Is someone annoying you on iMessage? You can block them. And it’s now very simple too thanks to Apple making some concrete changes to iOS’s ability to block (works on iOS 7 and iOS 8).

Back in iOS 6, you couldn’t block a person and that was really bad. The workarounds included turning off iMessage completely (ugliest solution) to using some trick like adding the number under a dummy contact with a name like ‘Blocked’ or something identifiable. But iOS 7 lets you block someone from sending you an iMessage (or even making a call or sending a text). The feature extends to iOS 8 too. Here’s how to block someone.

Block Someone in iMessage on iPhone

Blocking someone on your iPhone effectively blocks them from even being able to call you or text you (regular SMS/MMS). For our purposes, we assume that this is the use-case.

How to block someone from sending you iMessages on iPhone:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Scroll down and tap on Messages
  • Now, scroll down again and tap on Blocked
  • To add a person to this list, tap on Add New..
  • Choose the contact and tap on Done

Block Someone in iMessage on iOS
You’ll notice that this contact gets added to your Blocked list. This contact won’t be able to call you, text you or send an iMessage to you. Even FaceTime will be blocked for this person.

But if you noticed, you can only block someone from your contacts, not some random number. There is one use-case where this makes sense: you want to have someone in your contact list but you just don’t want to get iMessages/SMS from them. May be you might have to call them sometime later in life, or may be you might need that number to give it to someone (for reference etc.)

What if you want to remove the contact itself and block the number? That’s not possible (at least, not yet) unless you call up your carrier and have them block a number. You could also login to your account on your carrier’s portal and add the number to the blacklist. Changes would take effect quite late.

There’s also another option to stop getting notifications when someone sends you an iMessage without missing other message notifications. This process involves two steps:

  • Remove the contact from your phone/address book
  • Go to Settings → Notifications → Messages → scroll down and select Show Alerts from My Contacts.

This way, you won’t get notifications for iMessages sent from unknown numbers (or numbers that are not in your contacts). But it won’t block.

Want to block someone from calling you? Check out this tutorial which is almost the same as above.