things are going well, so much so you make plans to hang out again the next night. By 4 pm the next day, your calls go directly to voicemail. No answer.
So how do you know if someone blocked your number or if they’re simply on another call or busy? While you can’t find out definitively (unless the person tells you they’ve blocked you), read on for signs on how to know, whether you’re using an iPhone or an Android device.
How to know if someone blocked your number
In general, if you think you may have been blocked by someone, you might experience things like being sent straight to voicemail any time you call, or notice that your texts don’t indicate that they’ve been delivered. Other signs that you may have been blocked (regardless of carrier or device) include:
A strange number of rings
Typically, a contact’s phone will ring between three and five times before voicemail kicks in. But if you get sent to voicemail after one ring or no rings at all, it could mean they have you blocked.
Busy signal followed by disconnect
There’s no technological reason for cell phones to return a busy signal—if you call when someone’s on the phone, you’ll hear a normal ring, possibly punctuated with an extra beep. But if you get one followed by a quick disconnect, you’ve either been blocked, or one of your carriers is experiencing technical issues. Calls to others, especially on the same carriers, should provide clarity.
Unusual voicemail messages
Even if the person you’re trying to reach hasn’t recorded a custom voicemail greeting, you’ve probably heard the default ones used by the major carriers. If you hear a new one, such as “the person you are calling is not accepting calls right now,” or “the number you are calling is temporarily out of service,” it’s possible that they’ve blocked you.
Both smartphones and cell service providers offer blocking features, so even if someone hasn’t blocked you on their phone, they may be paying a small monthly fee to have certain numbers blocked by their provider.
How to know if someone blocked your number on iPhone
Tests indicate that iPhones offer more hints than Android phones if you’re wondering how to know if someone blocked your number. Here, we’ll walk through some clues for both texts and calls.
If you send a text to someone who’s blocked you using an iPhone, you won’t see the word “delivered” below the text. While that might seem like a concrete clue that you’ve definitely been blocked, it’s not that simple: this can also mean the other person is offline, has their phone turned off, is in airplane mode or is operating in Do Not Disturb mode.
Straight to voicemail. That’s what happens when you call someone who’s blocked you. And if you call a second time, you’ll receive a message that says, “the number you are trying to reach is unavailable.” If you do end up leaving a message, the person who has blocked you will still receive it, but it’ll be sent to a Blocked Messages section of their voicemail inbox with no additional notification. In other words, the person will only see the message if they are looking for it.
How to know if someone blocked your number on Android
Unlike iPhones, Android phones don’t offer many clues when it comes to how to know if someone blocked your number. The results for blocking tests of both calls and text messages are summed up below.
There is no difference in appearance between texts sent when blocked and those sent when unblocked. All texts used the same color and were otherwise treated the same by the Android device. In this case, it’s impossible for the sender to know if they’ve been blocked based on text messages.
When a blocked Android phone makes a call, it goes straight to voicemail without ringing. Instead, a message will pop up, saying “Your call has been forwarded to an automated voice messaging system.” Not exactly concrete evidence, since this same message pops up in both Do Not Disturb mode and if the receiving phone is turned off or in airplane mode.
Similar to iPhones, Android devices allow blocked callers to leave voicemails. But several apps available through the Google Play store allow you to block voicemails as well.
A brief note about Do Not Disturb
Almost all smartphones today have a Do Not Disturb feature which allows users to take a break from calls, texts or other notifications. As a result, many of the indications of being blocked discussed above could also mean the person you’re trying to reach is using the Do Not Disturb feature. If you’re wondering how you know if someone blocked your number, this feature makes it even more difficult to know for sure.
How to get around being blocked
So maybe you’ve been blocked, or maybe you’re just letting negative fantasies get the best of you. Either way, there are a few approaches you can use to get in touch with someone who may have blocked your number. These methods should be used only in cases of emergency, because whether you’ve been blocked or are being ignored, the other person may not wish to communicate with you at this time. But if you have a legitimate reason for trying to reach the person, you can try the following methods:
- Dial 67 before placing a call to make your call anonymous. If the person answers because they don’t think it’s you calling, it’s an indication they may be avoiding your calls.
- Contact them on social media. Phones and texts are hardly the only means of communication anymore. Apps like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Whatsapp all allow you to easily send a quick message. A people search service may point you towards other profiles associated with their phone number.
- Have someone else call. Similar to *67, you could simply have someone else call the person whom you think has blocked you. Just keep in mind that if the person figures out what’s going on, they may feel justified in their decision to block or ignore you.
Again, think about the importance of communicating with this person before you try any of these methods. According to Joseph McClelland Esq., a consumer attorney, it could end badly for you.
“If an individual could show that you were repeatedly calling them, the record of the blocked calls could be used as evidence for a temporary restraining order or a charge of harassment," he said. “You could also find yourself as a defendant in a civil suit for damages for nuisance or harassment.”
Just remember, if you’ve been blocked, try your best not to take it personally. Take a deep breath and be patient. Give the person some space. No matter how tempting it is, don’t harass the person.