UPDATE JULY 2016: It appears Apple may have made a change to how Messages appear when you are blocked. It used to be that they showed as 'Delivered', now they don't show anything. So if you send a message and it returns no status at all you are either blocked, or the persons phone is off.
Have you ever got yourself in a situation where you are wondering why someone isn't replying to your FaceTime calls or iMessages? How do you know if you have been blocked or if you are just being plain ignored?
There are many articles on the Internet, all stretch the topic out far more than it really needs to be. Here is the simple answer.
How to Know for Certain
To be 100% certain, the person you are trying to contact has to have an iPhone and you need to make a cellular call to their phone on more than one occasion. If the phone goes straight to voicemail you are either blocked, or their phone is off. To confirm this step you need to disable your caller ID and call them back straight away.
Switch Off Caller ID
- Tap on ’Settings’
- Tap on ‘Phone’
- Tap on ‘Show My Caller ID’ and switch it to ‘Off’
- Call them straight away.
If the phone now rings you can confirm you were blocked.
What About Messages?
Messages is a cloudy way of telling. It used to be that when you were blocked your messages still showed as ‘Delivered’, this gives no definitive indication. However, per the notice at the top of the post, I’ve noticed that when you are newly blocked the message receives no status. A few days to weeks later. I’ve noticed it then changes back to ‘Delivered’. Remember though, showing no status could also mean the phone is off. So really, two calls is the only real way to know.
What About FaceTime?
FaceTime calls will just ring and ring and then eventually fail, in short they will act as though they are going through but the person is simply not answering.
If you were once sharing locations with the person via 'Find My Friends' then this will be a massive clue. If you see 'XXXX XXXX is no longer sharing their location with you' in your iMessage conversation, where 'XXXX XXXX' is the person name, then you have a good indicator they have blocked you. If it says 'Location Unavailable' then this IS NOT an indicator of being blocked, merely that they are out of reception, their phone has died or they have turned it off.
So in conclusion, the only sure fire way is via a cell call with an iMessage as a belts and braces check. It should be noted that the user must have iOS7+ to be able to block a caller, so check this as well. The information in this article is valid up to (and most likely beyond) iOS 10.2.
Have you noticed any other behaviour? Reading this long after iOS 10.2 and wondering if this article is still valid? Leave me a comment below or on Twitter.