iOS 8 Messages: How to Ignore or Leave a Group Message

Man with head in sand, superimposed with iMessage icon

It’s happened to most of us at least once. Somebody includes you on a group text in iMessage that you either don’t want to be a part of or don’t have the time to read, and before you know it your iPhone has 25 messages waiting for you.

Not only is the constant vibrating and dinging annoying, but while ignoring this conversation you may very well miss an important message you actually want to read.

Up until now all you could do was ask people to stop messaging and start a new thread without you on it. Thankfully, with the new features in iOS 8 you can now drop yourself out of any group text in Messages, as long as the thread is an iMessage one.

It’s actually pretty easy; here’s how.

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First Things First

Before showing you how to leave a group chat in iOS 8 Messages, there are a few things you need to know.

First, when you do this you’re not just ignoring the messages, you’re actually telling your iPhone to stop receiving messages in that thread. So if anyone mentions you in the thread, you won’t see it. If you just mute the messages, you’ll still get them; you just won’t see them appear.

Next, dropping out only works for group messages that are comprised entirely of iMessages, which means only iOS and Macs are involved. If there are standard text messages involved, this won’t work. You can, however, mute any group conversation.

Finally, you need to have iOS 8 installed on your iPhone or iPad for this to work. The other people in the thread don’t need the latest update; as long as they’re sending iMessages, you’re good to go.

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Mute Group Messages on iPhone and iPad

To get yourself out of those annoying group messages, open up the Messages app and tap on the group message you want to ignore. Now tap the Details button in the upper right corner. You should see a list of the members of the group message, as well as location information if it’s available.

Group Message details in iMessage on iPhone

Once on the Details screen, scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see a few key items. First, look for the Do Not Disturb setting and turn it on. As long as this is on, you won’t get any notifications for this conversation.

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Drop Out of Group Messages on iPhone and iPad

If just muting the conversation isn’t enough and you don’t even want the messages on your device, you can drop out of the conversation.

Go into the group message that you want to drop out of and tap on the Details button in the upper right corner. Scroll to the bottom and look for the Leave this Conversation link. Tap on this and verify that you want to drop out of it. Once you do this, you will stop receiving any and all messages in this thread.

Closeup of Leave this Conversation link on iPhone

This won’t affect any other texts or iMessages on your device, only ones in this thread. If you have other group messages with the same people, you’ll still receive updates on those, too.

By using one of these two new iOS 8 iMessage settings, you can now finally get away from annoying group messages and get back to what’s important, which is obviously trying to beat your high score on Timberman.

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