How to Mute a Conversation in Messages for Mac and iOS

Vintage sign about a quiet zone for a lecture in progress

Recent versions of OS X have given you the ability to text right from your Mac. It doesn’t matter if the person you’re texting with has iOS or OS X; you can send and receive text messages with ease.

What happens when you start texting with someone who’s a little… talkative? It’s great to talk with your friends and family via text on your Mac, but sometimes you need to ignore a conversation so you can get some work done.

You can enter Do Not Disturb mode in OS X, but then you miss all your other important notifications, too. What you need to do is ignore the conversations that bug you and keep seeing the rest. Here’s how to mute a conversation in Messages for Mac. Then we’ll talk about how to do the same in iOS.

Note: For this example we’re using OS X Yosemite, but the idea works with Mavericks as well, just not with the standard text-messaging portion, as this is only available with 10.10 Yosemite.

Mute a Conversation in OS X

To get started, open the Messages app in on your Mac and click on the conversation you want to mute.

One-sided iMesssages conversation on Mac screen

With the conversation selected, click the Details button in the upper right corner. A pop-up window should appear. In it you should see a checkbox that says Do Not Disturb. Check this box, and all notifications for the conversation will be muted.

Do Not Disturb pop-up box in Messages

Once you’ve muted a conversation, you’ll still receive messages in it – you just won’t be notified when they come in. Muted conversations will show with the standard Apple crescent moon next to the user picture.

Closeup of a user icon with crescent moon indicating conversation is muted

To unmute the conversation, just select it again and uncheck the Do Not Disturb box.

This action will only affect the conversation in Messages for OS X. Here’s how to mute messages in iOS.

Duplicate contacts killing your productivity? See how Scrubly can help in this 100-second video.

Mute a Conversation in iOS

If a specific conversation is driving you crazy, you can mute it on your iPhone or iPad, too. Similar to muting in OS X, go into the message you wish to mute on your iPhone or iPad and tap the Details button in the upper right corner.

Closeup of Messages conversation with Details link

On the Details screen you should see Do Not Disturb at the very bottom. Turn the toggle ON, and now notifications for all messages in this thread will be ignored.
Messages Details screen with Do Not Disturb toggle turned on

Everything Else

Muting a conversation won’t mute all messages from a user, only that thread. This means you can mute a group message while keeping individual ones open, and you can mute one group while not muting another, even if the members are the same.

Muting also doesn’t block contacts, it only stops notifications on a specific thread. While not a security setting, this can make annoying text conversations far easier to deal with.

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