How to Filter Unknown & Known Senders in Messages on Your iPhone

Are you tired of getting spam text messages on your iPhone? Your iPhone can filter messages from unknown senders to keep them from cluttering up your Messages.

We're all familiar with spam texts and calls, and I don't know anyone who actually enjoys getting them. I get political text messages, random surveys, and many other unknown text messages that I truly would not be sorry to never see again, but I do need to be able to still find messages from new contacts before I've saved their numbers! Fortunately, iPhones come equipped with a way to filter messages from unknown senders into a separate folder. This way if you happen to be looking for a text from someone you don't have saved in your contacts you can still find it, but you don't have to see those messages mixed in with your regular texts if you don't want to. Here's how to filter out messages from unknown senders in the Messages app on your iPhone.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Related: How to Report & Block Spam Text Messages on iPhone

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How to Enable the Unknown Sender Filter for iPhone Messages

With the quick flip of a toggle, you'll get a lot more choice about when to go through your potential spam texts, since they'll be separated from the messages from your known senders. Keep in mind, this will not block unwanted or spam texts, it will simply allow you to ignore them more easily and get to them when you have time. For more great tips for Messages on your iPhone, subscribe to our free Tip of the Day newsletter. Here's how to find and use this setting to filter messages from unknown senders:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Messages.

    Open settings to find the iMessages unknown senders filterScroll down and tap on Messages
  3. Scroll down again and find the toggle labeled Filter Unknown Senders.
  4. Tap on the toggle to enable this feature.
  5. Go to your Messages app. You'll see that it looks a little different; you should see < Filters in the upper-left corner, if you're not already on the filters screen.

    Scroll down and tap on the toggle next to Filter Unknown SendersOpen your messages app
  6. Tap on < Filters to see your filtered message "inboxes."
  7. From this screen you can choose All Messages to see messages from all senders, or you can choose either Known Senders or Unknown Senders to see messages in those categories.

    You should now see a < Filters button in the upper left of your Messages screenThese are your filtered iMessage folders with known senders and unknown senders

Now you can choose to open up your Messages app to the Known Senders messages, and only opt to review Unknown Senders when you feel like doing so.

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Author Details

Erin Smith's picture

Author Details

Erin Smith

Erin Smith is a Feature Writer for iPhone Life and has been a writer, editor, and researcher for many years. She has a degree in communication with an emphasis on psychology and communication, and has spent many of her professional years as a coach in various business and specialty fields. Erin officially joined the ranks of iPhone and Apple users everywhere around seven years ago, and has since enjoyed the unique and customized feel of Apple technology and its many gadgets. When she’s not working, Erin and her son enjoy outdoor adventures, camping, and spending time with their eclectic collection of pets.