Learn 7 easy ways to check if a phone number is valid and active without calling them

How To Check If A Phone Number Is Active Without Calling?

Businesses use phone numbers for a variety of purposes. For many companies, they’re essential for keeping in touch with clients or following up on leads. Most businesses probably don’t want to waste their time with ‘dead’ phone numbers, so it is essential that they keep tabs on whether a phone number is active or not.

While you can always check whether a phone number is active by calling it, this should be a last resort. Calling somebody for the sake of checking whether their number works is just plain irritating, and it takes a huge amount of time to do. This is why it is essential that businesses (and personal users) learn a few tricks to check whether a phone number is active without calling them.

On this page, we’ll give you a variety of methods that you can utilize when it comes to how to check if a phone number is active. We’ll teach you how to use online directories and databases, reverse phone number lookups, and more. Our goal is to make it easier for you to work out which numbers are still active. This should help both your business and your personal life.

Understanding the Need to Verify Phone Number Status

Relying on inaccurate or outdated phone numbers when communicating with people causes all manner of problems. If you don’t have an up-to-date phone number, then it is impossible to contact somebody when you need them. It makes it tough to verify information, etc. Since people change phone carriers and phone numbers all the time, not keeping regular tabs on the verification of phone numbers can very quickly lead to a phone number database maintained by a business being out of date.

You can’t just call a phone number to verify it either, for multiple reasons:

  1. It is just annoying for the person on the other end of the phone. They really don’t want people to constantly call them to ‘check’ their number is still active. It may actually cost business.
  2. It is time-consuming to call numbers. Each phone call would take a few minutes to do, at a minimum.
  3. If you call and there is no answer/the phone number says there is an issue, it doesn’t necessarily mean the phone number is inactive. This means that you need to keep checking it.

Now, use phone numbers to call people when you have a genuine reason to call them. However, don’t use phone numbers purely for active phone number verification. Only use the number when you know it is real.

Utilizing Online Directories and Databases


Remember the phone directories that used to be sent to people’s homes? Well, they’re now online, and there are plenty of online directories that you can use to look up phone numbers.

You can tap the phone number into these directories, and they’ll let you know whether it is a real phone number, which is a great start. Some will even let you know who the phone number belongs to.

Unfortunately, there are a few limitations to this method:

  • You have to rely on the online directory and database to be up to date. The number could still be inactive, even if it is listed online as being active.
  • The directories and databases won’t contain every number, especially if the numbers are private.
  • You may be limited to the number of searches you can carry out. These platforms don’t like people harvesting data, after all.

Still, it is a very easy method to use if you’re just checking a few numbers. Most directories and databases are free too, which is even better.

Conducting Reverse Phone Number Lookups

CocoLookup online people search site helps find Gmail address with phone number

Ever been called by an unknown telephone number and tapped their number into a search engine to find out who they are? Well, that’s a reverse phone number lookup. You find out who owns the phone number. This can be useful if you want to check whether a phone number is active.

Reverse phone number lookups are simple tools. You tap in the number. The website then gives you details of who owns that number, etc. If the number appears, then you can be almost certain the number is active. Although, there is no guarantee an active number will appear in a reverse search (some people hide their numbers).

There are multiple reverse phone number lookup services out there, with https://www.cocolookup.com/ being one of the more popular ones. They all work in much the same way – tap in the phone number and search. You’ll then see all relevant data for that phone number. Pretty simple stuff!

If the phone number is for a business, you don’t even need to use a proper website. Type the phone number into Google, and nine times out of ten, you’ll find out whether the number is active that way.

Leveraging Messaging and Communication Apps

Nowadays, more and more people are using messaging and communication apps to keep in touch with their friends/family. WhatsApp is one of the more popular of these. While they are normally used to actually communicate, they can also be used for phone number verification and activity.


If you add the phone number you want to verify into the app, and the person accepts your request, then you’ll get details of:

  1. Whether the phone number is active.
  2. Whether the phone number is being actively used.
  3. The profile picture for the phone number (ideal for identity verification).

WhatsApp, for instance, will tell you the last time somebody used WhatsApp. If the number is being actively used, they’ll probably utilize WhatsApp a lot.

Of course, if you’re looking into how to check if a phone number is active, this is a method that will only work if the number utilizes one of these apps, which may be rarer if it is a business number. It is more for checking personal phone numbers.

Using Social Media and Online Platforms

Social media can also help in verifying phone number activity. Facebook, Twitter, etc. all require phone numbers when signing up, and both allow you to search by phone number. If the phone number is attached to an account, then you can quickly tell whether it is active.

Most businesses that are active online will keep their phone number attached to their profile, and you may even find these phone numbers used on online forums, LinkedIn, etc.

Since most people stick with the same phone number for an incredibly long time, chances are pretty high that you’ll find a reference to it somewhere online.

Analyzing Carrier Information and Phone Number Formats

There are two things we want to touch on here:

  1. Carrier information
  2. Phone number formats.

Did you know that every cellphone number provider has their own unique prefix? In the US, it is heavily influenced by geographic regions instead. Since all these numbers follow the same format, it isn’t too tricky to work out whether a number is valid or not, even the carrier. Although, do bear in mind that this doesn’t work in all countries. Wikipedia gives a good overview of how this all works, and even the carrier details.  

Phone number formats are different too. While each country has its own systems, the numbers generally have a similar order to be in (i.e. in the UK, most numbers start with 07 or 01), and they must have a certain number of numbers to be valid numbers. In the UK, again, this is 11. If the number does not follow that format, then you know it is not an active phone number, or it is active in a region different from what you think.

Since this whole process can be pretty tricky to decipher, especially if you have multiple numbers to handle, the best method is to use a free carrier lookup service at places like Number Tracker Pro. This will tell you whether a number meets the criteria to be an active number, although it won’t necessarily tell you whether that number is active. Although, they do have tools you can use to do that.

Employing Third-Party Verification Services

If you want to know for sure whether a phone number is active, then you can use third-party phone number verification services. Each provider is different, and they will utilize various tools to check the validity of a phone number. Experian is one of the better tools for mass-checking phone numbers since you can get a wealth of information about each phone number. It costs money, but it’ll require less effort spent verifying.

These paid services (which normally cost a few cents per search) are incredibly accurate, and their databases are almost complete. This means that they can verify in ways that you can’t do using free methods. The downside is the cost, but it is the only way to properly verify everything. They’ll even tell you whether they believe a number is still active.


While you can make direct calls to verify whether a phone number is active, it is a time-consuming and irritating process. This is why it is important to use other methods such as social media, online databases, carrier and number format verification, or paid services.

Because no one method is 100% infallible, it is essential to use as many methods as possible to verify the activity of important phone numbers. Utilize multiple strategies, and you can build up a solid database of verified numbers without the need to rely on inactive phone numbers – great for businesses and personal use.

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