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If you're finding yourself in the awkward position of blocking someone else's number, you may have wondered about what happens next. Will they find out you blocked their number? We'll walk you through the ways someone may be able to tell if their number was blocked.
Today's technologies are all about connection: See what this person is doing, watch what your doorbell camera is seeing, read what that person is posting. We're connected with others in ways we never thought possible mere decades ago. And it's no surprise: humans are social creatures.
But what happens when you need to break a connection in a world that encourages visibility above everything? What happens when you feel no other way to get rid of a persistent caller? Blocking a number can be the perfect way to start breaking that link, however awkward it may be.
Most of us have gotten those calls: "Your car's warranty is about to expire...", whether we have a car or not. Aside from going to DoNotCall.gov or calling 1-888-382-1222 to be added to a do-not-call list, you can also block specific phone numbers. But whether it's a personal or professional relationship gone sour, or a pesky telemarketer, ever wondered if someone can actually tell if you've blocked them?
Can someone tell if I block their number?
If you end up blocking someone's number, they won't find out right away, if at all. They won't get a message or call saying they were blocked and won't be able to see it plainly anywhere, but they can infer it. There are ways a person can figure out if they were likely blocked, like sending you texts and calling you.
Step 1: Sending you a text
If you and the other person you blocked both use iPhones, your text message exchange is through iMessage, so they show up in blue.
If they weren't blocked and decided to send you a text message, it'd come up as Delivered.
The signs are in the colors
If the sent text looks green instead, it means it was sent as an SMS instead of iMessage. They may also see Not Delivered in red under the green text bubble or the message may go through as an iMessage but not show if it was Delivered. These can all be clues that they may have been blocked by the other person.
However, iMessages can show up in green or not show as Delivered when someone's phone is off or if they don't have a signal or internet connection. So the other party may assume that before realizing they were blocked.
Step 2: If the blocked number calls yours
When someone thinks they're blocked, it's all about putting the pieces together to determine if the other person has in fact blocked their number. If you call someone that hasn't blocked your number, you typically hear several rings before it goes to voicemail.
When you call a number that has blocked yours, you may hear one or half a ring or no rings at all and then the call will go to voicemail. If it goes straight to voicemail, their phone may also be off or out of range, or they may have temporarily turned on Do Not Disturb mode to work, drive, or sleep, however.
If the person you blocked calls you, they'll go to voicemail and can leave a message, but you won't get a missed call or voicemail notification.
Step 3: They may hide their number
If the blocked party's messages are delivered as text when they used to be iMessages and their calls go straight to voicemail consistently, they may try calling you from a different number or hiding their number. They can hide their number by dialing *67 before your phone number and the call will come in as No Caller ID.
If they get through from a different number or by hiding their number, then they'll probably be pretty certain you have blocked them.
For my peace of mind, I wouldn't answer No Caller ID calls after blocking someone, unless I was expecting a very important call.
If you're the one that was blocked, keep in mind that though no one wants to find themselves being blocked by another person, especially if it's someone you care about, the best thing to do is to allow that person the privacy and time to process their needs for doing so.
Can someone tell if I block their number on Android?
Android is not as straightforward as iPhone when trying to figure out if someone blocked you. Since there is no iMessage in Android, it's a little trickier to determine. Some phones offer read and delivered receipts, so if yours does and you're not seeing them, they may try doing some digging.
Either way, if they try calling you and then hiding their number to call you, they will likely figure out you blocked their number regardless of delivered or read receipts.
Does blocking a phone number block it on Whatsapp?
When you block someone's number, you won't receive their calls, texts or notifications for voicemail. But if you also use Whatsapp to communicate, their number won't automatically be blocked on the messaging app.
Whatsapp is a messaging app independent of your phone manufacturer and provider. To block someone from contacting you via Whatsapp, you'll have to do it through the app. Going to the contact info in Whatsapp and tapping on Block (this person) will do the trick.
How do I know if someone blocked me on Whatsapp?
Image: Maria Diaz / ZDNet
If you fear someone has blocked you on Whatsapp, you can send them a message to check. When someone receives a Whatsapp message, two checks will show up when it's been delivered and they'll turn blue when it's been read. If only one gray checkmark comes up, then the message hasn't been delivered to the recipient.
It may not be delivered if that person doesn't have internet service at the time, or if their phone is off. If you have other reasons to think they might have blocked you on Whatsapp, give it a couple days and if the checkmark never doubles, they probably have.