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You can finally delete and block group chats on iPhone – here’s how

Published Dec 24th, 2023 6:18PM EST
iOS 17 iMessage's new expandable menu
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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Ever been trapped in a group chat on your iPhone? Maybe your friends used the conversation to organize an event years ago, and somehow that chat never ended. Or it’s a family group you want to leave but can’t. Maybe they will add you right back as soon as you leave.

The worst is a group chat you can’t leave as an iPhone user because of an Android user. This has nothing to do with the blue vs. green bubbles “war.” It’s just how the group chat feature works on iPhone through the Messages app.

The people who want to stay in the group could start a new conversation without you, sure. But that’s not what usually happens. As a result, you continue to receive notifications from the group chat when people keep replying, likely driving you crazy.

Until iOS 17, you could hide alerts from the group, but they’d still be in the Messages app. Thankfully, you can finally block and delete group chats without anyone being the wiser.

Apple has quietly added this capability to the iPhone’s Messages app in iOS 17.

It’s simple to use, as explained in a handy support document. Just follow the steps below, as outlined by Apple, and forget all about your group chat nightmares:

  • Open the Messages app on your iPhone.
  • Tap the group conversation you want to leave.
  • Tap the group name at the top of the conversation.
  • Scroll down and tap Leave This Conversation or Delete and Block This Conversation.
  • Blocked conversations are moved to the Recently Deleted folder, where you can recover them. 

This iOS 17 feature doesn’t guarantee that you won’t be added to other groups once your friends and family realize what you’ve done. Or that you won’t have to deal with the fallout in another way. Maybe you’ll have to explain why you’re not chatting with people or why you’re not up to date on a conversation that doesn’t really matter.

But the point is that you can block and delete conversations whenever you’re added to new ones. I make group chat deletion such a priority that I hardly get added to any of them. And I usually mute them instantly. Also, most of my group chats happen on other platforms than iMessage.

Blocking and deleting group chats in Messages won’t impact one-to-one chats with the people in your group. You won’t be blocking the members of the group. It’s just the group chats that you’ll send to the Recently Deleted folder.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.