Apple’s iOS 8 operating system offers more privacy controls, allowing you to control who does and doesn’t contact you. Previous versions of iOS required you contact your carrier or use a third-party application that often required you jailbreak your iPhone. It was frustrating for people, who rightly so, expected Apple’s iPhone to handle such an easy request. If you are receiving unwanted texts from ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, telemarketers, having an iPhone often led to frustration. Things have changed with iOS 7 and it is now incredibly easy to block text messages in iOS 8.
Updated: January 29th, 2015
When you text on your iPhone, you use the ‘Messages’ app. This allows you to send SMS messages using your cellular network or free messages using Apple’s iMessage service, which works over WiFi. iMessage allows you to send messages to any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac. If you are receiving texts from an individual that you would like to block, there are two ways to block them.
Block Texts From Contact In iOS 8
Follow these steps:
- Navigate to Settings > Messages
- Scroll down and tap on ‘Blocked’
- Tap on ‘Add New…’
- iOS 7 will bring up your contacts. Scroll and tap on a contact to block messages.
This will block messages from that sender. If you have multiple phone numbers, iMessage email accounts, iOS will automatically add them all to your blocked list.
Block Spam Texts
The above method works great for dealing with unwanted text messages from people who you have in your contacts. But what about uninvited spam messages? No problem!
- Open the Messages app
- Tap on the message received from the contact you would like to block
- Tap on ‘Contact’
- A drop-down menu will come up with phone, Facetime and and details option. Tap on the ‘i’ for details.
- Although this person/company is not in your contacts, iOS 8 will bring up what looks like a contact card.
- Scroll the bottom and select ‘Block this Caller’.
Preventing Phone Spam Using Wireless Carrier Tools
When you receive an unsolicited text or advertisement, then you are the unfortunate victim of phone spam. According to AT&T, a large portion of these messages are sent from the Internet to your iPhone, so they are actually sent via an email message. They provide a free service with an assortment of blocking options. Once you sign up, you can make changes to the following:
- Email delivery control: You can select ‘Block all text messages sent to you as email’ and/or ‘Block all multimedia messages sent to you as email‘.
Allow, Disallow Lists
You can create your own list of email addresses you’d like to either whitelist (Allow list) or blacklist. This can be extended to block any messages from a particular domain using the format domain.com.
Sign into myVerizon and you can access Verizon Safeguards. Here you will find a tab for Internet Spam Blocking. They allow up to 15 email addresses. You can also block all text message sent from the web and/or block all text messages sent from email.
To stop Internet Spam in its tracks, send one of the following applicable texts to 9999.
- block email
AT&T offers an option called Smart Limits for Wireless, which runs $4.99 per month. It offers a host of features, but most notably the ability to block incoming, outgoing calls and text messages. This feature supports up to 30 numbers. It’s intended to be more of a parental control, but these enhanced features will prevent harassing text or phone calls.
One of the benefits of having Verizon Wireless as your carrier is the ability to block calls and messages without an additional fee. If you have a family plan, the numbers can be blocked across all lines. Sign into myVerizon and select I want to… “Block Calls and Messages” and enter up to (5) phone numbers.
They handle blocking through the use of shortcodes. Here’s how to block SMS messages on Sprint.
Text block XXX-XXX-XXXX (remove the dashes) to 9999.
If it goes through, you should receive the following message.
SprintFreeMsg: block: Text messages to and from “XXXXX” are now blocked.
Tip: By sending help to 9999, you’ll receive a help message from Sprint on how to use assorted shortcodes.
If you are jailbroken and don’t mind the investment of $12, there’s been plenty good said about iBlacklist and it’s ability to prevent incoming calls and messages. It works similar to AT&T’s allow/disallow list, but it does so with phone numbers and not just email addresses.
Armed with two ways to block unwanted SMS and iMessages, iOS 7 or later makes it easy to receive messages only from friends and family. If you’re looking to avoid people from contacting you, you might want to consider learning how to block calls in iOS 8.