How to Stop Spam Texts

There are a few ways to block unwanted texts

Don't you hate it when spam texts clog up your phone with unwanted marketing, political, scam, adult, or other messages? Luckily, there are lots of ways to block spam text messages. From features built into your phone to services from your phone company, learn how to block spam texts.

Hate spam emails just as much as spam text messages? We've got instructions on blocking spam emails, too.

Never click on links in spam texts; they could be SMS phishing scams aka smishing.

Why Are You Getting Spam Texts?

If you're getting spam texts, you might be wondering "Why am I getting spam text messages?" Some of the most common reasons that you're getting spam texts include:

  • You Signed Up for Them: What looks like a spam text could actually be a communication you signed up for without realizing it. In many cases, buying something online, getting information from an organization, and otherwise communicating online can cause you to get texts. It always pays to read the fine print whenever you share your contact info.
  • Spammers Bought Your Information: Data-broker companies collect people's information and then resell it to other companies for marketing purposes. While this is very annoying, it's not necessarily nefarious. Lots of reputable companies sell customer data to brokers. It's quite possible that a company you have done business with sold your contact info at some point.
  • Spammers Guessed Your Number: Spammers and scammers don't need to buy phone numbers to spam you. They can simply guess phone numbers. In the U.S., there are only 10 digits in a phone number, so it's easy enough to choose an area code and then use a computer program to spam text every possible phone number in that area code.
Photo of a couple looking worried about what's on their phone
Westend61 / Getty Images

How to Stop and Block Spam Texts

Enough about why you're getting spam. Let's learn how to block spam texts! Here are a few options:

  • Reply with "Stop"—But Be Careful! You can often unsubscribe from text messages by replying with "stop" or "unsubscribe." But be very careful; this can backfire. A legitimate sender—like a non-profit organization, political campaign, or company—will respect that request. If it's a scammer, a reply confirms that this is an active phone number to continue to target.
  • Use Spam Text Blocking Features in Your Phone: The iPhone and Android have built-in spam-text blocking features. Use those to protect yourself. Check out the step-by-step instructions later in this article.
  • Use Third-Party Apps: Your phone's app store will have lots of apps that filter or block spam texts and calls. If you're not happy with your phone's built-in features, try those.
  • Forward Spam Texts to Your Phone Company: You can report spam texts to your phone company to help them block such texts in the future. Just forward spam texts to 7726 (that spells out "spam" on the keypad). It's easy to forward text messages on Android here. You can also file a complaint about spam texts with the FCC.
  • Use a Service From Your Phone Company: Many phone companies sell add-on services that block spam texts and calls. These often focus on calls more than texts, but contact your phone company to see what they offer.

Spam texts don't just come through your phone number. Virtually any kind of messaging app can have spam. We've also got tips on how to block spam messages on messaging apps like WhatsApp.

How to Block Spam Texts on iPhone

All iPhones running iOS 10 and up have a feature to block spam text messages in the pre-installed Messages app. Follow these steps to block spam texts:

  1. Open the spam text in the Messages app.

  2. Tap the phone number or icon at the top of the screen.

  3. Tap info.

  4. Tap the phone number.

    Screenshots of the steps to block spam texts on the iPhone.
  5. Tap Block this Caller.

  6. In the pop-up menu, tap Block Contact.

  7. Spam texts from this sender are blocked when the menu changes to Unblock this Caller.

    Screenshots of the steps to block spam texts on the iPhone.

The iPhone also lets you filter out unknown texters into a special folder to review later. Turn this on at Settings > Messages > Filter Unknown Senders > move the slider to on/green.

How to Block Spam Texts on Android

If your smartphone runs Android 10 or higher, follow these steps to use the built-in spam text blocking features:

  1. Open the Messages app.

  2. Tap the vertical three-dot icon.

  3. Tap Settings.

    Screenshots of blocking spam texts on Android.
  4. Tap Block numbers and messages.

  5. Tap Block numbers.

  6. Enter the phone number you want to block (or tap Conversations and select the conversation you want to block).

    Screenshots of blocking spam texts on Android.
  7. Tap + and the phone number will be added to your blocked list.

Depending on your version of Android and your phone company, you may also have a Spam & Blocked option in the three-dot menu. If so, tap that, then tap Spam Protection, and move the Enable spam protection slider to on to turn on spam filters.