There are times when you don’t want the recipient of a call to know your number. This could be because you’re unsure of the person you’re contacting, hoping to surprise an old friend, or due to the fact that you are a secret informant buried deep within a corrupt regime. We don’t judge here at Macworld.
Thankfully, it’s quite a simple thing to hide your caller ID on iPhone, and we’ll show you how it’s done.
Use Settings on iPhone
There’s no need for any nefarious high-tech spy software to keep your number obscured. Instead you can adjust a solitary setting in iOS and just like that, poof, you’re gone.
To achieve this Keyser Soze-style vanishing act open the Settings app and scroll down to select Phone > Show My Caller ID, and then toggle off the Show My Caller ID switch.
Now whenever you ring someone, including those in your contacts, they should see Unknown Caller, Private Number, or No Caller ID rather than your name.
Requesting the service from your contract provider
Some mobile services providers offer the ability to block your caller ID at the source, so that no one can see who you are. These can often be a paid add-on, though, so be sure to check before you request the feature.
Be warned, it’s by no means a perfect solution. We’ve seen reports of users who have called commercial numbers while using this service, only to receive text messages afterwards asking them to rate the call. Obviously, the number was still getting through, which isn’t great.
If you do go down this route, then it’s a good idea to pose plenty of questions about the security and reliability of the option offered by your provider.
Block your number on a single call
If you only want to withhold your number for a specific call, then this can be done by using the codes provided by national telecom companies.
In the UK, BT offers this service free of charge. All you have to do is add 141 to the beginning of the number you’re calling and the receiver will not be able to see who you are; instead they’ll be presented with Private Number or No Caller ID.
The 141 code also works for home phones, so you can mask the origin of a call even on your landline.
This feature is available in a range of countries, although you’ll need to check with your telecom company to see which code works in your region. For readers in North America it seems that the prefix is currently *67 for Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile networks.
There you have it: three different ways obscure your identity on iPhone. Should you wish to stop other people contacting you, then read our How to block a number on iPhone guide and give yourself a break from those nuisance calls.