How to Block Text Messages

How to Block Text Messages

Unwanted texts can be annoying and unexpectedly costly if your data plan doesn’t allow unlimited texts. If you’re getting mountains of texts from a clingy ex or an automated spam-bot, your inbox space is being wasted and your bank account’s being drained. Nip the problem in the bud before your next billing statement! This guide will help you block unwanted texts once and for all.

Part 1 of 4: Blocking Texts through Your Carrier


1. Call your carrier’s tech support. Your carrier will most likely have a number you can call for tech support issues. On smart phones, calling this number can even bring up an easy-to use graphical interface. To begin, call this number. Your carrier’s tech support will probably provide options for blocking text messages. Here are the tech support or customer service numbers for four major U.S. cell phone carriers:

  • AT&T: 1-800-331-0500
  • Sprint: 1-888-211-4727
  • T-Mobile: 1-877-453-1304
  • Verizon: 1-800-922-0204
  • In addition, many carriers offer online chat services for technical support issues.



2. Block texts via online controls. Some cell phone carriers, like Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, allow subscribers to block texts (and calls) from a certain number of phone numbers free of charge. To use this service, you’ll need to be a paid subscriber with a registered online account. Log into your profile, then access your “My Verizon,” “My T-Mobile,” or “My Sprint” menu. The option to block numbers is under a submenu called “Manage Family Safeguards and Controls” for Verizon, “Plans and Services” for T-Mobile, and “Limits and Permissions” for Sprint.

  • Take note: Online blocks can eventually expire. For instance, blocks applied using Verizon’s online service expire after 90 days. Be sure to re-enter problem numbers for continued text blocking. Paid premium options can offer the option to permanently block numbers.



3. Use a Paid Child Control Service. Other cell phone companies, such as AT&T, won’t block text messages unless you subscribe to certain child control services. These services aren’t free – usually, they’re several dollars per month, per line. However, they offer a variety of privacy options – the ability to block texts from specified numbers, for instance. If the price of receiving unwanted texts exceeds the price of your carrier’s child controls, consider enrolling in the service.



Part 2 of 4: Managing Spam


1. Try texting “STOP. “STOP” is the most common opt-out reply for text marketing. If you’re receiving unwanted texts from a service that you’ve subscribed to, try this method. It isn’t necessarily guaranteed to work, but it’s quick and easy to try.

  • If it does work, it will save you spending time on hold with your cell phone carrier to block numbers. If you have a text message”signature” that auto-fills into the body of the text, remember to delete it or disable it before sending.


2. Don’t reply to unknown ads. Some text message ads are sent by automated programs designed to send ads to random phone numbers. In this case, replying to the ad (even just with the word “STOP”) can potentially make the problem worse. A reply signifies to the program that there’s an actual human at your number, so it will continue to send ads. If you get text spam from a source you don’t recognize, ignore it. If it persists, try one of the other methods.



3. Report spam. Most US carriers allow you to report spam messages free-of-charge. To report a spam message, copy the message text and send it to 7726 (“SPAM.”) This spam reporting service is operated by the GSM Association, a trade association for major mobile operators. By reporting the spam, you’re helping to eliminate an annoyance for yourself and other cell phone users. Other countries use different spam reporting numbers. In France, the number is 33700.  In India, the number is 1909.


Part 3 of 4: Blocking Texts on iOS7

1. Open the Messages app. If you’ve received an unwanted text recently enough that it’s still in your text history, you can easily block the sender. In the Messages app, select the text from the number you’d like to block. Select “Contact,” then “Info.” Scroll to the bottom and select “Block this Caller.”

  • When your harasser sends you a text, it will display on their phone as having been delivered, but you won’t receive it.


2. Alternatively, launch the Settings app. This method allows you to block texts from a sender who’s in your contacts, but not in your text history. In the Settings app, scroll down and select “Phone,” then “Blocked.” Select “Add New.” Now, find the person you’d like to block in your contacts list. Select this person and they’ll be blocked!


3. Try downloading a text-blocking app. Another way to block texts on iPhones is to download an app from the App Store. A variety of paid and free apps are available, each with its own selection of features – some, for instance, offer the ability to browse blocked messages. Here are a few apps that can block text messages on Apple products:

  • MCleaner
  • Pysl
  • iBlacklist(requires jailbroken device.)


Part 4 of 4: Blocking Texts on Android Phones


1. Open your text message inbox. Select the unwanted text. Highlight it for three seconds. A popup menu should appear. Select “Register as spam number.” Future texts from this number will be redirected to your spam folder and you won’t receive notifications when they arrive.

  • The precise steps for this method will vary based on your version of the Android operating system. Your phone may not have this option – if not, look for an SMS-blocking app (see below).



2. Alternatively, open the Phone function. Select “Menu,” then “Call settings,” then “Call rejection,” then “Auto reject list.” Here, you can select “Create” to add blocked numbers. You also have the option to block calls and texts from all unknown numbers by ticking the “Unknown” box.

  • As above, this method differs depending on your Android phone. If this method doesn’t work for you, try a free app (see below).



3. Download a text-blocking app. The Google Play store has a wide selection of apps that offer options for blocking unwanted text messages. Most of the free apps will work fine – however, they are usually ad-supported. Here are a few text-blocking apps for Android:

  • SMS Blocker – Award Winning
  • SMS and Call Blocker Plugin
  • Call and SMS Easy Blocker
  • Dead2Me Call & Text Blocker




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