How to Filter Unknown Senders on iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide

Filtering unknown senders on your iPhone is a simple process that involves tweaking your message settings. By doing so, messages from people who are not in your contacts will be sorted into a separate list, ensuring your main inbox stays clutter-free.

After completing this action, you’ll find messages from unknown senders in a different tab within your Messages app, separate from familiar contacts. This can help you manage your messages more effectively and avoid spam.

You can also check out this video about how to filter unknown senders on iPhone for more information.


In a world where our smartphones are bombarded with notifications, texts, and various alerts, it’s essential to have a system to filter out the noise. Especially when it comes to messages, which can range from personal, work-related, to outright spam – sorting them can be quite the task. This is where the importance of filtering unknown senders on your iPhone comes into play.

For iPhone users, the influx of messages from unknown senders can be overwhelming, not to mention potentially dangerous due to phishing attempts or scams. So, having the know-how to manage these unknown senders is a must. This feature is particularly useful for professionals who may receive a high volume of messages, people who value their privacy, or anyone looking to avoid unnecessary distractions. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that messages from those not in your contact list are neatly tucked away, allowing you to focus on what’s important.

Related: How to Silence Unknown Callers on an iPhone 11

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Filter Unknown Senders on iPhone

This tutorial will guide you through the process of filtering messages from unknown senders on your iPhone. By the end of these steps, you will have successfully segregated messages from unknown contacts, keeping your inbox organized and secure.

Step 1: Open Settings

Navigate to the Settings app on your iPhone.

In this step, you’ll need to locate the iconic gear-shaped Settings app. Once you open it, you’ll have access to a range of options that control various aspects of your iPhone’s functionality.

Step 2: Scroll to Messages

Scroll down until you find the Messages option and tap on it.

The Messages section of the Settings app contains all the options related to your text messages and iMessage functionality. This is where you can tweak settings to personalize your messaging experience.

Step 3: Enable Filter Unknown Senders

Locate the ‘Filter Unknown Senders’ switch and toggle it on.

By enabling this option, you are instructing your iPhone to recognize and separate messages that are not from your existing contacts. The switch will turn green when it’s activated.


Organized InboxKeeping your main message list free of clutter from unknown senders makes it easier to stay on top of important conversations.
Reduced DistractionsNot having constant notifications from unknown senders allows you to focus on your tasks without unnecessary interruptions.
Enhanced PrivacyThis feature provides an extra layer of privacy, as you can address messages from unknown senders when you see fit, rather than having them mixed with your regular messages.


Potential Missed Important MessagesIt’s possible to overlook a message from an unknown sender that could be important, like a new work contact or an emergency alert.
Additional Step To Check MessagesYou’ll have to remember to check the ‘Unknown Senders’ tab regularly, which adds one more step to your messaging routine.
False FilteringSometimes contacts may not sync correctly, leading to messages from known senders being filtered incorrectly as unknown.

Video About Message Filtering

Additional Information

While filtering unknown senders on your iPhone is a great way to maintain an organized inbox, it’s important to remember that some legitimate messages may end up in the unknown senders list. For instance, if a friend gets a new number and texts you before you’ve updated your contact list, their message could be filtered out. Additionally, companies or services that you’ve signed up for with phone number verification might send confirmation codes that could be filtered into the unknown senders list.

It’s also worth noting that this feature only works for messages, not calls. So, if you’re looking to filter phone calls as well, you’ll need to explore different settings or third-party apps. Lastly, the ‘Filter Unknown Senders’ feature is available on iOS 8.3 and later, so make sure your iPhone is updated to take advantage of this functionality.


  1. Open Settings
  2. Scroll to Messages
  3. Enable Filter Unknown Senders

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to messages from unknown senders after I enable this feature?

Messages from unknown senders will be moved to a separate tab in your Messages app, labeled ‘Unknown Senders.’

Will I receive notifications for messages from unknown senders?

No, once you enable the filter, you won’t receive notifications for messages from unknown senders.

Can I still read messages from unknown senders if I want to?

Absolutely, you can view these messages anytime by simply going to the ‘Unknown Senders’ tab.

Does filtering unknown senders also block them?

No, it doesn’t block them. It merely filters their messages into a separate list.

What if a known sender’s message gets filtered out?

You might need to add the sender to your contacts or ensure that their contact information is up to date.


Learning how to filter unknown senders on your iPhone is a game-changer for managing your digital communication. By enabling this feature, you create a barrier against unwanted messages, allowing you to focus on the people and conversations that matter most to you. With the benefits of an organized inbox, fewer distractions, and improved privacy, it’s a simple yet powerful tool in taking control of your messaging experience.

Remember, while this feature is useful, always check the unknown senders tab occasionally to ensure you don’t miss out on important messages. Keep your iPhone updated, stay vigilant, and enjoy a cleaner, more streamlined messaging platform.