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What does message blocking is active mean? Simple steps to resolve it

You might have encountered the notification “free msg: unable to send message blocking is active” when trying to send across an urgent text. Text messaging continues to be the easiest and the most popular means of communication. So, any issues with such an essential service can be particularly bothersome. 

What does message blocking is active mean

In this article, we’ll be covering what “message blocking is active” essentially means and the reasons for that message popping up. We’ll also be suggesting some simple methods to fix this issue. 

what does message blocking is active mean?

When message blocking is active, any message you attempt to send is not received by the recipient. You might simply see the message “free msg: unable to send message blocking is active” popping up on your screen. 

This can happen due to a multitude of reasons but is usually because either the sender or receiver is a part of each other’s blocked contacts. Other than that, T-Mobile users seem to frequently encounter this problem. We’ll take a closer look into the reasons in the next section. 

Why is message blocking active?

Here’s a list of the possible reasons why the “message blocking is active” notification might show up.

  • Blocklist

This is one of the commonest reasons for message blocking is active notification popping up. It’s essentially when either the sender or the receiver is a part of the blocked contacts lists of each other. You could try to verify this by contacting each other and see if the call goes through or not. Parental controls might also be inadvertently enabled in some cases. 

  • Short Code issue

This seems to be the explanation as to why a lot of T-Mobile users are experiencing this issue. You will need the guidance of experienced technicians to solve this problem. 

  • Service Outage

Again, not a fault from your end. You might be seeing the notification message blocking is active because of a lapse from your service provider’s end. You could try contacting your respective customer care service to identify if messaging services were mistakenly put on hold.

  • Premium Message excess

In this case, you might have picked an option that doesn’t allow your phone to receive or send premium messages. Even though this feature is made use of by only a couple of messaging apps, it’s still an integral prerequisite for them to work effectively. 

  • Unsuitable Plan

This happens when the plan you’ve subscribed to does not include messaging services. Contact customer care to identify if you’ve chosen the right plan or not. Even if messaging services are covered under your current plan, you might not have enough balance in your prepaid account to send a message. 

How to fix message blocking is active?

  • Check coverage

Check if your network coverage is adequate. This is generally listed as a pictograph in the upper right-hand corner of your phone. If the coverage has been listed as None or if you can’t identify bars, then you might not be able to call someone or send and receive text messages. 

  • Check if your phone is active

Go to the device settings on your phone and check if your phone is being listed as Active. If you’re seeing a Suspended or Still Porting in place of Active, then you might not be able to make calls or send and receive text messages. 

  • Check  if messages are included in your plan 

First, ensure that on your account settings page, the option Can Send/Receive Text Messages is enabled. If that option is enabled, it’s likely that you’re seeing the message blocking is active notification because text messaging is not included as a part of your paid plan. 

  • Check if there’s enough storage 

You will need at least 15% of free space in order to be able to send a text message. Free up disk space by getting rid of unnecessary applications, redundant documents, and old photos. 

  • Check if you’re using the right country code 

If you’re on international borders, you might be encountering the issue of messaging being blocked simply because of entering the wrong country code. All you need to do is do a simple Google search to find out if you’re using the right country code.

  • Try re-saving the contact

If you’ve tried all the above fixes and the issue still persists, it might have to do with a specific contact. You might have entered the wrong digit by mistake. So, delete the contact and re-save the contact with the right digits. 

  • Unblock 

Like we’ve discussed before, you might not be able to send a message because your contact has been blocked by the other person or vice-versa. So, go to your contacts and check your list of blocked contacts. Unblock them if they’re on the list. Ask the other person to do the same. Call the receiver to verify if you’ve removed it from the blocklist. 

Blocking an unknown contact on your Android device:

Go to your Phone app and tap on the button that says More Options. Navigate to Call History and tap on the call from the number you intend to block. When you’re done selecting, tap on Block/Report Spam. This will successfully add the specific contact to the list of blocked numbers. 

Unblocking a number on your Android device: 

Go to your Phone app and tap on the button that says More Options. Navigate to Settings and scroll down to Blocked Numbers. You will see an Unblock option next to the contact that you wish to unblock. Tap on it to remove the contact from the blocklist. 

Block/Unblock a Contact on an iPhone: 

Tap on the Phone App from your Home Screen or from the App Library. Go to Recents and tap on the Info icon next to the specific contact. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen to find an option that says Block this Caller. Tap on it to Block an unknown contact. You can Unblock a contact the same way. 

  • Enable premium access 

It’s fairly simple to check if you’ve enabled premium access on your phone. Make your way to Settings and click on App Management. You should be able to see an icon labeled Messaging. Tap on it and navigate all the way down to Special Access. There should be an option to Allow Premium Access. Switch it on if it hasn’t been enabled yet. 

  • Text Content 

There might be a chance that you’re encountering the “message blocking is active” issue because of all the non-text elements being added to your message. If that’s the case, then you resolve it by simply sending a plain text message without any images, GIFs, emojis, or attachments. The character limit for all standard messaging services is 160 characters. If this character limit is exceeded, then a plain text message might be converted into an MMS. 

  • iMessaging 

There might be a chance that your number is registered as an iMessaging number even after you’ve made the shift from an iPhone to an Android device. Contact the Apple representatives to resolve this issue. 

  • Reset your phone 

This is generally the last resort if all the above-mentioned fixes fail. Hold down the power button on your phone until it restarts. If your phone has a removable battery, then try taking it out and placing it back again. If your battery cannot be removed, then try removing the SIM card from the designated tray and putting it back again. 

Use Cases

  • Message blocking is active error in Gmail

It’s not just the text messaging services that are affected by this problem, it may extend other means of communication like Gmail too. You might see the error pop up for a wide variety of reasons. Some of them are: 

  • Entering an invalid Email address
  • Entering a dot at the end of the Email ID by mistake 
  • Typo in the Email (spaces in between for instance)
  • Spam mail being sent continuously 

Steps for resolution 

  • Check if the email address you’re entering is correct. Avoid adding a dot at the end of the email address
  • Collecting personal information through spam mail can get you noticed by the Google algorithm. It might label you as malware and hence activating message blocking
  • Use Google Groups to send a message to a large number of people 
  • If all fixes do not work, then you might have to resort to calling up the helpline service
  • Message blocking is active message on Google Hangouts 

Google Hangouts is the default messaging in most, if not all Google phones. You can send either a Hangout message or a standard SMS, but the only prerequisite is that your recipient’s number must be associated with their Gmail account. 

If you’re facing difficulties, try some of the basic troubleshooting steps that we’d mentioned earlier. Check if the cellular reception is adequate and if the Wi-Fi is working properly. If both these steps do not yield any results, then try signing out of the Hangouts app and sign in again. 

Signing out from your phone is a simple procedure. All you need to do is open the Hangouts app and navigate to the menu bar at the top left corner of the screen. Now, click on Settings and go to your Google Account, and tap on Sign Out. Log back into the app by tapping on Sign In when you open the app again. Be sure to verify your phone number and enable the option for your contacts to find you on Hangouts. 

  • Free message blocking is active notification on T-Mobile 

Out of all the service providers out there, it seems like T-Mobile users seem to be the worst-hit. They might see the message blocking as an active message or action prompt pop up on the screen if the device hasn’t been updated. It could also happen if you happen to unknowingly exceed the character limit. 

Solutions for message blocking in T-Mobile devices

For Android phones

  • Clear all the cache data from the Messaging app
  • Verify you’ve entered the contact number of the recipient correctly 
  • Try uninstalling and then reinstalling the messaging application loaded onto your device
  • Restore back to default settings with respect to Access Point Names (APN’s)

For Apple phones

  • Restore the Network Settings back to their original settings
  • Update your phone to the most recently released version 
  • Check if it’s an issue with the network by removing the SIM card and attaching it to a different device 

If none of the above-mentioned fixes work for either your Android/ Apple device, then try contacting the respective customer care centers for further instructions. 

  • Message blocking is active error on iMessaging

Just like Hangouts being the default messaging app on all Google phones, iMessaging is the default messaging service on all Apple devices. Texts can be sent through the classic SMS platform in case your recipient is not a registered user of iMessaging or if you’ve inadvertently disabled iMessaging services. 

In case iMessaging is not working properly, consider resetting Network Settings. This will not affect your personal data by any means but instead deletes previously used Wi-Fi networks and APN’s

There’s also a chance that you might have missed out on any updates, so check that out by navigating your way to the Software Updates page on Settings. If all these steps still don’t restore your messaging services, then performing a factory restore might be the only way out. 

The steps to successfully performing a backup and restore might vary from one device to another, but the basic steps remain the same. 

Performing a backup and restore on an iPhone 

  • Click on Settings on your home page
  • Go to General Settings– this might take a bit of scrolling 
  • Keep swiping down until you find Reset 
  • Click on Erase all Contents and Settings 
  • Backup your files and data- via iCloud
  • Click on Erase Now– This when you might see a dialog box pop up. It will lead you to the first layer of security checks
  • Enter your password and click on Erase iPhone
  • Re Enter your Apple ID password and Confirm– this is when the second dialog box appears. The restart procedure should begin shortly once you’re done entering the security details.

It’s important to remember that a factory reset will delete all your personal information, including documents, third-party applications, music tracks, and accounts from your device. However, all of the data that was uploaded to iCloud will be available for download. A factory reset is your best bet at erasing all the local data stored on your device. 

  • Message blocking is active error on Lycamobile 

It’s not just T-Mobile users that seem to be experiencing this issue. Lycamobile users have also reported facing the issue of message blocking being active. Like we’ve discussed before, you might see the notification pop up if your plans have expired prematurely or if you have forgotten to recharge your phone. 

Steps to resolve the error 

  • Users have noticed that turning off Wi-Fi has resolved this issue and messaging seems to resume functioning
  • Try removing the Lycamobile SIM card from your phone and placing it onto another device. This should clear up the problem if it had something to do with the SIM card in particular
  • Verify that your Lycamobile text messaging service is set to the latest Lycamobile message center. You can check this by navigating to the Settings page and then making your way to Sending Profiles. Contact their toll-free number to get more details about the message center in case it hasn’t been updated recently
  • The simplest fix is to buy a plan from their website. Plans begin for as low as $19
  • How to fix message blocking is active on Metro PC’s 

One of the most common reasons for message blocking to be active on Metro PCs is because your plan doesn’t include international calling (calls from the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, or Australia). Upgrading your plan should help in such cases. 

  • If the issue is related to the SIM card, then removing it and placing it on another device shouldn’t make a difference. The only option might be a complete network reset
  • Check if your recipient is up to date with their bill payments. Your message might not be received even if you’ve done everything right
  • Contact your nearest Metro PC outreach center and request a fresh batch of smartphones or SIM cards. This is seen to resolve the issue in a large number of users


Even with the advent of other popular messaging services, a significant number of users still rely on the good old text messaging services for communication. So, it’s naturally frustrating to see a notification message blocking is active when you try to send across a text message. 

There might be a multitude of reasons for this particular notification to pop up. Your network might be poor, or you simply might not have enough account balance to send the message. 

Another reason for a text not being received could be due to the fact that the recipient might have blocked your number. You could simply call up the person to check if they’ve blocked you. 

In some instances, you aren’t the one to blame. Lack of shortcodes on the part of your service provider could be the root of the issue. Contacting the sales operative should help in such instances. Remember, whatever be the root cause of the issue, there’s always a way to circumvent it. 

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