How to block calls on Windows phones

There will be a time in life when you need to block someone, be it a telemarketer or someone who may be harassing you. Luckily, we've got a guide for owners of handsets running Windows Phone 8 and Windows 10 Mobile, which will allow for the blocking of numbers to prevent further frustration.

Windows 10 Mobile

Blocking numbers in Windows 10 Mobile is super easy. Here's how you do it:

  1. Head into the Phone app.
  2. Press and hold on a recent call entry.
  3. Select Block contact/number.

Block Numbers

That's it! You can view currently blocked numbers and contacts by choosing "blocked calls" in the Phone app menu. This area will also show you recently blocked numbers and messages and even allow you to manually add numbers using a keypad.

Windows Phone 8

Unfortunately, Windows Phone 8 doesn't have a built-in blocking feature to prevent numbers from sending messages to your smartphone, nor can the OS halt calls in their tracks. But Microsoft did make tools for manufacturers to enable this feature, should they want to make it for their customers.

This is where Nokia came in with its "call + SMS filter", which launched on Windows Phone 8 for Lumia devices. (Samsung has call blocking in its ATIV line of Windows Phones too.)

We'll quickly walk you through how to set everything up, just in case you've yet to fire up the filter settings area for the first time. The filter is not enabled by default, so you'll need to turn it on. Luckily, everything can be found under Settings.

call + SMS filter (for Nokia Lumia phones only)

Here's how to get started:

  1. Swipe right to the app list.
  2. Scroll down and select "Settings".
  3. Scroll down and select "call+SMS filter".

If you have yet to access the feature, you'll have to accept the terms of use and privacy policy, which will be displayed with an option to accept or cancel. If you wish to use the filtering system, hit accept.

Call SMS Block

Adding contacts to the block list

Next, follow this process:

  1. Head into phone history (Phone) or messaging (Messaging).
  2. Long press on a contact or message.
  3. On the pop-up dialog, select "block number...".

Call SMS Filter

Now go back to the filter settings area. Selecting "advanced" will open up some handy options to configure the blocking of withheld numbers automatically, enable or disable the Live tile, and toggle toast notifications. Pinning the Live tile to your Start screen is a convenient way to monitor what's being blocked, as well as provide quick access to the settings area

Advanced settings for call or message filtering

Follow this process:

  1. Head to Settings.
  2. Select System.
  3. Select call+SMS filter.
  4. Select "advanced".
    • Enable/disable "Block withheld numbers".
    • Enable/disable "App Live Tile".
    • Enable/disable "Notification".

And you're done!

Updated August 25, 2017: We added Windows 10 Mobile to this guide to cover the latest OS from Microsoft.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Love this feature! Too bad we can't block Private or Unknown callers!
  • These are what you would call withheld numbers
  • Does it block the call entirely or send it straight to voicemail? It would be nice to have the option.
  • NO not withheld or not private...How do you block text messages from a number who has never sent you a text before and who's number you did not previously know?
  • I just bought a nokia lumina 520 from walmart for $48 that has that feature.
  • As ahmedjan87 says, you have to go into the Call + SMS Filter settings app, click "Advanced Settings" and the enable "Block withheld numbers".
  • You can block Private numbers. There's a toggle in the advanced options to auto block calls from withheld numbers.
  • I'd like to block Rodney's mom. The 3am booty calls are getting ridiculous.
  • Lol❕❕❕.... You burned me... But, you'll pay.. You'll pay big❕
  • Lol
  • Never a dull moment with you two! Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • We just can't wait till next Wednesday.....
  • Everytime is see a message posted from Android, it makes me cringe.
  • The in ablility to 'manually' add a number in this app is really frustrating. Actually, the LACK of decent Call/SMS blocker apps in Windows Phone is even more frustrating!
  • True... You mean like how you could in WinMo?❔❔...... See what I did there....
  • No. Like I could with My Nokia N9 using the most effective Call/SMS Blocker App, that is Firewall+Pro.
  • What do you mean no?
  • I remember all the various call block apps available on windows mobile. I had them on my device and it was fantastic. The fact I can enable it to only allow my saved contacts to call.and text me was great and sorely missed. There were many things that WinMo had that WinPhone didn't. I almost jumped ship to Android but I hate Google more. I do miss at times the flexibility and customization that WinMo had in a familiar environment, akin to the desktop. I still stick to Windows for the unmatched compatibility to the desktop Windows 8.
  • So true... MS should go back and dissect WinMo.. Lol!❕... It was the best POS OS around... Lol!❕
  • U can actually do it... By calling the number and end the call before it rings... Then go to call history and block the number... Same with contacts in people hub...
  • Actually, you *can* manually add numbers. Just dial the number once, then hang up before it begins ringing so it is on your call list. Then you just press and hold the number to bring up the menu where you can select Block Number. Works for me.
  • Hey guys totally out of topic but does any one know an app which lets me see what app uses how much ram ? Thank you
  • No that's impossible
  • Ram Sense?
  • I guess nobody thought my joke was funny.... :'(
  • Dude search in google to know ram of your device :D
  • That's not what he's asking... He wants to see a break down of each specific apps usage... Android has a cool feature like this.. Just like on a PC Android lets you view system performance, and resource usage in real time..
    A lot more people would take WP more seriously if MS would add some cool PC like features to the OS... Maybe that's MS next thing to work on... Things that make the OS itself fun.. This is somthing Android is really good at...
  • Can't remember the last time I looked at the resource usage on my PC and thought, what fun...
  • That's you.. I bet your GF, or wife, wouldn't consider the WPC app fun either..... People are different, and a lot of people think this feature is cool in Android.. Are they dumb?
  • Why would you need that though? OS itself handles it just fine. This is a solution to a non existent problem.
  • See, people like you just don't understand... Maybe you wouldn't like to see your OS working away, but some dudes just think stuff like that is cool to monitor... The overlay on my HTC one X can be shown on top of any screen.. Developers love this stuff, and some more tech minded WP fans, like myself, would like to use it to..
    You can question why certain people want, and like, certain features all day long, but the fact is that WP needs to adapt to more than just one kind of user... That's what the platform is SUPPOSED to be all about, not just some cookie cutter iOS way of doing things... This would be a awesome feature, and MS better start thinking this way to pull in more customers...
    Cortana is a start, and the avatars in the XBH are exactly what I'm talking about... But, WP needs more, much more of this type of thing........ IMO❕
  • Yeah man..hey rodney are u on Xbox live?add me plzz...Ritabancr7mitra
  • I don't play much games, but I'll see if I can add you.. Thanks!❕❕
  • If I'm not mistaken, didn't Windows Mobile 6.x phones have something similar to this that allowed you to see what's running? I remember something like that on all my old WinMo phones......
  • Lol❕... We were just talking above⬆ about how we sometimes, kinda, in a way lol,, miss WinMo.. It had "stuff".. Useful stuff... I should go to User Voice and make a request for MS to CAREFULLY make WP more like WinMo!! ... It's kind funny.. Lol❕
  • Now your making me want to find my old Samsung Jack or find an HTC HD2 that hasn't been polluted with lagdroid. The most technical WinMo phone I had was the LG Incite which was a pile of crap with it's unresponsive screen & keyboard that took up 3/4 of the screen in landscape mode.
  • Wow, yours had landscape mode?
  • Yes, had that on my HTC touch diamond II. It was indeed very useful to find out why the h... that POS didn't respond when pressing some imaginary buttons on the screen....
    Luckily I couldn't care less for it now, as my beautiful yellow Lumia 1020 just works and responds even before I touch the screen :P
  • Well you could do a work around. Most system information apps show ram usage. -open that system info app and take down available ram
    -now open the app you want to know, then open that system information app again
    -subtract the difference
  • That could work.. Not sure how accurate that would be.... See, this is why MS needs to open up the OS to developers more... I think with WP8.1-0xxxx developers will be able to do much more... If so this definitely will boost the amount of useful apps in the store.
  • The wait for BUILD is excruciatingly long and filled with how-to posts :|
  • +520
  • Just 9 more days... You can do it❕
  • Why does it always have to be Nokia exclusive. Give some love to Ativ and 8x/s/t users for once.
  • Ativ S can also do this
  • Because Nokia wrote the app for their phones. The article also says that Samsung has provided similar functionality for the ATIV series of phones as well. HTC would need to do the same for the 8X.
  • Doesn't the Ativ got this feature BEFORE Nokia came out with this app?
  • Yeah, that's true
  • It's Nokia's apps❕... You should go complain to Samsung, and HTC..... Or, a better option would be to get a Lumia device and be done with it.
  • Nokia does work on their WP8 phones unlike those other OEMs.
  • Nokia Phone Central ;)
  • Pretty much..... That's who supports the platform... Those who step forward get attention.. Now, I hope that changes, but until others start to take WP seriously then Nokia central is ok with me....
  • Mine says "Something went wrong.. Can't open the filter at the moment. Please try again later or restart your phone" what to do now? Any suggestions.
  • Reinstall
  • How do i reinstall??
  • Ever heard of centido comun? There you go....
  • You know you could've just said common sense :)
  • How do i reinstall... -_-
  • I'd try again later, or restart my phone if it still doesn't work later...
  • Lol
  • I've been using this for a week or so. Unfortunately I've found that it blocks the calls, but still lets a voice mail be left. I've picked up my phone to see I have a voice mail, but no missed calls. Seems it silences the call and that's about it.
  • I was wondering about that... I think I've seen it behave this way before..
  • That's expected behavior. You aren't stopping the calls at the carrier. Only at the phone. The only way to prevent the voicemail is to answer a call if the carrier is not providing the blocking functionality.
  • True, and this is especially the case with visual voicemail.
  • Being using since it came out and all those telemarketing are block or sometimes random calls which is a scam and some people that talk sp much crack I block
  • I did this once on my 920 because of some spam text I received. I showed my best friend how to use it too, since she had some telemarketer calling her on her 521.
  • You don't have to wait for them to call you, you can just ring them and hang up straight away, then they'll be in your call history
  • If you know the number you want to block, call it and hang up immediately. You can then block it. Doesn't matter if it is incoming or outgoing..
  • HTC where are you with this feature? Will 8.1 have this built in?
  • ^This guy knows what I'm talking about. We are the step children of WP8.
  • I have it now ^^
  • Just like I did today... People at work calling my personal phone... Blocked.
  • Hahahaha! Yeah, fuckem....
  • I've got a massive list of numbers blocked on mine. Most of them are EE & T-Mobile UK trying to upgrade me, even though I'm within contract with them. They even called me the day after I renewed to EE to offer me an upgrade. The others are PPI and injury claim companies.
  • The problem is you can't block em all... Lol (I've tried). It is incredibly annoying when they call persistently, i had a company call me no less than 5 times during a presentation to upgrade my contract the day after I asked for my pac code from o2. I had to excuse myself and go out of the room as i thought it friend or family member trying to get hold of me urgently lol. Literally tore the call center's cr's line managers ear off after the meeting and have had no marketing calls since.
  • This is the BEST feature in my phone! I feel powerful when I block numbers!
  • You can call a number, hang up immediately, and that number will appear on your call history list to be blocked
  • Not very practical :P.
  • Sarcasm? If you hang up immediately, before it even rings, the number called doesn't receive notice of the call. It isn't elegant or intuitive, but it does function and effectively serves the purpose, so in that sense it is "practical"
  • Sorta similar is there a way to stop a call from ringing, continue to use my phone, but not ignore the call so it doesn't go straight to vm?
  • Use the silent ringtone for them (if I understand your question).
  • No. A call takes up the screen. I don't mind getting a voicemail, sometimes I just don't want to talk to someone and don't want them to know I ignored them.
  • What do you mean? Either way its gonna go to voice mail.
  • Wp Central is seriously running out of stuff to post lol.
    April 2nd Come soon...
  • That's funny, I just used this feature right before this article was posted. Someone's spoofing my own number to call me. People need to grow up >:(
  • It's unfortunate that this is not just a basic OS feature. My HTC 8XT does not have this. Total trash.
  • Anyone have any idea what the person on the other end hears? Does it ring (and the phone just does not display it) or does it send straight to voicemail? Could do with the option to send an automatic message back saying blocked.
  • Sends straight to voicemail.. It has to..
  • Is this verified? Because, that would be perfect. I send my voicemail to YouMail and then use Ditch Caller to play "out of service" to telemarketers.
  • Not heard of that before.
  • I use this feature every it
  • so, what does the blocked person that is calling hear? does it continue to ring? go to voicemail? fake "disconnect" message?   nevermind... answered 3 posts up !  
  • I use this all the time and it works a treat as it get a lot of marketing calls, one downside is that it does block legitamate calls from companies.
  • You can block texts as well, the withheld call block feature is neat but useless to me without a whitelist - as all out bound calls are withheld at work.
  • If it had a black list / block list, white list and customisable filtering rules it would be brilliant.
    It does need a whitelist as it currently blocks all withheld numbers for example sms alerts from your bank may have a withheld number (Santander does) and it blocks it.. If you miss the prompt (tile not pinned) its gone unless you dive into the settings. The action center will really help, can't wait for wp 8.1!
  • Did not work for me, so I had to subscribe to Verizon's FamilyBase JUST to block numbers. But I also have the ability to block private and unlisted numbers, so an additional fiver wouldn't hurt.
  • But how's iPhone 'Do not disturb' mode works actually ? I called my friend and it sent me straight to voicemail box .
  • Another way to backup the blocked list. I had a nice collection of student f'ing spam calls that the do it all organization apparently can't get off their @$$ and shut down, so I would have liked to migrate those to my Lumia 1520 but alas that's not an option.
  • Why wait for the other person to call. Just call him and quickly end the call and there you go!
  • I used it a few time, once used it to block my Ex GF. But anyways HTC users can get this app by using the infamous proxy method.
    1: Download an app called SysAppPusher/Lumia Pusher.
    2: Open the app swipe left twice then you will see 'My App' option, now select add app, then search for call+SMS Filter. Tap it then select add it to my apps.
    3: Open WiFi, tap and hold the connection you are using, tap edit.
    4: You'll see a proxy option, here type this into the first box, then type 8888 into port. Now tap ✔ and exit.
    5: Now open SysAppPusher, swipe to My apps section, tap on call+SMS Filter and wait until it open the page and show you the option to install (It may take a few tries).
    6: Now tap on Windows Button, and go to WiFi and turn off proxy, then go to multi tasking menu and open the call+SMS Filter page.
    7: Now hit install and enjoy. Either that or change your phone. Or even better, 'deal with it' :3
  • those ex-es. Real pain!!!
  • My Samsung feature phone has better call blocking ability. I can enter phone number manually even if I dont receive call from that number. I can also block entire series of phone numbers (e.g. block all calls starting with +919145 which is used by telemarketers). Windows Phone Call + SMS blocker has long way to cover before it becomes perfect app for purpose. I still love my Lumia 620 :)
  • Problem is it doesn't block pic messages. Only text
  • This makes me wish that carriers other than Sprint offered Google Voice integration. Effectively blocking the calls/texts at the source. Even better was that if enough people flagged a number, it would block it as spam much like e-mail would be. I would look at my logs and see a bunch of calls from numbers that I've never seen before. I miss that a lot.  It's still nice to be able to block calls. Easy enough to just nuke the visual voicemail that's left. Sure beats being interrupted.
  • Works well for calls, but even pressing the unblock button on texts that are auto blocked does not stop them being blocked next time, nor doses adding that number to your phonebook
  • i love this feature  was getting plagued by PPI type insurance claim calls several times a day ,these people just wont give up they constantly switching and using new numbers but as soon as i get one they get added to the blocked list,just wish that i could export the list for after reset or upgrade phone ,currently have to keep a hard copy and if reset i have initiate a call & end / add to blocked to set the list back up.  
  • Still lets MMS through :(
  • who uses mms ?
  • Hello ! Is there something similar for windows phone 7.8 ? Because I have a lumia 610 and a withheld number can stop harassing me and I don't know how to blockt it :(
  • Hi Debora, I too have a 610 on Windows 7.8 and after looking for days unfortunately due to the architecture of the phone it is technically not possible to block any calls or messages. The are no Apps available and Microsoft with not be supplying any future update. Looks like were been bullied into an upgrade. Hope this helps. Steve
  • my call and calls and sms filtr doesnt wanna work it says something went wrong how do i make it work?
  • How do the people calling or texting know that they are blocked?  I can still get the calls and text. They just go to my blocked calls=SMS filter.  I don't want their texts or calls to go through to my phone.  Is there something I'm missing.
  • Definitely need to be able to add blocked numbers before they call or send sms!!! A MUST!! Tks Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • I have a Lumia 925 that shows that the software is up-to-date.  However, I don't see the call+SMS filter in my Settings menu.  Am I missing something here?
  • I have the same problem.  My wife and I both have identical 520s same software update. call+SMS shows up on my phone but not on hers.  Has anyone ever shown you the fix for this?
  • i have lumia 520 i cannot find it [lz help me regarding this  
  • When I try to access the feature, it says "Something Went Wrong" "Cant open the filter at the moment. Please try again later or restart your phone" Is anybody else having this problemor does anybody know to fix this issue so that I can use the filter?
  • Is there a way to block an entire area code? This sucks, and it's getting really annoying using a WindowsPhone. I don't want to answer any calls from another state. They can leave a voice message if they really know me.
  • Just don't anwser the calls...Personally I only answer calls from my People app list...
  • People still use Windows Phone? LOL. I moved on long time ago. Windows Phone was just a distraction anyways.
  • We need this feature to be part of Windows and not have to rely on the hardware or service provider to implement.  They won't.
  • I have a late model - Lumia 540 but it DOES NOT HAVE 'call + SMS filter' SO NO BLOCKING !!! What the.......... 
  • thanks!  i didn't know how to block it, didn't say anything about holding down the number.  awesome!  thanks again!
  • Really helpful. Thanks!
  • This is just what I need. I get daily calls from some local jewerly store saying that some guy with my number owes them money. I have complained to them about the wrong number but they keep calling me. 
  • I've had a similar situation (long time ago when Lnadlines were still normal) 3 times in one day they called, Ask to speak to a manager, and explain that they are going to be brought up on harrassment charges. They drop your number fast instead of having a barrage of voicemails from the same idiots.
  • Workaround to this issue, try an app called Truecaller, has a built in spam contact list, as well as the option to add numbers to be automatically blocked  
  • as I just posted, this and windows do not actually block it only mutes the call.
  • Wow. So no mention of TrueCaller?
  • Just using TrueCaller app works well in blocking span and unwanted calls. Anyone know of other apps for call blocking that works with WP 10?
  • fyi everyone Windows and trucaller do not actually block calls. It silence 🔇 the call, in witch callers can still call and leave a message.
  • Unfortunately, all of these blocking technologies rely on Caller Id.  Caller Id is easily spoofed to be any number they choose.  So, you end up blocking somone elses number, not the telemarketer. The ONLY company that knows the exact phone number is the carrier.  The carrier's need to be forced to add a blocking service by law.  Right now, the law reads that the carrier must complete/connect ALL calls. Caller Id is not reliable and is often fake.  Blocking provided by the telephone carrier is the only foolproof solution.  Change the law.
  • Hey. D u know NYPD gave up on Windows phone for iPhone?
  • Here's the link.