Blocking Contacts in Phone, iMessage, and FaceTime

It’s not uncommon to have unwanted calls, messages, or FaceTime requests. Ever since iOS 7 for the iPhone/iPad and OS X Mavericks for the Mac, there is something you can do about it: block the contact.

Blocked contacts will not be able to call, leave voicemails, send text or iMessages, or send FaceTime requests. Blocking a contact in Phone, FaceTime, or Messages automatically blocks them in all three categories. This is a great time saver, but it also means that it isn’t possible to have a contact blocked from FaceTime requests but still allowed to call.

Also, blocked contacts are automatically synced to all devices logged into your iCloud account. So block a contact on your phone, and they are automatically blocked on your Mac and iPad too.

If a blocked contact sends you a text or iMessage, it will look as if it was sent on their end, but it will never be delivered. If they invite you to FaceTime, it will ring on their end, but not on yours. If they try to call, they will be sent to your voicemail, where they can leave a message, but that message will also never be delivered.

To block a contact from an iPhone or iPad

Contacts can be blocked from the Settings app, but the contact must be saved to the Contacts app first.

  1. Open the Settings app and choose PHONE, MESSAGES, or FACETIME.
  2. Tap BLOCKED in the list of options.
  3. Tap ADD NEW, then choose a contact to block.

Contacts can also be blocked directly from the Phone, FaceTime, or Messages apps as well.

  1. Locate the contact to block. This can be in Recents, Voicemail, Contacts, a message conversation, etc. If viewing a message conversation, tap DETAILS in the upper right.
  2. Tap i to the right of the contact to block.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the contact information, then tap BLOCK THIS CALLER.
  4. Tap BLOCK CONTACT to confirm.

To block a contact from a Mac

Contacts can be blocked in the FaceTime or Messages apps on a Mac, but the contact must be saved in the Contacts app first.

  1. Open the FaceTime or Messages app.
  2. Choose FACETIME or MESSAGES, then PREFERENCES from the menu bar.
  3. In FaceTime, click the BLOCKED tab. In Messages, click ACCOUNTS, select your iMessage account from the list on the left, then click BLOCKED.
  4. Click plus, then select a contact to block.

To unblock a contact from an iPhone or iPad

To unblock contacts from the Settings app, repeat steps 1-2 for blocking, swipe left on any contact to unblock, then tap UNBLOCK.

To unblock contacts from the Phone, FaceTime, or Messages app, repeat steps 1-3 for blocking, then tap UNBLOCK THIS CALLER.

To unblock a contact from a Mac

Repeat steps 1-3 for blocking, then select the contact to unblock and click minus.

Please note that any messages or voicemails from a blocked contact will be lost. They do not reappear if the contact is unblocked.

Jason Merrill, Mac & iOS Consultant

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