How do I hide a number on my iPhone?

12 May 2020, 10:27

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There are two parts to this blog. If you want to hide your own phone number when making a call, keep reading. However, if you want to hide a contact number for somebody so nobody else on your phone can see it, then skip to the heading below.

How to hide your number when making a call on an iPhone
To hide your number when making a call, and assuming that your cellular provider allows this feature, do the following: Open the Settings app, tap the Phone heading, tap the Show My Caller ID heading, and then tap the switch alongside Show My Caller ID so it’s deactivated.

Alternatively, in the US you can usually dial *67 before the number to hide any number on an as-needed basis. For example, to hide your number when calling 202-456-1111, you would type


In the UK, you should find that dialling 141 before the number works in the same way – for example, for the number 0181 811 8181, you would dial 14101818118181.

How to hide a number on the iPhone
If you share a phone with friends or family, you might want to hide away certain telephone numbers.

The bad news is that the phone and Contacts apps have no feature that lets you do this. Anybody who uses your phone can, with just a little effort, view all the phone numbers you have stored. And you can’t simply install an alternative phone or contacts app to get around this limitation, because Apple doesn’t allow that.

But nonetheless there are a variety of ways to hide a phone number on the iPhone. Here’s just one. It uses the built-in Notes app to create a locked note containing the number, that can’t be opened without a password.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Notes app, and create a new note (tap the pencil icon at the bottom right).
  2. On the first line type something innocuous and boring, so that it won’t arouse suspicion. Maybe something like, “Shopping list”. Then on a new line beneath, type something else innocuous. You need to do this because these first two lines are used to create the note preview in the notes listing. In other words, if you were just to type the secret phone number immediately on the first line then it would be visible whenever anybody viewed all your notes.
  3. On the third line, type the phone number that you want to hide.
  4. Tap the Done button at the top right. You’ll instantly see that the number turns into a link and, when you tap it, you’ll be asked if you want to call that number. Clever! This happens because the iPhone can detect what looks like phone numbers.
  5. But we aren’t done yet, because anybody could view the note and therefore see the number. We now need to Lock the note. To do this, tap the back button at the top left of the screen (the one that reads “< Notes”).
  6. Tap and hold your new note in the notes list. A preview of it will appear, but you can ignore this. Instead, look at the menu that’s appeared at the bottom. Tap the Lock Note menu entry.
  7. Assuming you haven’t already created a locked note, you’ll be invited to create a password. This single password will apply to ALL locked notes that you create from now on! Therefore, you should not forget it!
  8. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see a switch that will let you also use FaceID/TouchID instead of the password. Obviously, if you’ve configured your iPhone so others besides yourself can unlock it using their face/fingerprint then you should not select this option – because they’ll also be able to unlock this note.
  9. But we’re not quite done yet. You need to ensure the note is locked each time you’ve finished using it to make the call (in other words, you’ll need to return to the note after the call and lock it). To do this, tap the small Lock Now link at the bottom of the screen. when you’re viewing the main notes list. Or open the note and then tap the lock icon at the top right. Whenever anybody selects the notes now, they will see a message saying: “This note is locked.”

To call the secret number in future, just open the Notes app, select your secret note, unlock it, and tap the number. Then select to call the number when prompted.

Of course, this note could contain several secret phone numbers. Or you can create as many locked notes as you like.

Here’s some info from Apple about locking notes, including how to change the password if you need to. You should note that Apple doesn’t consider a locked note to be genuinely secure, and don’t advise people store genuinely secret info there like bank account details. But for hiding a phone number it’s a reasonable solution.

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