Blocking unsolicited calls on Skype for Business

I hate cold sales calls or emails. All of these end up on a block list. If I want your service, I’ll initiate the contact.

Skype for Business lacks a native call-blocking functionality. Here’s a workaround, if you also use Outlook.

How to block spam callers

Follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Create a new contact and fill in these fields:
    1. Full Name: Blocked Contact (xxx-xxx-xxxx) where xxx-xxx-xxxx is the phone number of the spam caller. That format is my preference, not a strict requirement. It’s also fine to use (xxx) xxx-xxxx, although that format has little meaning anymore since the area code is never optional when dialing numbers.
    2. Email: where xxx is a unique number. I simply increment that number from the prior-spam-caller’s contact card.
    3. Business (in the Phone numbers section): xxx-xxx-xxxx, which is the phone number of the spam caller.
  3. Hit the contact’s Save & Close button.
  4. If you get a Duplicate Contact Detected dialog, it’s because crude Outlook functionality suspects this contact may duplicate another one. It may happen because the name and email address data on each blocked-caller contact is similar. Select Add new contact, then press Update.
  5. Open Skype for Business.
  6. Search on the phone number of the blocked caller.
  7. You’ll get two results: the phone number itself and the Outlook contact, named Blocked Contact (xxx-xxx-xxxx). Right-click on the Outlook contact (again, the one named Blocked Contact) and select Change Privacy Relationship > Blocked Contacts.

Now the caller will usually be sent directly to your voice mail!

Why “usually”? On occasion, Skype for Business takes a few seconds to associate an incoming call with a blocked contact, so you may get some rings before the caller is sent to voice mail.