What does “message blocking is active” mean and the fix

Tim Vickers

Are you trying to send an urgent text message, but you are getting a “message blocking is active” error from your carrier?

Even though short texts have redefined how we communicate on the go, issues such as not communicating on the platform can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are workarounds in case you experience the bug.

So, what does “message blocking is active” mean? This error means your carrier cannot deliver the text message to the intended recipient. It may be because your phone is roaming in a foreign country or the recipient has blocked you.

If message blocking is active on T-mobile, it means the shortcode is either inactive or incorrect.

How to fix the “Free msg: unable to send message – message blocking is active” error

message blocking on iOS

Even though the messaging blocking error is frustrating, there are possible ways to solve the problem. The most responsive ways to unblock message blocking include:

1. Remove the sim card and restart your phone

If the message blocking is active on android or iOS, you should remove the sim card and restart the device. The process solves two problems.

First, it debugs your phone, and second, restarts the connection. If the problem was the signal on your phone, the process makes it possible to send messages without the error.

2. For international messages, change the country code

If you send a text message to a person overseas, you need to add their country code. Failure to include the code may automatically block the message from being sent.

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If you are uncertain about your recipient’s country’s code, do a Google search for it then format their number correctly.

3. Request the receiver to unblock you

You may be getting the error message because the recipient has blocked you. Whether it was intentional or by mistake, you can only send the message if they unblock you. Fortunately, the blacklisting may not affect voice calls.

If they have not blocked you, you should check if you have blacklisted them on your side. In case you have blocked the recipient, remove the number on the blacklist and try resending the message.

4. Remove attachments from your messages

Even though most carriers allow users to attach pictures and documents in messages, they may trigger the error. Text messages, by design, are light, and any additional elements may make it harder to send them.

Therefore, avoid sending pictures, voice notes, videos, and documents via messages. If it is possible, use alternative means such as emails and social media.

5. If you are roaming, talk to your carrier

The ability to use your phone in a foreign country is one of the best advances in communication. However, your phone carrier may restrict data and text services to shield you from expensive rates.

Unfortunately, you may not get communication from your phone service provider. If you talk to the representative of your phone company, they may reset your services to accommodate your new needs as a user.

However, sending messages from a foreign country may attract new charges, affecting your phone bill.

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6. Change your GSM plan

Your GSM plan may affect your messaging experience, especially if you send messages more frequently than calling.

For example, if you send more than 5000 messages in a month, you are more likely to get the error. The primary goal of restricting messages is to avoid creating a huge phone bill under your plan.

Changing your plan helps in bypassing the limitation caused by sending more text messages in a given period. If you are uncertain about which plan you should change to, talk to your carrier’s representative, informing them of your intention to change GSM plans.

In case you are using iMessage, ensure the recipient is on iOS if you want to send messages without incurring any cost. If they are on an Android device, change your plan to accommodate premium texts across the two platforms.


While most phone carriers use block messaging features to protect users from overcharging and other related dangers, it is not pleasant.

Fortunately, the above steps are effective in solving the error. However, when traveling to a different country, you should talk to your carrier’s representative and reconfigure your phone to match the new messaging needs.

Messaging tips and guides

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