How to bypass a call block – in emergencies only, please

November 4, 2016
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How do I call someone who has blocked my number on their iPhone? It’s an emergency!

It’s possible to call someone even if they’ve blocked your number on their iPhone – but please respect their privacy (this is for emergencies only) and don’t get yourself in trouble with the law. Here’s how to hide your caller ID, bypass a call block and place a call to someone who blocked you on their iPhone.

How to call someone who has blocked your number on their iPhone: What is iOS call blocking?

iOS 7, the 2013 update to Apple’s operating system software for iPhone and iPad, brought in a useful new feature: the ability to easily block phone numbers from nuisance callers. We explain how to do this in our article How to block a phone number on any iPhone. (For some newer iOS tips, see 21 brilliant iOS 10 tips.)

But if you’re the one who’s been blocked (to find out, read our article How to tell if someone has blocked your number on their iPhone), is there any way to override the block and push your call through in an emergency? If you fell out badly with your brother last year, for instance, but now need to pass on urgent news about a gravely ill family member. Or if you want to return the engagement ring to your ex-fiancé but he was so upset he blocked your number.

In fact it’s incredibly easy – worryingly so, from the point of view of someone who’s had to cope with persistently harassing calls – to bypass iOS’s number-blocking feature. But before we explain how it works, a quick warning.

How to call someone who has blocked your number on their iPhone: Is it legal to bypass a call block?

The method we explain simply involves hiding your caller ID, which is a simple feature available to anyone. This is itself is completely legal. However, it’s entirely possible that use of this method to call someone after they have made it clear they don’t wish to be contacted will get you into legal hot water somewhere down the line. That’s before we even get to the ethical side of thigns.

Simply put, we don’t endorse the use of this method in any but the most extreme of emergencies. Please respect people’s privacy, and realise that if you carry on ringing someone after they have made it clear that they don’t want you to, and have even blocked your number, you’re heading in the direction of a restraining order. Macworldtakes no responsibility for the legal consequences of harassing behaviour.

How to call someone who has blocked your number on their iPhone: Hide your caller ID

Before we start, be warned that while this method gets you past the block itself, it’s no guarantee that they will actually pick up. Your number won’t appear, but the iPhone will say that the caller ID has been hidden. This looks suspicious to the best of us, but to someone who recently blocked a nuisance caller it’s a huge red flag.

You might be better off borrowing the phone of someone you both trust (explaining the emergency situation we talked about earlier should convince them) and calling from that – then a trusted name will appear on screen, instead of either one they don’t recognise or a blocked ID message.

With those caveats out of the way, here’s how to call someone who has blocked you on their iPhone.

 

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