How to configure Android to handle incoming spam calls

Close-up of hands holding a phone showing an unknown incoming call

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I don’t know about you, but unwanted phone calls have plagued me. Those calls are not only annoying, they can also pose a serious risk to your identity and privacy. Needless to say, I hate those annoying callers and do my best to avoid them.

Fortunately, Android has some pretty useful tools built right into the phone app to help you banish those unwanted calls. These built-in settings work in conjunction with Google’s frequently updated spam database to prevent those calls from flooding your phone.

Also: How to record a phone call on your Android phone

However, you can’t 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. I’m going to help you with that. Once you’ve taken care of this, your spam calls should go down considerably.

Will it kill them completely? No. But the more you use it, the less spam calls you will receive.

Also: Use AI-powered personalization to block unwanted calls and texts

How to configure Android to handle incoming spam calls

Requirements

The only thing you will need to reduce spam is any android phone running at least Android 10 (which should cover most Android devices currently on the market).

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Open the Phone app on your Android device and tap on the vertical three-dot menu in the top right corner. In the popup menu, tap Settings.

From the Phone Settings window, navigate to the Spam pop-up settings window by tapping Spam and call screen > call screen > Unwanted mail.

Also: 5 Quick Tips to Improve Android Phone Security Now (Yes, It’s That Easy)

From the spam pop-up window, select the option called “Auto screen. Reject robocalls.”

The spam settings popup in Android 13.

Enabling automatic detection of possible spam calls.

Image: Jack Wallen

Next, we want to set up automatic rejection of robocalls. To do this, go back to the Spam and call screen settings page, select call screenand then touch Possibly fake numbers. In the resulting pop-up window, make sure again to enable the “Auto screen. Reject robocalls” option.

The automatic fake number detection settings popup in Android 13.

Enabling automatic detection of possibly fake numbers.

Image: Jack Wallen

When a suspected spam call comes in, it will be automatically filtered with these two options enabled, so you don’t have to do anything about it. As a bonus, on the Call Screen options page, if you want, you can also select First time callers and choose the same automatic detection option you used for spam and robocalls.

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

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