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How to use Android 12’s call filtering features


In February 2020, we published an article on how to use the handy call screening feature that Google introduced for its Pixel phones. Screen Call, Google’s filtering app, lets you screen calls for numbers you don’t recognize (or people you don’t particularly want to talk to).

Almost two years later, and with Android 12, the company has added some useful features that can not only save you from having to deal with spam calls, but can save you from having to deal with the tedious process and frustrating to work on call menus. And some of them are available even if you don’t have a Pixel.

How does call screening work? When you receive a phone call from someone who is not in your contacts list, you get a “Screen call” button (along with buttons to accept or decline the call). If you press “Screen call”, the caller will receive an audio message asking them to say who they are and why they are calling. The transcribed text of the message and its response will appear on your screen. You can then choose whether you want to take the call or not.

Unfortunately, as we all know, there can be big differences between Android phones depending on the manufacturer and model. As a result, one of the latest available features – automatic call filtering – is currently only available on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

So this article offers separate instructions on how to use Google’s call filtering feature for a Pixel 6 or 6 Plus and other phones that can currently run Android 12. We used a Pixel 3 for the latter. However, if you have, for example, a Samsung phone, you can access some of these features by downloading the Google Phone app from the Play Store, and you will probably find that these instructions work for you as well.

If you do not recognize the caller, select the “Screen call” button.

How to use Android 12’s call filtering features

Your correspondent’s answer will appear on your screen and you can choose to accept the call or hang up.

It is not difficult to manage how Screen Call works. Here’s how you can adjust your settings, depending on whether you’re using a Pixel 6 model or not.

Pixel 6 and 6 Pro

  • In the Phone app, tap the three dots in the top right corner
  • Go to Settings> Spam and call filter

First you will see two commands that you can turn on and off: “View Caller ID and Spam” (which allows the phone to identify business and spam numbers, as well as known contacts) and “Verified Calls” (which allows you to see the call ID for businesses that are verified as legitimate).

How to use Android 12’s call filtering features

Tap “Spam & Call Filter”.

How to use Android 12’s call filtering features

You can enable checks to identify business numbers.

For all other commands, press “Call screen”. This is where you can decide what to do with calls that fall into one of the following categories: spam, possibly spoofed numbers, first-time callers, or withheld numbers. Either way, you have two choices: you can choose to have the phone ring, and then manually decide whether you want to screen the call or not, or you can let Google automatically screen the call and decline it if it happens. is an automated call. The only exception is spam calls, which you can also choose to decline silently so that your phone does not ring at all.

How to use Android 12’s call filtering features

On a Pixel 6 or 6 Pro, you can automatically filter certain calls.

How to use Android 12’s call filtering features

Tap a category, such as spam, to have it filtered automatically.

You must define each of these categories separately: tap on the category name and select how you want these calls to be handled. The default is to ring the phone and let you manually decide if you want to screen the call, so if that’s your choice, you can just leave it as it is. And one thing to know: According to Google, automatic filtering won’t work if you’re using headphones or speakers.

There are two other features that you can activate in the call filter. You can record the sound of all screened calls. You can also ask a female or male sounding voice to answer the filtered call; the default is female, so if you want to change it, paste on “Voice”.

Older pixels and other phones

If you’re not using a Pixel 6 or 6 Plus, you’ll still have the option to screen a call whenever the number isn’t in your contact list (although you don’t have access to the automatic filtering available in the Pixel 6 line). You can manage call filtering settings here:

  • In the Phone app, tap the three dots in the top right corner
  • Go to Settings> Caller ID & Spam

How to use Android 12’s call filtering features

On many other Android phones, you can find the filter settings under “Caller ID and spam”.

How to use Android 12’s call filtering features

You can choose to filter out suspected spam calls so that you don’t have to deal with them.

You will have access to three controls that you can turn on and off: “View Caller ID and Spam” (which allows you to identify business and spam numbers, as well as known contacts), Filter spam calls (to prevent suspicious spam calls from ringing your phone) and Verified Calls (which allows you to see the call ID for businesses that are verified as legitimate).

Whether you have access to automatic filtering or just manual filtering, there is no question that being able to filter out unknown phone numbers can help us avoid having to deal directly with annoying and / or fraudulent calls.

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