Taming Notifications ...?

I have my phone set to announce notifications, mostly because my typical day is a PowerBeats Pro in one ear and my phone sitting somewhere in my apartment. It’s just easier to have my phone speak the average message. But lately I’ve been getting spammy text messages and/or text messages that are super long for things like appointments, etc.

I’ve been Googling and trying to find instructions to get the phone to only read messages from people in my Contacts, and so far all the directions I’ve found don’t seem to work on my phone - iOS 15.1. It’s reading every single message.

This seems like the sort of very obvious thing that shouldn’t be this difficult. Can anybody point me in the right direction?

Does Settings > Messages > Filter Unknown Senders make a difference? Just a guess—I don’t have messages voice announced myself.

Ah, that’s potentially useful - thanks!

That said, some of the five-digit numbers are apparently “known senders” according to the phone. I’m wondering if it’s possible to tell it that I don’t want, for example, it to read out the super-long text messages from my pharmacy.

Somehow it considers that a “known sender”, although it’s not in any of my contact lists anywhere.

Ah, I’m not sure. I see that they consider unknown sender status to end if you reply, which would get you if you ever wrote yes, stop, etc. to the bot.

If there aren’t many of the five digit notifiers, could you just individually mute them? Long press on the contact in Messages > Hide Alerts.


If you are in the USA, consider getting a Google Voice number and then don’t have it ring your phone. I do this for my pharmacy and all of the other places where someone “requires” a phone number but I don’t want them spamming my regular phone number.

Then I have the Google Voice app notifications set to badges only.

it takes a little while to move things over and set it up, but it’s been worth it to me.

I have a Typinator shortcut ‘555’ which will expand to my ‘fake’ number (which isn’t fake but which is similar to fake :wink:

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I wouldn’t do that with my pharmacy. They have legitimate reasons to call – if they catch a mistake or a batch of medicine has been recalled, and to notify about refills (important for us forgetful old folks).

I use a similar procedure as @tjluoma with my GV number, but I allow notifications on the Lock Screen and my pharmacy’s automated system always leaves a voicemail. (And FYI, my iPhone number is set to Silence Unknown Callers)

So far I’ve never missed a legitimate call :crossed_fingers:t3:

If there was a legitimate call, which has never happened, they could leave a message, and I could call them back.

When there’s a prescription ready at CVS, they call more often than debt collectors.

Then there are the automated “Service Calls” to remind you to get a flu shot (which I’ve already had) and telling you there are COVID-19 vaccinations available (which I’d already had) and so on.

When they decide to treat my phone number with the respect it deserves, I’ll reconsider.

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Sounds like CVS is the offender. The only unnecessary “service calls” I get are emails from Medicare telling me to get Covid and Flu vaccines. Pharmacies here have left me alone.

I had a dentist once send three separate notifications of an appointment over the course of a week, each one requiring a reply of “YES” if I wanted to keep the appointment.

One is okay. People miss / forget about appointments, and that sucks for the doc. But three?