Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


How to make your Pixel phone automatically decline robocalls

Are you inundated with spam calls on your Pixel phone? Here's how enabling these two settings can help.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Person using the Google Pixel 7a.
June Wan/ZDNET

Spam isn't just for inboxes. Over the years, we've seen a constant rise in spam phone calls that range from better insurance, political messages, and even the occasional threat. 

Also: The best Google Pixel phones (plus the Pixel 7a with extra security)

Thankfully, the Pixel line of phones has some pretty handy tools built into the phone app to help you banish those spam calls. These built-in configuration options work in conjunction with Google's spam database (which is frequently updated) to keep those calls from inundating your phone. Since configuring my Pixel to handle these calls, the number has been reduced dramatically.

Of course, you can't just expect Google to take care of everything. 

You need to make a couple of configuration changes within the phone app to get the most out of the service. That's what I'm going to help you with. Once you've taken care of this, your spam calls should be considerably reduced.

Also: 7 Google Pixel phone settings you should change immediately

Will it put a complete end to them? No. But the more you use it, the fewer spam calls you'll receive.

How to configure Pixel to handle incoming spam calls

What you'll need: The only thing you'll need to reduce spam is a Pixel phone running at least Android 10 (which should cover most Android devices currently on the market). Some non-Pixel phones do offer help with spam calls but the effectiveness isn't nearly what you'll find in the Pixel devices. If you're using a non-Pixel phone, I suggest you check through the Phone app settings to see what level of spam protection the device offers.

1. Open Phone settings

Open the Phone app on your Pixel device and tap the vertical three-dot menu in the upper right corner. From the pop-up menu, tap Settings.

2. Navigate to the Spam options

From the Phone Settings window, navigate to the spam pop-up settings window by tapping Spam and Call Screen > Call Screen > Spam

3. Enable automatic screening

From within the Spam pop-up, select the option called "Automatically screen. Decline robocalls."

The Spam configuration popup in Android 13.

Enabling automatic screening of possible spam calls.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

4. Decline robocalls

Next, we want to set up automatic declining of robocalls. For this, go back to the Spam and Call Screen settings page, select Call Screen, and then tap Possibly faked numbers. In the resulting pop-up, make sure again to enable the option for "Automatically screen. Decline robocalls."

The faked numbers autoscreening configuration popup on Android 13.

Enabling the automatic screening of possibly faked numbers.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

When a suspected spam call comes in, it will automatically be screened for you with these two options enabled, so you won't have to do anything about them. As a bonus, on the Call Screen options page, if you choose, you can also select First-time callers and choose the same automatic screening option that you did for spam and robocalls. 

Also: Change this Pixel 7 Pro setting for far better video quality instantly

Since I've enabled these settings (which I did probably two years ago), I've seen spam calls reduced to almost zero. I highly recommend that you do the same, so you can enjoy far fewer unnecessary interruptions throughout your busy day.

Editorial standards