Between corporate spam and unwelcome messages from who-knows-where, it’s a good idea to have a conversational off switch in your digital tool kit. Malicious texts can hold threats to digital safety and security. As a result, many are beginning to search for ways to deal with excessive spam.


The good news is that many of the best Android phones have built-in spam-blocking capabilities. It’s also simple to block spam calls and texts using Android’s default apps. You can always try a different messaging app if the defaults get on your nerves. If you get texts you don’t want to see, the simplest answer is to block the number.

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How to tell if it’s spam

It can be tough to identify spam texts if they’re cleverly disguised. Aim to block unknown numbers that send texts decorated with corporate advertising or political controversy. The most important messages to avoid are ones that urge you to click a link. This can expose your phone to malware or other online threats. Don’t click that link!

Image shows an example of a spam text with a clickable link.

How to block a phone number using Google Messages

Google Messages, titled Messages on your phone, is the default texting app that comes preinstalled on most Android devices. This effective tool offers neat features such as birthday reminders and Google Assistant integration. Still, it isn’t immune to unsolicited contact. Follow these steps if you need to block a phone number in Messages.

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Tap the conversation of interest.

  3. Tap the triple dots in the upper-right corner.
  4. Tap Details.

  5. Select Block & report spam.
  6. Choose whether you want to report the number as spam, then tap OK.

You won’t receive any more texts or calls from that phone number. Blocked conversations can be viewed or unblocked in the Spam & blocked folder, which you can find by pressing the triple dots in the upper-right corner.

How to block a phone number using the Phone app

You can block a phone number through the Phone app if you prefer doing it that way. Phone comes preinstalled on all Android phones and functions as the primary calling tool. There are two main methods for blocking a number using Phone, and we briefly cover both.

Block a number using the Recents page

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Select Recents near the lower-left corner.
  3. Press and hold the relevant contact name (or display name/phone number).

  4. Tap Block & report spam.
  5. Choose whether you want to report the number as spam, then tap Block.

Block a number using the Contacts page

  1. Open the Phone app.
  2. Select Contacts near the lower-right corner.
  3. Tap the relevant contact name.
  4. Tap the triple dots in the upper-right corner.

  5. Tap Block numbers.
  6. Choose whether you want to report the number as spam, then tap Block.

Either method results in a successfully blocked number. If you have a text conversation in Messages, it’s moved to the Spam & blocked folder. You can unblock numbers in Phone by navigating to Settings > Blocked numbers.

Other texting apps to consider

Some other texting apps are worth checking out. However, third-party options sometimes incur greater costs and security risks. These suggestions are meant for Android devices, so you’ll need to read our guide if you have questions about blocked texts in iMessage.

Samsung Messages

Most Android devices sold by Samsung come with Samsung Messages preinstalled in addition to Google Messages. The two apps are comparable in many ways (including spam detection), but some users prefer Samsung’s texting tool. Though Google Messages is highly recommended because of its integration across apps and platforms, there’s no harm in taking a closer look at Samsung Messages and its nifty features.

Signal

Another option that might pique your interest is Signal. This is a lesser-known app that touts end-to-end encryption. It’s great for security and to control who can contact you, but both ends of the conversation need to have Signal to use its security features. This one might work better as a group chat tool rather than a complete texting replacement.

Don’t hesitate to set digital boundaries

Setting boundaries for digital contact is essential in an age where nefarious cyber activity is common. Google is working with carriers to implement improved messaging standards, but it may be time to pull the plug on RCS Chat altogether.

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