What’s the difference between unknown caller and no caller id

Last Updated on August 28, 2022 by Kennedy

Unknown caller and no caller id on iPhone, what the difference?

This is one of the questions asked by iPhone users, trying to know what’s the difference between unknown caller and no caller id on iPhone.

Look no further as this post contains a detailed explanation on the difference between the two terms and what they mean on your iPhone.

Now going straight to the answer;

The difference between unknown caller and no caller id is that unknown caller is a number not saved on your iPhone, while no caller id is a private call.

When someone hide his or her number when calling your number, that will show a no caller ID on your iPhone and this literally means a private number. The person doesn’t want to you to identify or see the number calling your phone. 

While on the other hand unknown caller is when your carrier couldn’t recognize the caller information.


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Before going further into the post let me explain what no caller id and unknown caller means on iPhone. 

What is no caller id 

Whenever you see no caller id be it on iPhone or on android phone, this simply means the caller disabled caller id when dialing your phone number.

If caller id is disabled on an iPhone or even on android phone, it will automatically set all outgoing calls to a no caller ID meaning that outgoing calls won’t display the phone number until you enable caller ID on your iPhone or android phone.

Below is a typical example of No Caller ID on iPhone.

what's the difference between unknown caller and no caller

Now remember that not everyone likes to answer no caller id calpl cause it is quite weird for someone to hide phone number or caller ID for outgoing calls.

How To Turn Off No Caller ID

To turn off no caller ID on your iPhone, get started by open the settings app and scroll down to PHONE, tap to open it.

Tap on Phone, look at the options presented to you and right there you will see Show My Caller ID.

Show my caller id

Tap on show my caller and by default you will see that the option is enabled, now you can go ahead and turn it off. Once you have done that, all your outgoing calls will not display your name and phone number.

But remember that if the recipient turned on Silence Unknown Callers, your call won’t get through to the recipient.

Looking at the above picture you will see where it states Silence Unknown Callers and the option is to block calls without caller or unknown callers.

So if the recipient you’re calling enabled the option on it’s iPhone, your call won’t get through to the recipient phone as it will be blocked once you dialed the recipient number.

On Android Phone

To enable no caller id on android phone, get started by opening the phone, tap on the hamburger menu option and select settings.

You will see Supplementary Services tap on it to open. Right there you will see Show Caller ID option as shown on the picture below.

what's the difference between unknown caller and no caller

Tap on Show Caller ID and you will be presented with three options which includes;

  • Network Default
  • Hide number
  • Show number

Select Hide Number and you’re good to go.

What does unknown caller mean iPhone?

When a call shows unknown caller, it simply means the network carrier couldn’t identify or interpret the phone number of a caller.

Unknown caller do have a phone number or name compared to no caller id that has no name or phone number. 

Mostly when you receive an unknown caller calls on your iPhone, it is usually a spam call, calls from the marketing agency or maybe an international phone number. Once your network carrier couldn’t interpret and identify the phone number of a caller, the call will be shown as unknown caller on your iPhone.

What’s the difference between unknown caller and no caller?

The main difference between unknown caller and no caller id is that when it says unknown caller it simply means the network carrier couldn’t identify the caller, while no caller id means the caller’s number and ID is completely hidden from the recipient.

Most times when you receive a caller from a number not linked to a particular network carrier, it will appear as unknown caller on your iPhone. 

Sometimes if a legit phone number not saved in your phone contact app dialed your number, you may see unknown caller though this is quite rare.

From my observation, when an iPhone says Unknown callers it is usually when you receive a spam call, a call from marketing agency or company, or maybe from an international number.

Unknown callers usually show a name or a phone number which is another difference between unknown caller and no caller id as no caller id doesn’t show a name or phone number. 

Spam calls are typical example of an unknown caller on iPhone. Spam calls usually have a phone number or a generic name, and also calls from marketing agencies do have a number attached to it. If your network carrier couldn’t identify these numbers, it will show as unknown caller on your iPhone. 

On the other hand, if your iPhone receives an incoming call that has no name and phone number, it will immediately show the caller as a no caller ID because the caller id of the caller couldn’t be seen and identified.

You can see the number of an unknown caller on your iPhone but won’t if it shows no caller ID.

Can you call back an unknown caller?

The simple answer is yes. You can call back an unknown caller simply because it usually has a phone number attached to the call. However, the call may not go through especially if the call is a spam call or from marketing agencies.

This is one major reason why you shouldn’t call back an unknown caller on your iPhone because it might be a spam call.

Again if the unknown call is from these marketing agencies, calling back the number will not go through as they are mostly not designed to receive calls. 

Can you call back a no caller ID?

The answer is no. You cannot call back a no caller ID simply because there’s no phone number attached to a no caller ID call.

You can’t unmask a no caller ID on iPhone or even on android phone. So far there’s no possible means or method to unmask a no caller ID caller, and if such irritate you, all you have to do is to enable Silence Unknown Callers on your iPhone and it will block both unknown caller and no caller id.

Does no caller ID mean someone in your contacts?

No caller ID doesn’t mean someone in your contact but rather someone hide his phone number upon calling your phone number. It can be someone you know and have it’s contact saved in your phone, or maybe someone you don’t even know or met before.

Does unknown caller mean they are in your contacts?

The answer is no. Unknown caller doesn’t mean they are in your contacts but rather your carrier network couldn’t identify the number used in calling your line. 

It may be a spam call, calls from marketing agencies, etc. As long as you don’t have the number saved on your phone, it will definitely appear as an unknown caller on your iPhone. 

Also note that unknown caller doesn’t mean blocked but rather the caller’s number couldn’t be identified.

What happens if I answer a no caller ID?

Nothing may happen even though it is quite risky especially if the caller happens to be a hacker.

Even though I don’t feel comfortable when I see a no caller ID, call but at the end I see myself answering the call. However, I’m very cautious as if I don’t recognize the person calling, I will end the call right away.

On three occasions I have received calls from a no caller ID and it happened to be someone from my family, while the other is a close friend. Because of this I choose not to enable Silence Unknown Callers on my iPhone unless I receive countless number of spam calls in a day or week I will enable the feature on my iPhone.

If you answer a a no caller ID call, nothing may happen to your phone or your information but you should be very careful especially if you don’t recognize the caller. And remember not to give out any code or information on your phone.

Are no caller ID calls dangerous?

No caller id calls are not necessarily dangerous as it may be a call from your family, friend or colleague that doesn’t want you to see and know his or her phone number.

Someone might have the need to call you but doesn’t want you to know his phone number in order to prevent you from being a nuisance to him with excessive calls and text messages.

Once again, someone you blocked on your phonecan choose to hide his number to call your phone. And remember that if you block someone on your phone and the person hides his number when calling your phone, the call will definitely go through.

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