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Filtered Messages – a secret inbox for unknown senders

Email accounts have long been able to auto-sort suspected junk mail into a separate folder that doesn’t clog up your main inbox. If only the Messages app had a similar function…

Oh wait! It does!

Message filtering is a powerful feature that very few iPhone owners know about. Here’s how it works.

Filter unknown senders

Head to the Settings app and tap Messages. Here, scroll down to the Message Filtering section and toggle Filter Unknown Senders on. This will give you the choice of two separate home pages within the Messages app, one for texts from people you know and one for everything else.

Now, open Messages and you’ll see a Filters button in the top left. (Note that this replaces the Edit button, which is now accessed through a drop-down menu in the top right.)

Tap Filters and you’ll see a choice of three inboxes: All Messages, Known Senders, and Unknown Senders. Tap any one of these to see just those messages in your main view.

Selective notifications

You can even configure things so you only get alerts for messages from people you know, while everything else is silently added to the unknown inbox. Head back to the Settings app and this time choose Notifications > Messages > Customize Notifications. Toggle the Unknown Senders setting off and your device will no longer ding for these messages!

This is a great way to filter out less relevant messages without completely removing them. After all, plenty of texts from unknown numbers are important – but you don’t need verification codes and delivery confirmations clogging up your main chat feed all the time.