Google Android: Easy does it

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Q: I recently upgraded my Android-based smartphone's operating system (O/S) from KitKat to Lollipop (Google's names for Android operating systems 4.x and 5.x, respectively), and while I like the bigger icons and fonts, the functionality for blocking unsolicited spam callers has disappeared. Is there any way to get it back?

A: KitKat and Lollipop usually display the same size icons and fonts as a default, but each O/S provides an Easy Mode setting that displays larger icons and fonts, in addition to less complicated menus. It appears that you have activated this Easy Mode setting as part of your Lollipop upgrade, resulting in your auto-reject menu option not being displayed in the simplified Easy Mode menus. To restore your auto-reject menu option, disable Easy Mode by launching your Custom Settings screen, choosing Easy mode from the Personal section, and then selecting Standard mode (as pictured below, on left).

Thereafter, on those Android phones that support this feature, you can block unwanted callers as follows: Select Phone, Recent (to view your phone log), choose the caller you want to block, and then select Add to Auto reject list from the dropdown menu (as pictured below, on right). (Note: The auto-reject list functionality is still available in Easy Mode, but it is cumbersome to use auto-reject in this mode because it requires five menu selections and the manual inputting of each phone number you want to block; therefore, disabling Easy Mode is the easier option for blocking unwanted callers.)

Android Easy Mode

About the author

J. Carlton Collins ( is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor. Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2013, 2010, and 2007 versions, unless otherwise specified.

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