Being in the digital age has its pros and cons. For one, you can easily reach your friends and family through text messages. But the downside of that is that as long as anyone has your number, everyone can also reach you—everything from acquaintances who have fallen out of favor with you all the way down to actual spammers and scammers.
If you have an Android phone, though, you have a few ways to block these unwanted messages on your phone. Here’s how to block text messages on Android.
Note: These instructions apply to the Google Messages and Google Contacts apps. If you use Samsung apps, see our guide on how to block texts on Samsung Galaxy phones instead.
1. Block an Unwanted Number
If you want to block texts from a specific number, it’s possible to do through the Google Messages app.
- In the Google Messages app, scroll down to the conversation with the number you want to block and then tap on it.
- Tap on the three-dot button in the top bar, then tap on Details.
- You’ll see an option that says Block & report spam. Tap on it.
- The app will ask you if you’re sure you want to block that specific number. Confirm your decision by tapping OK.
- You’ll also have the option to report that number as spam. If you don’t want to do so, uncheck the Report spam option before continuing.
After this, the phone number in that conversation will not be able to message you again. The Google Contacts app doesn’t allow you to block contacts, unlike with Samsung phones or iPhones, so whether this is someone that fell out of good grace with you or just some spam number sending you stuff, this is how you handle both things in an official manner.
This also means that if someone has multiple numbers, you’ll have to block each one individually. Kind of a clumsy approach to this whole situation, but hey, it’s better to have something than nothing at all. Be mindful that if you block someone, that person won’t be able to call you either—there’s no way to block only messages.
How to See Blocked Numbers
If you want to see how many people you’ve blocked, or if you want to check if you’ve blocked someone on accident (and maybe revert it), you can do that too.
- Open the Google Messages app and tap on the three-dot icon in the top bar. Select Spam & blocked.
- Here, you’ll be able to see conversations from numbers flagged as spam and blocked numbers.
- Tap again on the three-dot icon at the top, then tap on Blocked contacts.
- You’ll see a list of the numbers you’ve blocked until now.
- If you want to unblock a number, tap on the X at the side.
2. Enable Spam Protection
If you’re not feeling like doing all of this manually, let Google’s AI magic do all the hard work instead. Here’s how to block texts by enabling automatic spam protection on Google Messages.
- In the Google Messages app, tap on the three-dot icon in the top bar and select Settings.
- Tap on General to see the app’s general, non-carrier-specific settings.
- Tap on Spam protection and toggle it on.
Generally, in a lot of devices, you might find it’s already turned on. Just like automatic spam filters on apps like Gmail, Google is always doing its thing in the background. However, it could be disabled for some people, or it could’ve been turned off accidentally, which is why I’m still mentioning it anyway.
There’s also the chance that it’s already turned on, but stuff is still slipping through, which is why you thought it wasn’t. At this point, you still have a few options left.
3. Download a Third-Party App
While Google’s existing protection is already pretty robust and manages to successfully spot and flag spam or otherwise malicious numbers, stuff can still make it to your conversations. You can try and mitigate this by adding an additional, third-party layer of protection.
There are various solutions available in the Google Play Store, including well-known apps such as Spam Blocker for Android (previously Key Messages), Call & SMS Blocker (formerly AntiNuisance), and of course, everyone’s tried-and-tested favorite, Truecaller.
These highly-rated apps have millions of downloads. Not only will they give you the ability to block texts, but you can also get a variety of extra features, such as call recording, contact backup, camera lookup, and more. But perhaps most importantly, all of them are free to use.
Or you can just use the text blocking function in these apps—it’s your call.
If you’ve tried everything in this list, and you haven’t squashed down your situation yet, it could be worth it to reach out to your carrier. Scammers are continually altering their numbers and techniques in order to exploit flaws in your system, and if you can’t do it alone, there’s no shame in asking for help.
Other times, numbers can pose as more serious threats—maybe a stalker getting out of control that you can’t seem to get away from, or worse.
Your carrier can use its network safeguards and tools to directly block the number. If the network provider flags a number as spam, they may be able to ban it entirely or even contact authorities if something is posing as a major threat and the police needs to get involved.
So give a call to your carrier to see what it can do about it.
Block Unwanted Messages on Your Android Phone
The generic Android messaging and contacts apps have way fewer ways to block people from sending you unwanted texts, but the good thing is that it can be done—and it’s not even too hard.
We’ve just outlined a few ways you can do it, but depending on what phone you have, you might have a few extra tools at your disposal.
Looking for a replacement text messaging app that is both free and secure? Then check out this collection of open-source SMS clients for Android.
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