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iMessage is an incredibly popular platform for sending text and multimedia messages between Macs, iPhones and iPads using your phone number or email address.
There may, however, come a time when you want to block a particular sender from contacting you at all.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to block iMessage senders in the OS X Messages app. I'll also show you how to unblock senders if you ever want to reverse your decision.
iMessage Contacts Explained
Unlike traditional SMS messaging, the iMessage experience is tied to an Apple ID and any of the email addresses or phone numbers that you've associated with it.
This means that, when another iMessage-registered sender attempts to send you a message, you'll receive it across all your devices whether it was sent to your phone number or any of the email addresses you have tied to the Apple ID.
iMessage is exclusive to iOS and OS X, meaning you'll still receive messages in the traditional SMS format if they've been sent from a device running an alternative operating system, such as Android.
If an iMessage sender doesn't have their phone number tied to their Apple ID, you can still send and receive iMessages from them but they will only receive, and be able to send, iMessages using their Apple ID email address on their iPhone phone.
How to Block iMessage Senders
To begin blocking iMessage senders in the Messages app, on a Mac, open Messages in the menu bar and select Preferences. Then, choose the Accounts tab.
Click the Blocked button to view the list of currently blocked iMessage senders. Click the + button and select a contact you wish to block. After this, that contact will be visibly added to a list of blocked senders and be unable to contact you through iMessage.
The blocked contact won't receive any kind of notification that you've blocked them so feel free to do so as much as you'd like.
How to Unblock iMessage Senders
If you want to unblock an iMessage contact that you previously blocked, the process is equally simple. To begin, open Messages > Preferences in the menu bar and select the Accounts tab. Then, click the Blocked option in the toggle button.
To unblock a contact, select the contact from the list and click the - button at the bottom of the window. The chosen contact will then be able to send you iMessages once again, though they will not receive any special notification announcing this.
In this tutorial, I have shown you how to block, and unblock, iMessage contacts to restrict who can send you messages on a Mac. If you'd like to learn more about the Messages app on your Mac, refer to the Introduction to Messages tutorial.