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Can’t Leave a Group Chat on Your iPhone? Here’s What You Can Do Instead

Sometimes your iPhone won’t let you leave group chats in the Messages app. We’ll explain why that is and show you what to do instead.

Group chats are very convenient: they allow you to have multiple conversations with several people simultaneously and help to keep the exchanges going seamlessly. However, you may find yourself wanting to leave a group chat in Messages but, for some reason, cannot do so.

Below are some reasons why you can’t leave group chats on your iPhone—and what you can do instead.

Why Can’t I Leave a Group Chat in Apple Messages?

There are two kinds of group chats in Apple Messages: an iMessage group and an SMS/MMS group. The former is full of Apple users who rely on Apple’s instant messaging service to exchange texts and media, whereas the latter includes a combination of Apple and non-Apple users.

To differentiate the two, Apple uses blue speech bubbles for iMessage groups and green text bubbles for SMS/MMS groups. As long as at least one person in the group is a non-Apple user, you’ll be in an SMS/MMS group, even if the rest are Apple users.

Here’s the kicker: SMS/MMS groups don’t give you an option to leave since you’re not actually using an instant messaging platform. Instead, these messages go through your carrier.

You can only leave group chats in an iMessage group when everyone is an Apple user. However, with SMS/MMS groups, you can only leave if at least three people are present in the group, and all of them are using an Apple device. So, if you can’t leave, it’s likely that one or more users aren’t using an Apple device with iMessage enabled.

How to Leave a Group Chat on Your iPhone

As mentioned, you can only leave a group chat if everyone uses an Apple device and at least three people are part of the thread. Now, here’s what you need to do if that is the case:

  1. Open the group chat in Messages.
  2. Tap the group icon or the group name at the top of the thread.
  3. Now, tap on Leave this Conversation at the bottom of the page and confirm you want to leave when prompted.

What to Do If You Can’t Leave a Group Chat

Leaving is impossible if you are part of an SMS/MMS group. However, you can still get rid of the noise by simply muting the message thread. To do this:


  1. Open the group chat in Messages.
  2. Tap the group icon or the group name at the top of the thread.
  3. Scroll down and toggle the switch on to Hide Alerts.

Alternatively, swipe left over the group message thread and tap on the Alerts button (the bell icon in purple). Once you do this, a crescent moon icon will appear next to the group chat to indicate that it’s muted. When you’re ready to unmute the group, swipe left and hit the Alerts button again.

Prevent Notification Burnout

Staying connected with your loved ones is a human need. However, back-and-forth messaging about nonsense or topics you’re not really interested in can be annoying.

Sometimes, you may prefer solitude and a few hours free from distractions and noise to focus on your work. So muting group chats or leaving them altogether for some much-needed silence may just be what you need.

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