What Actually Happens When You Block Someone on Your iPhone

Illustration for article titled What Actually Happens When You Block Someone on Your iPhone

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Have you ever wondered what happens when you block someone on your iPhone? What really happens?

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You can block contacts through your Messages, FaceTime, and Phone apps. Blocking a contact in one app will block them across the board. However, blocking doesn’t prevent someone from trying to reach you. They won’t get a pleasant “your number has been blocked” notification from Siri, but they might start to wonder why you aren’t answering their messages.

How to block contacts via Messages on iPhone

To block a number in Messages, open the conversation, tap the contact’s name, number or image at the top of the screen, and hit the “i” info icon. Tap the name or number again and scroll down to the bottom of the contact screen to “Block this Caller.”

When a blocked number tries to send you a text message, it won’t go through. If they’re on iOS, they might not even see the “delivered” note in their Messages app—though it’s possible they’ll see your chat bubble turn from blue (iMessage) to green (SMS). You’ll see nothing on your end.

Illustration for article titled What Actually Happens When You Block Someone on Your iPhone

Screenshot: Emily Long

Messages also has an option to filter texts from senders who aren’t in your Contacts list. You’ll still get the messages, but they’ll be delivered to a separate “Unknown Senders” inbox. You also won’t see notifications for these texts.

Illustration for article titled What Actually Happens When You Block Someone on Your iPhone

Screenshot: Emily Long

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The Unknown Senders tab will appear alongside a “Contacts & SMS” tab in Messages if you enable this feature (Settings > Messages > Filter Unknown Senders).

Illustration for article titled What Actually Happens When You Block Someone on Your iPhone

Screenshot: Emily Long

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How to block contacts from calls and FaceTime

To block a number in the Phone or FaceTime, tap the “i” info icon next to the number or contact and hit “Block this Caller” on the contact screen.

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You can manage your blocked contacts in Settings > Phone (or Messages or FaceTime) on your iPhone. Unblock numbers at any time to resume receiving messages, calls and notifications.

Illustration for article titled What Actually Happens When You Block Someone on Your iPhone

Screenshot: David Murphy

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Calls from blocked contacts go directly to voicemail. On your end, you’ll see a special “Blocked Messages” folder in your voicemail inbox if they leave a message (found at the bottom of your voicemail message list). You won’t receive any notification they called, however.

This story was originally published in 2016 by Thorin Klosowski and was updated in September 2019 and again on May 3, 2020 and June 11, 2021 by Emily Long. We added screenshots and slightly clarified language from the original piece, and updated it to meet current Lifehacker style guidelines.

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