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Thanks to modern smartphones, there are several ways individuals can get in touch with each other. Voice chatting, different texting or messaging apps, and even video calls that can support multiple people at once are all common choices for many people who need to make business or leisure connections.

Simple calling is still a very popular way to keep in touch with others, however, and that avenue comes with some issues of its own. Call barring is one way that users might be able to get rid of unwanted calls from people or companies that aren’t offering anything of real value.

Although it is an option available to many, some phone users wonder just what call barring is, and how it might work for them. We’ll explain those details in our article below.

Additionally, we’ll provide some basic guidelines that should help most users turn the feature on or off on their phones, and we’ll explain how barring and blocking might be different from each other. Lastly, we can dive into some of the specifics that are going on when your phone is set up for barring.

What Is Call Barring?

Call barring is a type of supplementary service that is available as a feature on some phones. With call barring, a user can stop certain types of incoming or outgoing calls completely. Sometimes, you would be able to select which types of calls you want to bar from coming in or going out.

For example, you could choose to block all calls whenever you are roaming with your phone. Roaming would be taking your phone outside of the range of coverage for your carrier.

Most phone plans have roaming support, but they may charge extra for any data transfers you make while the device is roaming, and this would apply to calls, too.

Call barring might be useful if you are someone who travels abroad but does not have international phone plans that support data while they are elsewhere.

In such cases, you could activate call barring in order to make sure no calls come in or out, thus avoiding huge charges on phone bills and similar issues that might cause great difficulty when you’re not at home.

Additionally, if you have a hybrid phone that allows for two SIM cards and numbers, one is probably a personal phone number for yourself, and the other one would be a business or work number.

You could use call barring to make sure nothing comes in or goes out from your work number when you are on your off days, for example.

How Can I Turn On or Off Call Barring on My Phone?

Not all phones support call barring, but many modern ones do. It is a supplementary feature that is usually found in the ‘Settings’ menu of your device. You can also go to the ‘Phone’ app directly in order to look for it.

To turn call barring on or off, we’ve provided you with some helpful steps below:

1. Locate the feature on your phone. If you’re unsure whether your phone supports it, you can always search for it manually in the ’Settings’ section of your phone.

Otherwise, go to the appropriate app on your phone to locate it. If it isn’t in the usual settings, you can tap options to see more settings in the app, and it should be there.

2. Click on the ‘Call Barring’ subheading to be taken to the appropriate menu.

3. Specific options and wording may vary here, but you should see options for both voice and video calls.

4. If you go to voice calling first, you’ll probably see headings for outgoing calls and incoming calls.

5. Within each of these sections, there should be different options from which you can select your preferred choices.

You may have things like blocking all international calls for outgoing and blocking all incoming calls for those you would receive.

6. Choose the option you would prefer and slide the appropriate button to activate it.

7. These changes in the settings should take place immediately. If you notice that they do not stick, you can try restarting the phone to see if they are active afterwards.

Is Call Barring the Same As Call Blocking?

Call blocking is probably something you already know about, and the chances are high that you have used it at least once to get rid of unwanted numbers. While call barring is similar, unlike call blocking, barring isn’t considered a standard phone feature.

Not every phone or version of the operating system you’re using will have it. However, more phones do seem to employ it these days. Both services can do something to block different sets of incoming calls, but barring may have more features that you can use.

As you’ve seen from setting up or activating call barring, you have more group control over which types of calls you’d like to bar from getting to your phone. You can use the feature to block entire types of calls within a certain group, for example.

With call blocking, you’ll usually need to block individual numbers from which you are receiving calls. Although there is probably a feature to block all anonymous calls from coming in this way, some numbers may still slip through.

Spoofing a number that you know is a common way to do this, and you may find that it isn’t really the number you thought it was when you pick up the call.

Call barring also gives you control over the kinds of outgoing you can make. As we’ve touched on, you can even set it so that the device can’t let you make outgoing calls at all. There are less drastic options to choose from as well.

Call blocking is a feature that deals with callers who are trying to get in touch with you, and it has nothing to do with you being able to make calls that go out.

In this way, you could say that barring has some features of call blocking embedded within it, but it is a more comprehensive service overall.

Why Can’t I Make Calls When Call Barring Is On?

Technically, you should still be able to make calls when call barring is on. However, it depends on the specific settings you have chosen for this service. If you find that you’re unable to make any calls at all, we recommend that you go back into the call barring settings and see what is active there.

It is possible you’ve turned on the feature that blocks you from making any calls. If so, you should be able to uncheck it and make calls normally. There are also options that might prevent you from making specific types of calls, so it is best to look over everything carefully.

You may run into a situation in which you seem to be barred from making calls, and it could be the case even though you know the service is not active in this way. If this is the case, it may be a good idea to contact your carrier to see if there is an unrelated problem with you making outgoing calls.

They may be able to see if something is wrong and offer support to fix the issue. Otherwise, you should also check the network and Wi-Fi settings on your phone itself. One of these things could have some kind of option ticked that is preventing you from making calls.

If everything seems to be in order here, you can also check to make sure the APN settings for your carrier are correct, too. You may be able to solve the issue by turning Wi-Fi or network settings off and back on again.

If nothing else works, try the standard solution of restarting your phone. If the network carrier notices no issues, a more drastic option may be to back up and factory reset the phone.

What Happens When Your Phone Is Barred?

This problem is a bit different from you activating call barring as a feature. In this case, we are assuming that an outside force has barred your phone itself. The most probable third party here would be your carrier.

If your phone is barred, you likely won’t be able to get cellular service at all. This would include incoming or outgoing calls, and any other exchange of data that relies on your carrier’s network.

It is possible that you might still be able to perform some actions while the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network, but this might depend on the nature of the barring itself.

If you didn’t do anything and are not sure why the bar is in place, you can try using a different device to contact your carrier and see if the issue is something that they can resolve. However, barring is something that can happen if your phone is lost or reported stolen.

In such cases, you want to be able to make sure that the device is not usable by someone else, and barring is an effective way for the network to make sure this kind of safeguard is in place.


Call barring is a nice feature that includes some of the same options that you might with the more familiar call blocking. However, it is something of an expanded service, and it can prevent all sorts of incoming or outgoing calls.

It is most useful for making sure you protect your data usage when outside of a coverage area, but it can have other advantages based on which types of calls you need to block.