How to block SMS messages on iPhone

There is an increasing trend of telemarketers using any means possible in an attempt to offer low-rate credit cards, free cruise trips and other nonsense. For some it’s looking for a way to lose contact with that crazy ex-girlfriend or boyfriend. We’ve outlined how to block calls on iPhone in iOS 6 and blocking calls in iOS 7, but what about text messages. While the Messages app preferences don’t offer much in the way of preventing unwanted texts, there is hope depending upon your carrier. We traveled down the rabbit hole with all of the major carriers hoping to find out how to block SMS messages on iPhone. What we found was good and bad, so read on for the dirty details.

block sms messages iPhone

Preventing Phone Spam
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‘.

block messages AT&T

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.

Verizon
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.

Block Internet Spam Verizon

Sprint
To stop Internet Spam in its tracks, send one of the following applicable texts to 9999.

  • block 
  • block 
  • block email

How to block your crazy ex
There is a good chance that you’ve stumbled upon this article in an attempt to block messages from your crazy ex-girlfriend (or boyfriend). There are no apps in the App Store and nothing within Message that allows for this function. If you are running stock iOS, then your only option is to purchase a plan from your wireless carrier.

AT&T Wireless
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.

Verizon
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.

Block text messages iPhone

Sprint
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.

iBlacklist
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.

Whatever your reason for blocking SMS messages from hitting your iPhone, there are a number of options to help safeguard you from receiving unwelcome texts. Depending upon your carrier, these options could be either paid or free. While the App Store doesn’t provide any solutions, jailbroken iPhones can pay a one time fee of $8 for iBlacklist, which might be advantageous to those looking to skirt extra monthly fees charged by AT&T for this type of service.

  • Sam

    These services should be free now, I mean one of the first things they figured out with phones was how to block a certain number from calling you.

  • Rich Trost

    I’ve used Verizon block calls to block the crazy girlfriend. While they can not call in nor me out to her number texts SMS’s from her number are still received by my phone and I can stil text her phone?????

    • Aurora Romero Sosa

      OMG!!! I’m having the same problem, except with my ex boyfriend… It’s funny to think that you’re paying like $4/ month and iMessages are still able to go trough. They told me I have to contact Apple so they can block it… It’s either that, or I will have to change my number :/

      • D Smith

        I just spoke to Verizon about this and if both people have iPhones then the texts are sent/received via iMessaging. The only way to stop that is to turn your off thru your messaging settings.

  • debbie

    i cant find the app to block messages on my iPhone 4s, went into the app on my phone and doesn’t bring up anything… i am getting some nasty messages from one particular person, and i do not want to shut my messaging down, cause i have others i like to chat with… can you send me a link.. that I can download onto my iphone?

  • Nelly

    HOW CAN I BLOCK CONTACT FROM MY PHONE LIST ? I have Iphone4
    Thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/jynmeyer Jyn Meyer

    Thank you! We thought it was one of those hefty fines they charge for blocking calls! Oh and kudos for using my photo! I’m always surprised when I search for something and see myself (and my work) representing it, ha!

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzan.satterfield Suzan Satterfield

    For a minute there, I had hope but reading the comments, I see that even paying $4.99/month to AT&T won’t block texts. (I’m getting them from an ex-college friend who’s taking the fast train to political crazy town so you can imagine how often I’m getting them during election season). Looks like all I can do is “clear all” without reading if I don’t want to jail break my iPhone and lose the warranty.

    • poptop22

      You could just jailbreak it, then restore it before you have Apple look at it. They really have no way of knowing unless they see evidence of jailbreaking.

  • leaves

    Hi!

    I’m considering buying the new iPhone 5. I’m looking for a strong application
    for iPhone 5/iOS 6 (without jailbreaking) that would keep my specific calls and messages private. The features
    that I’m looking for are:

    1.
    Automatic
    hiding of the application after a defined period of time;

    2.
    Password protection on run/switch to application

    3.
    Automatic cleaning of phone system log;

    4.
    Automatic cleaning of application’s log;

    5.
    Interception of incoming and outgoing calls and messages and transfer to
    application’s hidden calls and messages list;

    6.
    Hide SMS messages, deleting records from system calls log.

    Can you recommend any good application?

    Thanks.

    • Anon

      What you’re looking for is available with a variety of apps on Android. Not slamming on Apple, but the simplicity of use with iOS comes with the trade-off of fewer options/choices. This appears to be one of those cases.

  • Wendy

    We’re in UK & my daughter recently started getting calls from an unidentified number in Nigeria. Terrified this was some kind of scam we contacted Network provider from whom the only help we could get was confirmation of the international dialling code being from Nigeria & only then after I lost my temper with them! It has been near on impossible to block this number but the advice on this site has certainly helped. Many thanks – Wendy

  • http://www.facebook.com/clairembnn.cjdj Claire Demetre

    Smart Limits does not block texts on an APPLE iPhone. So if you have one, don’t even try. I just spent 2 hours setting it up under AT&T’s guidance on a call. Sure enough after I set it all up I still rec’d texts from a number I didn’t allow, but had blocked. Called back and this person at AT&T told me it doesn’t work with the APPLE IPHONE.. she said call them and see if they have something or consider buying a different phone if you want that capability.

  • Crysss

    Once you’ve blocked someone from texting you, do you have to continue to do it every month? Well with sprint anyway .

  • Figget

    Penis lol

  • Jennifer

    I use straight talk – via AT & T – can I still block unwanted texts this way?

  • Lauren

    Does the Sprint SMS block method actually work? I want to block a certain person and not be able to get any of his texts anymore.

  • Aaqil

    This guide is telling how to block sms on networks not on iphone :(

  • Anta

    Unfortunately what you are saying here about Verizon (even when it says so in Verizon’s website) is not correct. Verizon blocks the phone calls but txts keep coming :-(

    • Anta

      About my own comment, I finally found how to block the txts from my annoying ex. We both have iphones and I had iMessage on, so the txts were going through that instead of through Verizon. Turn off the iMessage after blocking the fun number on the Verizon website, and voila!

      • Laura

        Does that mean that no one can send you iMessages then?

        • Anta

          yes, that’s the cost, but for some time I’ll be able to stop the bugging of a particular person :-)

  • Raine

    Hi all —

    If you have an iPhone and you’re with AT&T, and you want to activate their service called SmartLimits —YOU HAVE TO TURN OFF YOUR IMESSAGE. Blocking both outgoing and incoming texts between iPhones is not possible — you have to turn off your iMessage (along with purchasing SmartLimits). This and a lot of SELF-CONTROL TO NOT text/drunk text that person you blocked will solve your problem.

    P.s. you can still text even if your iMessage is off. You just need to pay for it, especially if you don’t have an unlimited text plan or any kind of text plan at all.

  • anon

    I want to block my boss from texting me. :)

  • Sue Bee

    Im in Canada and have an Iphone with Rogers. If you have Rogers download the rogers app and go to messaging and theres options there for extreme messaging where you can block numbers trying to text you . Tho if you both have iphones the imessage will override the block so you would have to turn your imessage off because Apple runs on its own ( for example a newer ipod can text via wi-fi imessage but not to another non- iphone) if the harasser doesnt have An iphone then no worries just leave your imessaging on .