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How to block text messages on iOS and Android

Regardless of which feature-rich smartphone you have, its main function is to keep you in contact with the people in your life. Calling someone is one way to catch up, but it’s hard to argue against texting and SMS messaging, which, for many, is faster and more convenient.

Related: Tired of those pesky telemarketers? Here’s how to block calls on an iPhone

However, there are times when you may receive a message from a contact you’d rather not see again, or get a random message from someone with a questionable number. Sure, you can delete the message and move on, but a much more permanent solution is to block those people entirely, thereby preventing their texts from reaching you until you decide otherwise. Thankfully, both iOS and Android devices allow you to easily do this, and we’ve taken to breaking down the various ways to do so.

Blocking texts in iOS

Block texts from known contacts and phone numbers

Blocking texts in iOS requires a little more than simply blocking the phone number or contact in question, even though that will stop you from receiving notifications from those people when they try to reach out. For messages specifically, tap the message from the contact you want to block, then tap Details in the top-right corner. Again, in the top-right corner, you’ll want to tap the “i” icon to open the Info page, then tap Block this Caller at the bottom of the page.

Block Texts Thumb

Another way is to go to Settings > Messages > Blocked 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 known contacts. You can, however, filter and separate them from the rest of 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,” but 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 “imessage.spam@apple.com”. 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.

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