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What happens when you block someone on your phone and they text you?

Blocking someone on your phone prevents you from receiving calls and texts from that person. When you block a number, the blocked person’s calls go straight to voicemail and their texts are not delivered to your phone. So if someone texts you after you’ve blocked them, here is what happens from both sides:

What the blocked person sees when they text you

From the blocked person’s perspective, it will seem like their text went through normally. When they hit send on a text to your number, their phone will not give them any indication that you cannot receive it. The text will show up in their messaging app like normal, without any error message.

The blocked person has no way to know their text did not actually reach you. Your conversation with them will appear unchanged on their end. They won’t receive any notice or bounceback message that they’ve been blocked.

What you see (or don’t see) when a blocked number texts you

On your end, you simply won’t receive the text at all. If someone you’ve blocked sends you a text, your phone acts like the message was never sent in the first place. The text won’t show up in your messaging app, and you won’t get any sort of notification or indication that a blocked person texted you.

From your perspective, it will be as if the blocked person never texted you. Your phone disregards and discards texts from blocked numbers so they cannot reach you. You don’t have to do anything to ignore a blocked person’s texts – your phone automatically prevents you from ever seeing them.

Why you can still be texted after blocking someone

When you block a number, it only blocks that specific phone number from texting and calling you. But there are a few reasons a blocked person may still be able to text you:

They text you from a different number you haven’t blocked

If the blocked person has access to another phone, they can text you from the new number. Your block only applies to the specific number you blocked, so texts from another number will go through normally.

They use a texting app to disguise their number

Apps like Burner and Hushed allow users to create temporary “burner” numbers to make calls and send texts. So a blocked person could download one of these apps to generate a new disposable number that you haven’t blocked, and use that to text you.

Your phone carrier doesn’t identify blocked numbers

Most major carriers have systems to detect blocked numbers, but some smaller phone companies don’t identify blocked contacts when processing texts. With these carriers, texts from blocked senders can slip through and reach you.

What happens if you reply to a text from a blocked number

If you somehow receive and reply to a text from someone you blocked, here is what will happen:

The blocked person will receive your reply

Even though you have their number blocked, any text you send to them will be delivered normally. From their perspective, your conversation thread will appear uninterrupted.

You still won’t see their responses

If the blocked person replies to your text, their responses still won’t reach your phone. You’ll only see your outgoing messages in the conversation. It will be a one-way text exchange on your end.

Your replies could alert the blocked person

By responding, you may inadvertently reveal to the blocked person that they’ve been blocked. When you suddenly stop seeing their incoming texts, they could realize your number has blocked them.

Signs that a blocked number has texted you

Since you can’t directly see texts from a blocked number, how do you know if a blocked person is trying to text you? Here are a few signs:

Your phone logs show a text received from their number

Even though you didn’t see the text itself, your call and text logs will record blocked texts as received. Check your logs and if you see their number, they likely tried to text.

They reference replying to a text you don’t remember

If the blocked person references replying to a text you never saw, they may have tried texting you first.

You receive a text right after unblocking them

If you unblock someone and suddenly get a text from them, chances are they had tried texting you while blocked and the text came through after unblocking.

Can someone tell if you blocked their number?

Blocked callers and texters don’t receive any official notice that they’ve been blocked. But there are some signs that may tip them off:

  • Their calls go straight to voicemail every time
  • Their texts never show as delivered or read
  • You suddenly stop responding to them
  • Your online messaging status no longer updates for them

Savvy texters may pick up on these clues and figure out they’ve been blocked. But without an official notification, they can’t be 100% certain. The blocking happens silently on your phone.

Who can see that you blocked someone on an iPhone?

When you block a number on an iPhone, the blocking happens privately on your device. No one else is notified or given any indication that you blocked a number.

You’re the only one who knows you blocked someone

Only you can see your list of blocked contacts in your iPhone settings. Neither the blocked person nor anyone else will see that you’ve blocked a number – it’s completely private.

Even if you block someone in Messages, they aren’t notified

If you block someone directly in the Messages app, it still only blocks them silently from your end. They will not receive any message that they’ve been blocked.

Carriers don’t share block information

Your phone carrier keeps track of blocked numbers to filter them properly. But carriers never share block lists or notify others that they’ve been blocked. It remains private on their systems.

So in summary, no one else is notified or made aware if you block a number on your iPhone. Only you can see your block list in your settings.

Can someone tell if you blocked them on WhatsApp?

WhatsApp’s blocking feature works similarly to blocking on iPhone. When you block someone in WhatsApp:

  • They do not receive any notification that you blocked them
  • Your profile photo and online status will disappear from their app
  • Any messages they send you will show as delivered, but you won’t actually receive them

While they don’t get an official notice, some signs like your profile photo disappearing could tip them off that they’ve been blocked. But without a confirmation, they can’t know for 100% certain.

What happens when you block someone on WhatsApp

Here is exactly what happens when you block a contact in WhatsApp:

For the blocked person For you
They can no longer see your profile photo, status, or when you were last online You stop receiving their calls and texts
Their messages will show as delivered, but won’t actually reach you You remove them from all WhatsApp groups
If in a group together, they will be removed from the group for you only They are automatically unfollowed if you had followed them

So in summary, the blocking happens silently without alerting the blocked user. But your disappearing profile photo from their app may make them suspicious.

Should you tell someone you blocked them?

If you want to completely cut off contact with someone, it’s often better not to tell them you blocked their number. Here are some pros and cons:

Pros of telling them you blocked them

  • Lets them know unambiguously you don’t want further contact
  • Prevents confusion about why you’re not responding
  • Gives closure if it was a friendship/relationship ending badly

Cons of telling them you blocked them

  • Could prompt an angry response from them
  • May cause them to try contacting you from different numbers
  • Hurts their feelings or makes the situation worse

So it’s usually better to block silently and avoid further engagement. But in some cases being upfront about blocking can provide a clean break.

Can police or authorities tell if you blocked someone?

For security and privacy reasons, phone companies and app makers do not reveal blocking information to outside parties like police. The only way police would know you blocked someone is if they had a warrant or subpoena and your phone company turned over calling and text records that showed blocked numbers.

But authorities and police have no independent, direct way to look up if a specific number has blocked someone. They would need to go through proper legal channels to try to obtain block records.


When you block a phone number, the blocked person has no indication they can no longer reach you. From their end, it will seem like texts and calls are going through normally. Meanwhile, you won’t see any texts they send or even know they tried contacting you. Replies you send may tip them off, but blocking happens silently from their perspective. Only you can see your block list, and authorities would need proper warrants to access block records from a carrier. So blocking someone effectively stops their texts and calls from reaching you, without ever alerting them that you blocked them.