Accidentally Reported a Text Message as Junk… What to Do?

November 28, 2023 | By Sam Pelton
Cartoon representation of a text message conversation with the “Report Junk” option highlighted

Spam is a problem, both for email and for text messages. Americans alone received more than 225 billion spam text messages last year according to some reports. And scam texts cost US consumers $330 million.

This is obviously an issue both for consumers and for businesses such as Apple or Google or the mobile carriers who are trying to serve those consumers.

The ability to report a text message as “junk” or “spam,” then, is a way for mobile providers to help provide their users with a way to give notice that a message they’ve received isn’t legitimate.

Going through this process can delete a message for a user and can give mobile providers more information to help fight the spam problem.

But what if you accidentally reported a text message as junk? How can you retrieve the message? Will future messages from that sender be undelivered or sent to your spam folder?

In this article, we’ll answer those questions for you.

First we’ll go over the quick answers to your questions in case you’re short on time, and then we’ll get more in-depth.

Accidentally Reported a Text Message as Junk: Quick FAQ

What Happens If I Accidentally Report a Text as Junk?

Not to worry!

It won’t block the sender from ever sending you messages again. It will just send some info to Apple or Android and the mobile carriers and will delete the conversation from your main inbox.

You can easily recover the conversation from your deleted/blocked messages if you want to keep the conversation on record. (See how under the “How to ‘Undo’” section below.)

I Accidentally Reported a Text Message as Junk – What Should I Do?

If you’ve accidentally reported a text message as spam, no action is needed. There should be no negative consequences if you don’t do anything.

However, if you’d like to retrieve the message, all that you need to do is…

  • For iPhone: Go into your “Recently Deleted” messages view by selecting the “Edit” button from the main “Messages” view. From there you’ll be able to view and restore your deleted message.
  • For Android: Go into your “Spam and Blocked” folder by selecting the “3 dots” icon from the main “Messages” view. From there you’ll be able to view and restore your deleted message.

Now that you have some basic answers to your questions, let’s go over more of the specifics…

How Reporting a Text Message as Junk Works

When you report a message as junk/spam, it will delete it from your inbox and will send information to Apple/Android and the wireless carriers so that they can have more data for combating spam efforts.

Reporting as junk/spam doesn’t block the sender from sending further messages, so if you accidentally report a text message as junk, you’ll still be able to receive messages from that sender in the future.

If you want to prevent receiving messages from a particular phone number in the future, it’s recommended that you block the phone number.

Accidentally Reported as Junk - iPhone

On iPhone, if you receive a text message from someone who’s not in your contacts list, you have the option to “Report Junk.” You can do this in one of two ways:

  • You can select the “Report Junk” link within the messaging thread (if it appears)
  • You can swipe left on the conversation thread (without opening it), select the trash bin icon, and then select “Delete and Report Junk”
screenshot of ios report junk

Accidentally reporting as junk will occur if either of those options are selected by mistake.

Accidentally Reported as Spam - Android

On Android there are also a couple of ways to report a text as spam:

  • Tap and hold the conversation thread you’re wanting to report (without opening the conversation), and then select the “block” icon and select “Report Spam”
  • If you’re inside a conversation, you can tap the “3 dots” icon and then select “Details” and “Block and report spam”

Just like with an iPhone, accidentally reporting as junk will occur if either of those options are selected by mistake.

Why Accidentally Reporting a Text Message as Junk Happens

Accidentally reporting a text message as junk may happen for a variety of reasons:

  • Perhaps you didn’t realize what would happen after selecting the “Report Junk” or “Report Spam” option—the “Report Junk” or “Report Spam” options are located in fairly prominent locations, so you may have tapped them out of curiosity, not realizing that it would delete your message
  • Perhaps you accidentally tapped the buttons when you intended to tap something else
  • Perhaps you were in a hurry, sending texts without a lot of thought and tapped the wrong button without realizing
  • Perhaps some external situation happened—such as your child taking your phone and selecting the “junk/spam” option

To help prevent accidentally reporting a text message as junk, here are a few basic tips:

  • Be aware of where the “junk/spam” options appear so that you can make sure not to inadvertently tap them
  • Be careful when tapping on the “report junk/spam” button to make sure you’re tapping on the correct conversation
  • Keep your phone locked and password-protected when you’re not using it so that other people don’t have access to report messages as junk within your phone

However, your consequences for accidentally reporting a message as junk—having the message inadvertently deleted—are easily undoable, as you’ll see in the next section.

How to “Undo” When You’ve Accidentally Reported a Text Message as Junk

If you've accidentally reported a text message as junk and really need to restore it, there’s good news!

Both iOS and Android devices have a way to easily recover deleted messages.

In iOS, you can tap the “Edit” button on the main “Messages” screen. From there you can select “Show Recently Deleted.” You’ll then be able to see a list of all messages that you’ve deleted within the past 30 days. You can then tap on the message that you’d like to restore and select the “Recover” option that appears.

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Screenshot of ios recover message option

For Android, you can navigate to your “Spam and Blocked” folder by selecting the “3 dots” icon on the main “Messages” screen.

You’ll be able to find the conversation in this folder. Tap the conversation and then select the “Not Spam” option to send the conversation back to your regular inbox.

And that’s basically it! Nothing to panic about. Just recover your accidentally deleted messages and you’ll be good to go.

Accidentally Reported a Text Message as Junk? Don’t Sweat It!

As we’ve seen, if you accidentally report a message as junk or spam, it’s no biggie. You don’t need to do anything to “undo” your mistake unless you’d like to retrieve the deleted message. And if you’d like to retrieve that deleted message, it’s pretty easy to do.

So don’t sweat it! Just recover your message and keep on texting.

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