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iOS 13 Lets You Send Unknown Callers Straight to Voicemail

In the Phone section of the Settings app in iOS 13, there's an interesting new toggle called "Silence Unknown Callers," which appears to do exactly what the name suggests. With this feature enabled, calls received by people not in your contacts list seem to be sent straight to voicemail.

We tested out the Silence Unknown Callers feature this week, and it worked well. When an iPhone with the option enabled received a call from a number that wasn't a known number in contacts, the phone never rang - the call was sent directly to voicemail.


While we haven't done extensive testing, we did try introducing an unknown number by referencing it in an email because iOS can recognize phone numbers that way, but even when the number had been previously sent to us, phone calls from that number were still muted.

Silence Unknown Callers seems to be an effective way to limit incoming calls to numbers that you already know, blocking out the rest from causing your phone to ring.

It's a simple, useful solution to the deluge of spam calls that many of us in the United States receive on a daily basis. It's not identifying spam calls or risky numbers specifically so it's not the most elegant solution available, but it works for cutting down on unwanted calls.

This isn't a setting that you're going to want to enable if you're worried about missing some legitimate calls from numbers that you don't know, but all calls do go to voicemail, so when a legitimate call does come in, you can just call the person back.

Silence Unknown Callers will be available to everyone this fall when iOS 13 launches alongside new iPhones.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS


Top Rated Comments

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2 weeks ago
This is one of my favorite new features.
Rating: 41 Votes
2 weeks ago
I am waiting for a new version where we can send them straight to hell. At least spam callers.
Rating: 26 Votes
2 weeks ago
This would basically solve spam calls for me, personally, as I don't get too many calls I'm not expecting to get from people who are in my contacts list. I'm rather surprised it took Apple this long to implement this.
Rating: 18 Votes
2 weeks ago
Wow for me not usable at all. How do couriers contact you guys? In my country by phone. Also for example when an Uber calls you it will too send it to voice mail. ..food delivery? Same thing.
Rating: 14 Votes
2 weeks ago


HALLELUJAH!!!!
Rating: 14 Votes
2 weeks ago
This is how I operate now. Not recognized in my contacts, then kill the call without answering. This is a great improvement.
Rating: 14 Votes
2 weeks ago
Wish we can block voicemail too.
Rating: 13 Votes
2 weeks ago
Still wish they made incoming calls not take over the ENTIRE screen when I’m actively using my device... give me a banner to interact with or ignore so I can continue with what I’m doing without having to send the call directly to voicemail (people can tell if you send them to voicemail or not) or wait for the call to ring through...
Rating: 13 Votes
2 weeks ago
Love this! And I hope they mean exactly what you say (if # is not in contacts list)... not just the caller ID displaying "unknown caller". Since telemarketers mostly use fake phone numbers, caller ID won't appear as "unknown".

Hopefully that makes sense, I've been waiting for the option to only allow contact list calls forever!
Rating: 11 Votes
2 weeks ago
Finally. Now I don’t have to leave silent mode on all the time.
Rating: 10 Votes

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