How-To

How to Manually Block a Phone Number in Google Voice

How do I manually block a number in Google Voice?Whether you have an evil step-mother, a crazy ex, or an annoying company trying to sell or collect something from you, wouldn’t it be nice to proactively prevent them from calling?  Most people know that Google Voice allows you to block phone numbers once they’ve called you.  What is lesser-known, is that you can also block any number you want regardless of if they’ve contacted you before.

Google Provides instructions for blocking contacts that have already called at least once in this video:

But, what if you want to block someone who has never called you before?  It’s a little different.

Google doesn’t mention it specifically, but you are able to block any number existing in your contact list.  So, all you really have to do is the following:

  1. Add the number you want to block to your contact list.
  2. Edit the contacts Google Voice settings and set it to block.

For the full instructions, read on.

Manually Blocking a Phone Number From Calling Your Google Voice

Step 1

Sign in to your Gmail* account and go to your Contacts list.  Here, Click New Contact.

*You can add contacts from both Google Voice and Gmail, but I prefer doing it in Gmail.

create a new contact in gmail

Step 2

Enter in the name of the person, company, or unknown caller that you want to block.  Next, enter the specific number(s) that you want to block.  As you are entering the contact, Gmail should automatically save it without the need to press any type of save button.

add a contact

Step 3

Now that we’ve got the contact added, we can go in and block it.

Go to your Google Voice contacts list and then Select the contact we just added.  On that contact’s page in the right-pane, Click Edit Google Voice Settings.

select the contact you want to block edit the contacts google voice settings

Step 4

You’ll now be taken to the settings customization page.  Here, Click Edit next to “Ring Default phones.”  The menu should expand and give you two choices, Check the bottom bullet titled “Send to Voicemail,” and then use the drop-menu to change it to Block Caller.

Once you’ve done all that, Click Save at the bottom.

set ring options to block the caller and save

Congratulations!  You’ve just blocked a number in Google Voice manually, or as I like to call it: “preemptive blocking.”  Now whenever someone calls you from the number that you blocked, your phone will not ring.  Instead, the blocked caller will hear this message.

39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. acupuncture

    You can also mark the number as spam. That will “block” it for all intensive purposes. Especially useful for those 800 numbers.

    I just wish Google Voice would allow you to block/spam unknown callers.

    Using GV block and spam as quieted things greatly. . . my favorite features in GV!

    • Sean

      it is “all intents and purposes” – there is no such thing as “all intensive purposes”. Clearly you don’t read much!

      • Alex

        Grammar and spelling cops are pedantic cretins who nit pick others because they have an urge to try to appear superior even though they have nothing of substance to add
        to the discussion. Right, Sean?

        • Not Alex

          What’s even worse are people like you that complain about it and call others “pedantic cretins.” Right, Alex?

      • Not acupuncture

        Yes, the established idiom is “for all intents and purposes.” However, there’s no rule in English that anybody has to use established idioms at any given time. A person is free to use any grammatically correct sentence. Of course a purpose can be intensive.

        Personally, I’d block some calls for casual purposes. But I can see why somebody might want to do so for intensive purposes, such as when somebody calls incessantly.

        If somebody blocks somebody for all purposes, that would include the intensive ones.

        • Incredulous Disingenuity

          “However, there’s no rule in English that anybody has to use established idioms at any given time.”
          LOL That’s a stretch. Yes, you can, if you want to sound like an idiot.

    • Barbara Chaffinch

      Please update info on How to Manually Block a Phone Number in Google Voice that is not in your contacts list.

      The photos have changed and don’t show you how to get the job done in 2016.

  2. groovinJackman

    Your mother-in-law bears an uncanny resemblance to King Koopa. Hope for your wife’s sake it’s not hereditary.

  3. Penny Murdock

    THANK YOU!!! I truly needed this :) You have made my life so easy now!

  4. katahdindave

    It seems that google voice has changed, and the contacts now show as “google contacts” and they do not have the check boxes you show in step 3. any ideas if this is still possible to do now (in 2013)?

    thanks

  5. Mike

    How do we do this with the new contacts system??

    • Austin Krause

      You know Mike, I looked through and it seems that Google completely removed this feature. I sent them a support email. I have no idea why they would get rid of it. Perhaps it was an oversight from the team building the new Contacts manager.

      • Mike

        Oh man

        • Jubi

          Actually, you can. From your google voice page, simply enter the contact’s name you want to block on the search bar (located at the top, right next to Google logo).

          Then, you will see the “edit settings” option besides the contact’s name. Click on “edit settings” and you will see the “Ring Default Phones edit” and there you can choose the Send to Voicemail / Treat as Spam / Block Caller option.

          • Mike

            Nice

          • Austin Krause

            Good point Jubi. Unfortunately if it would just work for contacts that have never called then we would be set. Then again, there probably isn’t much need for contacts that haven’t called before.

          • Carl

            That is great for pulling up numbers that are no longer in my history to allow me to block them. What I really need is to be able to block a number that has never called or does not come up in history. Love to be able to take an pro active attack. My wife has a GV# and I want to add numbers that have called me to her block list so they can never call her.

          • trex005

            I’ve read the comments that Jubi’s solution does not work for contacts never interacted with. At first I agreed but upon trying exactly how she stated, it worked perfectly.

            1) Add the contact
            2) go back to the voice home screen
            3) Type the name of the contact
            (this is where I missed it)
            4) Click the contact from the suggestions (DO NOT ACTUALLY SEARCH)
            NOW you will get the edit settings option where you can block the caller.

  6. Jubi

    Haha, true. But I have tried it using my brother-in-law’s contact number, who has never called me :P. Then I ask my sister to have her husband call me to see if GV will block his number. It works :)

  7. Kendra

    “Then, you will see the “edit settings” option besides the contact’s name.”

    I can’t find this. Did they change the interface again? Is there another workaround?

    • Austin Krause

      Yup it looks like they changed it, at least for the time being. Right now the only way to block someone is to wait for them to call and then mark it as blocked in the call history.

      • Fred

        THANK YOU AUSTIN KRAUSE!!! You answered in one simple sentence what I couldn’t figure out from Google Voice, Google Voice feedback, or the above article in over a half hour.

  8. Jimmy

    Wonder what you do for butt holes who are spoofing their caller ID? I keep getting these asses spamming my FAX machine that my phone shows 0000000000 but “Voice” just says unknown. I’ve manually blocked each occurrence and also placed each in /Spam, but the calls continue to get to my FAX. Any suggestions?

  9. BobCov

    It’s sad that companies as smart as Google purposely decapitate their products by removing obviously helpful capabilities. Who can think of a good, user-oriented reason for changes that now make it impossible to block calls before they call you? I can only think that being able to do this would “infringe” on commercial /marketing activities. But you can only complain so far because after all, how much did we pay for this service? Exactly. What needs to happen is for people to begin developing open source alternatives that we own cooperatively and are willing to pay an annual subscription fee for. I have a range of numbers I want to block, but I can’t until calls are made from within that range. What I need is a hack to fool GV into thinking these numbers have already called.

    • Alex

      BobCov, I found just such an alternative. It cost about 5 to 6 bucks a month but it is so much more powerful than Google Voice. For instance, you can pro-actively block any number you wish or you can set it so that only those already in your phone book can call you. You can spoof your outgoing caller ID to any other number you own and set it up to selectively ring though or forward to any number you wish. Plus tons more.

      I easily ported my old GV number to it, (for free), and it works well as a land-line replacement using my Obi device (or this company will supply a device for free if you need it). I love this service and it’s worked great for me so far! :-)

      The company is called Vestalink. It may not be what you’re looking for but you can skip over and have a peek at:

      http://www.vestalink.com/#_l_fz

      • bobcov

        Hey, I just was alerted to your reply a year and a month after you made it! Thanks much for the tip, I will check that out.

      • bobcov

        Hey, I just was alerted to your reply a year and a month after you made it! Thanks much for the tip, I will check that out. And I have to add this little bit on here because I forgot to check the email notification and thus must end up with two replies.

  10. John Chingo

    Thank you trex005 !!! As of today (10/30/14) It works with the new GV interface!

  11. Fred

    The instructions here bear absolutely no resemblance to what is actually on my screen in Google Voice. I still have no idea how to block an unwanted caller who keeps calling me at odd hours. Google Voice isn’t remotely user friendly.

  12. Net Verse

    As of June/2016, This doesn’t work anymore with the new upgrades to google

  13. John Chingo

    It worked for me today (6/14/16).

    • Pat

      And it worked for me today, September 2, 2016.

  14. Nathan

    Anyone needing this in Late 2020 lol?

    • Strahan

      Kind of. I can block easily enough, but what annoys me and what I’m searching for an answer to is if there exists a “freeform” input for number blocking. I get over 20 unwanted calls a day and my cell’s block list is massive to combat that. I’d love to export from the cell to a text file then copy that and paste it into some part of the GV interface so I can easily block them all at once. What I need to do now is click each listing in the calls, click the hamburger (3 dots), choose block, then verify I want it blocked. I setup a macro to automate the clicking, but another irritant I found was that if a number is in the list multiple times, I block the first occurrence but it doesn’t show the block icon on the others.

      That’s not even the worst part; if you click a later occurrence, the hamburger option is still “Block number” not “Unblock number” even though you blocked it already. And yes, I made sure, it’s the -exact- same. No difference in numbers for even formatting. It’s like Google’s block/unblock is determined by looking at if the block icon is there, not actually checking the database. Simply clicking to messages then back to calls doesn’t even refresh it. You have to click off the page entirely then come back.

      What a messy system. *sigh*

      • Nathan Unger

        TL/DR ;)

  15. Rich

    As of 2/15/21, figured out how to get this to work (well, mostly). Create your contact(s) with the desired number(s) to block. Create a label, like SPAM, and apply it to all the contacts you create. Goto the Legacy Google Voice settings, and select the Group tab. Locate the group label you created, and select Edit. Under the section, When people in this group call you, clear everything selected. It will still “ring” and then go to voicemail, but you won’t hear it on any device (unless you are on your GVoice website, at which point you’ll hear your computer “ring” for the call). If you want, you can go one step further and select a custom greeting you record just for this group.

    Not the same as blocking or reporting as spam, but at least you won’t be annoyed by the calls anymore.

  16. El Guapo

    As of 2/16/2021:

    Excellent advice, Rich. For those who don’t know, here’s how to activate the link for Legacy Google Voice: in Google Voice click the hamburger menu at the top left of your computer screen… or simply click this link: https://www.google.com/voice

    I created a single contact and named it “Spam DoNotAnswer”. I then populate that contact name with new numbers I wish to block. This way I can manage all the garbage numbers in a single contact, so that I don’t have to constantly add new contacts and then go through the number-blocking process.

    While editing the spam contact I can label individual numbers with a name if needed, such as “Bully Bob”, or whatever.

    After group-labeling the contact as “Spam”, I then hide the contact from my regular contact list by selecting “Hide from contacts”. This is done by selecting the 3-dot menu to the right of the contact list, or by clicking the 3-dot menu while looking at a contact.

  17. El Guapo

    I generally don’t call out people on poor grammar, nor do I feel superior to them, as I see little to gain by embarrassing or offending people. But if their lack of proper grammar is poor, then I give their comment zero value and move on. When out in public, I judge people by how they talk. On a forum such as this, it’s by how they write.

    First impressions matter, as do writing skills. That’s just life.

    2/16/2021

  18. El Guapo

    As of 2/16/2021, here’s how I blocked a number (that hasn’t called yet) in Google Voice. Note that I did this on my Windows computer, and you must do it in EXACTLY this order:

    1. If it doesn’t already exist, create a contact for the number you wish to block.
    2. Go to the Google Voice home page: https://voice.google.com/
    3. In the “Search Google Voice” search bar (top/center of page), enter and select contact to block.
    4. In the sub-menu that appears along the left, click “Message”.
    5. Now click the 3-dot menu to the right of the contact name.
    6. Select “Spam” and/or “Block”

    This method specifically blocks messages, but I cannot confirm that it blocks calls as well. If I select “Call” instead of “Message” after I search the contact, I do not get the same 3-dot menu option.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

To Top