Overcoming iPhone Call Blocking

There are very many reasons why you might want to block a caller on your iPhone, and an equally large number of reasons why someone else might want to block you. You may have had a slight disagreement, in which case the block may only be temporary, or one of you might have more serious grounds for breaking off communications. Putting aside the reasons for the block, what do you do if you need to contact someone in an emergency, and they have blocked your phone number on their iPhone? Well, there are a few ways, but please understand, this really is for emergency use only, and not an excuse to make nuisance calls or to harass someone who has reasons for not wanting to talk to you.

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Find a mutual friend

One way to contact someone who has blocked your own phone number is to find someone with a phone that hasn’t been blocked – someone that the third party will probably trust. Explain your reasons for contacting the blocked iPhone (they will have to be good ones), and ask the mutual friend to either call the third party themselves to see if they are prepared to talk to you (this is probably the most sensitive option), or ask the mutual friend if you can use their phone to make the call.

Withhold your Caller ID

When you make a call on your iPhone, your Caller ID will be displayed on the recipient’s phone so that the person receiving the call can decide whether to pick up the call or not. If your number is blocked, the iPhone detects the incoming call and doesn’t allow it to proceed, so the ‘recipient’ doesn’t see the call coming in. To get your call through, you will need to set up your own iPhone to withhold your Caller ID. To do this, go to Settings. Phone and slide the ‘Show My Caller ID’ slider to off. When you make your call, the recipient will receive a call but it will say ‘No Caller ID’ – this is where this method falls down, because most people are rightly wary of calls without a Caller ID, ando the call may end up being rejected anyway.

A second way of having no caller ID displayed is apparently to preface your calls with the country code for the country you are in. In the UK, dialling 141 before the phone number will apparently work, but I haven’t tried this personally so not sure what the result is.

Be warned

Going out of your way to contact someone in a real emergency is a totally different state of affairs from pursuing someone who is trying to avoid you (for whatever reasons). Withholding your Caller ID is not against the law, it is simply a feature of the iPhone (and other phones), but constantly ringing someone who has made it clear that they do not wish you to contact them (i.e. by blocking your calls) could constitute harassment. If the contacted person complains to the authorities, you could end up with a legal action or a restraining order, so please be aware.

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