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

Filtering unknown senders on your iPhone is a nifty trick to keep your inbox clean and organized. By enabling this feature, messages from people not in your contacts will be sorted into a separate list. This way, you’re not bombarded with notifications from strangers or potential spam. It’s a simple process that can be done in just a few taps.

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

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

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to know that by filtering unknown senders, you’re essentially creating a screening process for your messages. This feature divides your inbox into two tabs: one for known contacts and another for unknown senders. Ready to get started? Let’s go!

Step 1: Open your Settings app

First things first, locate and open the Settings app on your iPhone. It’s the gear icon, typically found on your home screen.

Opening the Settings app is your gateway to customizing your iPhone experience. It’s where you can adjust everything from your wallpaper to privacy settings. For our purpose, it’s the starting point to filter those pesky unknown senders.

Step 2: Scroll down and select Messages

Once you’re in Settings, scroll down until you see Messages. Go ahead and tap on it to open the message settings.

The Messages section of your settings is the control room for all things text-related. Think of it like the command center for customization of your messaging experience.

Step 3: Scroll down and find the “Filter Unknown Senders” option

In the Messages settings, scroll down until you find the option labeled “Filter Unknown Senders”. It’s usually towards the bottom.

The “Filter Unknown Senders” switch is what turns on the filtering process. It’s like flipping a switch to tell your iPhone, “Hey, let’s organize my messages a bit better.”

Step 4: Toggle the switch next to “Filter Unknown Senders”

Tap the switch next to “Filter Unknown Senders” to turn it on. When the switch turns green, you know it’s active.

Flipping this switch is the final step in setting up your filter. It’s like telling unwanted guests they need to wait in the foyer before they can enter the main party in your inbox.

After completing these steps, any messages from people not in your contacts will automatically go into the “Unknown Senders” tab in your Messages app. Your regular conversations will remain in the main “Contacts & SMS” tab, making it easy to keep track of the messages that matter most.

Tips on Filtering Unknown Senders on iPhone

  • Keep your contacts updated to ensure messages from friends and family don’t end up in the unknown senders tab.
  • Check the unknown senders tab periodically – you might find messages from new acquaintances or important senders you haven’t added to your contacts yet.
  • Remember that filtered messages won’t trigger notifications, so you won’t be interrupted by unknown contacts.
  • If you’re expecting a message from someone not in your contacts, temporarily turn off the filter to ensure you don’t miss it.
  • Use this feature in combination with blocking and reporting spam to keep your messaging experience clean and stress-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I still receive messages from unknown senders?

Yes, you will still receive messages from unknown senders, but they will be sorted into a separate tab in your Messages app.

This means that you won’t see notifications for these messages like you normally would, which can help reduce distractions and keep your main inbox focused on people you know.

Can I turn off the filter for unknown senders?

Absolutely! You can turn off the filter at any time by going back into your settings and toggling the switch off.

Turning off the filter means that messages from unknown senders will once again appear in your main inbox and trigger notifications.

What if I miss an important message from an unknown sender?

It’s a good idea to periodically check the unknown senders tab just in case there’s something important there.

Even though these messages are filtered into a separate list, they are still readily accessible and just a tap away.

Does filtering unknown senders block them?

No, filtering unknown senders does not block them. It simply sorts their messages into a separate tab.

If you want to block a sender, you’ll need to do that separately by clicking on the message and selecting the “Block this Caller” option.

Can I add an unknown sender to my contacts directly from the Messages app?

Yes, if you receive a message from someone you’d like to add to your contacts, you can do so directly from the message.

Tap on the sender’s number or email at the top of the message to open their contact card, then select “Create New Contact” or “Add to Existing Contact.”


  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select Messages.
  3. Find the “Filter Unknown Senders” option.
  4. Toggle the switch to turn it on.


Filtering unknown senders on iPhone is a simple yet effective way to keep your messaging organized. With just a few taps, you can have a dedicated space for those unfamiliar contacts, keeping your main inbox clutter-free. It’s worth noting that while this feature is helpful, it’s not foolproof. Some important messages might slip through the cracks if the sender isn’t in your contacts, so remember to check the unknown senders tab occasionally. Also, don’t forget to keep your contacts updated to avoid missing out on messages from people you know. As technology continues to advance, features like these demonstrate the ongoing efforts to create a more streamlined, user-friendly experience. So go ahead, give it a try, and enjoy a more organized inbox today!

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