Why does my iPhone say message blocking is active?

Ever tried to text someone and been met with the dreaded “message blocking is active” message? Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us. This message can be confusing because it doesn’t tell you exactly what’s blocking the message. But fear not, fellow tester, we’re here to crack the code and get your messages flowing again!

There are actually a few reasons why you might see this message on your iPhone, and none of them necessarily mean you’ve blocked the recipient (although that’s a possibility we’ll cover too). Let’s dive into the most common culprits behind the message blocking is active iPhone mystery.

Types of Blocking and Their Benefits

First, it’s important to understand the different types of blocking features on your iPhone. There are two main ones:

Blocking Contacts: This lets you prevent specific phone numbers from contacting you via calls, texts, and FaceTime. This is helpful for spammers, telemarketers, or anyone whose messages you just don’t want to receive.

Content Filtering: This feature on iPhones with parental controls allows you to restrict certain types of content, including messages, from reaching your device. This can be useful for keeping inappropriate content away from younger users.

Steps to Check for Blocking

Now that you know the types of blocking, let’s troubleshoot why you might be seeing the “message blocking is active” message. Here are some steps to take:

Check Your Blocked Contacts List: Open the Settings app and navigate to “Phone” then “Blocked Contacts.”  If the number you’re trying to text is on this list, you’ve found your culprit! Simply tap “Edit,” select the red minus sign next to the number, and confirm by tapping “Unblock.”

Review Content Filtering Settings:  If you suspect content filtering might be the issue, especially if you have parental controls enabled on your iPhone, head to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions.  Under “Messages,” check if any filters are enabled that might be blocking your texts.

Beyond Blocking: Other Reasons for the Message

While blocking is a common reason for the “message blocking is active” message, it’s not the only one. Here are some other possibilities:

Cellular Service Issues:  Sometimes, your cellular provider might be experiencing technical difficulties that are preventing you from sending messages. Try making a call or checking your data connection to see if your cellular service is working properly. You can also contact your carrier for assistance.

SMS/MMS Plan Limitations: If you have a limited texting plan, you might reach a point where your messages are blocked until you renew or upgrade your plan.  Check your plan details with your carrier to see if this might be the issue.

IMessage vs. SMS/MMS: This message can also appear if you’re trying to send a text message (SMS/MMS) to someone who doesn’t have an iPhone.  By default, iPhones attempt to send texts via iMessage (Apple’s messaging service) first.  If the recipient doesn’t use iMessage, your phone might try to send it as an SMS/MMS, which could be blocked depending on your plan limitations.


By following these steps and considering the different possibilities, you should be able to identify the reason behind the “message blocking is active” message and get your texts flowing again. Remember, it’s not always about someone being blocked!


I unblocked someone but I’m still getting the message. What now?

Sometimes, a restart of your iPhone can help resolve temporary glitches that might be causing the issue. Give it a try!

My carrier says my plan isn’t limited, but I’m still getting the message. Help!

Contact your carrier directly.  They can investigate further and help diagnose any specific issues with your account.

Is there a way to know for sure if the recipient has blocked me?

Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way to tell if someone has blocked you on their phone. However, some clues might suggest it: Your texts consistently go undelivered, your calls go straight to voicemail with no ringing, and you can’t see the “read” receipts for your messages (if iMessage is enabled).

With a little troubleshooting and understanding of the different blocking features on your iPhone, you should be able to conquer the “message blocking is active” message and get back to smooth texting!