How to deactivate a private number on your phone


Having your phone number appear as “Private” or “Unknown” can be handy for keeping your number a secret.

But there are times when you might want to turn off this feature, like when friends or family don’t pick up because they don’t recognise the caller. If you’re scratching your head, and wondering how to switch this setting off, here’s a simple, step-by-step guide to help you deactivate or disable a private number feature on your phone.

The process involves changing your caller ID settings so that your number shows up when you make calls.

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Find the Settings app on your iPhone’s home screen and tap it to open. Scroll down until you see “Phone.” Tap on it.

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In the Phone menu, look for an option that says “Show My Caller ID.” Tap on it. You’ll see a toggle next to “Show My Caller ID.” If it’s off (you’ll see it’s not green), tap the toggle to turn it on (it will turn green). This change means your number will now be visible to people you call.


The steps for Android phones can vary more because of the different brands and versions of Android. Here’s a general guide, but remember, you might need to poke around a bit if your phone’s menu looks different.

Tap on the Phone app like you’re going to make a call. Look for three dots (menu) or more options, usually at the top right corner of the screen. Tap it.

Tap “Settings” from the menu that appears.

Scroll until you find “Supplementary Services,” “More settings,” or “Call settings.” The exact wording can vary.

How to deactivate a private number on your phone []

Tap on “Show my caller ID,” “Caller ID,” or a similarly named option.

You might see a few options; select “Show number” or the equivalent to make sure your number appears when you call someone.

What if your number still shows as private?

If you’ve followed the steps above and your number still shows as “Private” or “Unknown” when you call someone, there might be another reason.

In some cases, your phone carrier might have set your number to appear as private. You’ll need to contact them directly and ask them to change this setting for you. It’s usually a quick call to customer service.

Some special apps or services you’ve installed might also affect how your caller ID is displayed. Think about any apps you’ve recently downloaded that might have permission to modify your call settings and check their settings individually.

  1. Be patient: Sometimes, the changes take a little while to take effect. If your number still appears private right after changing the settings, wait a few minutes and try again.
  2. Restart your phone: If the setting doesn’t seem to be applied, turning your phone off and on again can help refresh your settings.
  3. Privacy considerations: Remember, once your number is no longer private, anyone you call will see your number. Make sure this is what you want before making the change.

Turning off the private number feature on your phone is pretty straightforward once you know where to look. Whether you use an iPhone or an Android, following the steps above should help you get your number to display properly on caller IDs.

And if all else fails, your phone carrier is just a call away to help sort out any lingering issues.

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