Whether it’s a constant stream of spam messages or that persistent ex who won’t take “no” for an answer, blocking messages is something you need to learn how to do. Whether you use iOS or Android, the process is probably quicker and more painless than you realize.
No matter what kind of phone you have, blocking unwanted text messages and even phone calls is a simple procedure, and we’ll show you how.
Blocking texts in iOS
Block texts from known contacts and phone numbers
Blocking texts in iOS is easy. On your iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone whatever, here’s what to do: For messages specifically, tap the message from the contact you want to block, then tap on their name, which will reveal the Audio, Facetime, and Info options. Tap on the Info option, then tap on the arrow to the right of the phone icon next to their name. Scroll down and select Block This Caller.
Another way is to go to Settings > Messages > Blocked Contacts and tap Add New to add a new blocked contact. Using either method, you’ll not only block messages, but also phone calls and FaceTime calls. This saves you from having to go to the Phone and FaceTime apps and settings to block the same person.
Block texts from numbers that appear as unknown or private
Unfortunately, you can’t outright block unknown and private numbers in the same way you can block known contacts. You can, however, filter and separate them from the people you know. Go to Settings > Messages and toggle on the Filter Unknown Senders option. This will create a new tab in your Messages app called Unknown Senders, and you won’t get notifications for these. It may not be ideal, but it’s a decent compromise.
Report spam iMessages
Another thing you can do is report spam and junk iMessages. When you get an iMessage from someone you don’t know, there will be a Report Junk link. Tap the link to forward the sender’s information and message to Apple. The company should deal with the contact and eventually render the person or bot unable to message you again.
You can also email Apple at “firstname.lastname@example.org.” Keep in mind that you’ll need a screenshot of the message, as well as the email address or phone number that sent the iMessage, and the date and time you received it.
Apple doesn’t deal with SMS and MMS messages, but you can always report them to your carrier. AT&T, for example, suggests sending the spam message to 7726 (SPAM). Afterward, the carrier will look into the message.
Blocking texts in Android
On a Google phone
There are two ways to go about blocking messages on a Google phone, such as the Pixel 5 or Pixel 4. The first is to open the Messages app, then open or start a conversation with one of your contacts. Tap More — represented by three vertical dots — select Details, and tap Block & Report spam. You can also open the Messages app, touch and hold the conversation you want to block, and tap the Block icon when the option appears in the top-right corner.
On a Samsung phone
Similar to a Google phone, Samsung phones such as the Galaxy S21 or Galaxy S21 Ultra have two ways to block messages. One method involves opening Messages, then choosing the conversation that contains the contact you want to block. From there, tap the More icon, select Block number, and toggle to check Delete conversation if you like. Then, tap OK.
Or head to Messages > More > Settings. Tap Block messages, then Block numbers, where you can manually enter the contact’s number and tap the + sign, or choose from your inbox or contacts list. When you’ve entered all the numbers you want to block, tap the back arrow.
On an LG phone
Got an LG Wing? Good for you! Still rocking the LG Velvet? No problem! LG’s blocking process is fairly quick and straightforward. Start by opening LG’s messaging app and tapping the SMS or MMS message you want to block. Then, tap the three dots in the upper-right corner, then tap Block number to confirm your choice. The number should now be blocked.
On an HTC phone
Much like LG’s blocking process, HTC’s way of blocking unwanted messages is quick and easy. Open Messages, then tap and hold the desired text conversation until the Message options appears. Then, tap Block contact.
Using your carrier
Many mobile carriers provide services and additional settings to help their customers block messages from specific numbers, like those from telemarketers. T-Mobile has Message Blocking, Verizon has Block Calls & Messages, Sprint requires using Limits and Permissions via My Sprint, and AT&T has Secure Family.
Block texts with apps
There are dozens of apps in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store that provide you with more ways of blocking numbers and messages. We recommend checking these ones out if you decide to go with that option, but be aware of the potential privacy issues inherent with sharing your contacts.
Should I Answer? (free)
Should I Answer? is the best and our favorite choice for a call-blocking app. It includes an active forum that reviews and rates various phone numbers, as well as sharing other information, which makes it easy to tell if a phone number is legitimate, a bot, telemarketer, or a scam. It’s easy to block numbers online or off, and there’s an option to block any or all numbers outside of your contacts list. Yes, this text-blocking software accesses your contacts. However, the developer promises your contacts remain private without shares or uploads, and contacts are only accessed to check against incoming phone calls. Sadly, this app isn’t compatible with iPhones.
Hiya Caller ID and Block (free)
Truecaller, the next in line from the well regarded Truemessenger app, works in much the same way as its predecessor by alerting you to a spam call or message. It automatically and instantaneously blocks marketing texts and spam. The app’s mighty Caller ID system names and shames unknown numbers that harass you. This incredibly popular app has over 250 million users, and accesses and can share contact data, which may have you concerned about your private data. Rest assured: The company tells Digital Trends that your privacy will not be comprised.
“in accordance with Google Play Store and Apple App Store policies, Truecaller does not upload user contacts or make them shareable/searchable to others,” Hitesh Raj Bhagat, Director of Corporate Communications, told us. The app needs to reference your address book for basic phone functionality and to improve useability of its Caller ID features, he explained.