The days of mass emails were bad enough. These days, being drafted into a group chat in iOS Messages can be hell, with your iPhone alerting you every time one of a dozen people you don’t really know sends a message concerning something you don’t really care about. Thankfully, there are two ways to stop the madness. Here’s how to mute or leave a group chat in Messages for iOS 8.
Leave a Group Chat in Messages
If you want to leave a group chat entirely, open the chat thread in Messages for iOS 8 and tap Details, located at the top-right of the screen. This will display a list of all chat participants, location settings, and a summary of all images, videos, and audio clips attached to the thread. Right above the attachments section you’ll see a button labeled in red titled Leave this Conversation. Tap it, agree to the confirmation pop-up, and you’ll be removed from the group chat in Messages.
Note that this won’t limit you from receiving future messages from the individuals in the this group chat, or from new group chats in which you’re included. The steps described here only prevent you from seeing future messages from this particular group chat.
There’s one big caveat, however: this method only works for group chats involving members using iMessage. A big group message involving both iMessage and SMS users will result in the Leave this Conversation button being grayed out, or not visible at all, depending on when the SMS users joined the conversation. But don’t worry! There’s another option…
Mute a Group Chat in Messages with Do Not Disturb
If you can’t use the Leave this Conversation option, you can still make group chats less annoying, even if your Apple ID or mobile number is still technically a member of the conversation.
Head to the same location described above (Messages > open the message you want to mute > Details). Again, scroll down through the Details screen until you see Do Not Disturb. Tap the button to turn it on (green) and you’ll no longer receive sound, vibration, or Notification Center alerts for this particular group chat. Unlike the steps above to leave a group chat, however, you can still see all updates to the conversation if you manually open the chat in the Messages app.
The benefit of this option is that it works with all types of group chats, including iMessage-only, mixed iMessage and SMS, and exclusively SMS. As mentioned, it also allows you to go back and review the messages you missed, in case some important information is eventually distributed.
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