How to call privately on iPhone: 4 easy methods
There are many reasons why you may prefer to keep your phone number private. Whether you want to reduce spam calls, protect yourself from harassment and scams, or prank call your siblings (regardless of your age), they’re all valid.
While you can normally choose where and with whom you share this piece of personal information, making outgoing calls usually means the recipient can see your phone number, thanks to caller ID.
Thankfully, it’s possible to hide your caller ID while making calls on an iPhone.
In short, do this if you want to call privately on iPhone:
iPhone users can easily call privately by turning off caller ID through your iPhone settings. Open Settings > Tap on “Phone” > Tap on “show my caller ID.” > Use the toggle to hide your caller ID. If this option isn’t available to you, you can also dial *67, followed by the phone number or enable caller ID blocking through your carrier.
Turn off caller ID through your iPhone settings
If you’re more concerned with general privacy rather than specific people or companies you don’t trust with your number, you can hide your caller ID through your iPhone settings instead.
Note: Unfortunately, through a bit of trial and error, we’ve found that this option isn’t universally available and may depend on where you live.
Here’s how to disable caller ID on an iPhone:
- Open your settings app.
- Tap on “phone.”
- Tap on “show my caller ID.”
- Use the toggle to hide your caller ID.
If your call doesn’t go through because the recipient has blocked anonymous phone calls, you can use the FAC *82 to unblock your number. Just dial *82 before the number you’re trying to reach.
The first and easiest thing you can do to hide your caller ID when making a call is to use the *67 Feature Access Code (FAC). If you’re only interested in hiding your number from specific recipients, this is the way to go.
Simply dial *67, followed by the phone number you are trying to reach (including the area code).
The only downside to this is that your call may not go through if the recipient has anonymous call blocking enabled, using the *77 FAC, for example.
Enable caller ID blocking through your carrier
If the previous step doesn’t work for you, you can also contact your mobile carrier and request a private number. You can reach the customer support hotline of most mobile carriers in the US by calling 611.
You can still use *82 to unblock your phone number in case you really need to reach a number that has anonymous numbers blocked.
What other ways are there to keep my phone number private?
Use a burner app or get a second phone number
As an alternative, or even in addition to the previous methods, consider downloading a burner app or getting a second phone number. Both of these options basically do the same thing—protect your actual phone number by allowing you to use a dedicated one for those times you have to make a call to someone you don’t fully trust with your personal information.
The upsides to both of these options are that you’ll easily get by anonymous number blocking and you can use them when signing up for things online, further protecting your phone number. The downside is that you’ll still have to deal with spam calls and scammers.
Check out our guide on how to stop spam calls on an iPhone.
Keep your phone number off people search sites
While all of the steps we described above will keep your phone number (or at least the real one) from showing up on caller ID, it’s important to understand that they might not be enough to fully hide your number. That’s because it can be alarmingly easy to track down someone’s phone number as long as you have at least some other information, such as a name, to go off of.
There are websites called people search sites dedicated to this. They contain detailed personal profiles, including information like your phone number, address, relatives, property info, court records, political affiliations, and much more. They either sell this information or publish it for free.
If you look up your name, phone number, or address on any popular search engine, odds are you’ll see dozens of people search sites advertising your personal information. Sadly, it’s that easy for anyone else to do the same.
You can remove your information from people search sites, though. Here’s how:
- Look up your name, phone number, or address and note down every people search site that pops up in the search results.
- Visit each people search site, one at a time (moving on to the next on the list once you complete steps 3 and 4).
- Locate the opt-out page. You’ll usually find a link labeled “opt out” or “remove my personal information” somewhere toward the bottom of the page.
- Complete the opt-out process. This usually involves filling out and submitting an online form. In some cases, you may have to print and send the form via regular mail. From our personal experience, the time it takes to process these opt-out requests ranges from nearly instantaneous to several weeks.
- Repeat the opt-out process regularly. People search sites replenish their databases regularly. Unless you are put on a suppression list (and often despite it), your profile will simply show up on the site again after some time.
Be sure to also follow our guide on how to remove your information from the internet for the ultimate in online privacy.
Does *67 still work on iPhone?
Yes, as of December 2023, *67 still works on iPhone. If you dial *67, followed by the phone number you’re trying to reach, your call will go through and appear as “unknown” or “private.”
Why can’t I use *67?
If your call isn’t going through when you dial *67, this may mean that the number you’re trying to reach has anonymous calls blocked.
Can a *67 number be traced?
Yes, your number can still be traced when you use *67. Your mobile carrier still holds records of the call and may disclose the information in case of an investigation. Recipients of the call may also use people search sites to discover your phone number if they know your name.
What does *82 do on a cell phone?
*82 deactivates caller ID blocking on an individual call basis. This means that your caller ID remains blocked by default but is unblocked for a specific number if you dial *82 before the number you’re trying to reach.