How to block spam SMS on Android

How to block spam SMS on Android

Spam: it’s everywhere. In our inboxes, in our mailboxes, on our phones, LinkedIn, Messenger, Twitter you call it and you will find unsolicited missives from people and companies that you don’t really want to hear from. Although most of the time the content of these releases is benign, it is always possible that they contain malicious links or viruses. This is why every platform and app developer must go to great lengths to provide the user with help to prevent such malicious data from arriving.

This, of course, is a huge challenge given the amount of data arriving on our desktops, laptops and phones.

For the most part, Google has done a great job of blocking spam. With Android, I see the system working overtime to stop me from answering calls from spammers. Even recently, considerable effort has been made to block, or at least warn me against, untrusted SMS messages.

The task isn’t just on Google’s shoulders. I have to take some responsibility for that too. To do this, I use the built-in SMS blocker tool that comes with Android. I’ll show you how to do just that. I’ll demonstrate on Android 11, running on Google Pixel 5. This feature isn’t exclusive to the Pixel line of phones, so you should be able to use it too.

How to block spam SMS

You will be shocked at how easy it is. Before I show it to you, know that this is not a method of automatically detecting and blocking spam, although Android does a good job at just that. This is for when you receive a spam SMS message that goes through the automated process and you want to make sure that the offending sender can no longer send you. This also has the added benefit of allowing you to report the offending number, which is very useful with persistent spammers, be they bots or real humans.

Here’s what to do.

How to get rid of SMS spam

The first thing we will do is delete some of those spam SMS that you have collected. It’s a very simple process, but it can be tedious (since there isn’t a select all option yet: Google, are you listening?).

To delete your spam messages, open the Messages app. From the main window, tap the menu button and then tap Spam & Blocked ( Figure A ).

Figure A

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The Messages menu is accessible from the main application window.

In the Spam and Blocked window ( Figure B ), you will have to manually tap on every single message you want to delete.

Figures B

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All blocked spam and SMS messages are collected here.

The trick to selecting messages is that you have to long press one of the messages first to select it. After selecting the first message, you can scroll through the list and tap once each to select it. After selecting all the messages to delete, tap the trash can at the top right to delete the messages ( Figure C ).

Figures C

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Delete selected SMS and spam messages on Android.

After tapping the trash, you will be asked to confirm the deletion. Tap Delete and the messages will disappear from the Spam and Blocked Messages folder.

block spam sms

  • You can also check which messages have been blocked by tapping the menu button at the top right of the Messages app window and selecting Spam & Blocked. If you find a message in that folder that was accidentally (or mistakenly) marked as spam, tap the message in question and then tap Not spam.

And that’s all there is to it. You have blocked and reported a spammer. Whenever they send you another message, it will automatically go straight to the Spam & Blocked folder, which you can view by tapping the Settings button in Android Messages and tapping Spam & Blocked.

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