Decline iPhone Phone Calls With a Message

You can do more than simply decline a phone call with no explanation on your iPhone. With only one more tap on your screen, you can decline and send a message to the caller to let them know why. You can edit three presets for this message, or type a custom one. You can also decline a call and set a reminder to call the person back later on.

Video Transcript
So I'm sure you know that when you get a call on your iPhone you can easily decline the call. There's a big red button and all you need to do is press that and the call's declined. But there's another function as well. That's the ability to decline the call but send a text message to the person so they'll know why the call was declined.

Now you can do this with a simple option on the screen. Of course they have to have a phone that get's text messages. So on old landlines, if they're calling on that, they're not going to be able to get a text message. But another iPhone, another mobile phone it will work.

So, for instance, let's try it out here. I'm going to get a phone call here and you can see I've got that red button for Decline. But I could also hit Message. You can see I have three prefilled responses that I could tap and instantly it would send a message with that. So I'll just tap that first one that says it's declined and on the other end that person got that message.

Now let's try it again but this time I'm going to tap Message and then hit Custom. This opens up a little messaging window there just as if you were opening up Messages and you could type whatever you want. So basically you decline the call and now you can type a message. Once you do the message is declined.

Now you can also change those three default messages. Just go into Settings and look for Phone under Settings. In there you have Respond with Text. In that you can now replace any of those that you want. So you have these three slots, basically, and you can put whatever you want in there and those three slots will then appear whenever you tap that Messages button to decline the call.

Another option that you get is the ability to decline a call but set a reminder for yourself. So a call comes in and you hit the Remind Me button and you get a variety of responses. It varies depending upon your situation. So you may not see the same ones I get. Usually you do get the In 1 Hour one. So you hit In 1 Hour. The call is Declined and you get a reminder in one hour that the person had called.

Comments: 13 Responses to “Decline iPhone Phone Calls With a Message”

    1/18/18 @ 6:59 am

    Gary, would this be an appropriate way to refuse to reply to “No Caller ID” calls?
    Usually, these are just nuisance calls in my experience.
    e.g. “Please identify caller before I answer”

    Dale Maddock
    1/18/18 @ 7:00 am

    Is there a way to generate different messages based upon groups of persons, such as family members versus vendors or others? Or no response to unknown numbers?

    1/18/18 @ 7:24 am

    Robin: In my opinion, no. Just decline them. There is no “person” on the other end that cares what you text back to them. In fact, it is doubtful that those numbers accept text messages at all. And if they do, they often use fake caller ID, so you would be texting back someone who has nothing to do with them.

    1/18/18 @ 7:25 am

    Dale: No, but with three slots, you could probably come up with three messages that cover most of what you need. If you get more call volume than that, you probably have a pro telephone solution anyway. See my response to Robin above about “unknown callers.”

    Joseph Sandusky
    1/18/18 @ 8:45 am

    What if I am not on the phone or have it open and it only shows “Slide Here to Answer”?

    J Vossos
    1/18/18 @ 9:02 am

    I find this a useful bit of information I hate taking calls anytime, but this provides a respectful ‘out’ when it rings.

    1/18/18 @ 9:03 am

    I made this custom response: “if you know me, text me”. 99% of time the call comes from a landline and I know it’s a robo call. I then go to recents and block that number.

    1/18/18 @ 9:41 am

    Joseph: If you are on another call, you get the same options on the screen. If you are not seeing the ability to send a message, look closely. I suppose if you are using an other iOS, or the caller is on a non-text line, maybe you don’t see it. But I definitely see that option in that case.

    Claus D
    1/18/18 @ 11:07 am

    Very useful tip, which i use almost every day.

    1/18/18 @ 1:43 pm

    Donald- how do you create a custom text response to use for incoming calls?


    1/18/18 @ 2:52 pm

    PatC: That is what I am showing in the video.

    1/18/18 @ 3:41 pm

    Never mind. I figured it out. Thanks for the info.


    Dally Messenger
    1/18/18 @ 6:13 pm

    Brilliant and useful Gary. Had no idea this existed. Never looked at the screen properly, I suppose. You have the gift of understanding that a lot of people do not know the simplest things until pointed out by someone like yourself. Much thanks.

Comments Closed.