How to stop spam texts on iPhone

iOS message icon with a fingertip tapping it, representing an article about how to stop spam texts on iPhone using message filtering
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Learning how to stop spam texts on iPhone is a must if, like me, you're sick of seeing your Messages inbox cluttered with random and often highly suspect messages.

Spam messages usually originate from a spammer's getting hold of your cell number, often via data leaks, the sale of personal data or even simply by random number generation. However the spammers got your number spam texts are at best an annoyance, and at worst a downright security hazard. It almost goes almost without saying that you should take your data and information security extremely seriously, and never tap on any links in suspect messages or provide any data that they request. 

But how can you stop spam text messages on iPhone? You can block each sender's number individually, of course, but the spammer can then just as easily send a text from another number straight away. So what if there were a way to simply filter spam messages on iPhone so you never had to see them?

Well, we've got good news. Enabling a simple message filtering system on iPhone can effectively stop you seeing annoying spam messages altogether, while ensuring you still have control over what happens to them (and any non-spam messages that accidentally get blocked). It's yet another handy feature that makes the iPhone one of the best phones you can buy.

Read on to find out how. 

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How to stop spam texts on iPhone with Message Filtering

  1. Go to Settings, then Messages
  2. Toggle on Filter Unknown Senders
  3. Switch between known and unknown senders in Messages
  4. Disable notifications from unknown senders

Read on to see detailed instructions for each step.

1. Go to settings, then scroll down and tap Messages.

(Image credit: Future)

2. Scroll down to Message Filtering and tap the Filter Unknown Senders toggle to the on position.

(Image credit: Future)

3. Now, open the Messages app. You'll be presented with which messages you'd like to see. Select Known Senders to only see messages from contacts.

Select Unknown Senders to see messages from unknown numbers — this will also include messages from companies, including banks, so ensure you check this section if you're expecting an important SMS message (like a verification code). Select All Messages to see everything. 

(Image credit: Future)

4. The final step is to disable notifications from unknown senders. This way you won't be pestered by the notifications appearing on your lock or home screen. Open Settings, then tap Notifications. Scroll down and tap Messages. Hit Customize Notifications and under Allow Notifications heading, toggle the Unknown Senders switch to off

(Image credit: Future)

There you have it: you can now filter spam messages from the messages you receive from contacts. This is super useful for keeping your messages inbox decluttered and to ensure you'll never accidentally click on a spam message. If you want to block individual spammers from the Unknown Senders box, we have a guide for how to block spam calls on your iPhone, too.

For more iPhone tips, check out our guide to the hidden iPhone features everyone should know. You could also check out our guides on how to track flights on iPhone, how to use the built in level on iPhone, how to turn on Voice Control on iPhone, how to identify plants on an iPhone, how to block personalized ads on iPhone and how to disable location tracking on iPhone. Have an Android? Check out how to block spam texts on Android.

Peter Wolinski
Editor, How To & Cameras

Peter is Editor of the How To and Camera sections at Tom's Guide. As a writer, he covers topics including tech, photography, gaming, hardware, motoring and food & drink. Outside of work, he can usually be found telling everyone about his greyhounds, obsessively detailing his car, squeezing as many FPS as possible out of PC games, and perfecting his espresso shots.

  • Kakacake
    Wow that feature is buried SO deep. Even Apple support didn't know about this! Nice job.
  • RandoDaddo
    admin said:
    Here's how to stop annoying spam messages on iPhone by using a simple feature called Message Filtering

    This hidden iPhone feature stops spam text messages — try it now : Read more

    this is does NOT stop spam as noted in title!
    The buried (not hidden) feature only “hides” messages from unknown contacts.
    user is still left to manually delete individual messages if they think it is spam! And that action takes 4 steps to do (which is poor design (IMHO)
    This feature will likely cause situation that user will not respond to genuine unknown contact’s message…including time-sensitive messages!

    the Messages app has no true control over ability to ID and report spam

    Apple needs to do better in this domain of user security; awareness alone will never protect user information.

    as for this article (like many others): do better to engage with readers with highly misleading article titles and choose your “feature stops” better