If you’re stuck in a group chat on an iPhone, it’s possible to leave the group if everyone is using iPhones (or Apple Messages) to communicate. Here’s how to do it—and tips on what to do if you’re stuck in an SMS group text instead.
How to Leave a Group Messages Chat on iPhone
First, open the Messages app on your iPhone. To leave a group chat, everyone involved in the conversation thread will need to be using the Messages app an Apple device (which uses Apple’s iMessage network). Also, you can’t leave a group chat with only three people, because it would become a two-person non-group chat, and Apple hasn’t developed a solution to that issue yet.
In Messages, navigate to the list of message threads and tap the group chat you’d like to leave. When you see the conversation listed out, tap the group of avatar icons that represent the people involved in the chat at the top of the screen.
In the overlay that pops up, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap “Leave This Conversation.” (In iOS 14 and earlier, tap the “i” info button first, and then tap “Leave This Conversation.”)
Confirm by tapping “Leave This Conversation” again. After that, you will no longer see new messages added to that particular group chat, but it will remain on your message threads list (You can delete it by swiping to the left an tapping the trash can icon). Feel free to repeat these steps with any other Messages group chat that doesn’t involve people using SMS.
What to Do if “Leave This Conversation” Is Greyed Out
As mentioned above, you can’t leave an iMessage group chat with only three people as of February 2022. That’s because it would become a non-group chat (an ordinary on-on-one chat), and Apple’s iMessage software can’t handle that kind of transition at the moment. That means if you’re doing a group chat with exactly three people using Apple devices, the “Leave This Conversation” will be greyed out in the pop-up chat configuration window.
To leave the chat anyway, tap the group of avatar icons at the top of the chat screen again and add a fourth person to the chat. After that, select “Leave This Conversation” in the same menu, and you’re good to go. Hopefully Apple will fix this issue in a future update.
Tips For Dealing with SMS Group Chats
You can’t leave a group chat if anyone in the group is using SMS for texting. This means that if anyone in the group has a non-Apple phone, such as one that runs Android, everyone in the group will be forced to use SMS group texting. SMS is a 30-year-old protocol that doesn’t support leaving a group or member moderation.
Instead, you can mute a group chat in Apple Messages thread list by swiping your finger to the left over it. When you see the icon shaped like a crossed-out bell, tap it, and the bell will no longer be crossed-out. After that, you won’t receive notifications from the group chat, but the thread will still appear on your messages list. We’re hoping that Apple will allow completely blocking an SMS group texting thread some time in the future.
You can also block individuals in the group chat by tapping their avatar icon, then tapping the “Info” button. Scroll down to the bottom of the window and tap “Block This Caller.” From then on, you won’t see messages from that person, but you’ll still see messages from anyone else who isn’t blocked in the group chat. Stay safe out there!