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Can you see blocked messages on an iPhone?

The news probably isn't what you were hoping for.
By
November 7, 2023

It happens — you’ve blocked someone on iMessage, whether by accident, out of anger or sadness, or just wanting to be unbothered, only to realize that you might have missed some important texts. So can you recover blocked messages on an iPhone in that situation? If not, what alternatives are available?

QUICK ANSWER

There's no way to see text messages sent from a contact you've blocked on your iPhone. You'll have to unblock the person and ask them for the missing info.


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Can you see blocked messages on an iPhone?

Apple iMessages on iPhone stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

No, unfortunately not. Whenever you block a contact on your iPhone, that person’s messages aren’t just hidden — they’re never received, so there won’t be local copies anywhere on your iPhone. They won’t even appear in the contents of an iCloud backup. They could hypothetically exist on a phone carrier’s servers if messages were sent via SMS instead of iMessage, but for obvious reasons the carrier is unlikely to hand them over.

Your best bet for obtaining blocked messages is to ask the person in question for screenshots, or to simply get them to repeat what they said. If you want to do either via the Messages app, you’ll need to unblock them first, naturally.

How to unblock messages on an iPhone

Unblocking a Messages contact is simple, but not necessarily intuitive, given that Apple doesn’t offer a direct menu for the task in the Messages app. Here’s the simplest way to unblock contacts:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select Messages.
  3. Scroll down again to the SMS/MMS section and select Blocked Contacts.
  4. You’ll see a list of all the contacts you’ve ever blocked. Tap Edit in the top-right corner.
  5. Tap the red minus icon next to the contact(s) you want to unblock.
  6. When you’re finished, tap Done in the top-right.

FAQs

No. In fact, this is one way to test if you’ve been blocked — messages sent to someone will never show the “Delivered” tag.

It could mean a problem with network settings, or that SMS is disabled on your phone account, but the more likely explanation is that you’re trying to text someone you’ve previously blocked. To reach them, try unblocking them using the steps above.

Nowhere. They’re never downloaded, so you won’t have copies of them, even once you’ve unblocked someone in Messages.

No. If you want to know what was said, you’ll have to ask. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because if you’ve blocked someone, the messages sent in that dead time might’ve been embarrassing or hurtful.