Phones are amazing inventions, there are several useful things you can do on a phone to help you manage your calls. It used to be that the only way you could tell who called you was to dial in specific numbers or by pressing “redial”. However, modern smartphones offer you much more convenient and versatile options for managing phone calls.
Today, we’ll talk about the meaning of the “69” and what it does on your cell phone.
What is *69?
You may have heard of dialing star 69 or *69 on a landline, a method otherwise known as “last call return”. This is an “old school” way of checking which number called you last on a landline phone. This is one of many phone tricks that give you the option of calling that number back, provided it’s not private or unknown. Now, there are several benefits to *69, including the ability to:
- Quickly return missed calls that you weren’t able to answer immediately
- Callback certain numbers in the case of an emergency, without having to memorize what number to dial
- See who called you last and determine whether or not they are someone you want to talk to
- Trace prank callers
Dialing *69 is a handy tool for redialing the number that called you. But there are several limitations and drawbacks, such as:
- The person who called you may have blocked their caller ID using *67. This basically hides their number from the person they’re calling and prevents any callbacks.
- If the number is unknown or private, you won’t be able to see who called or call them back.
- For landlines, you won’t get any instant navigation options to help you deal with the caller. That includes viewing their location, blocking them, or the ability to add them to your contacts.
- Dialing *69 can be somewhat inconvenient if you’re in a big hurry and trying to make a call as quickly as possible.
- If the call was made from outside your local area or on a mobile phone, you may not be able to call back the number.
- You can only use *69 to call back the most recent number that has called you.
Cell phones and *69: What are the alternatives?
So, what happens when you dial *69 on a cell phone rather than a landline phone?
Many people don’t use landline phones anymore. Nowadays, cellular phones and smartphones give you the ability to view caller IDs instantly without having to type anything at all. Don’t be tempted to use the old method of dialing *69, it’s no longer necessary (or functional) for cell phones.
When someone calls you on your cell phone, their number and location will appear in your recent history in your Phone application (even if you’ve missed the call or didn’t hear it). This feature defeats the purpose of dialing *69. That’s because you can simply call back by pressing on the caller on your phone’s screen.
Is using *69 on a cell phone really irrelevant? In most cases, yes. For smartphones such as iPhone and Android devices, dialing *69 will result in hearing an automated voice message saying “your number could not be completed as dialed”.
To figure out who called you on your smartphone, there is a much easier way than dialing *69. Just go into your Phone app, there should be an option to view your recent calls where you can easily choose which number to call back. In addition, your smartphone records the date and time for each call. So you can be sure you’re calling back the right one.
Dialing *69 will not work for a cellular smartphone like it would for a landline. Instead, you can take advantage of your cell phone’s visual aids and utilize the menu options to see who has called you. In addition to being able to call a number back, a smartphone will also be able to:
- Get a timestamp and date for each call
- Allow you to view the caller’s location (with some exceptions)
- Add the number to your contacts
- View and call back numbers, even if they’re outside your local area
- Return calls from both landlines and cell phones
- View all the numbers that have called you recently, not just the last one
With the instant-response features of a modern cell phone, you have seemingly endless options for managing all of your calls without the need to manually enter numbers into your phone. Thanks, modern technology!
Managing unwanted calls on a cell phone without *69
Although the new caller ID features of smartphones are incredibly practical, there are still a few limitations. For example, if someone with a blocked, private, or unknown number calls you, you won’t be able to call them back or get any information about them.
Are unknown callers becoming a problem? If you’ve blocked someone from calling your phone, they could be an unknown caller with a hidden caller ID. In other cases, the caller could be a telemarketer or a prankster.
If you’re dealing with nuisance callers that have unknown or private numbers, there are a few things you can do to block them. Depending on the type of cell phone you have, you should be able to go into the caller menu and select an option to block the unknown caller without having to input a specific number.
If problems persist, you should contact your phone service provider. They may be able to block callers more successfully or help you change your number completely.
Cell phones, give you more control and visual guidance
Dialing *69 on a cell phone simply does not work, this isn’t because the feature no longer exists. It’s because modern cell phones now have screens showing high definition displays, allowing you to navigate and control your calls without having to dial anything.
- Read next: How to lookup a cell phone number for free
Don’t worry – if you do use a landline, dialing *69 is still useful for viewing and returning recent calls. However, with a smartphone, you can easily see who called you by going into the recent calls menu, no need for manual dialing!