How to enable Auto Call Screening on the Google Pixel 4

Tired of dealing with spam calls and fake phone numbers? If you have a Google Pixel 4 device, you are a configuration away from never having to bother with them again.

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Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

Most Android users who happen to have the latest, greatest iteration of Google's platform have already experienced the Call Screening feature. If you haven't, it's truly one of the best ways to avoid the never-ending deluge of spam phone calls. 

But that feature requires at least a minimum interaction with those spam callers. You have to tap the Screen Call button and then wait to find out if the call is actually spam (which means you have to read their reply to the canned response).

With the recent update to the Pixel 4, there's a much easier method, thanks to Auto Call Screening. This new feature allows you to manage unknown call settings by automatically screening numbers that match Google's spam database as well as callers that may be spammers using altered numbers.

Once enabled, Android will automatically screen those calls, so you no longer have to tap the Screen Call button, as it happens, automatically, in the background. What this means is you will rarely, if ever, have to deal with spam calls again. 

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What you'll need

The only thing you'll need to make this work is a Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL with the latest Android update applied. This feature has yet to trickle down to non-Pixel Android, so until that happens, you'll have to stick with the manual screening of calls.

How to enable Auto Call Screening on Google Pixel 4

The first thing we'll do is enable Call Screen for spam calls. To do this, open the phone app and tap the menu button in the upper-right corner. From the drop-down tap Settings. In the resulting window (Figure A), tap Spam And Call Screen.

Figure A

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The Phone app Settings window.

In the next window (Figure B), tap Call Screen.

Figure B

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The Spam and Call Screen settings window.

From the Call Screen settings window (Figure C), tap Spam.

Figure C

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The Call Screen settings window.

From the pop up (Figure D), select Automatically Screen. Decline Robocalls.

Figure D

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Configuring how spam calls are handled with Call Screen.

How to use the Possibly Faked Numbers feature in Google Pixel 4

Back at the Call Screen settings window, tap Possibly Faked Numbers and, from the popup, select Automatically Screen. Decline Robocalls (Figure E).

Figure E

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Configuring how possibly faked numbers are handled with Call Screen.

And that's it. At this point, Android will automatically screen both known spam numbers and possibly faked numbers. You will no longer have to bother hearing or seeing those spam calls on your phone again. 

Since enabling this feature on my Pixel 4, I haven't had to deal with a single spam call or spoofed phone number. That proverbial silence is such sweet relief. If you have a Pixel 4 device, run (don't walk) to set up this feature. You won't regret it.

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