iOS 13 Silence Unknown Callers Feature4.9 billion robocalls were made this past October in the US. Now that’s a lot of calls! In fact, research has shown that fewer than 50% of the calls we receive every month come from callers in our contact list, and for business owners the numbers are usually much higher. Many of these calls come from scammers looking for victims to defraud of money or valuable personal information, but that isn’t the only problem. Business productivity is wasted every week by robocalls interrupting important meetings and real work.


Telecom companies and tech giants are leading the fight against robocalls and Apple is no exception. In iOS 13, the most recent significant update to Apple’s operating system, the company introduced a new feature called Silence Unknown Callers to address the robocall problem. The feature only allows calls to ring if the phone number is found in your Contacts, Recent Outgoing Calls, or from Siri Suggestions (sourced from Mail and Messaging apps). If a call does not meet the criteria, it will automatically be directed to your voicemail and the number will appear in your recent call history, but your phone will never ring.

If you would like to silence unknown callers, first ensure that your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS 13. To do this:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone
  2. Select General from the list of options
  3. Select Software Update
  4. If your iPhone is not running the most recent software, select Download and Install(it is recommended that your iPhone is plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi while installing new software)

Once you have installed the latest version of iOS 13, here’s how to enable the Silence Unknown Callers feature:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone
  2. Select Phone from the list of options
  3. Find Silence Unknown Callers and slide the switch to the On position

Enabled Silence Unknown Calls feature


Unfortunately, there is one major drawback to enabling the Silence Unknown Callers feature — not all calls from unknown callers are spam. Be it a call from your child’s school, a ride share driver, or another important call, sometimes we actually want our phones to ring when unknown numbers call so take this into consideration.

However, if you have reached the point where incessant robocalls prevent you from answering any calls from unknown numbers, the Silence Unknown Callers feature could benefit you. One suggestion to block spam calls while still ensuring legitimate callers can get in touch with you is to add an explanation on your voice message. That way, legitimate callers will know you have the feature enabled, but if they leave a message or send a text you will call them back. Regardless, once this feature is enabled, we recommend you check your voicemail a few times a day.