No Caller ID vs. Unknown Caller - Whats the Difference?

by Lookify Staff Writers
Published on: April 23, 2023
Last updated: February 9, 2024
Reading time: 10 min.

Have you ever received a phone call from a number that displays as "No Caller ID" or "Unknown Caller"? If so, you may have wondered who is calling from this unknown number, and what the difference is between these two types of calls and why they appear differently on your phone. In this article, we'll explore the distinctions between these two types of calls and the reasons behind their display names.

What is a "No Caller ID" Call?

When a call comes in as "No Caller ID," it means that the caller has deliberately withheld their phone number from being displayed on your caller ID. This is commonly done for privacy reasons or to prevent the recipient from returning the call. In some cases, it may also be due to technical issues or network errors that prevent the caller's number from being displayed.

"No Caller ID" calls can come from a variety of sources, including telemarketers, scammers, or even legitimate individuals who wish to remain anonymous (a common example of a legitimate reason for a caller with No Caller ID is a debt collector, to increase the odds that the recipient will answer the phone if they are unsure who called). Unfortunately, "No Caller ID" calls can also be a source of unwanted or harassing calls, as the recipient has no way of knowing who is on the other end of the line. In some cases, the person making the call may have dialed *67 prior to placing the call, which sometimes displays "No Caller ID" to the call recipient. If you receive a call from a "No Caller ID" number, it's important to exercise caution and be wary of any unsolicited offers or requests.

What is an "Unknown Caller" Call?

On the other hand, "Unknown Caller" typically appears on your caller ID when the phone carrier is unable to determine the origin of the call. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as if the call is coming from a phone number that has not been assigned to a carrier, or if the call is being routed through multiple carriers and the origin cannot be identified. On older devices, it is also possible that the device is unable to display the name of the carrier responsible for making the call.

"Unknown Caller" calls may also be the result of network errors with your carrier or technical glitches, but they are generally not intentionally withheld numbers like "No Caller ID" calls.

How to Block "No Caller ID" and "Unknown Caller" Calls

While it may be frustrating to receive calls from either "No Caller ID" or "Unknown Caller," there are steps you can take to protect yourself. On iPhone, you can Silence Unknown Callers by navigating to Settings > Phone, then scroll down to the bottom of the page and tap Silence Unknown Callers, to turn on the feature. On Android, you can block unknown phone numbers by opening the Phone app, tap the three dots in the upper right hand corner, tap "Settings", and toggling "Unknown" - which blocks call from unidentified callers.

How to block unknown calls on Android and iOS (iPhone)

If the caller is not appearing as "Unknown" or "No Caller ID", you can take the following steps to block calls from a specific phone number on iPhone.

In conclusion, "No Caller ID" and "Unknown Caller" calls are two distinct types of calls that can appear differently on your phone. While "No Caller ID" calls are intentionally withheld numbers, "Unknown Caller" calls are typically the result of technical errors or carrier issues. By exercising caution and using the tools available to you, you can help protect yourself from unwanted or harassing calls.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does "Unknown Caller" mean on iPhone?

Unknown caller on iPhone means that the carrier of your iPhone can not determine who is placing the call to your device. This commonly occurs when there are network or technical issues with your carrier, or if the call has been routed through multiple carriers. In these cases, it;'s best to first call your carrier to determine why the number was unknown, as Apple will not be able to make that determination.

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