How To Unblock Private Numbers On Android

Receiving a call from a private number sucks, right? You can’t tell who’s calling, you can’t even tell where they’re calling from. All you’re left with is an incoming phone call with the words ‘Private Number’ attached. What are you supposed to do?

Unfortunately, the truth is there’s really not much you can do. It’s supremely difficult to tell someone’s number when they have specifically elected to hide it. The only surefire way to do so is to pay a premium for a subscription-based service app like TrapCall, which unblocks private numbers on Android.

If you’re looking for more DIY (and free) methods for unblocking private numbers on Android, there are one or two things you could try.

If you would like more information on blocked or private numbers on Android, or have further questions which you need answering, check out our FAQs below.

Reach out to the authorities

If you are consistently receiving troubling or threatening phone calls from a private number, then you should not hesitate in contacting your local police department. 911 emergency services tend to have the ability to unblock private numbers phoning Android devices, and if the need is great enough, they should be able to do this for you as part of an investigation into your harrassment.

Use a voicemail service

One other thing you can try is luring the caller into leaving a voicemail. Whilst it might not sound like a great idea, provided the caller is genuine (and not a scammer or prankster, for example), then they will most likely leave you a voicemail message from which you can work out who they are. To do so, sign up to your service provider’s free voicemail service, and when you receive a call from a private number, simply send it to voicemail by rejecting it. You’ll then receive a text from your voicemail provider if the caller leaves you one.

There you have it – two different methods for attempting to unblock numbers on Android. We’re sorry that there aren’t easier ways to do it, that’s just the way it is! If you’re really determined though, and can’t or don’t want to try either of our tips as described above, then we would recommend trying out a subscription-based app like TrapCall.

Thanks for reading! If you have any further questions or would like more information, see our FAQs below.


Why do people use private numbers to phone your Android phone?

Getting a call through from a private number can be super irritating, or even concerning. Not knowing what the number is (and thus deducing where it’s coming from), or being unable to tell who is calling, leaves you totally in the dark as to who you’re about to speak to.

There are many different reasons (some of them legitimate, others not so) why someone might use a private number to call you on your Android phone. Doctors, for example, tend to call from private, hidden numbers, since the information you and they will discuss on the phone is liable to be sensitive, and it’s important that you are unaware of their number. 

This can be true for other emergency services, too. However, other reasons tend to be less legitimate. Call centers, scammers, and prank-callers also use private numbers to phone you on your Android, so that you won’t be able to recognise them or note the number to call back. 

Can you return a call from a private number on Android?

Unfortunately, it is typically impossible to return a call to a private number. Simply dialing 1471 (in the UK), or an equivalent ‘return-the-call’ code won’t work, since the person’s number has been hidden to both you and your service provider. 

There are some premium, paid-for or subscription-based apps, such as (but not limited to) TrapCall which can unveil and unblock private numbers on Android, which would then allow you to return the call. However, if you’re looking for a cheap or free method of returning a private number call, we’re afraid you’re out of luck.

How can you make your own number private when calling on Android?

Hiding your own number may sometimes come in useful, especially if you’re concerned about your security or privacy, however you should be aware that there is a higher chance your call will not be answered by those who are equally as suspicious of private numbers as you are.

The way to make your own number private changes entirely depending on the country, and sometimes even the region, you’re calling from, or your phone is registered to. Typically, however, making your mobile telephone number private is pretty easy, and involves simply adding a few specific digits before the number of the person you’re dialing. 

In the UK, for example, you simply input ‘141’ before the number of the person you’re calling. For example, if the person’s number was 01568 833 433, then you would dial 141 01568 833 433, and press call. The person you were dialing would be unable to see your caller ID.

In the USA, the private number code is ‘*67’.