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Filter Spam Calls

How to Filter Spam Calls on the Pixel and Pixel 2

The Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and the Pixel 2 XL are running Google’s stock Phone application by default. This application has had a spam call notice feature for a while now but a recent update now lets us send those calls directly to voicemail.

Spam calls are increasingly becoming an issue these days. They used to be a problem with landlines with local governments even going as far as to create a national do not call list in an attempt to squash the issue. Those do not call lists can only be enforced against people who live in that country though. So with the move to globalization we are now seeing countries around the world abusing this system as they don’t have to worry about getting in trouble. Even this used to only be an issue with landlines but it has steadily grown to engulf the cellular phone industry as well.

Thankfully with a smartphone, we have a plethora of tools that we can leverage to take advantage of this stuff. Landlines are still stuck in this regard but smartphones can match these incoming phone numbers with lists of numbers that are suspected of being a spam call. If the call is suspected of being spam, the phone will still alert you that a call is coming in, but they’ll tell you that they feel it is a spam call just so you don’t pick it up. This is how things have worked on the Pixel and Pixel 2 lines for a while now.

However, a recent update has added in a feature that lets us send these suspected spam calls directly to voicemail.

How to Filter All Suspected Spam Calls Tutorial

  1. Open the stock Google Phone application
  2. Tap the 3-dot menu icon at the top right of the screen
  3. And then tap the Settings option to go into the phone app’s settings area
  4. From here, tap on the Caller ID & Spam option
  5. So we can then enable the Filter Suspected Spam Calls feature

Explanation

There have been a number of 3rd-party applications that offer a similar feature to what Google is giving us for free. However, some of these 3rd-party applications have done some dubious things with the data that they collect that is actually quite similar to what Facebook went through recently with Cambridge Analytica. I won’t go into any of that in this article as even Google has done some unwanted things with the data they collect online. You just have to ask yourself if you trust a company like Google more or an unknown 3rd-party company.

In any case, Google has been maintaining their list of suspected spam phone numbers for a while now. When they launched the first Pixel phone having a feature that at least alerted you of an incoming spam call was needed as it wasn’t included in Google’s stock Phone application. This is why so many people went looking for 3rd-party options. Now that Google began doing this, they have become quite good at it and we are always given the choice as to whether or not we will pick up the incoming call.

Filter Spam Calls Options
The top option here will likely be turned on by default but it’s the second toggle that we will need to manually enable.

The default feature of the Phone application has it so that we still need to pull out our phones to check who is calling and then most of us end up just declining the call once we see the bright red warning screen. This has become quite annoying for some, even if it’s better than nothing, so Google has built a new feature into the Phone application that will automatically send those suspected spam calls directly to your voicemail. While the other feature is enabled by default, Google has chosen to not treat this second feature the same way.

So you will need to open up the Phone application and then look for the 3-dot menu icon at the top right of the screen. Tap the Settings option from this drop down menu and then look toward the bottom of the list for an option called Caller ID & Spam. Tap on it and you’ll be taken to another screen with two options to choose from (as of writing this). The top option should be automatically enabled as it is what is telling the app to warn you with those red spam call screens.

It’s the second option that you want to tap on so that it is turned on and this is what will start sending those spam calls directly to your voicemail. This feature should work on any device that has installed the stock Google Phone application. So even if you aren’t running the Pixel phones then you just might get this feature on your device that is running LineageOS or some other custom ROM with Google Apps installed.


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