How to Silence Unwanted Callers on iPhone for Free

If you want to stop interruptions from unwanted callers on your iPhone, we have a quick tip on how to silence and essentially block unwanted callers without paying AT&T $5 to block the call.

Why would you need to block unwanted callers? Well, my son got in trouble at school because he left his ringer on and hadn’t read this “How To” on blocking unwanted callers. If you get unwanted calls late at night or at annoying times, you can also benefit from this guide.

My son has an iPhone and just forgot to turn off the ringer. So, he asked me how to block a caller. It turns out the same person is calling him all the time, but he doesn’t know him. His name is Elliot and he asks for Sarah. We don’t know Elliot or Sarah. All his friends are in school and his family knows not to call him during classes. So how can you block callers on the iPhone?

silent ringtone

You can buy a silent ringtone in iTunes on the iPhone for $1.29

AT&T wants $5 for the feature. It is called AT&T Smart Controls. I said just turn off your ringer. If he could remember to do this, then it would not have been an issue in the first place.


I learned of a technique from a friend that many use to block unwanted callers. Assign the number to a special contact that you create in your iOS address book called “blocked contact” and give it a silent ringtone. If you need them, here are the steps:

recent calls

Open Phone and go to Recents to find the offending number

  1. Find the number in the Phone app – look in Recents tab
  2. Tap the blue arrow and choose Create New Contact
  3. Assign it a name like “Blocked Contact”
  4. Edit the Ringtone item and select your silent ringtone – more on this below
  5. Choose save
create contact

From recent calls, tap the blue arrow and create a new contact called "blocked"

From now on, whenever the offending party calls your phone, it will light up and buzz, if you have the vibrate feature turned on, but the phone won’t ring. To get rid of the vibrate go to Settings and look in Sounds. Turn the feature to Off. It won’t buzz on this number or any other so you may just want to put up with the buzzing. For future unwanted callers just add the number to this contact.

How do you get the silent ringtone? There are two ways. First, and free, you can download a silent ringtone from PocketPC Central save the file to the hard drive and import it into iTunes. Do this by double clicking the file. iTunes should open adding it to the list of ringtones. Otherwise go to the File menu and choose Add to Library. Select the file and let it import. Now when you sync go to the iPhone’s page in iTunes and choose the ringtones tab and make sure either all of them or at least the new silent one is selected and then sync the iPhone with iTunes.

You can also buy one, which is what we did. For only $1.29 you have a silent ringtone. In iOS 4.3 there is now a link in the ringtones screen that takes you to the iTunes store on your iPhone. Strangely, we had trouble searching the Mac version of iTunes for ringtones.

buy more tones

The Buy More Tones button is under Sounds and Ringtone in Settings