A Macworld reader want to know if there’s a way in iOS to block texts from everyone who isn’t in the Contacts list. Her elderly mother is receiving harassing texts from someone who obtains a new number and continues the attack every time they are stymied using iOS’s option to block texts (along with FaceTime requests and calls).
There isn’t such a feature, although you’d think this would be a much-desired one. Apple has continued to add anti-spam and contact-blocking features across the latest releases of iOS, and allows third-party app makers to tap into calls and texts to help, too.
Apple does offer a feature to sort iMessages—texts sent from people with registered iCloud accounts—into a separate area. Visit Settings > Messages > Unknown & Spam, and enable Filter Unknown Senders. (On a Mac, using Messages > Preferences, and uncheck the Notify Me about Messages from Unknown Contacts box.)
This doesn’t act on text messages (SMS), which are always delivered is more likely the problem faced.
The only option at present is to change one’s phone number and keep it private.
Ask Mac 911
We’ve compiled a list of the questions we get asked most frequently along with answers and links to columns: read our super FAQ to see if your question is covered. If not, we’re always looking for new problems to solve! Email yours to email@example.com including screen captures as appropriate, and whether you want your full name used. Every question won’t be answered, we don’t reply to email, and we cannot provide direct troubleshooting advice.